High Tech Student to Student Book Recs by Katherine Sokolowski

One of my goals with my fifth graders each fall is to create an awareness amongst my three classes that I am not the sole source of book recommendations for them. That they can get recommendations from their friends. After all, I will not be traveling with them to sixth grade, but their friends will. To that end, I create a lot of opportunity for the students to talk about books in the first few months of school. Often our share time at the end of workshop is done at their tables. I ask them to share at their tables a favorite book, a book that most people have missed, a hilarious book, a book that makes you cry, etc. The conversation begins.

Recently we’ve begun using Padlet as another way to share our recommendations. Often on Mondays we will post what we are currently reading and a quick summary of that book. We can then tweet the link to the Padlet out on our Twitter page sharing with the hashtag Katharine Hale created (#readergrams) to connect to other classrooms. Here we can see the power of our own recommendations and gather some new recommendations from other classrooms that respond back.


This week we expanded on that idea of recommendations, but in the form of a book blurb. My students are familiar with blurbs, of course, from the books we read. However, they found it was much more difficult for them to create a blurb, even knowing the format fairly well. It was all too easy to summarize their books. Learning how to entice the reader of the blurb to pick up the book was more difficult writing than they expected. They prevailed and are excited to recommend some of their favorite books to you below. We hope you will find some new books in our suggestions below. If you do, please share your opinion of the book with us. You can find us on Twitter, our username is @SagesHoots. We can’t wait to hear from you.


katherine padlet

Click on the image to get to the Padlet to see what all of Katherine’s students shared!


Katherine Sokolowski and her three classes of fifth graders reside in central Illinois. There they spend their days in their 119 year-old school where they read, write, and share stories. You can follow them on Twitter at @sageshoots or check out their class website at http://hootsfromsagecorner.weebly.com to learn more about them. Katherine is on Twitter at @katsok and blogs at http://readwriteandreflect.blogspot.com.