Back to School Read-alouds

20130723_021816_back_to_schoolWelcome back to school!  Mrs. D is excited to share her favorite back to school books – Here are just a few…

1.  Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth by Alison McGhee

A know-it-all second grader cows a wide-eyed first grader into believing the worst about her new teacher, telling her that Mrs. Watson is a “three-hundred-year-old alien who steals baby teeth from her students.” The first grader thinks she is in “big trouble,” as she has a loose tooth! She wonders if she can make it through first grade without opening her mouth. As she tries to do just that, the suspense builds and clever illustrations reveal her hilarious attempts to save her tooth from Mrs.Watson.
Grades: K-2

2.  The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill

You’ll only be able to start this one on the first day, but it will leave your children wanting more. The book tells the story of an amazing teacher who takes a small Alaska town by storm in 1948 and changes the lives of her students, including the narrator, Frederika, forever. Among other things, Miss Agnes gets rid of the old boring textbooks, encourages the students to create original artwork (which she then hangs up!) and enchants them with her tales of Robin Hood and Greek myths
Grades: 3-8

3.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John  Archambault, and Lois Ehlert

The alphabet has never been so much fun to learn as it is in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  A great introduction to fin children’s literature.
Grades: PS-K

4.  Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Embracing your identity is important and Chrysanthemum is faced with challenges at school because of her name.  A gentle story about individuality and bullying.
Grades: PS-1

5.  David Goes to School by David Shannon

What is David going to get into next?!  This delightful school tale is sure to ease the anxiety of even those youngest readers.
Grades: K-1

6.  First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

A reassuring story about a young girl who has the same first day of school anxiety as your students.
Grades: K-3

7.  The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle

Your students will be giggling along with the crazy antics of the “gigglers” who watch over children.  A smile and a laugh like this book will bring are two of the surest ways to ease anxiety and help students relax.
Grades: 3-6

8.  Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

Teaching that the kindness you give away comes back to you is one of the most important lessons for children to hear at the beginning of the year.  This book sets the tone for random acts of kindness and gratitude – two things that will make the school year amazing.
Grades: PS-4

9.  Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague

This is an oldie but goodie. Teague tells a story from two perspectives—that of Ike the dog, whom Mrs. LaRue has sent to the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, and the real story. In one letter home, Ike complains that “the way my teach—I mean WARDEN, Miss Klondike, barks orders is shocking,” and the black and white picture shows a stern-faced warden pointing the way to solitary confinement. But, the accompanying color picture shows a different story, with a gentle teacher holding dog treats to happy dogs while Ike is sprawled at a table writing. Students love being “in” on the truth and might even enjoy writing their own “Ike” letters.
Grades: 1-5

10.  The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Chester does not want to go to school, but after his mother shares a family secret with him his anxiety lessens.  A gentle, comforting story for children who are nervous about being away from home.
Grades: PS-1

11.  Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate

What’s everyone doing to get ready for the first day of school?  Find out in this adorable story by Joseph Slate.
Grades: PS-K

12.  Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

What a pair Officer Buckle and Gloria make as they entertain students during safety presentations.  Not only will the story make students smile, but it emphasizes how important teamwork is to success.
Grades: PS-3

13.  Pete the Cat:  Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean

“It’s all good,” according to Pete the Cat and that includes his new adventure at school.
Grades: PS-2

14.  Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith

Nip bullying in the bud with the story of Mean Jean who loves to boss others around.
Grades: K-3

15.  Ruby the Copycat by Margaret Rathmann

Whatever Angela does, Ruby does too.  Students get a glimpse into how being yourself is the best way to make friends.
Grades: K-2

16.  Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

What’s out there in the great unknown?  Scaredy Squirrel does not want to find out, but he finds himself face to face with his greatest fear – the unknown.  Children will relate to his anxiety, as well as the uplifting outcome.
Grades: PS-2

17.  Swimmy by Leo Leoni

Teamwork and ingenuity know no bounds when Swimmy helps his friends overcome their fear of danger.  A great story to help build community in the classroom.
Grades: PS-2

18.  Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

A story that emphasizes the importance of a teacher who cares and makes a difference.  A great segue into talking about teacher expectations and the pledge to help every student reach their potential.
Grades: K-3

19.  There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom by Louis Sachar

A friendless, bullying, insecure fifth-grader as the protagonist?  In this book, the unlikely main character learns to like himself and begins to open up to those around him.  A great reminder that there is good in everyone.
Grades: 4-7

20.  There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books by Lucille Colandro

Forget the flies, this old lady is ready to go back to school and swallowing the things she needs to take with her.  A fun, rhyming introduction to a humorous approach to school.
Grades: PS-K

21.  Wonder by R.J. Palacio

How can you blend in when you were made to stand out?  August Pullman’s facial deformity and the reactions of those around him lend themselves to one of the most inspirational books about the courage to befriend others and the courage to be oneself.
Grades: 3-7


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What a year!

The last few weeks of school many students worked on Google slides to share their plans for their summer vacation.  Check out the Riverside Elementary webpage to see all of wonderful slides students made!  Some students also chose to create and print a Father’s Day wordle.

2805285l2ap0ahmepIt was a busy time when Mrs. D and a dedicated group of school associates and a parent volunteer worked diligently on scanning over 14,000 items for our end-of-year inventory.

