Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ready, Set, School! Perfect Picture Book for Back to School

"New things can be scary, but when you try them, most of the time they're fun!"

We can all relate to feeling anxious about new adventures, and this is especially true for some little ones starting a new school year.  In the adorable picture book, Ready, Set, School by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Rory the raccoon's father tries to reassure him when he worries about attending a sleepover at his cousins' house.  Then his anxiety builds as he thinks of the first day of school that is rapidly approaching.

I bought this cute, entertaining, and thoughtful book last year in a Scholastic book order.  You can check out the book on Amazon by clicking the picture below.

 Ready, Set, School!

Immediately, I knew it would make for the perfect read aloud for kindergarten and first grade students who are often afraid of starting a new school year and/or being away from home. Some of my students worry about whether they will be able to keep up with the rest of the class and have little confidence with reading and writing.

Not only are the illustrations adorable with the raccoon characters (it would make for a wonderful integration to nocturnal animals),  but the message is inspiring and encouraging.  If we just try, we may find out that what scared us is really fun after all!

The literacy unit I designed for this packet started out small and then just grew and grew!  I decided to add components to it to help me launch my small group instruction with sight words, reading strategies, writing, vocabulary, and listening comprehension. All pages are decorated with a raccoon/forest/camping theme and many of the items (posters, sight words) can be used throughout the year! Thus, a constant reminder of the lesson we learned from Rory the raccoon!

Built around students' listening comprehension, I include a ten page story journal for students to interact with the text before, during and after my read-aloud.  Pages are done in black and white so students can color (and save you ink!).

Because the students I work with are at varying levels, I included ALL the DOLCH sight words on flash cards for the pre-primer, primer, and first grade levels.

But there's more!  I included:
  •  vocabulary
  • a variety of writing and drawing activities
  • graphic organizers
  • sorting mats
  • 14 mini-posters for parts of speech and reading strategies such as predicting, inferring, setting, author, illustrator
  •  a mini-book for students to make after reading as a writing extension.  Check out the cover page below that my soon-to-be kinder son decorated!

An alternative to the wildly popular First Day Jitters, Ready, Set, School is sure to be a hit with your students and with you!

You can check out my packet at my Teacher's Pay Teacher's store.

Finally, here is a FREEBIE for you!  Click the pics below to grab two of the mini-posters included in this unit!  Adorable graphics by Scrappin Doodles.

 Have a fabulous weekend, and as always, thank you so much for reading!

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