SES loves MCBA

SES loves MCBA
SES loves MCBA!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All reading counts

This year we have made some improvements to our MCBA program that we think will encourage more students to read. Participation points are earned for each book read. Students still have to fulfill the minimum of reading 5 MCBA nominees, but then will receive credit for other books that they read at their reading level. It levels the playing field for 4th graders since most MCBA books are much higher than a 4th grade reading level. It will also allow students to explore authors that they discover through MCBA and pursue their own interests. We are excited about this change!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MCBA 2011 Kickoff

This morning the 4th, 5th and 6th graders met in the LC to kickoff this year's MCBA program. Excitement is running high with exciting new changes to the program to encourage all our readers to participate.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1 more day!

It all starts tomorrow,
it's only a day away :>)

MCBA 2011 kicks off tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.
I can't wait!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Home of the Brave Book Trailer

This is a great book trailer for Home of the Brave.

Home of the Brave from SLJ Trailee Nominees on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chains Book club

While we are still months away from the official MCBA kick-off, there is one event I'd like you to be aware of. Our first grades 4-6 book club of the year begins on Monday, September 13th with Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains. This is a MCBA nominee and also part of our We the People Bookshelf grant. Don't miss it! During lunch in the LC.

Ms. Birtwell reads 25!

Ms. Birtwell, our kindergarten teacher has once again read all 25 MCBA nominees! We are so pleased to have her be a big part of our MCBA program. Congratulations!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baseball Curses

It seems just right to finish reading Mudville on this rainy Sunday. I enjoyed this book and I think there is enough technical baseball talk to appeal to fans and a strong enough story to appeal to those who aren't.

Mudville reminded me a bit of The Boy who Saved Baseball by John Ritter that was on the MCBA list in 2006. It also made me realize how many baseball books involve a curse or a mystery with a disgraced player! Check out The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott and Dan Shaughnessy's The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino to learn more about a very famous "curse" that afflicted the Red Sox.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Alexander Calder

If you enjoyed The Calder Game like I did, you may want to learn more about the artist and try your hand at designing a mobile.
The National Gallery of Art is a wonderful website with some really cool interactives.
To learn more about Calder's life, read the NGA's Inside Scoop.
Ready to make a mobile? Have fun!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mr. Mahler does it again!

On July 25th Mr. Mahler completed his 25th MCBA book to become our first 25 reader of the year.


He has accomplished this amazing feat for 5 years in a row!

I really thought I was going to beat him to it this year, but I'm at #19. It's been a great summer to read---what could be better to do when the thermometer hits 90 and you are growing fins from being in the pool too long.

So find a cool spot and crack open a book. This year's list is really good; you'll find something you will like--I promise!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Home of the Brave

Kek is an 11-year old refugee from Sudan, who comes to Minnesota after the death of his father and brother. His mother is missing, and Kek remains hopeful that he will be reunited with her. His life in Minnesota is a world away from the African landscape he knew. When he sees a lone cow in a field, he is instantly called to her--he was a herder---and we see how she helps him adapt to this new life.
This is a beautiful book, written in free verse, that will pull on your heart strings. Be sure to check it out.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Track your reading

A printable bookmark to track your reading

The New list is Here!

We are quite excited by the nominees for the 2011 MCBA program. A nice variety, some favorite authors, some new ones, a very wide range of reading levels and a genre to please everyone.

Ready...set...go! You can start reading now and we will officially begin the SES program in November.

I will be kicking off the first lunch time book club for 4-6th graders in September with Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains.(In case you want to wait on that one and be part of the club.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Congratulations Leverett!

Congratulation to the Leverett Elementary School Battle of the Books team for a fine contest on Tuesday. They edged out the SES team of Eric, Luke, Dylan, and Arabella 32-30 in a game played via Skype. So close and well played. We are so proud of our team--they did an outstanding job representing the readers of Shutesbury. As 4th graders, they still have two years of eligibility and will be a force to reckon with next year.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Books in Action pics

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Books in Action

Where else could you play in the World Series of Workup, crawl through Araminta's creepy haunted house, write pizza poetry, eat fabulous diner food, test your presidential trivia with President Obama, do hands-on science in Simon Bloom's lab and toss toilet paper rolls in Patience, KS???? Where else but Books in Action! We had a blast! 125 readers and more than 40 volunteers brought their energy to Shutesbury Elementary for the 9th Books in Action, our unique celebration of reading and the Massachusetts Children's Book Award.

I'd like to thank the volunteers from Shutesbury who did a wonderful job: Kelley Allan, Lucy Gertz, Michelle Rogalski, Jen Davies, Margaret Simmons, Alicia Walter, Marilyn Sylla, Mark Protti, Rachael McLean, Polly Ingraham, Lynmarie Thompson, Laura Thompson-Martin, Craig Martin, Jen Dolan, Susan Reyes, Andrea Rogers, Sharon Davenport, Elena Hayes and Karen Traub.

Special thanks to SES staff members Andrea Elson, Emily Sears and Stephen Sullivan who showed that in addition to being good teachers, they are also exceptional game show hosts! Thanks to the other half of the information literacy team, Debbie Lee, who picked up the slack while I focused on game day.
Thanks to Chef Lonny Ricketts who was amazing at keeping the delicious food flowing in the diner. And to Mr. Bob Mahler for his help in keeping the evening flowing smoothly and his enthusiastic support of MCBA and the library program.

Thank you to the SES staff who allowed us to use their classrooms, endured distractions and provided unending support through the whole MCBA program.

