If I had a classroom . . . a.k.a. Summer Stuff #5 - Books for B2S

It's summer and pretty much everything is ready for our move to Michigan.  I'm hoping all my classroom stuff (I have an insane amount of stuff!) is nice and safe until I can rescue it in a few weeks.  Until July 22nd cute little Olivias and Skippyjon . . . 
house sold . . . check!
classroom cleaned and packed (so much work!) . . . check!
house cleaned and packed (so much more work!) . . . check!
POD packed to the gills . . . check!
lease signed on a super cute Michigan house with a tree filled yard . . . check!
spending quality time with the hubby, Colorado friends and little Lil' . . . check!
walking to amazing restaurants on Pearl street daily . . . check!
living out of a suitcase . . . check!
found an amazing teaching job in Michigan for me . . . gah!!!
It is seriously scary to have resigned from an amazing job without an equally amazing job waiting for me.  I've uploaded resumes, cover letters, letters of rec and have filled out way too many online questionnaires.  I know Michigan schools end later than those in Colorado, but the suspense is killing me!  

However, even though I have no idea what lies in store for me on the job front I am still plan, plan, planning for next year and waiting (as patiently as humanly possible) for the phone to ring.  

This week I've been thinking about all the Back to School books I need to buy since I've been using my amazing teammate's (turned literacy specialist's) massive vat of picture books for the past few years.  Here's a few I'd recommend for those first weeks of school.
After Mr. Plumbeans' house is splashed with bright orange paint, he decides to continue the color and creates a house that represents him and all his dreams.  This is a great book for talking about positive individual differences and is perfect to use as inspiration for a back to school dream house art project.
The black and white animal pictures in this book are to die for!  The kids love the silly and serious animal pictures.  I always show students the cover of the book and then put out copies of the pictures.  Then students are asked to talk to others around the room about what they think might be the caption under their picture.  It gets the kids talking and they love to see what the author actually wrote under their favorite picture (usually the cat in goggles).  This is also an excellent mentor text to use when talking about using pictures to jump start ideas for writing!
Love, love, love this book!  It's a great one to use to talk about memories and connections with others' personal experiences.  You can also use it to introduce an object guessing game - every student brings an object to class during the first weeks and tells classmates what memory or experience the object represents.  It's perfect to use as a mentor text for personal narrative writing and I love the pictures as well as the story.  Well done Mem Fox!  

If you're interested in more of my Summer Stuff Series, focused on easy items to make or think about implementing in your classroom next year, check out these posts:

To check out more ideas for back to school books hop on over to First Grade and Fabulous.  Just click on the pic below.  What a great idea for a linky party!


  1. Good luck on your move, it seems to be the season for it! I am just unpacking our house aftermoving interstate, such a JOB! It has taken me a week to get through nearly all of it and I am finally up to unpacking my office. I have been doing lots of relief (subbing) since we got to our new home and I am hoping to pick up a contract soon. Best of luck finding a new job.
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

  2. Good luck in your move--and hang in there. My first year I taught, I was hired TWO days before school started--hired on a Friday and started on that Monday. So, hang in there!!

    I forgot all about Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge--cute story!!

    First Grade and Fabulous

  3. I am a new follower:) It has been my experience that many districts in Michigan wait until last minute (sadly) to hire teachers. I hope that you get a great teaching position sooner rather than later!

    Primary Classrooms are Oceans of Fun

  4. Hang in there, Katie!
    You're right, Michigan schools get out later, but it also means the school year starts later-ALWAYS after Labor Day as per state law (in public schools, my private school starts Aug 19). Most districts have internal postings up right now. It's only a matter of days before the external postings are put up. Make sure you're getting your resume in the Kalamazoo Area Consortium: http://www.applitrack.com/kalamazoo/onlineapp/default.aspx That's the only way to get an interview!

  5. Welcome to Michigan! I saw your comment on my blog and just wanted to say HI! Where are you in Michigan? If you're near me (Ann Arbor) I'll keep my ears open for districts that are hiring!