Monday, July 25, 2016

Great Read Alouds To Start The Year!

For those of us here in paradise, the start of the new school year is coming quickly.  I have been making my list of all the things I need to get done before the students arrive and all the things I want to make sure happen in the first couple of weeks of school.  I’m finding myself getting a little overwhelmed, so I’m going to ignore that stuff for a little longer!  Instead, I’m focusing on my favorite part of every new school year…picking the books I want to read aloud during the first week.  It’s through our class read alouds that I teach character education and build our classroom community, so it’s something I take seriously and something I LOVE! 

Last year, I found some great books to share with students that were the perfect springboard to conversations about being a good friend and how to make friends.  This year, I hit the bookstore looking for a couple of new titles to add to our repertoire.  I found some that I think will be perfect additions!  These new books address how to handle people who are bossy or make you mad.  I am envisioning the anchor charts we can create and add to during our class meetings, as we solve issues that arise throughout the year. 

My thoughts are coming together around the theme of friendship.  I’ll start with a favorite from last year, Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld.   If you haven’t read it, it’s a must have!  Stick and Stone are lonely until Stick saves Stone when someone is picking on him and the two become fast friends.  When trouble strikes again, Stone is persistent in helping his friend.  After reading this one, we’ll generate a chart of “What Makes a Good Friend?” using what we have learned.

Another book I just discovered last year is Peanut Butter and Cupcake by Terry Border.  Peanut Butter is new to town and is trying to make friends.  He has a hard time, until he finally meets Jelly!  This is a good opportunity to build an awareness of how it feels to be the new kid.  We’re going to use this book to role play how to make friends when you are the new person and how to reach out when someone new arrives in class.  This book has some great plays on words, which can be fun to explore in future word work and writing lessons. 

I was excited to find two brand new books this year that are hot off the press!  Bossy Flossy by Paulette Bogan is just like it sounds.  Flossy bosses everyone around until one day she meets a boy who is as bossy as she is, and she discovers she doesn’t like being told what to do.  At the end of the book, there are a few examples of appropriate language students can use in different situations, instead of telling others what to do.  Again, this would be another great chart we could make and build on throughout the year. 

The other book I recently discovered is Horrible Bear by Ame Dyckman.  When the girl’s kite is accidentally broken by Bear, she gets mad and decides he is horrible.  It’s not until she accidentally breaks something of her own that she realizes what Bear did was not intentional, and she shouldn’t be upset with him.  She discovers this a little too late though, because Bear has become angry with her for blaming him.  The book has a cute ending as Bear and the girl are able to “patch things up!” 

This year, I’m thinking of using Bossy Flossy and Horrible Bear as a start to our many conversations about “What you can do if someone.... is bossy, makes you mad, hurts your feelings, calls you a name, takes something from you…”  And whatever other excitement we encounter during our year together! 

I’m on the lookout for other books we can use this year to lend to our conversations about being good friends.  If you have recommendations, please leave a comment below!  Now, I guess I have to get back to my “to do” list!  On second thought, it’s a good day for the beach and all this talk about books makes me want to sit on the sand with my new mystery novel.  My lists will still be there tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. These are great books!!!! A perfect fit for new friends! Thanks for sharing!!