Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let's Talk About Books and a few Freebies!

I love books. I love all KINDS of books so that's why I am so excited about Deanna Jump's weekly linky party because every week I get to share different books with you.

This week I wanted to share my favorite books for the beginning of the year. I like to do an author study on Kevin Henkes. Every year my students fall in love with the characters and stories from this amazing author. 

His books have a lot of characteristics that children adore. They have a clear author's message, cute characters, and repetition. I feel like these books are ideal for grades K-2. 

I always start out with his older books and the very first book I read is Wemberly Worried. I read this text over and over all week, but we focus on a different skill every day. 

Students learn there's nothing to worry about at school and they will meet and make new friends. 

There are tons of activities to do with these books (they're all over TPT and the internet), but I like that for the beginning of the year a successful task for students is for them to share how they feel on the first day (or week) of school. They can practice writing text to self connections. This also gives me a chance to see their early writing skills. I like to combine this activity with a craft. I take photos of my students with worried faces and they write about why they were worried. Then I snap photos of them with relieved faces and they write about what how they became relieved. It makes a really cute display for the first weeks of school and open house. 

I don't have very many things in my TPT store just yet. . .but I do have a Story Maps and and Text Connection freebies that y'all are more than welcome to download. More is coming soon so leave kind feedback and follow me! Hopefully, this gives you ideas on how to build your mini-lessons and how to find good mentor texts. If you haven't read any of Kevin Henkes books you are missing out!