Dust Fairy Tales Absolutely Aggie
By: Michelle R. Eastman
Some books just capture your heart the minute you hold them in your hands. Looking at Aggie with her missing teeth, freckled face and torn pants on the front cover had me cheering for her before I even opened the book. This book will be used in my second grade classroom by:
· being a beginning of the year read aloud on accepting others, being comfortable with who you are and not changing to fit in.
· lessons on getting your mind ready to read by using the front and back covers.
· story elements
o characterization of Aggie – even by just using the front cover
o setting and scene changes
o problem and solution
· inferring feelings the main character is having by what she says, does, and facial expressions.
· fluency lessons – the rhyming makes the words almost like a song that jump off the page.
The illustrations are simply amazing. I find myself just reading the pictures; which makes this a perfect book for students who “read” by retelling the story through the pictures. Finally the dedication will touch every mom’s heart (For Logan – My favorite fairy tale began the day you were born.). 5 stars…covered in Pixie Dust!!
Ellie’s Best Beach Vacation Ever
By: Marci and Elle Fair
Just when I think this mother-daughter duo have written the most Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant they blow me away with a new adventure. My second grade students LOVE Ellie and Pudgy. Every student that reads one of Ellie’s adventures is inspired to write their own. The phrase, “I can do that!” Is echoed by many. This book is perfect to read right before spring break as many students are heading to the beach.
By the end of the first page parents will be chuckling about the “Are we there yet?” comment. The simple text makes is a just right book for young readers. The photographs have so many hidden details that you are drawn in to look closer.
As a class we talked about:
- · Reading the punctuation
- · Point of view
- · Using photos to help tell a story
- · Having a best friend
- · Working together
Any teacher that is looking for a book to spark student writing…this is it! 5 stars!!!
Silly Willy Winston in the Adventures of Pirate Snout: Mystery in the Desert and on the Seas
By: Donna M. Maguire
Ahoy Matey! Pirates, pirate-loving children, and young at heart are going to be trilled to set out on a voyage through the desert and seas looking for lost treasure. Donna Maguire does it again with the help of Silly Willy Winston, a basset hound who has ears for adventure. This book is packed with history, geography, and marine life lessons.
· Students could easily chart informational topics to further investigate. Using these topic students could create a “class fair” around the projects to share their new insight and knowledge with other students/teachers/parents.
· While reading the book students could practice their map skills by pinpointing the various locations Pirate Snout and Aiden venture to for lost treasure.
· Money and measurement is weaved throughout the story (size of marine animals, weight of ships, value of lost treasures, area of the base of a pyramid, depth of treasure, etc.)
· With the CCSS calling for more informational text reading this book is perfect for close reading lessons.
In addition to all the educational uses, this book is simply fun to read. The pirate glossary at the end will have everyone using pirate jargon. 5 stars
By: Melissa Pope
“The storm is coming! The storm is coming!” said Tommy “It’s going to hit our house: I just know it!” This book begins by capturing how many young children feel about unsettling weather. Since children can easily relate to the anxiety storms bring this is a great book for shared reading. The sentences vary in length and wrap around to the next line so students will need to work on reading to the end of the sentence. The high number of sight words help young readers scoop of words in phrases. Finally it is fun to stop and have students predict what is causing the blanket in Tommy’s bed to move. Imagine the excitement when students find out it is the STORM BUDDIES and they can actually hold them. The STORM BUDDIES are super soft that just holding them brings comfort for any unsettling feelings. 3.5 stars
Kobee Manatee: A Wild Weather Adventure
By: Robert Scott Thayer
A fun way to combine fiction and informational text together. I love, love, love all the ways Thayer integrates facts into his writing. The obvious is through Kobee’s Fun Facts found on each page, but with close reading students can find information weaved into the fiction story about Kobee traveling to Nassau with two friends for his sister’s birthday.
· Will be captivated by the colorful pictures that are packed with details.
· While reading about Kobee’s adventure, students will easily understand the descriptions of clouds, rip currents, and hurricanes.
Intermediate and middle level students:
· Benefit from the scientific “Fun Facts” on each page.
· While reading the story to upper level students, they could be practicing simple two-column note takings strategies.
I can’t wait to use this book as a read aloud to kick off my weather unit in second grade and then pass it along to my middle school science teacher colleagues who are always looking for ways to incorporate literature into the science classroom. The book jackets say it is written for children ages 4-8, but as an elementary teacher and former middle school science teacher, the range is much broader. 5 stars
You Can Be A Cool Kind Kid: Tanner Wants to be COOL!
By: Barbara Gilmour
Tanner wants to be a cool kid but isn’t sure what makes him cool. Through this book (written with lots of speech bubbles) Tanner finds out that being kind, polite and showing respect is how you can be cool. Also included are two upbeat songs that can be downloaded. One is about being cool by being kind and the other one is about being polite. As a second grade teacher, I use every opportunity to teach my students about being kind and polite citizens so this book fits perfectly into classroom management routines. The songs are fun to sing along with for a movement/brain break throughout the day. 4 stars
Raising a COOL Kind Kid: Bullying Prevention Tips
By: Barbara Gilmour
This book is set up with one side of the page being kid friendly language about how to be “Cool Kind Kids”, while the other side is for parents/teachers regarding talking points with children. The entire book is a quick, easy read that will spark dialogue. There are 76 “tips” that could easily be illustrated by students and displayed through the school, giving students ownership in being “COOL Kind Kids”. Children want to please adults in their lives we just need to teach, guide and reinforce appropriate behavior and using this book is a good reminder for all parents, teachers, administrators and other adults in children’s lives. I plan to leave this book out for parent to preview during parent-teacher conferences. 4 stars
Cool Kind Kid Handbook, Book 1 – Be a “Cool Kind Kid”
By: Barbara Gilmour
A great book for any school or teacher that is implementing PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). The activities are geared towards preschool and primary students. The book is divided into three sections: Introducing Tanner and Manners, Be “Cool” in Public Places, and The Magic Words 5+4+3. Each lesson is written so that very little to no prep is needed…perfect for busy teachers. In addition the lessons include upbeat and catchy songs. I especially like the lessons on being “cool” in public places. They teach the students about appropriate behavior that can quickly be reviewed before going on a field trip. Overall, the activities in this book are simply teaching children to be respectful, responsible and safe. 5 stars
BUY THE BOOKS: http://amzn.to/1KsODLv
Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow
By: Shelby Herman
You truly find out the most about yourself when you help others. Shimmer the Glowworm sets out on a journey to find her glow. What she realizes is that her glow was always inside of her. Shimmer grows from a shy, self-doubting character to a character with confidence and inner beauty.
· The full-page color illustrations will keep even young readers attention.
· The story is packed with various types of dialogue that is easy to read and add character voices to.
· Young readers can easily identify story elements.
· As a read aloud, this book opens up discussions about finding the good in others and yourself.
Shelby Herman in currently working on the next adventure of Shimmer the Glowworm and I can’t wait to see what inspiring message she will in weave into that story. 4 stars.