Visualizing, Predicting, and Listening Skills

The Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle is a great book to use to practice listening skills, visualization, and predictions. This book has a surprise ending! I love to use this for predicting because students usually get it wrong and it's a great way to teach them that it is okay to get a prediction wrong as long as their prediction actually  coincides with what is happening in the story. These days too many kids feel as if they need to…

Embracing Uniqueness!

One of favorite books ever is Odd Velvet by Mary E. Whitcomb. It's a story about embracing what makes us different and a lesson in how we should accept people's differences instead of thinking of them as 'odd'. Velvet was new to her school and the kids thought she was odd, until one day they realized what made her odd actually made her unique. It's a great lesson for students about getting to know someone instead of judging them. There…

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…

Reading Pictures and Inferring for Beginning and Struggling Readers

Who doesn’t love Mo Willems! His Piggy and Elephant books along with his Pigeon books are some of my favorites. They are also a good resource to use when teaching beginning readers. Willems uses large print in these books as well as a minimal amount of words. The illustrations are very expressive and make it easy for young readers to understand what is going on.  I use these books with all levels of readers. The pictures are easy to understand…

Reading Pictures and Inferring

At the beginning of each year I liked to start out reading books to students that had no words….yes no words! Why? I read them to teach my students that no matter what level they were reading at they could always read a book using the pictures. It also served as a way to introduce inferring and drawing conclusions at the simplest level. These books also lead to great discussions among students as to what is happening in the book.…