The Christmas Book List Of 2020

Christmas books! I’m giddy about putting together this post! The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year, and books are one of my favorite subjects. Let’s put the two together! 

Pick A Pine Tree: We don’t own this one yet, but I’m looking forward to the day we do! 

Dasher: Doesn’t the moody cover of the book just invite you in while you sit under a cozy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa?

Red & Lulu: The same author as Dasher. The magic of New York during the Christmas season is captured in this holiday book. 

The Crayons’ Christmas: A holiday twist on The Day The Crayons Quit

What books would you add to this list? Need some good book ideas for the holiday season that aren’t Christmas themed? Stay tuned for next week! 

Featured photo: pexels.com

High School Read Alouds: Books For Fun!

If you search book lists on our blog you’ll find multiple posts full of lists and lists of good read alouds, books for certain subjects, etc, etc. This blog is chucked full of book lists! What it’s missing is a list of read alouds for high school. I’m not talking books approved for English class to read and pick apart, but just a fun book to read to your students, no matter what subject you are teaching. Here’s my favorite list of chapter books you can read to your high school students. 

I Am Malala

What books do you like to read aloud to your high school students?

A Short, Sweet List Of Snowy, Winter Books

Snow is falling! Winter is here! I know for many this is discouraging and sad, but I am one to adore winter and the falling snow. So to excite everyone about the upcoming winter season, let’s come up with a great book list to get us ready for the snowy season. 

The Snowy Day: A Caldecott award book, and the first picture book to have a Black child as the protagonist. What a great conversation to have with students! 

Owl Moon: I can’t explain it, but you can HEAR the silence the snow brings in this book. It’s mesmerizing. 

Wolf In The Snow: This book with no words pulls at your heartstrings when you realize the sense of family and community both humans and animals have, and how we aren’t as different as we may think. 

The Wish Tree: I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my list to get at the library next time we go. 

The Polar Express: Okay, okay. I know, it’s a Christmas book. But the wintery feel of the train and the page of the book with the wolves standing in the snow looking at the train? It just lights up something in me that excites me for that fresh snow smell! 

Are you team snow or team no snow? Do you think reading fun books about winter and snow help change your attitude about winter? 

A Season For Voting Is A Season For Books

The election is *almost* over. I don’t think any of us were ready for election week instead of election day, but it’s 2020, what else can you expect?

Have you been talking to your students about the election? Explain electoral votes? Show them the red and blue maps across the country? Talk about what policies are and what each candidate is promising?

What better way to teach about a big, historical event with some picture books! Here are a few of my favorite.

Grace For President

Vote For Our Future!

Equality’s Call

The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents

What have you been doing with your students during this election week? What other books have you read to them?

Other Activities To Do Instead Of Explicitly Teach Letters

I’ve written a lot lately about teaching my daughter preschool. 

Read about my initial thoughts here. 

Read about the curriculum I’m using here. 

Read about a few things I’ve learned in the process here. 

While it’s easy to focus on learning letters during this age of a child’s life, it’s not the end goal. Here’s what I wrote: 

“Learning letters and numbers isn’t the goal of preschool. Playing is the purpose of preschool, and throwing in the letters and numbers is just an added bonus. I was reminding myself often that just because my daughter still didn’t know that R says rrrrrr by the end of two weeks, it doesn’t mean the two weeks was a fail. We played, we sang, recited poems and painted. So much paint! The purpose of the R unit wasn’t to engrain the letter or sound into her mind, it was to expose her to a new letter, maybe recognize it, and most important- to play.”

Today I wanted to make a list of activities to do with your kids beside teach letters (that can still promote letter awareness and learning). 

Paint. We are BIG advocates for paint over here at our house! Super washable Crayola paint is our go-to. Paint on paper, paint on windows, paint in the bathtub, paint outside. PAINT! Paint flowers, letters, silly faces, rainbows, animals, numbers, and more. 

Other artistic outlets such as coloring, cutting and gluing, paper folding, etc. 

Sensory bin activities with different fillers. I’d list them all out for you, but I’ve already made a post for that!

Play outside. Discover the world, and talk about it. Talk about the green grass, the blue sky. Wonder why dandelions grow in your yard but not the neighbors? (This was an actual conversation I had with my daughter. Maybe a sign that we need a little more weed killer??) 

Build with blocks, build forts, build with safe items from the pantry. Talk about bigger and smaller towers and the letters on the packaging or the colors you are using. 

The blocks featured are sumblocks

Go on a walk. Discover new places, see new people, and have different experiences outside of your home. 

Keep letters around your home to be involved in play.

I’ve said it multiple times in multiple posts, but never forget the fundamentals: 

  • Talk
  • Sing
  • Read
  • Write 
  • Play 

These five incredibly important points create readers. And not just a child that can read, but a child that loves to read. Let’s stop the pressure of children learning letters at a young age, and start creating reading lovers. 

A few more resources: 

Reading Before Kindergarten- Is It Really Necessary?

Tips On Activities With Young Learners

What Is Play-Based Learning?

“The whole world opened up to me when I learned to read”

Mary McCleod Bethune

Books We’ve Recently Added To Our Home Library

I recently added new books to our little home library and wanted to share some with you.

Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai. I wrote about Malala months ago and what an impact she had on opening my eyes to new cultures. When I found a children’s book I could read to my kids, I knew I needed it!

Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman was also top priority on my list. My daughter is an avid Doc McStuffins watcher and in one episode they feature Bessie Colman and her accomplishments. I knew it would be fun to dive a little deeper into her history!

Who Was Jackie Robinson? A good old “who was” book! Are you catching on that we are trying to learn about people here? A chapter book is hard for my almost 3 year old to take in right now, but it has great information that I can pull from and teach her about Jackie Robinson.

The Hike was recommended to me by a dear friend. It ties in great science by labeling plants and animals subtly throughout the book, and shows great diversity, which is always important!

Addy A Heart Full Of Hope is an American Girl story about Addy, a girl growing up in Philadelphia during the Civil War. I tried reading bits and pieces of this to my almost 3 year old, but she lost interest and did not understand well enough what was going on. It’ll be a fun, quick read for me, and one that will sit patiently on our shelves until she’s ready to pick it up.

This Is How We Do It is a book so well loved by many! I hear this book recommended more by friends than most any other book. I have been wanting to buy it for quite some time, so once I decided to expand our library this week, I knew this one was on the list! We are currently on back order for it and anxiously awaiting it’s arrival!

Young, Gifted, and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes From Past and Present was recommended to us again by a good friend. This one has by FAR been our favorite! The illustrations are ravishing and the information is incredible. This book again featured Bessie Colman, already a hero of my daughter’s, and Michelle Obama, who too was featured on Doc McStuffins. Simone Biles, Stevie Wonder, Rosa Parks, and Zadie Smith are just a few of the others you get to meet along the way.

I love the history, science, and diversity each of these books bring to our little library.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

Harry S. Truman