Are you looking for the perfect books to share with your class this month?  Well, you have come to the right place!  Reading and preparing lessons from engaging picture books is both my hobby and passion!

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After reading about 40 books to prepare for my lessons this month, I have found 5 picture books that I wanted to share with you.  This is a collection of books that you and your students are guaranteed to love!  A couple of these books may be new to you and your students.  Be sure to check them out because you might just find a new favorite!

Note: This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission for finding and sharing the links with you.  This does not affect the price you pay for the items.  You will be paying the same price and any money I earn is used to buy more picture books to share.

Check out this month's finds....

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This book has an apple them that is perfect for September, but it also teaches a valuable lesson that is perfect for the beginning of the school year or anytime!  Mr. Peabody's Apples takes place in 1949 in Happville.  Mr. Peabody is a highly admired teacher and baseball coach.  One day, one of his students sees Mr. Peabody do something that he thought was wrong.  The student starts rumors that were very hurtful to Mr. Peabody.  Instead of getting mad, Mr. Peabody takes the opportunity to teach his students a lesson about the importance of choosing our words carefully to avoid unintentionally hurting someone.  

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The Raft is inspired by the author's childhood memories on the river with this grandmother.  When Nicky finds out that he is going to be spending the summer with his grandmother in Wisconsin, he just knows it will be the worst summer ever.  However, as the summer progresses Nicky learns to appreciate all that the river has to over and is learning more about himself and his talents in the process.  This book is full of adventure and imagination.  

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Goldilocks and Just One Bear is a fun fractured fairy tale and a humorous sequel to the traditional Goldilocks story.  In this version, Little Bear wonders out of the woods and finds himself lost in the big city.  Little Bear becomes lost and confused from all the bright lights and loud noises.  He decides to take shelter in an apartment in Snooty Towers.  No one is home so he decides to make himself at home.  Once the family returns, Little Bear realizes that he has stumbled upon the home of Goldilocks much like she had done in the original version of this fairy tale.  The fun illustrations and word play will help to make this book an instant favorite in your classroom.  

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Elmer is a patchworked elephant with an equally colorful character.  His optimism and sense of humor helps to keep others in his community in a cheerful mood.  Despite his positive outlook, Elmer starts to think that others are laughing at him for the way he looks.  Elmer decides to make himself look more like the other elephants by rolling in gray colored berries.  Now, no one seems to notice him.  For a while, Elmer thinks this is great until he and the other start to realize how much they miss the true Elmer.  I love to share this book with my students and discuss the unique characteristics that we each have that makes us special.  

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More Than Anything Else is a historical fiction book based on the childhood of Booker T. Washington.  The story is told in the Booker's voice as a nine-year-old boy.  Booker tells of how after gaining freedom from slavery, all he wanted to do was learn to read.  He finally finds someone to teach him the letters and sounds.  Booker is determined to learn to read and then promises that he will teach others to read.  This inspirational story is perfect for sharing with your students that their dreams are possible with enough work and determination.  


As a special gift this month, you can grab the interactive read aloud lesson for Elmer and companion nonfiction passage about elephants for FREE by clicking on the link below.  

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A collection of picture books that are perfect for September Read Alouds.  Titles include Elmer, More Than Anything Else, Mr. Peabody's Apples, Goldilocks and Just One Bear, The Raft.  Pin this image on Pinterest

Short on time?  

You can grab complete interactive read aloud lessons for each of these books and companion nonfiction passages by clicking on the image below.

Back to school time is exciting for both teachers and students.  Choosing the perfect books to read aloud to your students during the first few days of school is just as important (if not more important) than a perfectly decorated room.  Why is your book selection so important?

Favorite Back to School Read Aloud Books. Teachers share the back to school read aloud books that they love to read in their classrooms.

The perfect read aloud book can:

  • Help teach rules and procedures in a meaningful and engaging way.
  • Help build a sense of community.
  • Show students how to interact with each other about a book.
  • Be the key to setting up a literacy rich classroom that will grow readers throughout the year.

Note: This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission for finding and sharing the links with you.  This does not affect the price you pay for the items.  You will be paying the same price and any money I earn is used to buy more picture books to share.

