Monday, September 25, 2017

Favorite Books for FaLL

It is almost impossible for teachers to pick a favorite book. I have a slight problem when it comes to buying books. Recently I have started keeping my collection of picture books out on a bookshelf near my desk. I was keeping them in a closet and pulling them as they were needed for my lessons or read alouds. My students would often peer inside the closet with this gaze and wonder of what is inside this amazing room of books. I wanted them to wonder and peek at my collection so I bought a new shelf and organized my books in the classroom.  This shelf is much more approachable by my curious readers but I also move the books from this shelf once I have read them. I wanted to have a shelf for the books we read together so the students can read and interact with them as one of my centers. We call this center "Class Favorites" When students are in the library center they gravitate right to this selection of books. 
In Kindergarten we read so many books each day so quickly I have a bookshelf full of my favorites. These books are now at the finger tips of my students. Why was I worried about them ‘damaging’ my books? Why was I protecting literature when I was promoting a love for reading? Why were they in a closet? I dont know... I do silly things. And then I fix it! 

One of my favorite books to read to students is Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. The book will have your students giggling and instantly connecting with the main characters. You can reuse the text for so many lessons with your students - retelling, sequencing, story elements like setting and characters. I launch my character unit with this book because of the entertaining character of Officer Buckle. Officer Buckle becomes an unforgetable character for your students. The silliness and lessons from the text are easy for the students to connect with. 

I launch my unit with Jenny’s “Describing Characters” lessons. Our primary students are able to think about themselves and their classmates. This allows them to work with the elements and begin the thinking to interact with a character across a text. When they make the transition from themselves to a character they already have a connection and thinking to go to the next level of complexity. The sample pasage sheets are also perfect to assess students understanding of the character traits.

** Coming soon... Officer Buckle Mini Unit

What books do you use while teaching story elements to your students? Who are your favorite characters in your classrooms? Leave us a comment to connect our classrooms.

The Barefoot Teacher

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