July 30, 2017

16 Back to School Books That Should be on Your Must Read List!

16 Back to School Books

Are you ready to rock back to school?  I know I am!  To help you get fired up and help you with my favorite time of day - read aloud time - I have compiled a list of some amazing back to school reads. 

* Disclaimer:  Please note that this post contains some affiliate links that, if you click on the product, I will receive compensation at no cost to you.

First Week of School Books

1.  First Day Jitters - This is my go to book for the first day of school.  It makes a great informal way of evaluating students on their ability to draw conclusions (aka higher level thinking skills). The longer it takes my students to 'get' the end of the story, the more work I have cut out for me! Bonus - There are other books in this series that I love!

2. Third Grade Angels - This chapter is a cute one to start the year off, assuming you teach third grade (like me). There is a sequel for forth grade - Fourth Grade Rats - but I am not a fan.

3. If You Take a Mouse to School - Many students are familiar with this series.  This helps them to feel comfortable in a new environment.

4. The Kissing Hand - Help ease the fears students have being away from home with this book.  It's perfect for younger students. Bonus - This story is free to watch on Storyline Online!

Reading Related Books

5.  Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians - This is an adorable version of Goldilocks.  This book is brilliant at teaching students to find a book that is just right for them (like using the 5 Finger Rule).

6.  Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook - This is another series that I love! During the beginning of the school year, I spend much of my time finding books that will show students how great is to read. This one definitely does that!

7. Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind - This is another series that encourages students that there is a book out there for them. I definitely get compared to Miss Malarkey, and I am fine with that!

Behavior Related Books

8.  Bucket Filler Books - I know that I am cheating with multiple books, but my list, my rules! Bucket Fillers are a fun way to show students how what they say/do affects other people


9. My Mouth is a Volcano - Teach students not to interrupt; it's all about self-control.

10. A Bad Case of Stripes - This is a fun one to show students how they need to be true to themselves/not worry about what others think! Bonus - This story is free to watch on Storyline Online!

11. Enemy Pie - Show students that they can get along with anyone, even their enemies! Bonus - This story is free to watch on Storyline Online!

12. Wonder - This is a genius chapter book.  With the movie coming out, it's a great read. It will make students think about how they treat those that are different from them.

Growth Mindset Books

13.  The Dot - Students need to know they are capable of anything!This book shows students that they need to believe in themselves.

14. Ish - Confidence is the key.  I love how a book can help instill this in students!

15. Everyone Makes Mistakes!  It's as simple as that! Once students learn that they will make mistakes but can learn from them, they are more willing to try new things!

16. The Best in Me - I saved my favorite for last! This book is written by my former student Reilly Jackson. Reilly comes back every year and mentors my students! I am so proud of him!

What book(s) are on your Back to School Must Read List?

July 28, 2017

Friday Freebie - Magic Number Cards

In the beginning of the school year, I work with my students on mental math strategies and basic addition. (Sometimes, this takes longer than just the beginning of the school year.) One of my favorite ways of doing this is with Guess My Number Cards.

What are Guess My Number Cards?
Guess My Number Cards are a great way for students to practice simple addition of numbers between 1 and 31. 

How to Use the Cards
1. Tell students that you are thinking of a number between 1 and 31. 2. Look at each card.If the number is there, tell the students, "Yes." If it is not on there, tell the students, "No." 
3. Students then guess the number. If students know the trick, they should be able to guess the answer correctly.

* This is especially fun to play in the beginning of the year by having students pick a number, and you guess it correctly! I love hearing them guess how I was able to find the answer.

The Trick

The first number in the upper left hand corner is so important to finding the answer. You add the numbers of all the cards that have the number to find the answer.

For example, if my number was only on these two cards, I would add the 1+2. My answer is 3.

Freebie Time

The cards are free for you - a large class set as well as a small set for durability.  Click here to get your freebie! 

Please note: I laminated my cards onto colored paper and laminated mine for durability.

Bonus: This makes a GREAT filler activity when you have a couple of extra minutes that need to be filled.

July 24, 2017

Made It Monday - Accelerated Reader (AR) Display

I have been looking for a new way to display the AR points that my students earn.  In the past, I have used a chart that I color in every week.  It's time consuming, let's face it - NOT CUTE!  Looking at keeping with my Pirate/Sea theme, I made a CUTE chart!

AR Points - Pirate Theme

To Make:
1.  Print out the cards you want to use to track your students' scores.  For me, I chose the 5's, since I am teaching third graders.  For younger students, you may choose, the 1's or 2's while older students may get the 10's or 25's.  The pic above shows how your display may look with numbers increasing by 25's.
2.  Use a ribbon or binder clips to connect the cards.  I chose binder clips for mine.  This keeps it together nicely but allows me to easily change/add cards as needed.  If you don't want to do this, you can just attach them to the wall.
3.  Put students' names on clothespins to move up the chart as they earn points. You could also put student names on paper and attach with blue sticky tack.

To Use:
As students earn points, move their clothespin up the chart.  I also included a certificate if you wish to pass them out to students.  If you like your own Pirate AR Chart, click the pics below.


* If you are looking for a different theme, let me know.  I will be making other themes available soon!

July 18, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday - July

Vacation #1 - Michigan!  Tomorrow, I climb this beast!  It's my annual tradition. Then, I can hang out at the beach! I can't wait!

Look closely at my grandma's ears!  We spent the day together.  What did she want to do?  She wanted to get her ears pierced.  Yes!  I took my 94 year-old grandma to get her ears pierced!

Love my new jewelry I ordered off of Etsy.  I am obsessed with Etsy!  Too bad I didn't order them before the NKOTB concert last month.  At least now I am ready when they come back to town!

Have you followed me on Facebook or Instagram?  If not, check it out. Each Tuesday I give a Teaching Tip (I also give out Websites to visit on Wednesdays and Freebies on Fridays)!