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Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian and illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

My name is Omar—this is my face. I have a HUGE imagination. I hate carrots. I once raced against my dad’s car on my bike—and won! Finding wonderful new chapter books for read aloud has been my quest this school year. I was so pleased to discover Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by #ownvoices author… Continue reading Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian and illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

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I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

Some picture books provide just the right inspiration and framework for poetry writing in the classroom.  I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and her daughter, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, is one of those books. The text and vivid illustrations by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell beautifully and succinctly describe four types of powerful storms: tornados,… Continue reading I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

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My Furry Foster Family Series by Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrated by Melanie Demmer

What I love most about teaching third grade is seeing the tremendous growth in my student's reading, particularly in their voracious love of chapter books. I’m always on the lookout for new series to introduce to my students. So when I discovered that Debbi Michiko Florence (author of the Jasmine Toguchi books) had written a… Continue reading My Furry Foster Family Series by Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrated by Melanie Demmer

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Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

I am ringing in the new year with great hope and anticipation of better days ahead. I’m hoping to see my students faces in person and not on the checkerboard of Zoom. I’m hoping to put some of the great books from my classroom library right into their hands. Last month, I had the pleasure… Continue reading Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

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The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil and illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan

Teaching remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging and frustrating, but one thing has remained steadfast—my belief in the power of books to connect. This belief was reconfirmed when I read the picture book, The Arabic Quilt, to my third graders during our morning Classroom Book-a-day. Together, Aya Khalil and illustrator Anait Semirdzhyan tell… Continue reading The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil and illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan

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Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

What a joy to discover Binny’s Diwali written by Thrity Umrigar and colorfully illustrated by Nidhi Chanani. Binny is excited but nervous the day of her class presentation on Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Her mother has set out a special Indian outfit for her to wear, and she even gets to eat warm jalebis… Continue reading Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

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The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts, written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Mike Curato

Sometimes One can feel like a small and lonely number. One teacher sits alone in her home classroom. One third grader tries to find a quiet place in a bedroom, dining room, or kitchen. We are each one square in a checkerboard of faces on our screens. The oneness of teaching and learning from home… Continue reading The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts, written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Mike Curato

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Can I Give You A Squish?

It’s a tremendous honor to join the TBR blog this school year. I am beginning my twentieth year as an educator, and my sixth year working with third graders. I’m looking forward to sharing books, building my library, and creating a passionate reading community in my classroom. I recently found out that my school district… Continue reading Can I Give You A Squish?