I recently polled over 800 teachers to find what their favorite back to school read aloud books were and why they loved them  Each of these books have been teacher-tested AND kid-approved….making them perfect for your classroom during back to school time! Take a look at the top 6 books voted on by teachers….

1.  First Day Jitters This book discusses the nervousness that everyone feels on the first day of school.  Sarah Jane Hartwell doesn’t want to go to her new school because she doesn’t know anyone and just know it will be awful.  She quickly learns that her new school is not as bad as she thought!  Your students will LOVE the surprise ending.

2.  Wonder This book is probably best for 4th-6th-grade students…but if you teach older students this is a book you don’t want to miss!  August Pullman, nicknamed Auggie, is a 10-year-old boy with an extreme facial deformity that causes other to avoid him.  He had been homeschooled all of his life but is entering public school for the first time. Auggie’s classmates have a wide range of reactions when they encounter him including the use of hateful language.  However, good wins!  This story is emotional and very thought provoking.  It makes me want to be a better person each time I read it…and I have read it 7 times

3.  The Invisible Boy Brian is so quiet that nobody ever seems to notice him.  He is never included in groups, asked to play at recess, or invited to birthday parties.  That is, until, a new kid comes to class.  When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first one to step up and make him feel welcome.  Brian and Justin become instant friends and team up to work on a class project together.  Brian finds a way to shine and show others how amazing he is.  This book is perfect to show your students that everyone is important and their voice will be valued in your class. 

4.  Recess Queen Mean Jean is the class bully.  Each day at recess, she makes sure that she is the first to kick, swing, and bounce.  Everyone is afraid of her and they do not dare to cross her path.  One day, Katie Sue, a new student, arrives.  Being new, she did not know that it was customary for Mean Jean to get to do everything first so she begins to play like any kid would.  Mean Jean doesn’t know what to think especially when Katie Sie invites her to play together. 

5. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon Molly Lou Melon looks and sounds different than other kids her age.  Molly is starting a new school and a mean bully starts to pick on her.  However, Molly’s grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud.  Molly embraces her uniqueness and bravely faces the bully.  

6.  My Teacher is a Monster Bobby thinks he has the worst teacher.  She yells a lot.  She takes away recess from any student who is caught throwing paper airplanes.  Billy is convinced she is a monster!  That is until Bobby goes to the park one weekend and finds his teacher!  Over the course of the day, Bobby learns that things are not always as they seem!

Favorite Back to School Read Aloud Books. Teachers share the back to school read aloud books that they love to read in their classrooms.

​..

The science is settled when it comes to Interactive Read-Alouds. Not only do
classroom teachers recognize that Interactive Read-Alouds are a powerful and
engaging teaching tool, but the research indicates that they’re undeniably effective
as well.

 

Need another reason to use Interactive Read-Alouds? They make lesson planning for your Reading Block time a breeze!

 

In case you’re a little late
to the party, here’s a simple explanation of what an Interactive Read-Aloud is:

Interactive Read-Alouds make the
most of read-aloud time by uniting the elements of comprehension, fluency, and
standards in reading. They provide an easy way for teachers to purposefully and intentionally model and teach a specific reading skill (or many skills at
once). Interactive Read-Alouds provide teachers and students with a format
that includes a proven step-by-step routine for both guided conversations and
reflective thinking about the chosen text. This format enables students to demonstrate
knowledge acquired with strategic listening, discussion, and responding in writing
about the text.

 

Want to improve the effectiveness
of your read aloud time? Who doesn’t? Interactive Read-Alouds increase student
engagement, increase students’ understanding of the text, provide teachers with
the opportunity to model comprehension strategies, teach literary concepts, and
build vocabulary! They cover every reading skill and standard, starting with activating prior knowledge and extending all the way up to a final response to reading!

 BONUS: They also improve the overall
class climate by building a sense of camaraderie, teamwork, and interdependence
within reading groups!

 

The following list of Read-Aloud strategies
are a set of ‘tried and true’ teaching tools from my classroom—and many
others, that have proven to successfully help teachers plan an engaging,
lively, and effective Interactive Read-Aloud lesson!

