To really dig in deep, I love complementing a kindness mini-unit with amazingly fun Read Alouds...I especially love read alouds that help develop and cultivate a strong, supportive and kind-hearted classroom culture.
This "Let's Be Kind" has several read aloud suggestions in addition to its projectables, printables and poems.
A while back, while hosting Chapter 5 of Teach Like A Pirate, I wrote a non-letter letter to myself that would be like a letter I would hope to receive from a parent or student about what my classroom was all about. Gina from Third Grade Tidbits suggested I turn it into a printable.
So...in preparing this post, I did it. If you'd like it, click the pic...
Buntings from Cat Lady Graphics.
UPDATE...for those of you who would like to add it to your office door or to another space, here are two other versions. Thanks, Maura, for the idea!
This culture and community that is so important to me...a culture of persevering when mistakes are made...one where kids want to figure things out independently...one where we can crack up together and especially make sure we know that every single one of us counts, has strengths, needs to grow and feels loved and cared for by their peers.
When kids understand this, soooo much progress can be made - academic, social, behavior...so very important when educating the whole child.
That being said...the read alouds I select should speak to these core values...
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Update: I'm adding this amazing book that helps kids understand how their brains work - it helps build community because it levels the playing field when it comes to skills (just because someone is quicker at math doesn't make them smarter or more special). It also helps everyone understand the importance of effort.
You might like this *freebie filled* post here about perseverance.
Here are books I'm thinking about...
I am completely obsessed with Amy Krouse Rosenthal's books...she is unique, clever and profound. Especially when she partners with Tom Lichtenheld for his illustrations.
I love to read The OK Book within the first days of school...It is SO clever...when you turn the OK vertical, it turns into a stick figure person...the message of the book is "I'm okay at a lot of things. Some day I'll be excellent at some things. I'm having a lot of fun being okay along the way."
There are countless applications to this message!
I'll further develop the culture using another one of my very favorite books...
Ish by Peter Reynolds helps build the life-critical concept that just because it's not perfect doesn't mean you shouldn't try.
Here's another life message one by a groovy cat...
Pete the Cat is the most loveable and groovy cat that does not let himself get worked up about obstacles..."It's allllll good."
Pete is the mascot in my classrom...I have a 14ish inch plush Pete attached to my easel helping us all throughout the day try to remember that "it's allll good." At home, my son has a plush Pete that is over 2 FEET tall! We lovvvve Pete!
I'm also excited about reading Leo the Late Bloomer as a way to discuss that we're all currently strong at different things and everyone will develop more strengths at different rates...which is ALLLLLL good! Thanks, Katie, for putting it out there on your page!!! (So many reasons you're fab, girly!)
The last fave that comes to mind is by the amazing Kevin Henkes...
Chrysanthemum is wonderful for so many reasons! I love to use it at the beginning of the year to discuss the harmfulness of teasing.
I would SO love to hear what books you enjoy reading to develop your classroom community!!!
By the way...any time you click the titles of the books, it's a hyperlink to the book on Amazon where you can often see more of it inside. Full disclosure: It's also linked to my Amazon Affiliate Account...no pressure...I just do that because if you had been planning to buy it already, why not do it in a way the gives someone a teeny tiny credit? I love online shopping off of others' Affiliate links...feel free to leave your link in the comments. :)