Poem In Your Pocket Day is Here!



Break out the Shel Silverstein – Thursday, April 24 is Poem in Your Pocket Day! This is the fourth time we’ve celebrated this incredible day at Crocker. It’s pretty simple — have a poem in your pocket and be ready to share it. If you’re still learning to read or don’t have pockets, you might need to memorize your poem. It doesn’t hurt to practice reading or reciting your poem. That’s it. All that’s left is to show up and share your poem.

Thanks to Ms. Ski’s class for the beautiful flowers and bulletin board! Happy National Poetry Month!


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Reading Across America!

Sunday, March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday! To help us celebrate and to commemorate her own special day, one of our kindergarteners brought a birthday gift for the library, a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday to You. Thank you, Sasha!

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On Wednesday, Mr. Donahue’s class met with a second grade class from De Pere, Wisconsin. Their school was celebrating Read Across America, an event to commemorate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and celebrate reading. They read Click, Clack Moo to us and we read Moo! by David LaRochelle. We saw pictures of the snow on their school yard which is over the heads of many of the kids we met. They were surprised to learn that almost half of the kids in Mr. Donahue’s class were wearing shorts! We hope we’ll have a chance to talk with our new friends again this year.

Ms. Spees’ fifth grade class spent an hour with author Kate Messner. The class is learning about weather and climate change. As part of this, they’re reading Kate’s book Eye of the Storm, a fictional story set in the 2050s against a backdrop of extreme weather conditions caused by global climate change.

messner 1


Kate spoke to us from her home in New York. She shared her writing process and answered a lot of interesting questions. We talked quite a bit about the imagination and research it takes to make writing about the future seem realistic. Thanks to Kate and Ms. Spees’ class for a fantastic morning.





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Just One More Piece!

Puzzle Week was so much fun! We had a great time working on puzzles together in the library and lab. Thanks to everyone who shared puzzles with us. We couldn’t have had such a wonderful week without you!

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Before You Buy the Book, Check the Crocker Library!

Next time you’re about to buy a book, use your phone or tablet to find out if we have a copy in the Crocker library. Install the Follett Destiny Quest app so you can search the Crocker library catalog. Once you download the app, you’ll need to enter this library URL http://destiny.ousd.k12.ca.us then choose Crocker Highlands Elementary. You don’t need to log in to use the catalog, just explore as a guest. Happy reading!

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Author Jennifer Holm Visiting Crocker This Week!

It’s time for our annual book fair — a big book sale in our multipurpose room. The book fair is this Thursday and Friday, November 21 and 22.

On Wednesday, November 20 we are lucky to have a special guest visiting Crocker — author Jennifer Holm. Holm is the author of two extraordinarily popular graphic novel series Babymouse and Squish — some of the most popular books in the Crocker library! She’s also the winner of three Newbery Honors for her children’s novels Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise. To get ready for her visit, we’ve been reading Babymouse and Squish, making pictures of the characters, and making our own comics Our fifth grade classes are reading Turtle in Paradise, too.

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We’ll have assemblies with Holm during the school day. After school, she’ll be signing books in the library. You’re welcome to bring a copy of one of her books from home. We’ll also be selling books in the library. Babymouse, Squish, and Turtle in Paradise books are $8 each (tax included). Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf is $9 (tax included). Cash and check only. Make checks out to the Crocker PTA. Books will be available on Thursday and Friday at the book fair, but Wednesday is the only day to get your book signed.

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karolina babymousemona squish

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It’s Harry Potter Thursday!


This year, we’ve been celebrating Harry Potter Thursday in the library. What’s Harry Potter Thursday? A day to wear Harry Potter t-shirts, talk about Harry Potter, think about Harry Potter….anything Potter-ish will do! To celebrate Harry Potter Thursday (and Halloween) this week, I made wizard-y costumes for some of the stuffed animals in the library. What do you think?

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Crocker at Its Best!


