Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beginning of the Year Books

What if Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick
This is the chattiest group of adorable, little first graders I have ever worked with.  I'm serious when I say they talk all day long... When a colleague suggested this book, I was happy to give it a try. :)
Although to this day, there is still room for improvement with controlling the impulse to talk out, this book was extremely helpful!  The beautiful illustrations present more than a dozen scenarios about making appropriate choices.  In the story, after each minor infraction, the young boy is asked, “What if everybody did that?”

(On this page, a straw paper is blown across a restaurant.) 
The book ends on a positive note, which was a perfect way to begin a discussion about making appropriate choices.  We created a "We can make good choices" poster with the children at the center of the poster.  The visual reminder is a nice way to revisit and reinforce these skills.

 I received this book as a gift from a special student and I love sharing it with my class at the beginning of the year.  It's a perfect book for helping children learn to feel good about themselves.  The character in this story, Milo, is constantly told by his friends that he can't be what he wants to be during pretend play.  When Milo gets home and shares this with his mother, she helps him understand he's special and can be whatever he wants to be.
As a follow-up activity, we created this display about our special first grade friends.  Each child told me something (s)he could do.  I typed the responses and placed them next to the drawings (from a template).   This bulletin board is right above the snack storage area and the kiddos love to read the note cards together in the morning.

"I can be helpful to friends." "I can give my mom kisses."  "I can help people when they're sad."  "I can swim.  "I can ride roller coasters."

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