Tag Archives: school

#ClassroomBookaDay

21 Sep

jillian1.jpgI just recently heard a podcast on Books Between about Classroom Book a Day with it’s creator, Jillian Heise. I love the idea of reading a book every day kids are in school and not only that, but reading picture books to middle grade students. Jillian was inspired by Donalyn Miller and her summer vacation Book a Day challenge – and up-ed the ante to include her students.

I love the idea of teaching about a global perspective, theme, character development and so much more in a very short amount of time and then getting the chance to compare these ideas across a wide array of texts. This idea also promotes visual literacy which is becoming more and more integrated into students’ lives.

As I was listening to the podcast, I thought of a really interesting blog project – Blog Book a Day, if teacher’s can find five minutes to read a picture book during the school day, I should be able to do the same during my day. And it’s perfect in that I have access to a TON of picture books at the library, so I’ll never really have an excuse. So, I’m thinking about hashing out these details to start in January. It sounds like a great project!

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Back to School – Middle Grade Edition

25 Aug

back to school middle grade

Back to school is always exciting and slightly scary time for kids and you can find gobs and gobs of picture books discussing the new school year, but it’s a lot more difficult to find titles for middle grade students getting ready for a new school building, a new school year or heading to school for the first time. Grab a title to enjoy during the first few weeks of schools!

  1. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
  2. The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
  3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  4. Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  5. School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough
  6. Sideways Stories for Wayside School by Louis Sachar
  7. Schooled by Gordon Korman
  8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  9. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

20 Titles to Create a Classroom Community

11 Aug

school community

There’s a lot of talk about reading a book a day during the school year, the importance of reading aloud to students and the need to teach and show kids empathy and kindness in today’s world. This is a wonderful list of titles that you can share at any time of year, but would make a great way to start the school year – expecting kindness from every student in the classroom and using picture books to show that expectation.

  1. You’re Finally Here! by Mélanie Watt
  2. One by Kathryn Otoshi
  3. I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
  4. Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
  5. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  6. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  7. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
  8. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
  9. Be A Friend by Salina Yoon
  10. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
  11. Zen Ties by Jon Muth
  12. Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose and Hannah Hoose, illustrated by Debbie Tilley
  13. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
  14. Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
  15. Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
  16. It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
  17. Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  18. The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds
  19. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea
  20. We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

(Unofficial) Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School

8 Aug

back to school

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of “Back to School” and school-themed kids books. Here are a few of my favorite back to school stories to share with your kids! If you have other titles that you can’t live without, share them in the comments!

  1. Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Daniel Jennewein
  2. Follow the Line to School by Laura Ljungkvist
  3. Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean
  4. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  5. Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex
  6. Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
  7. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  8. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
  9. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
  10. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Book Review: The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade

5 Jul

33931230.jpgI’ve enjoyed a number of Jordan Sonnenblick’s books in the past and he even visited our library for an author visit program, so I had high hopes for The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade, but honestly, this wasn’t my favorite story.

Maverick is starting sixth grade and this year he promises to himself that he’ll stand up to those being bullied, he’ll make the school a better place for everyone and he’ll be a hero just like his dad. Unfortunately, things don’t start off on the right foot and Maverick ends up in the Assistant Principal’s office twice and the nurse’s office once – on the first day of school.  And things just sort of fall apart from there. Maverick’s mom can’t hold down a job and when she gets fired, she starts drinking and on top of that she has an extremely poor taste in boyfriends who end up verbally and sometimes physically abusing her.

Although, domestic abuse is definitely something that should be discussed with kids, this book had one glaring issue that I can’t seem to get around. The bully of sixth grade bothers Maverick over and over again and like most bullies there is a lack of control at home which leads him to causing trouble at school. Maverick sees the bully get picked up by his father after detention one day and sees the father hit the boy.  And this is where my issue with the book comes in, nothing is done about this situation. Maverick doesn’t go to tell someone at school or his mom and the story is resolved for Maverick, but nothing is done about the abuse happening in another child’s home.

I would expect that a book that is being handed to middle grade students should express in some way that kids need to tell adults about suspected child abuse – it’s not something that should be kept secret because you really have no idea how long it’s been going on and how severe it is. I really liked the concept of the story – a kid trying to become a hero and stand up against the bully you know is in every school, but I just couldn’t get past this detail.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Maverick is going to be a hero in 6th grade – there’s just one problem, he’s already been to the principal’s office twice – on the first day

Title: The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade
Author: Jordan Sonnenblick
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Page Number: 193 pgs.

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