Mrs. D would also like to recognize and thank Laura Isham who volunteered in the library since last November.  We appreciate all of her hard work!

We celebrate a very successful 2014-15 school year and we wish you a safe and happy summer!

Click here to see an animoto that sums up our accomplishments!

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We need your help….

frabz-Turn-in-your-library-books-or-I-keep-looking-at-you-like-this-579dfaAs the days fly by this last week of school, Mrs. D wants to remind students who haven’t already returned their library books to do so as soon as possible.  We are gearing up to do our first inventory using Follett Destiny starting Friday, June 5th and having as many books back as we can get makes the process less complicated.

The classes Mrs. D sees this week will get another opportunity for a raffle ticket – those raffle bags are filling up and we are so happy to see so many responsible students!  Thanks for your cooperation!

Next year’s Battle of the Books list was just released June 1st – Here is the list for interested 4th and 5th graders:

Elementary Division

State Battle of the Books


Golden Archer Nominees (Primary)

The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat
The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak
Ivan: the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate
The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

Golden Archer Nominees (Intermediate)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck
Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Advisor’s Choices

The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
A Dog’s Life: the Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 (I Survived Series, Book 3) by Lauren Tarshis
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

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Reading Rocks at Riverside!

DSCN1374Sophie M. has read 2000 books and chose her favorite book, Arthur Turns Green, to have autographed by the Riverside staff.  What an accomplishment!  Mrs. D is very proud of her and hopes that all students participating in the Book Bugs program continue to read over the upcoming summer vacation!

Here are some of the benefits of reading with your child according to the American Association of School Librarians:

How to Read Aloud to Your Child and Why It’s Important

According to the Family Literacy Foundation, the many benefits of reading aloud with children are:

  • Children’s self esteem grows as they experience the security of having a parent or other caring person read aloud with them.
  • Children experience increased communication with parents and other family members.
  • Children are introduced to new concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers, and alphabet, in a fun, age appropriate way.
  • Children build listening skills, vocabulary, memory, and language skills.
  • Children develop imagination and creativity.
  • Children learn information about the world around them.
  • Children develop individual interests in special subjects like dinosaurs, cats, or cars.
  • Children learn positive behavior patterns and social values.
  • Children learn positive attitudes towards themselves and others.

Websites about Reading to Your Child

Reading Aloud: Tips for Parents and Teachers external link icon
This website has a collection of resources that explain how to read aloud and which stories to select for young children, children, and teenagers.

Reading is Fundamental: Reading Aloud external link icon
Research shows that reading aloud to your child is the number one indicator of how well your child will read; this website includes information and tips about reading aloud.



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End of the Year Book Raffle Returns…

front-porch-clipart-book-raffle-clip-artAs we approach the end of the school year our library Book Raffle returns.  Students who do not have overdue books may participate in this fun activity.  How does it work?

  •    You can get one raffle ticket during your library class time.
  •    The book raffle display has numbered books and bags.
  •    Drop off your ticket in the bag of the book you would like to try and win.

Please remember:

  • We are running the book raffle this week and next week …
  • You can not get a ticket if you have overdue books…
  • Mrs. D will select the winners after the library closes (our last day is June 2nd)…

Click here for details!

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Showing our appreciation….

This past week students in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades worked in the library on creating wordles for Moms for Mother’s Day and for teachers to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week.  Mrs. D had a handout at each computer with a list of positive adjectives and positive phrases to assist students with ideas and with spelling as they worked on their creations.wordle-create-2

According the website English Club: “On the official website, Wordle is defined as a “toy for generating word clouds”. Wordle is useful for:

  • brainstorming or reflecting
  • remembering vocabulary
  • studying for an exam
  • summarizing a chat or discussion
  • adding a visual element to a blog post
  • sharing thoughts or notes on a certain subject
  • exploring colour palettes or fonts
  • creating fun thank you notes or greeting cards for friends or loved ones
  • displaying creativity

How to create a Wordle

  1. Go to (or start with the form on EnglishClub’s language tools page)
  2. Click on Create
  3. Type a bunch of words in the text box (to keep words together for phrases use ~ between each word). Click Go
  4. Change the font (letter style), layout (horizontal, vertical, etc.), and colour to suit your style. (You can click randomize until you like it, or design manually)
  5. Click on Save (save to public gallery and copy link OR take a screenshot)

If you haven’t tried out this fun word cloud creator, I urge you to try it out today!



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What’s New Spring 2015?

Several students were excited this past week to see the many new books lining the tables in the library – picture books, biographies, adventure stories, etc.8739609f949cdf9db1b125f8665dab37

How does Mrs. D decide which books to order?  She uses a variety of book reviews, award-winners for the Caldecott and Newbery Awards, titles that support the Common Core at various grade levels, among others.  Throughout the school year a list is compiled of teacher requests and student “wish lists” – after all it is important to have a library collection that reflects the interests of it’s patrons.

It seemed only fitting to end the last week of National Library Month with the introduction of our newest books.  Students had the chance to check out one new book this past week so as many students as possible had an opportunity to read a new book.  When Badger 3-8 testing was taking place in the library this week, Mrs. D brought the library to students on carts and checked out books with her laptop and scanner.

Please click here to see an animoto of just a few of the many titles that were added to our library!

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