My Bag of Tricks

These are books that I would like to be able to use as a teacher and a developing professional.

About Corduroy

— feeling excited
Corduroy - Don Freeman

This book is timeless and perfect for emergent and beginner readers. The story offers so many lessons about childhood, patience, and being content. I would most likely read this to a kindergarten class and keep it in my classroom library for grades k-2.

About The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

This book is so fantastic! I love the sad, but lovable story about the boy who takes too much from the tree! This book would be perfect for whole group discussions on the environment, on personal responsibility and duty, and on giving back. I would love to read this book to a fifth grade class and then take part in a community service project of some sort! This book will also be a staple in my classroom library. 

About Alice the Fairy

— feeling excited
Alice the Fairy - David Shannon

This book is easy to read, fun, and also offers a lesson in the importance of doing the right thing and making good choices. Alice is mischievous and I think that students would love to read about, independently, and think about how they can relate to her behavior. I would definitely make this book available in my classroom library in grades k-5. I also think it would be fun to use this book for projects by allowing students to create their own character. It could be an extended project, and at the end, students could dress up like the character they have created. 

About the three little wolves

— feeling excited
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig: A Pop-Up Storybook with a Twist in the Tale! - Eugene Trivizas, Helen Oxenbury

This text is a wonderful extension of the original three little pigs story. I would love to use this book, and others that are 'spin-offs' of classic literature to work on text comprehension, retelling, and predicting. I think it would be great, if possible, to use this type of book to introduce literature circles to lower grade levels. I would probably use this book the most in grades 2 and 3. 

About Pete's School Shoes

— feeling excited
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin, James Dean

This book is fun, easy to read, engaging, and catchy. I would definitely use this book to read aloud to my class, at the beginning of the year in grades k-3. After reading it out loud, of course, I would keep it in my classroom library. 

About Pete saving Christmas

— feeling excited
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas - Eric Litwin, James Dean

This book is a huge hit with children, however, unlike the Easter counterpart to this book, it is slightly more difficult to read because there are more words and many of them do not rhyme. I would use this book to prompt writing projects about how the children would save Christmas, but I would do so in grades 2-4. Otherwise, I would definitely have this book available in a k-5 classroom.

About Pete the Cat's Big Easter Adeventure

— feeling excited
Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure - James Dean

Pete the Cat books are a huge hit with people of all ages, however, the holiday themed books in the collection seem to be especially popular with young, pre-school and kindergarten aged, children. This book is perfect for themed lessons during the Easter season. This book lends itself perfectly to crafts and fun writing prompts. I would love to use this in a kindergarten or first grade class to teach a lesson on narrative writing. I would have the children create their own story of how they saved Easter. Then, I would have them create a bunny mask, ears, and a tail, and I would display the final project with a picture of each student, wearing his or her bunny gear. What fun!

About the Wild Things

— feeling excited
Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

As a young child, I found this book slightly frightening, however, I believe it is perfect for grades 2-4 because it is imaginative, fun, and easy to read. This book is excellent for listening activities, creative art projects, writing prompts, and even physical movement activities because it is set in both reality and imagination. This book is also great for teaching children the importance of imagination in general. I would love to use this to teach a physical activity integration lesson, which I witnessed last semester as a student teacher. Otherwise, I will definitely use this book in my classroom library in grades 2-4. 

About the Narnia Series

— feeling happy
The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia #1-7) - C.S. Lewis

The Narnia series was one of my favorite series to read as a child. These books offer a world of magic and wonder, while also presenting realistic problems, people, and events. These books will, hopefully, be a staple in my classroom library in grades 4-6 because they are a great way to engage young readers who have big imaginations! The world of Narnia, like that of the wizarding world in Harry Potter, can be a magical escape for some students.

About Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

— feeling excited
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Eric Carle, Bill Martin Jr.

Brown Bear is a fantastic text because it is fun and easy for children to read. It also highlights a subject that many children love, animals! Like many other Eric Carle books, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, can be used to teach sequence of events, lessons on animals, and several other subjects to a whole group. This book, and others like it, are great for whole group games in which students have to add on an idea to the end of each passage. For example, one student says they see a turtle, the next person adds onto that by saying that they see a fox. It requires students to consider themes, and to broaden their schema on certain subjects. This text would broaden children's schema regarding animals. I would most likely use this text in kindergarten or first grade.

About Charlotte's Web

— feeling excited
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White, Garth Williams, Rosemary Wells

I would love to use this book to introduce chapter books to my class as a whole group. I think this is a perfect book to read when beginning to read chapter books because it is an easy read, it is relatable, and most children tend to love this story. I would use it in grades 3-6. I might use excerpts from it in lower grades.

About No, David!

— feeling excited
No, David! - David Shannon

This book is a fun and easy book for kids to read! I would definitely have it in my classroom library, primarily in the lower grades. It is also an excellent way to teach children about discipline and the fact that it usually comes from a place of love. I think it is a very important message to children that their mistakes will not make us love them any less.

About the Harry Potter collection

Harry Potter Books 1-7 Complete Collection - J.K. Rowling

Although using these books in the classroom is very controversial, I am a big supporter of non-censorship when it comes to what children are allowed to read. I think the Harry Potter series is excellent because it allows readers to enter a different world in which magic exists. I think that is very important for children to be exposed to imaginative, fantastical literature because it turns reading into something wonderful, mysterious, and magical. That kind of attitude toward reading can make or break a child's educational experiences. That being said, I would definitely make sure that having these books in my classroom was compliant with school policies and make parents aware that they were in my classroom. I would keep these in my classroom library in grades 5 and 6, but I would not necessarily use them in teaching lessons.

About The Very Hungry Caterpillar

— feeling excited
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is great for emergent and beginning readers. The words and the concept of the book are very easy to comprehend because they are things that most children recognize already. I would just love to use this as a read-aloud book in kindergarten. I would definitely use it for some sequence of events lessons as well. It, of course, will be a staple to my classroom library.

About The Grouchy Ladybug

— feeling excited
The Grouchy Ladybug - Eric Carle

I love Eric Carle's books! I have seen this book used for retelling activities as well as writing prompts. Currently, the first grade class I am working with is using the book to work with transition words such as first, next, then, and last. They are retelling the story using those words. Most of Carle's books can be used for sequencing and retelling activities. This book is also a good character education book because it teaches children the importance of having a good attitude. I would use this book to teach sequencing and character education to a whole group and then I would put it in my classroom library. This book could be used in grades K-2.

About the Secret Garden

— feeling excited
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

I found this book very engaging as a child. It has elements of history, childhood curiosity, and character education. I love that it is an engaging, easy-to-read chapter book. I would consider using this when reading with upper level small-groups to help build their critical thinking skills. I would also like to consider using it in literature circles, and I hope to have a copy in my classroom library. I would use this book in 5th and 6th grade.

Currently reading

Harry Potter Books 1-7 Complete Collection
J.K. Rowling