The summer went by so quickly, and all of my grandchildren are entering their second week of school. The older ones freely share their thoughts about their teachers, favorite subjects, and homework assignments. Sebastian is starting middle school and loving it. “I opened my locker the first time,” he proudly told me. He loves social studies class the most. Thomas is a junior in high school, and preparing for SATs. He tells me that some of his teachers are really “cool.” He likes those that have a good sense of humor.
Danny is eleven months old, and loves chewing his books. This physical knowledge of books will ultimately lead to his conceptual understanding of their form and function.
Four-year-old Lilly and Stassi love books! Recently, they have been insisting that I listen while they read – love it! Both girls started prekindergarten last week. They say they like school, but don’t share many reasons why. So, I came up with an idea. I’d recommend these books to their parents to get the “what is school like” conversation going. You might find them helpful as well, if you are a teacher, parent, or caregiver. For, when the young child enters the picture book world of the characters, they make connections to their own experiences and are able to express their feelings without reservation. The following books to read aloud with your child enable you to learn about his or her day at school.
I adore this book and have used it with teachers. I love the spirit, passion, and love Miss Bindergarten shows for teaching and students. She’s a border collie who knows how to structure playful classroom environments that foster socialization and literacy learning. You can actually teach the alphabet using the illustrations and charts in this picture book. Ask the child to hunt for letters after you have read the story, and keep a record of those they recognize readily.
This book breathes acceptance for different ways of being and ways of knowing. I especially like how the culturally and linguistically diverse student population is welcomed into school by caring, empathetic, and knowledgeable teachers. This is another book I will be sharing with my graduate students.
I will be reading this book with Stassi on the weekend, as she is an avid teddy bear collector! She will connect to Brown Bear, who wonders what his first day of school will be like. Brown Bear, like Stassi, has a lot of questions about his future classmates, teacher, and what will be expected in prekindergarten.
Lilly loves Curious George, and I will use this book to learn more about her perceptions of school. She likes George’s mischief making, and the way the Man in the Yellow Hat always seems to make things right. I appreciated that common prekindergarten routines are displayed in this book, that Lilly can connect with. She will enjoy how George, who always wants to be helpful, mixes paint colors and makes a terrific mess trying to clean it up. The characters, series of events, and theme of teamwork resound in this lively tale.
Mo Willems is a favorite author of children in the primary grades. This book, starring his famous pigeon, does not disappoint. As before, the pigeon has lots of reasons why he doesn’t need to go to school. He has equally as many questions about what he will face when he gets there.
Stassi and Lilly like to choose their own outfits, and have distinct tastes. Lilly insisted on wearing her princess tiara to the first day of school. Pete the Cat is no different, as he chooses the outfit he will wear for the first day of school. Both girls are familiar with and enjoy Pete the Cat. So, I predict this book will be a huge success.
I will let you know how my book selections gave me insights into the girls’ attitudes towards school in a future post, and what Lilly and Stassi told me.
The Book Teacher