This afternoon, we had the annual Crocker Book Swap. IT WAS AWESOME! There are lots of fantastic things about Crocker, but the book swap is Crocker at its best. The whole community participates – families contribute thousands of books; volunteers collect, carry, and sort thousands of books; and kids, families, and community members share the books and more importantly, our love of reading. Crocker truly is a community of readers.

A HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers who helped our book swap happen: Lucy Streett, Abby Kaster, Evelyn Hess, Meena Palaniappan, Orit Vogel, Milli Jones, Erin Grassie, Alison Blenkle, Kristen Wilson, Jennifer Lieberman, Susan Keiter, and Lesley Podesta. Thanks to all of the kids who pitched in to collect books and help clean up, too. We have hundreds of books left and we’ll pass these along to the East Bay Children’s Book Project.



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This Year, I Wish…

for fun and friends and lots of READING and LEARNING!  Ms. Anderson’s first grade class made some wishes to start the new school year. They’re hanging on the tree in the Crocker garden. I was especially happy to see these two:

library wishlab wish

And a little surprised (and impressed) to see the next two. Stop by the garden to take a look at all of the fantastic wishes. I think we’re going to have a great year!

school wishskunk wish

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Summer Reading and Free Stuff!


First of all, thanks to all of the kids, families, and teachers for a great year in the lab and library. Hanging out with kids, books, teachers, and computers everyday isn’t a bad way to spend my time – you should be jealous. Special HUGE thanks to everyone who volunteers in the lab and library. I couldn’t do any of this without you. I hope your summer is full of fun, learning,  and, of course, reading – which is really, really, really fun.

This week, Miss Miriam (who is crazy cool) from the Oakland Public Library visited Crocker to talk to the kids about the summer reading program. It’s important to keep kids reading through the summer to help retain and build reading skills.  Crocker really is a community of readers so our work as adults isn’t too hard – connect our kids with books they’d like to read. Having said that, there are lots of summer reading lists and programs to choose from.  I’ll give you a few links, but first, a little advice.

Keep summer reading fun:

  • Visit the library or bookstore with your child – once a week, once a month, once this summer. Just do it. You can check out 40 books at a time – seriously!
  • Let your child choose what they want to read.
  • Read with and to your child, no matter their age, especially if you want them to read something they aren’t terribly interested in.
  • Keep books in your car.
  • Ask a librarian or bookstore clerk to make recommendations to your child. Sometimes recommendations are easier to take from someone other than your parents.
  • Don’t forget about audiobooks – in the car, on the plane, or boat, or train – on the way to the grocery store or on vacation.
  • Or e-books on your phone, tablet, e-reader, or computer – you can download them free from OPL.
  • Or magazines, comic books, and websites.
  • Don’t forget to stop somewhere for lunch, dinner, or lemonade on your way home from the library or bookstore.  Keep it fun!

The links:

Oakland Public Library: This is where the free stuff comes in. Sign up for the summer reading program, check out up to 40 kids’ books at a time, check out e-books and audiobooks, and get free admission to local museums. As a librarian I’m a little biased, but PUBLIC LIBRARIES ROCK! FREE, friendly, fun, and OPL works hard to serve the entire Oakland community. One of the best ways to let the city know you value you the library is to use it. Get there ASAP!

Bank Street Book Lists: Great book lists for everything, including summer reading lists.

Scholastic Summer Reading: Sign up for summer reading at OPL. If that’s not enough, check out Scholastic’s Summer Reading Program and information.

Story Snoops: Find books for kids between the ages of 9 and 18. Great descriptions and reviews from (very well-informed) parent point-of-view.

NPR Bast-Seat-Book Club: Best for 3rd grade and up – these are some great books!

My personal recommendations:

  • Anything by Mo Willems and Mac Barnett
  • All ages, super funny, great to read together, the nanny is a pig: The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
  • Read the fastest and most loved book this year by all 4th and 5th graders who read it: Because of Mr. Terupt
  • Made us cry (even me!), but we loved it anyway (4th and 5th grade): One For the Murphys

Have a great summer! I’ll see you at the library!


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5th Grade Recommends….

Here are a few book recommendations from our 5th graders. Stay tuned for more!

Sandler recommends

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