Sloth and Yoga Animals Classroom Decor Sets!

Sloth and Yoga Animals Classroom Decor and Meet the Teacher

Hey y'all! I've been busy over here dreaming of all the new ways to decorate my classroom for the new school year. I honestly don't know which is my favorite!

The first two sets have the cutest animals! One has nerdy sloths and the other has yoga animals. Both are super calming and fun.

Both decor sets include months of the year cards, calendar days, a voice level chart, desk name tags, classroom jobs with editable student name tags, days of the week headers for organizing supplies, subject headers, word wall letters with both big and small, print and cursive options, table numbers, a number line to 20, a welcome banner, and editable labels for just about anything you need.

Both meet the teacher sets include a welcome sign, class wish list, supply labels, information station sign and forms, editable teacher information cards, and treat toppers.

You can grab a copy of the sloth decor and meet the teacher sets here. Or snag a copy of the yoga animals here.

These sets are super fun and sure to be a hit with your class this year.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more decor sets coming soon. Have a wonderful week and stay sweet.

Ten Books for Starting Your Reading and Writing Workshops

Ten Books for Starting Your Reading and Writing Workshops

Hey y'all! When we start to talk back to school, we begin planning for our reading and writing workshop launch. Setting the tone from the beginning can make or break your workshop time. These ten books are my go-tos for a successful launch. I hope you find some new favorites, too.
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1. Shoes for Me
At the beginning of each year, we talk about "just right" books. Not too hard, not too easy. Not too fancy, not too baby. Just right. Shoes for Me does an excellent job of illustrating this idea by comparing it to finding "just right" shoes. Bonus points for bringing in shoes to illustrate this in real life!

2. How to Read a Story
Some kids just don't know. Teacher kids know. Kids with parents that read them bedtime stories know. But not all kids know how to read a story. This is another book I read to set the expectation of what real reading actually looks like. (Hint: if the book is closed, you're not reading it!)

3. Just Read
You really can read anything anywhere, and new readers will love this encouraging book about reading what you want where you want it. I love reading this one at the beginning of reading workshop to get them excited about building stamina and finding new favorites.

4. The Book of Gold
Reluctant readers? The Book of Gold helps answer the question of why we read and entices students to find their own Book of Gold that speaks to them.

5. The Plot Chickens
This hilarious book is a great introduction about plot and how to add more details. Most new writers make list stories (you know, where they list everything they did yesterday but without any real story line). The Plot Chickens helps readers put a story to their story and encourage them to make it interesting for their reader.

6. More Bears!
Peer editing can get a little out of hand. Before introducing this concept, we read More Bears! to let students know that their story is THEIR story, and just because their friend thinks it needs a bear, doesn't necessarily mean that it really dose need a bear.

7. Idea Jar
Not sure what to write about? The Idea Jar will get your littles' imaginations running with ideas. This book pairs well with heart maps, but you could also give your students a printout of a Mason jar to fill in with all their writing ideas.

8. This is a Good Story
Good stories have "rules" for structure and sequence. Your little writers will love putting story structure together with this fun and inventive book. This is one of the first books I read when introducing writing workshop.

9. Word Collector
Not all words are created equal. When you're encouraging your students to use more creative language, this is the book to start with. It's a great introduction to synonyms and adjectives, too.

10. Ralph Tells a Story
This is another great book for finding ideas to write about, and even includes tips from Ralph himself on how to write a story. Ralph is stuck at first and doesn't know where to begin, but by the end, he's on a roll.

I hope you found some new to you titles that are just right for your class this year. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more great ideas and resources coming soon. Have a fabulous week.

Stay sweet,

20 Books for the First Week of School

Twenty Books for the First Week of School

Hey y'all! I know summer is just getting started, but that's no reason why we can't start looking at new books! I absolutely love sharing new books with my class and the first week of school is the perfect time to get that started. Here are a few of my favorites, both new and classic titles.
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1. The Kissing Hand
This is a favorite book for incoming kindergarteners. Many are afraid to leave mom and dad for the first time and "big kid" school can seem a little scary. My kindergarten team and I read this book and did Kissing Hand activities the whole first week of school to calm our littles' nerves.

2. Be Big!
Beatrice is going to her first day of first grade and is nervous about being her true self. But her friend Benjamin assures her that being herself is totally okay. It makes sense to read this on the first day of first grade, but my second graders also loved this book. And end of the year kindergarteners may enjoy it before transitioning into the summer.

3. First Day Jitters
Everyone is a little nervous on the first day of school. Surprise your second or third graders with this sweet book about how everyone can be a little nervous, even teachers.

4. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books
We read the Old Lady books all through the school year. This is the first in the series that we read together and is a great introduction to shared reading as students quickly pick up the pattern and are eager to read along.

5. School's First Day of School
Everyone has jitters on the first day of school. But can the building be nervous too? This book is great for primary aged students settling in to their first big day.

6. Pete The Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes
Your kindergarten and first grade students will love rocking the new school year with everyone's favorite cat. Pete does a great job introducing the different rooms in a school, which leads us straight into our tour of the building.

7. All Are Welcome
Our schools are becoming more and more diverse every year. All Are Welcome is a fantastic story about acceptance differences and being kind towards others. This will definitely be a first week book for many years to come.

8. The Day You Begin
We all need help feeling safe and secure in our new classroom. The Day You Begin is a beautifully illustrated book showing the value of being you, even when it might you a little nervous.

9. Be Kind
We spend A LOT of time at the beginning of the year setting behavior expectations and discussing what is and is not okay to do at school. Be Kind is an excellent introduction to what kindness is and how we can show it at school. We read this at the beginning of the year, and we re-read it every time we begin to forget about being kind to each other.

10. The Name Jar
Being the new kid can be scary--especially when no one can say your name. The Name Jar celebrates the uniqueness of each person's name and reiterates the fact that we are all special and should be celebrated.

11. Alma and How She Got Her Name
Along the lines of The Name Jar, Alma has a really long name. Throughout the book, Alma discovers the meaning of each of her six names and how special it really is. This book is another great story about accepting you for you without trying to change you into something else.

12. I Walk With Vanessa
This wordless picture book teaches about compassion and standing up to bullies. It's great for setting the tone at the beginning of the year that our class takes care of each other and we won't have anyone bullying anyone else. My littles LOVE to "read" this book together and tell the story to their neighbors.

13. The Crayon Box That Talked
I love reading this one to my kindergarten and first grade classes at the beginning of the year. (It's also good for MLK Day!) Not everyone has the same talents or does the same things, but it's important to celebrate everyone in our class.

14. How to Get Your Teacher Ready
Adults and children alike will love this sweet story about how a class gets their teacher ready for the school year. You will be laughing along with your students as you build a classroom community that is student-centered.

15. The Recess Queen
A bullying tale at its finest, The Recess Queen is a great introduction to appropriate playground behavior. Mean Jean comes by her name honestly, but the new kid in town puts a stop this foolishness right away. We read this book just before going over playground rules and expectations.

16. Eraser
Eraser is a super cute book about discovering your talents and using them to help others. Eraser isn't appreciated by all the other school supplies, but when she finds out her true talent, it makes a world of difference for her.

17. Stick and Stone
This sweet little book is perfect for kindergarten and first grade, but even my second and third graders liked it. It's about a stick and a stone that each need a friend and how they helped each other out during a tough time. It's a great conversation starter about how friends should treat each other.

18. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
This one is a classic, but I read it every year to introduce our classroom's cool down spot, aka "Australia." We talk about how not every day is fantastic and it's okay to need a break to regroup. We go over expectations for this space and when appropriate times and reasons are for using it. This book is the perfect introduction since Alexander has such a tough day and needs a break of his own.

19. Nerdy Birdy
You may have already seen this little gem. And if you're like me, you can probably relate to it pretty well. Nerdy Birdy is trying to fit in with the "cool kids" and thinks he's found his group. But he later finds out that his new group is just as judgmental as the "cool kids." This is a great book about being true to yourself and being kind to others. If you have some cliques in your classroom, this book is great for addressing it.

20. I Am Human
Peter Reynolds is a genius and I Am Human is just as beautiful as his other books. This simple story lets students know that it's okay to make mistakes and you don't have to be prefect all the time. We read this story when we're setting the tone for trying our best and showing perseverance when things are challenging.

And two new bonus books!
The Pigeon is a favorite in our classroom and when Mo Willems's newest book came out, I knew I had to get it. The Pigeon is nervous about starting school and needs some reassurance about how things are going to go. This book is a fabulous first book to read this year and is a perfect introduction to checking students' internal weather (aka feelings check-in). 

22. We Don't Eat Our Classmates
This is my new go to for introducing classroom expectations. It's also great for talking about the Golden Rule. Penelope Rex learns through trial and error that making friends comes easier when you are nice to them and don't eat them. There are so many great talking points in this story and your students are sure to love it.

I love all of these books and read as many of them as I can each year without creating overkill. I hope you found some new favorites to start off next year with. Thanks for stopping by and check back soon for more ideas and resources.

Stay sweet,