Monday, July 20, 2015

Top 3 Children's Books... and a little more

Hey y'all! I am so excited to bring this post to you today from my personal blog for Texas Teacher Tribe!! We are trying to get a blog together for all of us wonderful Texas teachers to be able to share our ideas and collaborate, but our blog isn't ready yet and we wanted to keep you engaged with the Facebook page and I wanted to bring to you my top children's books picks for the classroom!

Okay, so this says Top 3, but that may be a little hard! I have taught 3 different grade levels in 3 years so I'm partial to different books for different age levels!! I thought I would talk about my top three must haves for the younger grades, and then my top 3 for 3rd/4th grades. 

So, this quote is my absolute favorite. Imagination is something I grew up being fully indulged in, and it breaks my heart to see it fading so quickly. A lot of kids no longer have to use their thoughts or dive into books to escape into an alternate reality because they have iPads, or Xbox and they can escape into a video game. Just not the same for me, but that's my personal opinion - don't hate me for saying that!

Anyways, back to the top 3 books.

1. the dot by Peter H. Reynolds.
MUST HAVE I feel in any elementary classroom. When I think of my students and the times where they think they can't, I love to read this book and remind them they always can! It doesn't have to necessarily be with art, but in reading this you can relate it to any subject matter and encourage students to pass on the effort trait to their peers. 

2. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by John Sciezska and Lane Smith
I am all about fractured fairytales. I love exploring the different ways authors can write a story, and it provides the students with multiple avenues of writing techniques. This being a relative story almost ALL students come in knowing, it's so fun to twist up their Three Little Pigs storyline and begin a classroom discussion. 

3. I can't forget the Dr. of children's books.
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss is probably my all-time favorite of his. 
Can you tell yet that I'm all about the good in others and the world? The fact that world can be so ugly so often, this book reminds kiddos that there are ways to take care of each other no matter whether other's think it's the right thing to do or not. I just love the story!

So since I am going to 4th grade, and taught 3rd grade last year, I thought I would share my favorites for a little older classroom setting too.

1. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
This book was my husband's childhood favorite, and he is not someone I would look to to see what book they are reading next. He's the kind that when he reads a book and it leaves an impression he tells EVERYONE, and this was the first book we ever talked about when we first started dating. 
The discussions this book can offer are PHENOMENAL and require some serious critical thinking. 
For example: animal rights, conformity, violence, and there are more! All around the story is just so beautiful. 

2. Bud. Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
This is a story I remember loving and reading as a child. I definitely want to read it aloud with my kiddos next year. I love the jazz scene, and apparently I did as a young child. I also love the idea of adventure and books that are funny. I, myself, don't know who my biological father is, so relating to this book was something I easily could do, as could a few of my students in that area. Just a really neat book to take a student back in time and use their imagination.

3. Wonder by RJ Palacio
This book. WOW. If you haven't read it, by all means, order it right now on Amazon. It'll make you smile, cry, be angry, every emotion you can think of. I don't think my students could've handled it last year and truly understood, but it's a book we are reading FIRST THING this year. If you haven't heard of it, it's about a young boy who has a facial difference that is very apparent and the story takes you through his trials and tribulations of having this "difference." It's such a deep, emotional story, and must read for students to understand and accept differences. 

So these are technically my TOP 6 choices! 

Please, leave in the comments here on our facebook page of your top three! I can't wait to see what you suggest!!! 

Stick around for more things and more participation from all of you with the Texas Teacher Tribe, I love where this collaboration is going! 

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