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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…

Cause and Effect

Cause and effect can be a difficult concept for students to understand. The books Never Ride Your Elephant to School by Doug Johnson and Never Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson are funny and engaging books to use to teach cause and effect. The author's give reasons as to why you should never________. These books provide clear examples of cause and effect and it make it easy for the students to identify examples throughout the books. Remember to…

The Diary of a Worm/Spider/Fly Collection

Kids love the books in the Diary of a Worm/Spider/Fly books by Doreen Cronin and pictures by Harry Bliss. Each book is organized as a diary and not only tells you about each animals day, but also teaches facts about the animals. The characters are featured in all 3 books. You will find that your students will laugh throughout the entire book. These books can be used to teach different writing lessons. You can teach students about different ways to…

Are you Cranky?

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger and illustrations by Dan Santat is an excellent book to use when discussing or planning with your students appropriate ways to handle being grumpy. After reading the book I ask my students to reflect on how they act when they are cranky. I make sure to always let them know that it is OK to be cranky, but we need to make sure that we aren't treating others poorly when we are. After we discuss what…

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…

Young and Struggling Readers

How do Dinosaurs Learn How to Read? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague shows what good readers do. I believe that every K-1 and intervention classroom should read this book to their students. It's a fun way to teach students about how they should treat books, as well as what they should do while they are reading. Should they skip words? Should they throw a book when they are frustrated? Are they sounding out words? This book is a fun…

David Shannon

David Shannon's books about David, Alice the Fairy, and Too many Toys are great books to use for writing lessons. His illustrations can be used to teach his 'author' voice. You can tell students that they should easily recognize any of his books based on his illustrations alone since they are part of his author voice and unique to him alone. The above mentioned books provide good lessons for writers about focusing on one topic. For example in No, David…

Picture Books and Art Projects

Peter H. Reynold's has two books that he seemed to create in order to inspire art! the Dot and ish are quick reads yet sure to inspire some kind of creativity in most kids. I am sure many of you have seen the book the Dot and know that there is an actual international dot day in which students create a picture from a single dot. This book teaches children to understand that sometimes others see our potential abilities before…

Thinking Caps!

  This book was one of my recent finds while at the library with my children. Sarabella’s Thinking Cap by Judy Schachner is another amazing book to use at the beginning of the year. You can combine it with an art project in order to get to know your students better.  In the story Sarabella is always creating and day dreaming. Her flexible teacher explains to her that it is OK to day dream and think, but not while she…