Some of my favorite memories of elementary school include my teachers reading to the class. I loved listening to Charlotte’s Web, Chrysanthemum, The Kissing Hand and so many more. I hope that as my students grow, they hold onto the stories we shared this year.
During the last week of school, I asked my students to share their favorite picture book read aloud from their year in 3M. The books below captured our hearts, inspired us, and made us laugh. I hope they bring joy to you, too!
School’s First Day of School
Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade
Last Stop on Market Street
Christian Robinson is a hero in the eyes of my third graders. We fell in love with his beautiful illustrations this year. They add so much to these incredible stories! All three of these books taught us lessons about compassion and making a change.
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
We first read The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles last fall during a Reading Ramble (see this blog post for more on this awesome community event!). My students were so drawn into the story, so I picked up a copy for our classroom. The book feels mysterious and intriguing, while also inspiring kids to deliver messages of inclusion. As one of my students wrote, “This character never gave up with that message and it teaches you to never give up on the things you do.”
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
One of my students wrote me a note about this book and said she would nominate it for a “most inspiring” award: “Radiant Child inspires kids to think – if you have a dream, stick with it, follow it, and never give up with it!”
Are We There Yet?
So many of the boys in my class are obsessed with this book. The illustrations are incredible, and the whole thing feels like an adventure. Not to mention, there is a robot character that speaks in QR codes! This is another book that never stays on the shelf for long.
They All Saw a Cat
We read They All Saw a Cat as part of our Mock Caldecott project in January. A fantastic and humorous tale of perspective, this one definitely stuck with my kiddos. The pictures are incredible, as are the words. One of my students wrote “When the author wrote this sentence: ‘The cat walked through the world with its whiskers, ears, and paw’s I thought it sounded BEAUTIFUL!” We keep this text on our Featured Books shelf, although it doesn’t spend much time sitting there! It’s almost always in the hands of a child – the sign of a truly great book.
We Found a Hat
After I heard Jon Klassen speak at the Boston Book Festival last fall, I knew I had to add more of his books to my classroom library. My students were so happy when we added We Found a Hat. One wrote, “This book has the most adorable critters and the cutest story! This book is not only cute and funny, but has great amazing pictures with the funniest quotes! I’m pretty sure all children would like this book.”
Ada’s Violin: The Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
My students loved this tale of how creativity and community can help change circumstances for people around the world. In the words of a third grader, “Ada is very devoted. Yay for the Recycled Orchestra!”
Stick and Stone
We read Stick and Stone on our first day of school, and collected ways to be a Perfect 10 Friend. I was so happy when my students added this to their reflection lists this spring, as I hope the message is one they will carry with them well beyond grade three!
Ada Twist, Scientist
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Ivy Peck, Architect
On the last day of school, we hold a Sneak Peak Day where students visit their new classroom and get to meet their new teacher. Last year, I ended my students’ visit by reading them Rosie Revere, Engineer. By the time we came back in September, we were all eagerly awaiting the release of Ada Twist, Scientist. Andrea Beatty’s spectacular books have been a part of this year’s classroom culture since (literally) Day One.
My students and I hope these books make you laugh, smile, and think! Happy reading!