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Search tags: beginning-of-the-year
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review 2017-04-04 23:01
Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches - Lisa Broadie Cook,Jack E. Davis

This book is about a class that has a very strict substitute teacher. The little boy named Martin has trouble keeping track with his homework. Everyday it is something new and he has to sit out while the rest of the class gets to play and have fun. Finally his teacher returns and assigns an awesome homework assignment with the chance to take home the class spider for the weekend. I would use this book as an example of how to be responsible and to turn your work in on time. It is leveled 740 L.

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text 2017-03-28 23:16
An A From Miss Keller - Patricia Polacco,Patricia Polacco

The book, An A From Miss Keller, is written by Patricia Polacco and is based off of true events that happened when Polacco was growing up. The main character of the work, Patricia, is nervous about starting in Miss Keller’s writing class because she has heard terrible rumors about this woman. The question remains throughout the book: is Miss Keller really a bad teacher or is she a good teacher who is just tough on her students? A book like this would be great to use towards the end of the school year to talk about next year’s teacher with your students. Sometimes students like to listen to the rumors circulating through the school; but until the students actually meet the teacher, they should never judge someone based on someone else’s words. I read this book to the kindergarten class I am currently observing, and it made them so appreciative of the teacher they currently have. I also pointed out to them that throughout their time in school, they may have teachers who are hard on them because they expect them to work up to their full potential. This does not make them a bad teacher, but rather one who truly cares about their future. By the end of the story, the students believed that Miss Keller was actually a great teacher, but maybe she could have been a little nicer to her class. This book’s Lexile reading level is 700L. If you read this book at the beginning of the school year, I think a great activity for this book would be to read it aloud to the class, and then students could do a journal write on the expectations of their teacher. I think teachers should be open to considering how students want them to act throughout the school year. Obviously, you should never be too easy on students to where it seems like you do not care, but we should never be as strict as Miss Keller to where our students are fearful of being in our class!

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text 2017-03-27 21:06
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin,James Dean

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes tells the story of Pete, a blue cat, who is starting his first day of school. Eric Litwin, the author, highlights many different places in the school that Pete has never been before such as the library, the lunchroom, and the playground. All of these locations could be places that students could find intimidating on their first day of school, but Pete is one cool cat who does not worry! Litwin incorporates a song into his book that is catchy for young readers to listen to. Believe me, it will be stuck in your head all day long! This book would be great to read on the first day of school to a kindergarten class, or preschoolers getting ready to begin kindergarten. You could even lend a copy to a new student in your class who may be feeling anxious about their first day and being in a new school setting. The book's reading level is for kindergarten and its lexile level is AD600L. Pete is the perfect example of how all students should feel on their first day at school: excited to learn and full of confidence! 

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review 2017-01-26 19:40
Red: A Crayon's Story
Red: A Crayon's Story - Michael Hall,Michael Hall

Red: A Crayon's Story is on a 1.6 AR level. This story is about a crayon who is labeled as red but is actually blue. Throughout the story, the crayon sees himself as a failure because everything he draws that is supposed to be red is not good enough. However, he realizes his worth when he is able to draw something that is supposed to be blue. With this text, I would hope to teach children that it is important to not pretend to being something you aren't. As an activity, I would like to give students a crayon with a misleading label and have them write how they would feel if someone thought something about them that simply was not accurate. In the end, I would hope children would feel that it is okay to not be what people always expect you to be. 

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review 2017-01-26 19:01
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell,David Catrow

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is on a 3.5 AR level, but I would not hesitate to use this text in a lower elementary classroom also. The text is centered around a young girl, Molly Lou Melon, who embraces her imperfections because her grandmother always said encouraged her. Because of her confidence in herself, Molly Lou Melon is able to befriend the boy who is bullying her by the end of the story. At the very end of the story, Molly Lou Melon writes a letter to her grandmother to say,"I wanted to tell you that everything you told me was exactly right!" In a younger grade, I would use this text to help children embrace their imperfections and uniqueness. However, in an upper grade, I would use this text as an opportunity to have students write thank you letters to someone who has inspired him or her. 

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