Back to school and I have a love-hate relationship. I love routine so its hard when we are not in our set schedule yet, but I love some of those books that help us get to know each other, celebrate who we are, and also teach us to get along! :)
The Color of Us by Karen Katz:
We have a really diverse school so I love this book because of the way she describes the different shades of people! :) I like to buy the multi-cultural faces and have the kids pick the color that they think fits them. Their pictures are always so precious!
The Best Part of Me:
I read this book for the first time this year! It is such a neat book written by students who describe their best body part! :) It uses black and white photos of their favorite part as well as the words in their own handwriting. Precious! So this year my kiddos wrote about their favorite part. It was very informative to watch the kids sound out words or think of the reason why that is their favorite part!
How to Fill a Bucket:
I have used this book every year I have taught! It is a wonderful way to help kids understand how mean words and actions hurt and how important kindness is to others. This year we made a big bucket anchor chart with kind things to say to others. In the past, I have also had a little bucket that we work together to fill up by doing nice things to each other!
Another favorite book! While we read it we tear off a little piece of a paper doll each time we hear a put down. After we finish, we try to put the person back together... but they don't look the same because the put downs did hurt them inside. Then I glue it to a bigger piece of paper and we promise to say and do kind things to each other! :)
How to Lose All Your Friends:
I pull this one out after we have been together for a couple of days and we need to start talking about teamwork and problem solving. We always read the book and afterwards I tell them that it is a horrible book to keep in our room so we make our own book about how to keep our friends! They work with a partner on a page. It always turns out SO cute! :)
We will be reading lots of other books, but these are definitely my go-to books! :)
We have been doing a lot of community building this year. I decided to go slow with academics so we could focus on each other and being friends. We have been sharing our All About Me bags. It is fun to see what the kids are bringing in to describe themselves. Then they get to call on three kids who ask questions. At the beginning of the year we practice asking questions a lot. We start with the basic 5 and then try to move to more 'thick' questions. If we can get the kids to be inquirers about each other, it is easier for them later on to use the skills they learned now!
Two days left this week!