The roar that erupts from the students when the winning book is announced at the end of the evening makes it all worthwhile (this year a tie-Found and Simon Bloom Gravity Keeper- wahoo!)
Congratulations to all our Union 28 MCBA readers!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

BOTB Champs!

Oh, what a contest it was at today's Battle of the Books final! I was awake last night trying to figure out what to do if it ended in a 4-way tie; the teams were that strong! And boy it was close. The teacher team of Mr. Mahler, Ms. Lobenstine, Ms. Birtwell and Ms. Sears really held their own against the students...for a while. Then it was clear it was going to be a show down between the 4th grade champs of Eric, Austin, Luke and Dylan and the 4/5 winner Isola, Sage, Aidan and Henry. Regulation play ended in a tie between these two powerhouses. The sudden death playoff looked like neither team would miss a question. The spectators were just about holding their breathe--it was quite intense.
In the end, the 4th grade pulled it off. What a team! They advance to the first round of the U28 championship and will meet Leverett Elementary via Skype on Tuesday. This is Leverett's first time participating in BOTB and we are excited about playing them.
The winners earned an engraved medal and possession of the cherished "Golden Book" for the year.
Thanks to all of this year's BOTB contestants. It was a lot of fun and your thorough knowledge of the books shown through.

MCBA wrap up

Today we held an assembly to conclude our MCBA program for the year (we still have Books in Action coming up on Friday, but needed to fit in a time for the final presentations.)

This year saw wonderful participation among our 4-6 graders with 51 of 59 students reading at least five books. The student average was 14.5 books! The students and their teachers read a grand total of 931 books during the program.

The participation points contest was won by Ms. Klein's grade 6 with a total of 437 points. Each point represents one way to participate - a book, a book project, winning t-day trivia, participating in Battle of the Books or the Green Glass Sea Symposium. Mr. Goldman's class took silver with 408 points and Ms. Lobenstine's class collected bronze with 348 points. Outstanding!
Ms. Klein's class will win a party of their choosing hosted in the library. (Last year the winning 4th grade chose a disco the past we have also done pizza, breakfast buffet, and snack time parties.)

This year we had 15 students and three staff members read all 25 books.

The Perri Sylvester Award for outstanding effort and enthusiasm in book projects and the MCBA program goes to Sage DeChiara. Honorable mention was made to Luke Sedor-Protti, Isola Murray, Dylan Walter, Chris Franklin, Abby McLean and Riley Walter.

Congratulations to all our 4th, 5th and 6th graders. They have read up a storm, tried new genres, discussed what they have read, created beautiful projects and really grown as readers. I'm very proud of them!

The 2010 25 Club is now complete

Congratulations to Nevin Bonak and Ms. Bonnie Adams for reading all 25 MCBA nominees this year. That concludes this year's list-with 18 members. The 25 club members will have their names installed in a plaque in the library. It is truly an achievement to read 25 books across all genres.
Nice job!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Congratulations to Henry for joining the growing list of 25 readers. Great job!

4/5 Competes for the Classroom Champ

Perhaps it was the hand-crafted team T-shirts. Maybe it was how they would agree on an answer and then say it in unison. Or maybe it was careful preparation and thorough reading. Whatever it was, it sure was fun to watch the team of Sage, Isola, Henry and Aidan win the 4/5 classroom BOTB on Friday.

Next Wednesday's school championship is shaping up to be one hot contest!

Great job to all of this year's BOTB contestants!

4th Grade Winners

Short one team member, with Luke out sick, Dylan, Eric and Austin held on to win the 4th grade class Battle of the Books title on Thursday. They were cool, calm and confidant! Congratulations!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grade 6 Champs

Phew.. that was a close one! Today's Battle of the Books contest ended in a sudden-death round, with team 1 rising victorious. Congratulations to Nevin, Sean, J.J. and Isaac ! The will represent their class in next week's school contest. All of the teams playing today should be very proud. They did an awesome job and showed excellent sportsmanship.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gotta Keep Reading

Not directly related to MCBA, but I loved this video and think my readers will too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The 25 Club keeps growing!

Congratulation to Eric and Emma on making it into the 25 Club!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Abby and Dylan reach their goal


A wonderful visit from author Brian Meehl

On January 21st we were delighted to host MCBA author Brian Meehl in the library. He was wonderful! He shared stories from his childhood that influenced him in writing Out of Patience, talked about what made him become a writer--and the other jobs he has held. He was funny and charming and we really enjoyed his presentation. Especially singing "Take me out to the Stink Farm" as he conducted with his plunger! He then joined us for lunch to chat with students. It was a memorable day for our students.

The reading continues...

Congratulations to Arabella and Isola for reaching the 25 book mark! Nice job, ladies!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Go Sage and Eliza!

Congratulations on your stellar performance!

Congratulations Austin and Riley!

We are proud of our 25 readers!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brian Meehl Visit

We are anxiously awaiting the visit of author Brian Meehl on Thursday, January 21st.
The Cyber Book Club is nearing the end of Out of Patience just in time to meet the man behind this funny mystery.
Will the "Scepter of Satan" unleash the final destruction of Patience, KS? Will the ATM (American Toilet Museum) ever come to fruition? And what about those nitrates.....

For more information on Brian Meehl, visit his website at

The Green GLass Sea Symposium

From January 11-15, Principal Bob Mahler led a daily 30-minute lunchtime symposium on World War II in conjunction with the book, The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Kleges. Attended by twelve 5th and 6th grade students, students learned about the events leading up to the Manhattan porject. Mr. Mahler shared the many artifacts and ephemera he collects from the time period. It was a wonderful learning opportunity for the students.
Thank you Mr. Mahler!