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Be Kind Projects….Project #1

For the last two weeks of school my art students have been working on kindness projects. It's spring, test time, and kids are itching for summer. I thought it would be a good idea to remind each other that even through stressful times we need to remember to always be kind. Each day I will reveal the project that I did with each grade level. For my kinders: I read the book Be kind by Pat Zietlow Miller (I've introduced…

Author/Illustrator Spotlight

Author Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri make a dynamic duo when it come to children's books! Dragons Love Tacos - Kids could create their own tacos, you could have a Taco Tuesday in your classroom. Dragons Love Tacos 2 - The sequel - There are no more tacos because of the fall out from the dragon party! They try and go back in time to save some tacos so that they can plant taco trees! You could have your students…

Use to Inspire a Love of Reading and Writing Through Choice

How Rocket Learned to Read, R is for Rocket, and Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills are great books to use to inspire reading and writing! How do you inspire reading and writing? Encourage the kids to choose what to read and what to write. Don't limit their choices or levels. Kids become better readers when they get to chose. When you hear 'thats a girl book, or that's a boy book' remind them that there are no such…

Powerful

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson is a powerful book about regret and lessons learned late. In this book a new student named Maya joins Chloe's class. The kids immediately notice that she is different based on her appearance and instead of treating her with kindness, they treat her with disdain. After weeks of ignoring her or being unkind, Maya no longer comes to school. Chloe's teacher brings in a bowl of water one day and as she drops a pebble…

Author/Illustrator Spotlight – More Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins books are amazing books because they introduce us to animals that we don't know about, think about, or offer as animal research ideas for students. Each of his books focus on a unique perspective on animals. While doing an author study on him, my students and I discuss how we can look at a book and immediately know that it's a Steve Jenkins book, based on the titles and art work alone. We discuss his author/illustrator voice. We…

Oh This Book!

Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins is truly a book that will make you laugh out loud. If I could buy this book for all of my teacher friends I would!¬†At my house and in my classroom we are big fans of Bruce, but I think these mice have now become my new favorite. One of the mice is trying to create a wordless book, but his two friends are having a hard time understanding that a wordless book isn't…

Kids are Wonders

Recently I had a former colleague and friend ask me for recommendations for books that she could use to read to her kindergarteners. She asked for this recommendation specifically because she has a student in her class that has a cleft pallet. She wanted to teach her students about kindness and compassion. We're All Wonders by RJ Palacio is a great book to use with primary grades. It's a companion to her upper elementary/middle school novel Wonder. The main character…

Boys Love This Book

I have never seen my boys get as excited about a book as they do for Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins. When I put it on the book display shelves where I store my books for the weeks lessons, the boys ask after every lesson if it's time to read it yet. I display all of the books that I use for the week and sometimes that book finds itself towards the end of the week as…

Favorite Animal

What's Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle and Friends is a collection of illustrations and text written and illustrated in each author's 'voice'. Each page includes an animal illustration as well as description from the author as to why it is their favorite animal. This book can be used for a variety of lessons. You can teach author's voice for writing. You could use to to begin an animal research project that includes an illustration drawn in each students individual…

Author/Illustrator Spotlight

Peter Brown in an amazing Author and Illustrator. He came to the school that I taught at and talked to the students. He even taught them how to draw creepy carrots. They loved it and for the rest of the school year at least one creepy carrot popped up daily in the students illustrations of their writing. I use My Teacher is a Monster in the beginning of the year to let them know that I am in fact not…