Wednesday, July 6, 2016

There is a Season

Welcome to our second Summer Reading Stash blog hop! We had a blast last week collecting amazing titles to help teach character to our students. You can view this hop here.  Stay with me to the end of this post and you can snag a super freebie that goes along with it!  This week I'm joined with more phenomenal teachers to share a handful of our favorite seasonal books.  The stash is getting bigger! I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that it is so difficult to choose just a few titles among the hundreds of books I have.  Seasonal stories are especially challenging.  I keep special books in order of how I use them throughout the year in banker boxes so they don't get mixed up with the rest.  When it's time for Christmas books, for example, I pull them all out and place them on a wire rack for me to read aloud to the students and for them to enjoy.  I don't usually keep books that are just for myself up on a high shelf.  I want them to enjoy the books I've read and I usually can find a cheap copy of the same book if it's a favorite.  Without further ado, here are my favorite books to start off the school year!
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
This is probably my favorite book that teaches the importance of following rules.  Officer buckle loves rules and teaches them to students.  They are very bored with his delivery until a new friend enters the scene; a police dog named Gloria.  Together this dynamic duo shows how fun it is to follow rules.  I pair this book with discussions on rules and fun activities.  This is great time to demonstrate what a rule looks like done correctly, as well as incorrectly.  I like to choose students who are a little more challenging to show the class what it looks like to follow a rule correctly.  More often than not, they know exactly what it should look like and take pride in teaching the class.
Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
Always a favorite character, Pete the Cat shows how to be calm and cool on your first day of school.  He rocks on his guitar in his new shoes all over school.  It's a fun sing-song story that shows different places throughout the school.  They love to guess where he will go next.  I love me some Pete the Cat!
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray
This is an absolute must to the beginning of your school year.  Many of our kindergarten students are new to our school (if they didn't go to our preschool).  They are even more nervous about who everyone is and where everything is.  First we read this book.  The kindergarten teachers bring in all the ingredients to make gingerbread (from a box) in a cake pan (shaped like a gingerbread man). They get so excited and all help mix it up. We also have one of the administrators help us.  She makes a big deal about promising to watch the gingerbread man while it bakes.  When we come back when it is supposed to be finished she opens up the oven and it's gone! We frantically search the whole school, learning where everything is. All the older students play along because they remember doing it when they were in kindergarten.  Exhausted and disappointed, we go back to class where we find him on the table and they are so excited!  We enjoy a yummy snack after lunch. Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass and Philemon Sturges
I have loved this rhyme since I was in first grade. We use it to learn everyone's name.  This year we made a fun book as a class, where they cut and paste their names onto a page, and I took their picture taking a cookie from a jar.  We enjoy a cookie as a treat after.  This is a great book to store at the library station!  Click the picture here to snag this freebie.

As promised, I've also included a freebie book list of all the character books we shared last week.  Print this out and put it in a binder to reference throughout the year.  There are even spaces for your own favorites!
I've had a super time with you today! Hop on by to Whole Hearted Teaching for more great books! I know MY stash is growing!
With much love,



  1. Officer Buckle and Gloria is one of our class favorites! I had never read it and grabbed it off the shelf a while back for a quick read aloud. It is absolutely fantastic!


  2. Kids LOVE Pete the Cat, there is just something about him! Officer Buckle is a cute book too, great for the beginning of the year!

  3. Love the book you created with the cookie jar book, how adorable! I used to hide a cookie (a sticky note with a cookie drawn on it) under a student's chair before the day began and then we played. They loved looking under their chair before responding with, "It wasn't me..." Haha. Such fun!

  4. Hi there! Officer Buckle and Gloria is such a classic, I love using it to teach rules too! And who doesn't love Pete the Cat and ANY Gingerbread book. Great list. Thanks for sharing and organizing. :o)
    Our Elementary Lives