Go To Books to Teach Social Skills

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Hey, y'all! Do you have some students in your classroom that need some help with some social skills? If you're like every other teacher in the world, your answer is likely yes. More and more students are coming to us needing support in this area, and read alouds are just the thing to help.

When you read a book aloud to your class, your students make connections with the characters. They begin to realize ways they've acted like the character and can see the consequences of the behavior much better than when the consequences happen to them. Because of that, I've built an extensive social skills library! Here's a few of my favorites:
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1. Clark the Shark
Clark has a hard time reading social cues, but his teacher and friends are a great help. Clark learns all about sharing and being a good friend. In fact, he has a whole series of books!


2. Decibella
Isabella is so loud that her friends call her Decibella. But with the help of a very caring teacher, she learns all about different voice levels and when it is just right to use each one. We read this one multiple times during the school year.


3. My Mouth is a Volcano
Luis has a blurting problem. Like the books above, he has supportive people in his life who help him gain strategies for holding onto his words and waiting until it's appropriate to share them. We read this one regularly for maintaining appropriate behavior.


4. Spaghetti on a Hotdog Bun
I love this book for a couple of different reasons. First, there's the whole "you're awesome the way you are" part. And second, there's the whole "stand up for yourself but be kind to others at the same time" part. It's a definite "be true to you" kind of book.


5. Lacy Walker Nonstop Talker
Lacy had to actually lose her voice before she learned how to listen. While we can't give our students that same experience, we can show them the value of slowing down and paying attention to others. It's a tough skill to learn when students are still in the egocentric time of their lives, but a very important skill to be exposed to. Eventually, they'll get it if we demonstrate it enough. (At least we hope so1)


6. Interrupting Chicken
When My Mouth is a Volcano and Lacy Walker don't work, Interrupting Chicken is my next choice. Papa gets annoyed when Chicken interrupts the story over and over, but it's told with humor and a kind heart. (Also check out the sequel: Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise.)


7. Personal Space Camp
Luis has a hard time staying out of other people's bubbles, but Principal Goodkid has just the trick. Luis learns all about keeping his body to himself. We even do some of the activities in class when that year's group really needs it.


8. Some Monsters are Different
By far, this is one of my favorites. Maybe because it's weird and I can relate. ;) But it goes along with Spaghetti on a Hotdog Bun. It's about accepting our differences and supporting people no matter what they like or don't like. It's written for young audiences, but my third graders loved it and listened intently. I think I will love this book forever. <3


9. Be Kind!
The title says it all. When my students start to forget that we're all in this together, we reread this book. They are such a sweet group this year, but sometimes we need this reminder.


10. 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore
We read this book at the beginning of the year when we're making rules and any time we need to revise or rules or be reminded of why we need them. There's always someone who likes to push the limits and this book is perfect for reiterating why rules are important.


11. We Don't Eat Our Classmates
Because sometimes we need a reminder of how to behave. It's similar to Clark the Shark but super hilarious.


12. Billy Bully
Do you have a challenging kiddo this year? Billy Bully learns that being mean to his friends means that he'll lose them. Slowly, he starts to get it and his friends come back to him. This one is just right for kindergarten (they are SHOCKED that he does these things to his friend!) as it goes over specific behaviors and it counts to and from 10.


13. What if Everybody Did That
We have a problem this year. We use the floor of our classroom as a trash can. This book seriously helps out. We have to read it every few weeks for maintenance because, apparently, this is also an issue at home, but it does open their eyes to how their actions affect others.


14. Do Unto Otters
The golden rule has been a lost art for awhile. Bring it back to life with this adorable book about treating others the way we want to be treated.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found some new titles to add to your collection. Stay tuned for more resources coming soon and have a wonderful week.

Stay sweet,

Types of Communities

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Hey y'all! Are you studying different types of communities? I usually do this unit at the beginning of the school year. This year, however, time got away from us. We talked all about our classroom community, but not the different types of communities outside our little bubble. Que sera. Next year we'll get on it early.

This communities unit explores urban, suburban, and rural communities. It always amazes me how much my little loves trying to categorize our community into one of these three types.