 

We can all agree that any
lesson that includes kinesthetic elements will be more appealing and engaging
to kids, right? With sign language,
kids can use simple signs for making a connection with the story as they read
(or listen), such as thumbs up or down if they agree or disagree with something
that’s stated in the story. Perhaps you can even have them learn an ASL sign
for certain vocabulary words within the story—a great way to reinforce and
remember a new vocabulary word! Having
kids learn and use the sign for a particular vocabulary word (one that’s
repeated in the story is best) will automatically make them more engaged in
Read-Aloud time. They may need to be reminded to ‘sign’ when you first start
this practice, but eventually they will come to love it!

 

Incorporating Sign Language into your Interactive Read-Aloud
time will accomplish many important goals:

Noticing who’s paying attention to the story and who’s not

Improving student’s careful and strategic listening

Makes learning new vocabulary & reading time more FUN for kids!

Click HERE for a helpful link to search/learn ASL words online!

 

 

Sometimes called
THINK-PAIR-SHARE, ‘Turn & Talk’ is one of Kagan’s most useful cooperative
learning strategies that’s especially effective for teaching reading. During
and after reading, students will have a chance to think of a question that they
can ask a partner, that will encourage reflective thinking. (You can use
resources that provide question stems for students to make this process flow a
little more smoothly.)

 

This strategy also helps students to be more interactive and engaged as
they read & listen to a story. They may use post-its or their own notebooks
to stop and jot down important parts of the story. You can also guide them with
a directed list of what to ‘jot about’ at first, such as events in the story or
character traits, for example, or let them decide what’s important for them to
jot down as they go.

As a busy teacher, when you think about incorporating a new teaching method, it
can sometimes feel overwhelming and you may feel as though it’s too complicated
to make a change. The best part of Interactive Read-Alouds is that they truly
do make life easier for you as a teacher–and make reading comprehension more
accessible for your students!

Interactive Read-Alouds take the familiar steps of reading instruction that we already know
as ‘BEFORE, DURING and AFTER Reading’ and transform them into an easy to use, much
more lively (and yes, truly INTERACTIVE!) format for reading instruction! I really
hope that you’ll give it a try, you’ll be so glad you did!

 

Want to save or share this helpful info? Just pin one of the images below!

Interactive Read-Alouds make the most of read-aloud time by uniting the elements of comprehension, fluency, and standards in reading. They provide an easy way for teachers to purposefully and intentionally model and teach a specific reading skill (or many skills at once). Interactive Read-Alouds provide teachers and students with a format that includes a proven step-by-step routine for both guided conversations and reflective thinking about the chosen text.

Interactive Read-Alouds make the most of read-aloud time by uniting the elements of comprehension, fluency, and standards in reading. They provide an easy way for teachers to purposefully and intentionally model and teach a specific reading skill (or many skills at once). Interactive Read-Alouds provide teachers and students with a format that includes a proven step-by-step routine for both guided conversations and reflective thinking about the chosen text.

 

 

 

Looking to boost your students' fluency? Carefully assessing where your students are is key to moving them forward.

 

In order to accurately assess a student’s fluency and guide his or her development, a teacher needs to look at all the components of fluency.  In the simplest of terms, fluency can be divided into three critical components: accuracy, rate, and prosody (expression and smoothness).

Looking to boost your students' fluency? Carefully assessing where your students are is key to moving them forward.

 

Accuracy
A student’s ability to decode and process the text can be measured by finding his or her accuracy rate. An accuracy rate can be determined by finding the percentage of words in a text that students can read accurately.  For text being read independently, a target accuracy rate should be 95% or higher.  If the reader has teacher support, the accuracy level can be between 90%-95%.  Any text that a student can not read with at least 90% accuracy is at the frustrational level, and it is likely that the reader will not be able to adequately comprehend the text. When a student does not have an adequate rate of accuracy, it is likely they are losing or changing the meaning of the text.

