I can’t believe it’s already August! After a full year of teaching remotely, this was the first summer where I really, truly unplugged from school and didn’t do any work. No professional development, no emails, no brainstorming lessons and activities. I’ve spent the past month and a half soaking up the summer with my three-year-old and loving every minute. In fact, this blog post is the first I’ve thought about the upcoming school year, which looks more promising than it did last August, but is still uncertain.
After all the last minute changes that came last year, I’ve learned to focus only on the things I can control, and one of those things is my classroom library. For my seventh year of teaching, I’m switching grades yet again and moving from second to first. When I moved from fourth to second three years ago, I did a massive library overhaul, packing up most of my higher level books and making room for some younger readers. When I found out I was switching grades at the end of last year, I took inventory and realized I had plenty of books most of my first graders would appreciate in the spring, but not nearly enough for where they’d likely be in the fall.
While I’m not quite sure what to expect from my readers yet, I suspect their reading stamina won’t be high, so I wanted books with characters they would want to follow along. I also sought out books with few words to ensure that my young friends could successfully read a story using only the pictures. After doing some research, here are some of the books I ordered that I’m hoping my first grade friends will love.
Acorn from Scholastic
I had some Biscuit books for my second graders, but ordered some more since they were always the first to fly off our classroom library shelf.
I got a great deal on the Fly Guy! fiction series, so I snatched it up. Some of the words will be a little too high for my first grade friends, but there isn’t a lot of text on each page, so the books will feel less overwhelming. I find even my most reluctant readers are open to Fly Guy! books because they’re a little silly.
Finding nonfiction books for young readers has proven to be the trickiest of all. For now, I ordered several National Geographic books at the pre-reader level to add to the bin of Level 1 and Level 2 books I already have.
What are your favorite independent fiction and nonfiction books for early readers?