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Back-to-School Titles:Everybody Books

July 31, 2009



A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech
This is a good book to have your principal read to the class as a welcome back and get-to-know you activity. School is important, but so is enjoying all other aspects of daily life
Author’s message
Identifying the topic


 Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School  by Herman Parish
 The reader is introduced to the young Amelia Bedlia! Amelia’s enthusiasm and literal translation of her world will captivate students. Students in second through fifth grade could read the versions of the adult Amelia and compare them with the younger Amelia. Students could discuss point of view and what life might be like with such literal translations of life experiences. 
Retelling a story
Sequence of events
Point of view


  The Ant and the Elephantby Bill Peet
The elephant, the kindest animal in the jungle, needs a favor. This book is one of a Classroom Guidelines Trilogy. The three classroom guidelines are: Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Your Best. The elephant is the perfect character to help children learn about compassion.
Retelling a story
Sequence of events
Writing Trait: Idea


Cornelius P. Mud, ARE YOU READY FOR SCHOOL?by Barney Saltzberg
Every child needs a little help organizing and getting ready for school. After going through a list of the everyday necessities for preparing for school, Cornelius realizes he is missing the most important thing…a kiss from mom.
Conventions-Using conventional punctuation (capitals and exclamation)
Writing Trait-Idea (brainstorming by theme and making lists)


Chrysanthemumby Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum is a mouse whose parents believe is absolutely perfect, like her name. Chrysanthemum thinks she is absolutely perfect until the other mice at school make fun of her name. Thanks to a popular music teacher, and the support of her family, Chrysanthemum begins to believe in herself once again. This story lends itself to integrated math and making words activities.
Convention: Stretching Words
Writing Trait: Ideas
Identifying clues
Using background knowledge
Generating questions
Re-reading a portion 


First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
It seems like nothing can get Sarah out of bed and on her way to school. She puts up a fuss all the way to the front of the school, where she is greeted by the principal. The surprise ending is that Sarah is the teacher! This is a great hit with the students, and opens up meaningful conversation.
Conventions-Writing complete sentences
Writing Trait-Ideas
Addressing audience (Third through Fifth Grade)


First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman
Haley returns to school expecting first grade to be like Kindergarten. After a day of comparing the fun from the past with the differences in the present, Haley’s teacher stops reading after one chapter of the book. This is the last straw for Haley, since she wants to hear the whole story. When comforted by her teacher and presented with the thought that she will once read books all by herself, Haley begins to rethink her feelings about first grade.
Conventions-Writing in complete sentences
Writing Trait-Idea (brainstorming by comparing)


Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr.Seuss, Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith
This is another good choice of books for a principal to read to the class. The story introduces the role of other faculty and staff members in the rhythmical pattern of Dr. Seuss. The importance of “thinking” and “problem solving” is celebrated.


Morris Goes to School by B. Wiseman
Children relate to the antics of this silly moose that goes to school to learn how to read and do math. The book  is a Beginning Reading Level 1.
Sequence of events
Beginning, Middle, End


My Teacher Likes to Say by Denise Brennan-Nelson
This book is a combination of expository text and poetry that is an excellent resource for teaching maxims, idioms, proverbs, and poetry form. It also provides an opportunity to teach the reading strategy of visualization. Younger students may enjoy writing their own quotes of what their teacher likes to say.
Fiction and Non-fiction


My Teacher’s Secret Life by Stephen Krensky
How many teachers have been met with stares of disbelief when they run into their younger students in public places?
This book is a great way for teachers to introduce themselves to their students
Author’s purpose
Author’s message
Think-Aloud comprehension strategies
Writing Trait: Idea


The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing
Children can learn about the fun transition from Kindergarten to First Grade by listening to this rhyming story based on the poetry of the Christmas classic by Clement Clarke Moore. Students in second through fifth grade could reminisce about their earlier years and compare their emotional, social, and educational growth. This would be a good book to share with a fifth grade buddy class.
Rhyming text
Conventions- Writing complete sentences
Writing Trait- Idea (brainstorming by using a topic map)

off to first grade

Off to First Grade by Louise Borden
Children will identify with feelings, characteristics and the excitement of the students in this book. This alphabet book is helpful with teaching name recognition, diversity in personalities, and similarities in emotions. This is a great book for prewriting and developing ideas for students in second through fifth grade. Students make connections to their past experiences, compare to present day experiences, and predict future goals.  The voice of each character is heard as each expresses feelings, experiences, and thoughts.
Rhyming text
Writing Traits: Idea, Voice


Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Gloria is a lovable dog who works with his partner to teach safety to children. It is the second book in the Classroom Guideline Trilogy that I use to teach the three guidelines for the classroom: Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Your Best.
Author’s purpose
Author’s message
Making Connections
Conventions-Writing complete sentences
Writing Trait-Ideas

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
This is a fun and silly way to learn rhyming words.
Retelling a story

Students will love learning about the vowels to the tune of a familiar children’s song.


The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
This classic is the third book in the Classroom Guideline Trilogy. The Little Engine is an example of persistence and doing one’s best.
Identifying the topic
Author’s purpose
Writing brief comments on literary text


This is the Teacher by Rhonda Gowler Greene
Children will chant along to the tune of The House That Jack Built as they read about a teacher who survives the chaos and craziness that can be part of a school day. Students can study organization in writing through the use of sequential, repeated, patterns.
Cumulative story structure
Retelling a story
Beginning, Middle, End
Sequence of events

This School Year Will Be THE BEST! by Kay Winters
A great book to read to set a positive tone for the year. Characters in the story share their hopes for the best year.
Mentor text for ideas, developing a draft by sequencing ideas through writing sentences
Monitoring reading comprehension strategies

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