Rate
A student’s ability to process text automatically can be measured by his or her reading rate.  This is easily done by having the student read a grade level text for 60 seconds and counting the number of words that are read correctly in one minute.  A student’s target reading rate will increase as he or she moves up in grade levels.  Your district likely has a suggested target reading rate for each grade level, but if they don’t, HERE is a link to suggested target reading rates.  Students with a rate of 20% below the target reading rate should be considered for intervention.  As strange as it sounds, it is also possible for a student to read too fast.  Students who sound like they are “speed reading” is not able to use proper expression when reading.  It is also likely that comprehension suffers when a child is “speed reading”.  When it comes to rate, it is important to teach an “appropriate” rate and not simply a “faster” rate.

Prosody
The prosodic reading ability of a student is best measured by listening to a student read grade level text aloud and rating the quality of his or her reading.  A prosodic reader combines smoothness and expression.  A smooth reader can read in long, meaningful phrases.  They notice punctuation and pause as needed.  Expression is more than just changes in voice inflection.  An expressive reader will change their voice to match characters in the text or the overall tone of the text.  A prosodic reader is easy to understand and a pleasure to listen to.

Looking to boost your students' fluency? Carefully assessing where your students are is key to moving them forward.

As in all areas of the classroom, parent involvement and communication is crucial to the overall success of the student.  I have found this rubric very helpful in communicating their student’s progress in fluency development.  You can grab this rubric to use in your classroom HERE.

 

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Looking to boost your students' fluency? Carefully assessing where your students are is key to moving them forward.

 

Looking to boost your students' fluency? Carefully assessing where your students are is key to moving them forward.

What is reading fluency? Why do I need it in my primary classroom? How can I help develop fluency?

 

What is reading fluency?

Even people not familiar with the elements that make up fluent reading, know a fluent reader when they hear one.  They read smoothly with proper intonation.  A fluent reader is easy to listen to and understand because it simply sounds like they are telling you a story.

A successful reader is able to process the text on the page and comprehend the text that has been read.  Reading fluency can be thought of as the bridge between processing and comprehending the text.  A fluent reader is able to process the text in such a way that allows them to focus on understanding and comprehending on a deeper level.  There are three areas of fluency for a reader to develop.  First, a reader needs to be able to decode the text with minimal errors. This is also referred to as accuracy.  In order to decode successfully, a reader needs a solid knowledge of phonics and other strategies to help them attack unknown words.  Next, a reader will develop automatic processing which allows them to use as little mental effort as possible to decode so that they can focus more on understanding the text.  Finally, a reader will develop prosody.  Prosody can be described as expressive reading.  A prosodic reader will pay attention to phrasing and punctuation.  They will also use proper intonation.  Readers that do not read with prosody are often not able to fully comprehend the text to their fullest potential.

What is reading fluency? Why do I need it in my primary classroom? How can I help develop fluency?

Just like your car is fueled by the gas you put in it, comprehension is fueled by fluency.  You wouldn’t expect your car to run without gas or even with bad gas.  You can’t expect your young readers to comprehend without fluency.  By ignoring the development of fluency, the reader is being allowed to practice bad habits instead of moving closer to becoming a fluent reader.  Fluency alone does not guarantee strong comprehension skills.  However, it is unlikely that comprehension will develop without fluency.

Grab these fluency bookmarks for FREE! What is reading fluency? Why do I need it in my primary classroom? How can I help develop fluency?

It is important for teachers to understand what fluency is, but it is equally important for students to understand what a fluent reader is.  The knowledge of what a fluent reader gives a student an obtainable goal to work for.  I love using these bookmarks with my students.  They help keep the keys to being a fluent reader in front of my students so they can more easily make a conscious effort to improve.  You can grab a copy of these bookmarks for FREE HERE.

 

Need Tips for Improving Reading Fluency in the Primary Grades

For even more ideas and resources for developing fluency in your classroom, sign up to have “A Teacher’s Guide to Developing Fluency in the Primary Grades” delivered to your inbox.

 

Love it?  Want to Save it for Later?

What is reading fluency? Why do I need it in my primary classroom? How can I help develop fluency?

 

What is reading fluency? Why do I need it in my primary classroom? How can I help develop fluency?

What is reading fluency? Why do I need it in my primary classroom? How can I help develop fluency?