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review 2018-02-02 22:38
I love Pete the Cat!
Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes - Eric Litwin,James Dean

"Pete the Cat: I love My White Shoes" is just one of the great Pete the Cat books. I was introduced to these stories about 5 or 6 years ago and have loved them ever since. All of the Pete the Cat books can be found on YouTube with several readings and songs to go along with them. I love these books because Pete always looks at the bright side of things and shows children how to be positive even in hard situations. I Love My White Shoes is about Pete stepping in large piles of numerous things that turn his white shoes different colors. But does Pete get upset? "Goodness no!" This is a catchy phrase in the story that can be used in the classroom for a number of things. With younger grades, it can be used when doing transitions. For example, if the teacher says, "Do we run?", the students could respond, "Goodness no!" and so on. Another fun activity that can be done, and I actually did this in a class, is have the students continue on with the book except they come up with their own pile of something for Pete to step in and decide what color it would turn his shoes. This is great for younger grades to practice creativity and colors! This could be done independently or with a partner/small group. They could write it down and illustrate it as well. If they are struggling with writing and spelling, they could just draw it out.

 

Lexile: AD460L

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

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review 2018-01-21 21:25
You're Finally Here!
You're Finally Here! - Mélanie Watt

"You're Finally Here", by Melanie Watt is one of the newest books to my collection. This books main message is centered around waiting, but can be used for other topics as well. The bunny in the story has been waiting forever for his reader to finally arrive, and he lets you know just how upset he is with you for making him wait so long! At the end he draws up a contract for the reader to sign telling him you will stay forever! This story is funny and children will love it. "You're Finally Here" can be used as a first day back story to read to your students to let them know how happy you are that they are in your classroom and that you have waited all summer for them to get to your class! Before the first day you could type up a "contract" for the students to sign. It could be about classroom rules or things that you expect from your students or anything you chose to make it about. This story can also be used for a writing prompt about what they did all summer while you were waiting on them. This book has many options for activities. I will say it is hard to find a new copy of this book for a cheap price. It also doesn't have a lot of information for it. It is usually out of stock online at Barnes and Noble, but I can't say for in-store shopping. Books a million does not carry it unless they have changed recently. 

 

Lexile: AD390L

Guided Reading Grade Level: 2

Guided Reading: K

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review 2018-01-21 04:23
I Say Thanks for this Book!
Bear Says Thanks - Karma Wilson,Jane Chapman

"Bear Says Thanks", by Karma Wilson, is a sweet story about a lonely bear in his cave. He wants to have his friends over for a feast, but there is one problem. He doesn't have any food! What's a bear to do? His friends start to drop by one by one bringing him treats such as pies, muffins, fish, nuts, and tea. Bear is so thankful, but he starts to feel bad for not having anything to contribute to the feast. His friends assured him it was fine and that all they wanted was to be together. This is a good lesson on friendship and the importance of being together. Some fun activities while reading this story would be to get a picnic blanket or table cloth to lay out on the floor for the students to join you while you read. Another extra would be to have a picnic basket full of some of the treats in the story. For the fish, you could substitute goldfish. Of course you would need to know allergies before serving food. To go along with the story, since it is like a poem, would be for them to make a thankful lapbook. The middle could be an acrostic poem using the word "thankful". They can list other things they are thankful for on the sides of the lapbook.

 

Accelerated Reader Level: 2.3

Lexile: AD540L

Guided Reading Level: L 

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review 2018-01-21 03:57
Thanksgiving Fun
Turkey Trouble - Wendi Silvano,Lee Harper

"Turkey Trouble", by Wendi Silvano is about a tricky turkey who doesn't want to be on the dinner table for Thanksgiving. Turkey comes up with numerous funny outfits to try to blend in on the farm, but the other animals call him out each time. Turkey comes up with a costume to look like a horse, a cow, a pig, a sheep, and a rooster, but he isn't fooling anybody! They all know it's Turkey. In this story there are repetitive lines so the students can join in while reading! This makes it fun and engaging for them and they are more likely to recall the story. Finally, Turkey has a brilliant idea which saves him from being served on a silver platter. WHEW! Turkey was safe for one more year. Some activities to do with this story would be sequencing of events charts to check for comprehension. Also, the students could do a reader's theater and assign everyone a part to act out. Another fun activity I did with a second grade class was having the students create their own menu and write it out. They were to choose an appetizer, main course, salad, soup, sides, and dessert. They enjoyed this activity and loved sharing their menu with their classmates. Any type of Thanksgiving activity would go along with this cute and fun story. 

 

Lexile: AD460L

Guided Reading Level: K

ATOS Reading Level: 2.3

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review 2018-01-20 22:51
A Good Case of Be Who You Are
A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

I was introduced to this book several years ago and it has been a favorite since the day I read it. "A bad Case of Stripes", by David Shannon, has a wonderful message to send to children about being themselves no matter what others think. Camilla Cream, the main character, is getting ready for school one morning when she looks in the mirror to see herself covered in rainbow stripes! She had no clue why she looked this way and it took lots of doctors, poking, probing, and pills to NOT figure it out! She thought she was doomed to look like this for the rest of her life until a sweet, little, old lady comes to her rescue. Camilla soon figures out that the reason for her stripes is because she is not being true to herself. You will have to read this funny and gut wrenching story to find out what it is that she's trying to hide. This story can be used in any elementary classroom as an activity to spread the word about always being yourself no matter what some people may think. Nothing is more miserable than playing a part in life and not enjoying yourself for who you are!

 

Lexile: AD610L

Reading A-Z: K,P

ATOS Reading Level: 3.8

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