Monday, July 1, 2013

Beggining of the Year: Picture Book Linky

I'm linking up with First Grade and Fabulous to talk about picture books I start the school year with.

I just love picture books. There are so many amazing books out there and I have to stop myself from buying way more than I need. Since I do the Daily 5 in my classroom, I find that I have become even more of a book hoarder. I just want there to be as many books as possible for the kids to choose from. Sigh!

Here are my favorite read alouds to start the school year.

David Goes to School by David Shannon
I love this story! It really sums up all of the unwanted behavior that we, as teachers, see every year. David is a little boy who is loud and adventurous. He hasn't quite developed a sense of compassion for others but he sure is silly and has tons of fun. I just love the picture that is open with him doing the "potty dance" and the words "Again?!" Isn't that just the truth.
We always use this story to set up classroom norms and rules. We laugh a lot with David the first time through and then we talk about the rules he broke and what rules we need in our classroom. Then, we work as a class to create classroom rules, norms, and consequences. We always ask, "Would that have helped David?"

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Kitten's First Full Moon is about a very thirsty kitten who just wants some milk. Throughout the story, she is convinced that the moon is a nice big bowl of milk and chasing that milk bowl takes her on a bit of an adventure. She eats a bug, climbs to the top of a tree, and ends up falling into a pond. Poor Kitten!

I just love the pictures in this story. They are all black and white but the images tell a story on their own. I use this book on the very first day of school to teach the 3 Ways to Read a Book as part of the Daily 5. We first start by reading the pictures and then I go back and read the words. The kids love it and it gives them the confidence to go back and read their own books either with the words or the pictures. Later on, I use this same story to demonstrate a retell so that my kiddos have seen all 3 Ways to Read a Book with just one book. 

Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Lily is a mouse with style. Her grandmother takes her on a shopping trip where Lily ends up with movie star glasses and this amazing purple plastic purse. All through the school day, Lily is distracted by her things and is also distracting her whole class. The teacher takes away her things until the end of the day. Lily is beside herself and decides that she no longer likes her teacher and writes a pretty funny horrible note about him. At the end of the day, Lily gets her things back and her teacher writes her a nice note and tells her that tomorrow will be a better day. Lily's whole attitude then changes and she learns a little more about why there are rules in school.

I read this story the moment the toys start coming to school. Let me tell you, last year my top file cabinet drawer was Lego Land. I also love to read this story because I talk about the 3 reasons school's have rules (according to Miss Gill):
  1. We want to keep you safe.
  2. We want you to learn.
  3. We care about you.
I always use this time to talk about how much I care about and love my class. I want them to know that the moment they were put in my classroom, I started to care about them. Some kiddos, I feel, don't hear that they are cared about enough and I refuse to not let them know that they are special. This is also a great time to go back over the rules that we created as a class and then discuss if that rule is about keeping us safe, helping us learn, because we are cared about, or all of the above.

Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault
All of the lower case letters decide to play a tag-like game and chase each other up the coconut tree. Once all of the little letters are up at the top, the tree can't hold them anymore and it topples over. The capitals letters have to come rescue the skinned up and blacked eyed little letters.

I love the rhymes and chants in this book. It is just too fun. I also like having my kiddos make the letters that are in their name on their own coconut tree and then writing about why their like their name. I have also the coconut tree in the past as my great work wall.

What are your favorite picture books to kick off the school year?

cartoon graphicsPriscilla


  1. Love all of the books :) I am your newest follower... I can't wait to read your next posts! I am also glad to see that your blog is on bloglovin'... I was hesitant to start to use it, but now I love it!!

    Kindergarten Celebration

    1. Thank you so much Melissa! I'm honored to have you as a follower. I agree about bloglovin'. Change is always hard but I've enjoyed using it so far.

  2. Ya know, I don't think I've read Kitten's First Full Moon. I really need to check into it! Thanks so much for the suggestions and linking up! :)

    First Grade and Fabulous

    1. Thanks DeAnne! I'm so happy to have you visiting. I love the linky!

  3. Thanks for providing summaries of the books. It really helps me with deciding whether to use it or not! I think I'm going to look into Lily's Purple Plastic Purse now! :)

    Diary of a Second Grade Teacher