Favorite Books for Classroom Use

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day 14 of #BTBC14
Favorite picture books and/or novels to teach with.

     I can't decide.  I have been sitting here, and I keep changing my mind.  Then I was going to make a list of all my favorites, but then it turned into favorite authors, and then I decided I am thinking way too much into this.

     Piggie and Gerald books are my new favorites.  In fact, I love everything by Mo Willems.  Piggie and Gerald are my favorite, though. They are great for themes, character, teaching fluency, making predictions, and I am sure I could go on and on. Kids of all ages laugh at them, including myself.  Some of the best laughs I have had in recent years have been because of these books.  The man is a literary genius.

     To name another literary genius, I love anything by Steven Kellogg.  The very first book I bought as a teacher was The Island of the Skog.  He is a fantastic artist, and his stories are abundant with themes of friendship and adventure.  I also love that most of his stories actually start in the illustrations before the first page of the book.  His recent book, Snowflakes Fall, brought me to tears, while his Pinkerton books are always the ones I would reach for when I was having a grumpy day in the classroom.  They always turned my frown upside down, as the saying goes.  A few years back, I met his at Anderson Bookstore for a book signing, and I hope to meet him again at IRC in the fall.  He also sent us the letter above when we sent him Flat Stanley almost 10 years ago.  Love!

     To add to the category of picture books or novels, I will add teaching resource books to the mix.  This summer, +Lauren Hogel introduced me to The Literacy Teacher's Playbook by Jennifer Serravallo.  I bought it for Grades k-2, and it was so fantastic that I needed it for Grades 3-6.  I just got the second one today and tweeted my excitement.  Guess what?  Jennifer Serravallo favorited it and retweeted it!  Even more reason for you to look into this book.  My favorite line in the introduction is:
"This book is about being empowered by data and assessment, not bogged down by it."
I'm for anything to helps me feel not bogged down (and I love assessment and data...)!  It is a really great book.

     One other little thing before I hit publish...

     If you are not on Twitter, I highly suggest you get on there and start building a PLN.  This summer, I am just amazed at the things that I have learned sitting on my own couch, reading articles, tweets and blog posts from educators all over the country. PD when you are ready for it, even if you are in your pajamas.  Get on Twitter and join the learning!  :)



  1. I second Leah's nudge to get on Twitter! The collaboration and resources are limitless!

  2. I am listening! lol. I plan to create a twitter account before summer ends!

  3. I agree 100% Leah! I was just trying to talk my husband into checking out Twitter to build his database and contacts and he thought I was a loon, of course! I am really obsessed with learning via TWITTER! Now we just need the state to recognize time spent on social media for professional development and we'll be all set!