On Monday, we read a book about the different types of communities and fill out this graphic organizer. 


Tuesday through Thursday, students visit a series of stations learning about the different types of communities. They read books about them and fill out recording sheets in their interactive notebooks.



On Friday, we create our own communities. I divide the class into 3 groups and each is responsible for representing a different type of community. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. Students can draw their community on paper, make building out of milk cartons or shoe boxes, or make a mural in the classroom of each. It's as big or small as you'd like.  


For more information on this unit, you can check it out in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more awesome resources coming soon.

Stay sweet,

All About Insects

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Hey, y'all! It's finally starting to feel like spring around here and we jumping head first into our Earth and Life Science units. Thank goodness, cause I am so over this cold, snowy weather thing!


This week, we'll be studying insects and various other bugs. We'll start off Monday by building schema with an insect book and a graffiti wall, then doing a little bug hunt around the school.


Tuesday through Thursday, the students will visit a series of stations learning all about bugs in general.


They'll explore the parts of an insect, insect life cycles, dig for bugs in a sensory bin, and sort "insects" versus "not insects."


They'll also read a book about insects and build their own bugs out things found in nature. This activity is a favorite!



On Friday, the kids will make their own insect hats. So stinking cute! This unit is just right for kindergarten and 1st grade, but your second graders may enjoy it as well.


For more information on this unit and the other science units that go with it, click here and here. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more amazing resources coming soon. Have a wonderful week!

Stay sweet,

Books About Spring for the Classroom

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Hey, y'all! I cannot tell you how excited I am for some warmer weather. The snow here is beautiful, and the mountains look amazing with a fresh blanket of it, but it's time for a little more color in the world, don't you think? These are my current favorite books for teaching about spring. I hope you find some new favorites, too.
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1. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
This beautifully illustrated book is the springtime version of Over and Under the Snow. This book opens the door to all kinds of explorations for spring.


2. Composte Stew
This book is the go-to kids guide to starting their own compost project. It discusses why it's beneficial for the earth and what can and can't be included in a compost pile. When I read this book aloud to my class, we have the some of the best discussions. This book is the perfect companion for your Earth Day/ conservation unit. 


3. Tops and Bottoms
This is the hilarious story of a lazy bear and a clever rabbit. While this book can be used to cover all kinds of things (morals, work ethic, storyline, plot, characters, point of view), I especially like it for teaching what grows above the ground and what grows below. Our spring plant unit is the perfect time for this discussion. My students were stunned at how much the rabbit got away with in this story all because the bear wouldn't work. If you need something to keep your students' attention, this is it.


4. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick
Have I mentioned before how much we love the Old Lady books? With each book, my kiddos are fascinated at how much this woman can get in her mouth. The silliness has them mesmerized and opens the door for conversations about what symbols we tend to associate with spring.


5. And Then It's Spring
This beautifully illustrated book has all the feels. A little boy and his dog have had enough of this winter business and decide to plant a garden. This book is the perfect tradition from the brown and tired days of winter to the colorful and energetic days of spring.


6. Spring is Here: A Bear and Mole Story
Spring fever settling in in your classroom? Give them a story they can relate to. Mole is ready to get moving and enjoy the fresh spring air, but Bear is having a hard time waking up from his nap.


7. Planting a Rainbow
Your pre-k and kindergarten students will love this story about colors and gardens. This is a classic Lois Ehlert story to start off your plant or spring unit.


8. When Spring Comes
Kevin Henkes does an amazing job of describing spring using all of the senses. This book lends itself to introduce five senses poems in the spring or your entire poetry unit.


9. Cherry Blossoms Say Spring
This simple nonfiction book is just right for introducing spring, especially when it still feels like winter. The book tells the story of the gift of the Japanese Cherry Blossoms to the US and what they now look like in Washington D.C.


10. Everything Spring
This nonfiction book is exactly what it's title suggests: everything spring. The photographs will have your students making connections and discussing all things spring. This is a great book for teaching main idea and text to self connections.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found some new titles to add to your collection. Stay tuned for more resources coming soon and have a wonderful week.

Stay sweet,
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