Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer Reading Series: Two Teacher Friends

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to my new Summer Feature!

Every Friday I will be republishing a post by a fellow teacher-blogger featuring a book or books. I will also be sharing the bloggers answers to some questions for an interview section. If you would be interested in being a featured blogger this summer, please click THIS LINK and follow the directions on that page. I hope to hear from you soon!

Now onto the first feature.

Today's Post comes from  Kelli and Lizz, your Two Teacher Friends.

What was your favourite teaching moment and why?
Kelli and I are next door neighbor teachers. When I started teaching 4 years ago I was lucky to get the room right next to hers! This school year we team taught. It was amazing. One of us would have the higher group of students for ELA and Math and the other would have the lower group for ELa and Math. Our students grew so much this year from switching. As a teacher, it is always great to see a student grow, this year they were like weeds. We are planning on switching next year too and all the years to follow.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?
I was blessed with a lot of great teachers growing up. I never had a teacher that I disliked. In high school I had an English teacher named Marsha Jones. She was awesome. She made every student feel welcome and made class exciting and fun. As a high school student, she made you feel comfortable and you could tell she genuinely cared. Let me set you up for a story: I had just gotten my license a few months before and was driving myself to school. It was raining outside and I was already late. On the short drive to school I 'rolled' through a stop sign. Long story short, the officer pulled me over in the school parking lot. This was my first pull over experience. I open my door and get out of the car (remember it was raining and I was late) and start to walk over to the cop car. He starts to yell, really yell, 'Get back in the vehicle. get back in the vehicle" with his hand on the holster to his gun. Fast forward a bit as I walk in late to Mrs. Jones' English class, soaking wet with tears streaming down my face. I talked, she listened. She gave me some good advice: always stop at a stop sign, never get out of the car, call your mom now and tell her so your whole day is not ruined, and leave earlier so I am not late. Looking back, I know now that had to be hard to do. Being a teacher I understand how it is difficult to drop everything and listen. She did just that.

What would your Superhero name be and Why?
Lizz's superhero name would be Glitter Gal. I would save the day one sprinkle of glitter at a time. Glitter makes me happy, I would spread that happy.
Kelli's superhero name wold be YaYa. This is her real life superhero name. She is a grandma, actually a YaYa, to a beautiful 3 year old with a head full of blonde curls.

What animal do you think would make a great teacher and why?
Monkeys would make great teachers because what kids wouldn't listen to a monkey? Am I right?!

If you could have any other job, what would it be and why?
If I could have any other job I would want to work at Walt Disney World. I would love to be Belle, but I have blonde hair. I also think it would be great to work on a cruise ship. Both of these jobs require high energy (check), are typically in nice, warm climates (awesome), and are happy places. Sounds nice to me!


Kelli's Top Ten Read Alouds
Originally Published Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's here!!  That week that we have all anxiously and patiently waited for...Spring Break!  While many are heading for sandy lands and warmer temperatures, including our amazing Lizzy, I chose to take a break on Hwy 31 and look for snow crocus and daffodils with Mr. R.  This break also gives me time to catch up with the blog world.

I read...a lot.  In fact a friend text me this week asking me for recommendations for a child she is working with and I got so excited thinking about book recommendations for a young adult.  I try to read all of the current series that come out so that I know what's out there...what's available...what resources we have, as teachers.  In keeping with this theme, I thought it would be a great time to do a top 10 list.  I love reading to children.  All teachers do but it's so hard to keep up with all of the many books available.  There are some amazing authors, but there are some that are not so good for read alouds in the classroom.  I looked through my own collection of favorites and decided upon a top ten pile of books for read alouds.  Here goes...

Kelli's Top Ten Books for Read Alouds
 First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. This one's been around for awhile, but it's still my go to for the beginning of the year.  Everyone is a little anxious and needs some reassurance.  This book is a great one to talk about how everyone is feeling, including the teacher...hint...hint.  If you haven't read it, slip on over to Amazon right now and order it.  It'll be here by the time Spring Break is over.  You won't be sorry.  In fact, it will go on your list of gifts for new teachers!  p.s.  Julie has a new book out called Last day Blues.

Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems.  Oh my...Oh my.  I can't say enough.  Just go get it.  It's a lower elementary book, but I read it aloud in fourth grade.  When you're finished with it, you just sigh.  Please go get this book.  Can you tell I get really excited about books?  It's a sickness.

Dogzilla by Dav Piley. read that right...he's the underwear superhero guy!  He also writes picture books.  This one is AMAZING!  He uses pictures of his own pets for his characters.  Kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!  They ask me to read it again and again, even though they know the ending.  Amazon is your best friend today...admit it!  You know you want to order it.  He has a similar book, called Kat Kong.  Another great one, but this one is my fav.

Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey.  Hmmmm...Dav Pilkey again...a dog again...I see a trend here.  But hey, kids love dogs, and kids love to laugh.  While I love the books that make you sigh at the end, kids love to laugh and they need to have fun while reading.  Dav Pilkey gives them that combination.  Sometimes books need to be less about making connections and more about just having fun with a book!  Again, Dav gives us that!  This is a great one too!

The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey.  This is the last one.  I promise.  Pilkey again.  Dog again.  This one is a Halloween book.  Poor guy gets made fun of by bullies and has to wear a costume his mom made for him that gets him made fun of even more.  Hallo-wiener saves the day and becomes everyone's favorite buddy!  I've seen boys that hate reading come and beg me to hold and read this book themselves after I've read it aloud.  It's a winner!

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.  It's been around forever and it's still fantastic.  Great for teaching personal connections.

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant.  Great feel good read aloud,  Good for teaching character development and endings.

Those Shoes by  Maribeth Boelts.  Sigh...Double sigh.  Character education at its finest.

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen and Stellaluna by Janell Cannon.  I couldn't choose so I'm listing them both.  They are both about characters that end up in a family in which they are very different.  One is funny.  One is feel good.  Both are just so good and both have read alouds on  What the heck?  Get them both.  You won't be sorry.

I could do this all day, but I said ten, even though, I will have listed eleven.  Oops. Forgive me.  I've saved the best for last.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.  I love that a movie came out about this because authors are underpaid, especially this one.  There isn't an amount of money that equals her ability to put words together onto a page.  She is just so incredible.  I hate that a movie came out about this because now kids say, "Oh yeah.  I know this.  I saw the movie."  Do you know how hard it is to get kids to remove the characters from the big screen from their heads and to replace it with their own schema?  It's impossible because that movie is now a part of their schema.  Oh well.  Occupational hazards of being a teacher.  Schema frustration.  I have used this book for many years at the beginning of the school year.  I use it to teach the beginning stages of making connections because I have a gazillion connections to this book.  I am a preacher's daughter.  I moved more times than should be allowed so I was always the new kid.  I always had dogs that saved me from insanity.  As many times as I've read this book, it never gets old and never stops moving me to the core.  Kids love it too and find many connections to Opal as the story progresses.  Everything this author writes is on my shelf and on a list of mine somewhere, but this one can never be topped.

Happy reading everyone.  I'm off to do something non-teacher like.

 Much love to all, especially to my sweet Lizzy who is traveling today.  Miss you already!  Have fun with the fam!  p.s.  Look for some beach picture from our girl this week!


  1. This is a wonderful series and it's nice getting to know more about the teachers who work so hard preparing the next generation!

  2. This is a wonderful series and it's nice getting to know more about the teachers who work so hard preparing the next generation!

  3. This is a great list of books!!! I love this weekly series that you are starting! Can't wait to check out some more great books!
    Big Ideas For Little Hands

  4. Thanks for sharing some great books!


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