Well this is the time of the summer when teachers everywhere start scrambling to get their classrooms ready, purchase all their new back to school supplies, gear up for any curriculum changes, participate in back to school trainings, and start having their back to school “dreams”! It’s also the time when we start digging around in our classrooms, looking for our “Back to School Favorites” that we use just as soon as we get back into the swing of things.
So here is my confession #1 (the first of many I’m sure). If you know me, you can vouch for me. If you don’t know me, here it goes! I am ADDICTED to children’s literature. I was the one involved in every book club order, at the Scholastic Warehouse Sale, at the Public Library Sale, garage sales, and Goodwill! I am the one that people in the building come to when they need a book and can't find it in our Media Center or at the library. I’ve had to curb my enthusiasm for my addiction temporarily while in an intervention position (which totally seems wrong) because I am charged with providing targeted, research based interventions. I unfortunately, do not always have time to just “read aloud” to my students anymore. But I do try to squeeze in a story every chance I get.
I therefore, like you, do have a favorite read-aloud book for the first week back to school. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m a classroom teacher or in my current position as an intervention teacher. This book is hands down my favorite and has been for several years. While it’s a simplistic book, the message is important no matter if you are a kindergartener or a fourth grader. It is “Oh My Baby Bear!” by Audrey Wood.
Baby Bear cannot do anything by himself at the beginning of the story. He can’t bathe, dress, or eat by himself. His parents always respond with “Let me show you how.” Well you guessed it…by the end Baby Bear can do everything by himself. We always follow up with a discussion about what my kiddoes will be able to do by the end of the school year, on their own, while all along I will have the opportunity to “show them how”! And most importantly, before I forget, I always pull the book out on the very last day of school and read it again. The book is met by a chorus of “Oh yeah…I remember that one” on the final day, as it has been put away for safe keeping so I know where to find it 180 days later! While it is a simplistic storyline on the surface, it is great to touch on the author’s purpose with older kids, sequence, for the younger kids, with a load of skills for everyone in between. You just can’t go wrong.
I hope you check it out if you haven’t seen it. And of course, we would all love to hear
what your favorite back to school, set the stage for the school year, go-to story is as well.
Until Next Time,