Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School Book Idea

I love networking with other teachers and getting inspired with new ideas which is why I love blogging! Recently I got a chance to have lunch with some friends I taught with many years ago. We had a great time catching up but as always managed to let teaching talk creep into the conversation.

We talked about our favorite books to read aloud and I thought about this one. Stuart Goes to School by Sara Pennypacker is a great one for the beginning of the year. I like it because it is a chapter book and I want to teach my readers how to build their reading stamina and maintain comprehension throughout. I use this one to add to my CAFE board too.

This humorous fantasy perfectly captures the child's eye view of elementary school life.
Stuart is excellent at worrying and finds plenty to agonize over as he starts third grade. You will laugh out loud with your kids as you read about Stuart worrying over wearing his father's cowboy shirt and green plaid pants or getting stuck in the boy's room. But Stuart has a magic cape that helps him deal with all his troubles! Your kids will groan when you have to stop reading this one!

After reading the first chapter on the first day I like to talk about our own First Day Feelings. We create a word map with the words they use. This is a great opportunity to expand vocabulary as you introduce them to words like: unsure, nervous, apprehensive, etc. They then draw a picture of just their feeling face on an index card. We then graph our first day feelings on a big poster as our first pictograph of the year. So it ends up being a nice reading to math connection.

Check your school library because we had this one in ours. There are also two other Stuart books in the collection and my kids all want to read the other ones after I share the first!


  1. I'll have to look for that one. Looks good, and I haven't heard of it before. Thanks for sharing!

    Lifelong Learning

  2. Great book. I picked it up from the public library last year and it was a great choice. Thanks for reminding me about it. I'll have to make sure to get this year as well. Also, thanks for the activity!!

    Blackboard and Beyond

  3. What a great idea! I love the math connection and jumping right in! Thanks for sharing!