It's hard to believe that we're back to school already. Where did summer go? Some of our colleagues around the country have been back for weeks, others start this week, and still more are yet to come in the next few. It's an exciting and stressful time. I hope you're not like me, suffering from a summer cold, probably brought on by busy days and late nights preparing for the new year.
I have often written a post on read aloud suggestions for back to school, some of my most read posts of all. You can read previous years' posts here, here, and here. This year, for the suggested beginning of the year read alouds, I'm following in the footsteps of this article in the Washington Post and focusing on empathy and kindness. What better way to begin the year, to help build community, than focus on empathy and kindness? Some of my favorites from the Washington Post list include:
A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams (PK-K)
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip Stead (PK-2)
Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña (K-2)
Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett (K-2)
Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson (K-3)
The Thing About Luck, by Cynthia Kadohata (grades 4-8)
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio (grades 5-8)
Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper (grades 5-8)
And here are some others:
Raymie Nightingale, by Kate DiCamillo (grades 4-8)
Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine (grades 5-8)
A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park (grades 5-8)
Orbiting Jupiter, by Gary Schmidt (grades 7+)
Every Day, by David Levithan (grades 8+)
These are good to recommend to readers, too, even if you don't select them as read alouds. One of my favorite things in the whole world is recommending books to students. After reading aloud to students.
And now for a little business: The New Teacher Talk blog is no longer being funded, which makes it difficult for me to continue as author. I intend to continue to post occasionally, though there may be fewer posts this year than in previous. Thank you for your continued readership - I'm doing this work for you even though it is no longer being funded. I believe so strongly that even small things can help support new teachers, including this blog.