The first day of school is just around the corner for us, and it is always a big summer debate in my mind about which book I am going to read to introduce myself and to use as a springboard to learning about them. There are just so many great ones to select from! 🙂 You may be thinking…why just one? Well, while I am an elementary teacher, I don’t have my own grade level and classroom. I am an ELL (English Language Learner) Specialist and for my district that means that I am a co-teacher. I work with six other amazing teachers, K-5, one per grade, who have the majority of our ELLs. We co-plan once and week and co-teach three days a week. Our main subject area is writing, but as you would probably agree with me, writing is in every subject, so there is a lot of the other content areas, especially SCIENCE! Each teaching segment is between 30-45 minutes, depending on the grade level. So for my first day in the classroom, I am just there a small segment of time, but I want to make it impactful. 🙂
This is why I am going to once again return to Rhoda’s Rock Hunt for my K-3 grade levels! Not only does Jennifer A. Bell do a tremendous job of capturing story and emotions with her beautiful illustrations, Molly Beth Griffin weaves together a relatable story of a young girl, Rhoda, and her captivation with rocks. I, too, like Rhoda, love rocks, and I can share that text-to-self connection with my new students and use it as a prompt to learn about their collections, if any, or what captivates them in nature, or just what captivates them in general.
Rhoda’s Rock Hunt also provides an opportunity to share with the students all the science we are going to explore this year, as we, like Rhoda, get in touch with nature, use our observation skills, and use our decision and describing making skills to sort and communicate. This school year we are also going to take a page from Molly Beth Griffin, among so many other great authors, and tell our story, tell the story in our imagination, and share our expertise through writing. It is going to be a great school year! 🙂
Note: Back in 2016, Rhoda’s Rock Hunt was one of my Featured Books! You can access what I wrote about it HERE.
Also, if you want to check out some other potential first day reads, then checkout this post by We Are Teachers, 18 Perfect Picture Books for the First Weeks of School, written by Elizabeth Mulvahill.