Teacher Appreciation EOY Books

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  We love and appreciate teachers - classroom teachers, pull-out teachers, special areas teachers, teaching assistants and student teachers.  This week we're celebrating educators and giving lots of tips to help busy teachers. 

Today experienced teachers have hand picked some great reads for the end of the year.
Hi, everyone, it is Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars!  When I was in the classroom, I loved reading aloud to my students.  It was our down time after recess, and they loved it.  Many times we went over the allotted time, but it was so worth it.  

My students especially loved the Herdmans, so I read all three of them as the year went on.  I really love the message in The Best School Year Ever.  In the book, the Herdmans all learn important lessons, as well as the other students in the book.  I used to read this at the beginning of the year, but I think it is also perfect for the end of  the year too!

*Quote from Reading Rockets
I'm Tara from Looney's Literacy.  Reading Aloud is a critical part of literacy learning. This simple act provides children the opportunity to hear expert readers. It models fluency and expression. It opens opportunities to hear and find new interesting words that are not necessarily apart of their vocabulary. And it is just fun! It gives us the opportunity to enjoy a story with one another.

Over the years I've found many books I've fallen in love with, and love sharing with my kiddos. As my appreciation for you, another dear educator who gives it your all for the good of our future, I want to share a list of some books you and your students might enjoy from now until the end of your year together.  

Here’s to the birds and the bears and the bugs! Here’s to the weird and wacky, the cute and creepy! From toothy fish to get-you-when-you’re-sleeping cats to lick-lick-lick-lick-lick-lick dogs, every creature is unique and lovable . . . especially you! David Elliott’s infectiously joyful poem and Randy Cecil’s brilliant, amusing artwork invite us to celebrate the world’s vast diversity — and feel pretty happy with our place in it, too.
Woolbur is not like other sheep. He hangs out with wild dogs, cards his own wool to avoid the shearing barn, and even dyes his wool blue. "Don't worry!" says Grandpaa when Maa and Paa fret that Woolbur is different. But when they tell their son to follow the flock, the opposite happens—the flock follows him! Soon everyone is copying his wild hairstyles and taking turns on the spinning wheel. Leave it to Woolbur to find a new way to step ahead of the herd.  Spunky, funky, and refreshingly distinct, Woolbur will strike a chord with anyone who's ever felt different. And that's all of us! Written by: Leslie Helakoski

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. Classroom clutter and chaos are fun in this picture book, and so is the sense of everyone in a small town pulling together. Mrs. McBloom has taught at Knickerbocker Elementary for nearly 50 years, and she has never once cleaned her classroom. Now she is due to retire, and everyone wonders how she will ready the room for the new, young teacher. One small pupil comes up with the solution, and every former student in town comes to take something away. The comic pictures are packed with all kinds of objects, and the cleaners uncover more things when they begin work, including a library book 35 years overdue and three buffalo nickels. The beloved, eccentric teacher gets a fond send-off. The nostalgic images (a picture of Elvis on an old lunch box) will mean more to adults than kids, but children will still enjoy the messy farce. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
It's the last week of school, and Mrs. Hartwell's class is excited to leave for summer vacation. The only problem is that the kids don't want their teacher to miss them while they're gone. Once again Julie Danneberg and Judy Love bring to life the crazy antics of Mrs. Hartwell and her class and show that teachers and students are more alike than different.

Hi, Literacy Land readers!  It's Lauren from Teacher Mom of 3 here to share my favorite book for the end of the year.

I Knew You Could! A Book for All the Stops in Your Life 
by Craig Dorfman
A few years ago, I bought all the first graders a copy of this book as an end of the year gift.

  This delightful little picture book features a spin on The Little Engine That Could with a reminiscent theme found in Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go!  What an inspiring and encouraging tale for the end of the year and for graduates of all ages!                 

The picture book is filled with metaphors relating to making changes and new transitions.  Young primary children may not totally understand these metaphors, but they will enjoy hearing the story read aloud, especially if the are familiar with The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.  Plus, students will understand the simple message of I knew you could do it and that Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

As an end of the year activity, an idea is to read aloud both this book and The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.  Discuss comparisons and why we should be like this little blue train.

 A few follow-up activity ideas:
Use the story to reflect on students' growth and achievements such as the following:  
  • What was their "I think I can"?  This is something that was hard or challenging for them at the beginning of the year.
  • Share with students an "I knew you could".  Discuss the potential you saw in students and an example of what you thought they could do.  For my first grade reading group, I discussed how I knew that they would make reading progress and was specific (e.g., reading on grade level). 
  • Have students share their "I knew I could".  What was something that was hard for them at the beginning of the year?  This is something that they kept working on, they were persistent, and they didn't give up.
  • Depending on the age and ability level of your students,talk about the metaphors in the book.  Metaphors include the train track (find your own track), the stops along the way, the rivers, valleys, mountain tops, and tunnels.
  • Talk about the messages/themes in the book:  Find your own track, enjoy the trip you'll make as a train, don't wish to be an airplane or a car, toot your own horn, have faith in yourself and stay positive, and running out of fuel.

  I just know that you and your students will love and cherish this little book as much as I do!

Graphic by Classroom Collage.  Fonts by KG Fonts

What is your favorite book to read at the end of the year?  Join us tomorrow, when teachers share their tips for organizing stations and guided reading. 

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