Saturday, August 22, 2015

You're Finally Here- A Great Book to use for the First Day of School AND with New Teachers!

Hi there!

So, a year (or more) ago we had this really awesome linky called "Must Read Mentor Texts!"  Now, it wasn't necessarily awesome because we hosted it, but more so because Stacia and I are both obsessed with books and so this weekly linky fed our addiction because awesome bloggers would link up books we'd never heard of (which then led to us buying them...and...well you see where this is going, right?)

So, our sweet and wonderful friend AMC linked up an adorable book for Back to School 2 years ago in this post HERE.  And I remember thinking that the book was completely adorable!!  But here's the problem.  We already had, like, 5 books that we tried to cram into the first few days of school and so for ONCE I didn't immediately buy it. was imprinted on my brain.

Then, over the summer, I saw this pin in my feed:
And I remembered AMC mentioning this book 2 years ago!  Seriously.  2 years ago.  And I thought, well, I'll just click and see WHY people think this is the cutests book EVER. (but I already knew it was super cute because I remembered AMC talking about it...I was just feeding that addiction because now if 2 people said I have to have it...well...I'm outnumbered and I DO have to have it, right?)

So I clicked it.  The pin.  And it took me HERE.  And O.  M.  G.

HELLO???  HELLO CUTENESS!!  Do you SEE all of Linda Kamp's adorable ideas for this book?  I mean, the cuteness almost never ends ON TOP of the adorable book!!

So.  CLEARLY I needed this book.  But here's the kicker.  It's totally unavailable in the U.S. unless you want to pay, like, $70 for it.   And, although I loved the book and the ideas, I just couldn't do that.

But never fear...because that's when I realized that I have the very BEST blogging friends EVER!  I posted about Linda's ideas on our blog's Facebook page and I immediately hear from AMC.  She realizes I can't get the book and she offers to get it for me (since she lives in Canada and they DO have it for a reasonable price) and send it to me!!!!  I mean, is she not a doll or what?!?!?!  And so, like one of the best friend's I could ask for, she feeds my book addiction and sends it on down to me!!  I just love her!!

So, starting this year, I am not a classroom teacher.  I know what you're wondering.  What was I going to do with this book and how DARE I make my friend send me that book from Canada if I don't even have a class to read it to, right?

Well, I had an idea.  Since I am an instructional coach for grades 3-5 at my school, and I have a super sweet partner for grades K-2, we had a new teacher orientation coming up.  This year, we had the most new teachers we have had at my school since I've worked there.  13 new teachers!!  So, we had an entire day with them that we shared our school's expectations and some of the initiatives (close reading, etc) that are important.

I loved the idea that Linda had the kids write on post-it notes to share where they have been and so inspiration struck!  It's such an adorable book, I thought we could read the book to the new teachers (since it was a week before our pre-planning started) and then they could write where they had been on sticky notes and that was how they could introduce themselves.  Plus, we could CELEBRATE that the teachers are FINALLY our school...with us!!  And we could make a big deal about how excited we are to have our new teachers!!

So, I read the book.  I stopped and let them fill out their sticky notes and put them on the poster and then we finished the book.  Once we were done with the book, we had them share what they wrote on their sticky notes.

Then, because it was the very beginning of a long day and we wanted the new teachers to like us, we gave away 2 more copies to two very lucky new teachers!  (Again, thank you AMC for coming through on that for us, too!)  We told them that they could try the same activity with their students, AND we shared the link to Linda's blog post.
Now, you know how new teacher meetings can be.  Some teachers talked, but not a lot.  I had no idea if they thought we were nuts for reading them a picture book or if they liked it.  Until they were all preparing for the first week of school and they realized how expensive the book was and we had 5-6 teachers who needed to borrow our book.  And then we walked around and saw that the NEW teachers had shared the idea with veteran teachers and THEY were going to use the book, too.  Yay for having conversation starters right off the bat between our new teachers and the other teachers on their grade levels!

I'm not going to lie.  I was very relieved that they felt they had taken something away from the training - besides the hours of wisdom we tried to impart on them ;O).  Even if I know, deep down, it was probably that they are obsessed with cute books, too.  They ARE teachers, after all.  ;O)

So, whether you have your own classroom or you work with teachers who do, I strongly recommend you check into this book.  You can order online from Amazon Canada and get it shipped to you, you know.  I pressure...


  1. All of Melanie Watts's books are tremendous. My students always love Scaredy Squirrel books, but there are plenty more to check out - Augustine - is the CUTEST of her books. It's about a penguin who relocates to the North Pole, and it has really great pictures that reference famous art work. I love your idea of giving this book away and reading it to the teachers. They probably enjoyed it more than the meeting part of the day! Good luck with your new school year.

    1. Oh my gosh! Ok, I just ordered Augustine!!! How cute!!! I do really love Melanie Watts! We use Scaredy Squirrel every year at the beginning as well! I seriously have a book buying problem!! If everyone starts listing book they love, this may be an expensive blogpost! ;O)

  2. This was the sweetest post ever! Made me smile! :) That dear AMC...I really need to drive up to Canada and meet that girl! I almost forgot that you are an instructional coach this year. How lucky are those 13 new teachers? Oh my goodness! LOVE YOU!!! XXOO
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  3. This was a fabulous post. I also love books and use a lot of them in my fourth grade classroom. While I was listening to this book being read by someone on YouTube, I got an idea about using a bunny in my classroom. I wonder or do you know if they have this bunny as a stuffed animal that you could buy? I would love to make it a writing activity for over the weekend where the students get to take the bunny home with them. Anyway, I will have to look into that. Thanks for sharing.
    Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

  4. Thanks for the super sweet shout-out. I hope everyone had a great back to school. You will be an amazing instructional coach, I know this cause reading this blog is like have a personal instructional coach!!

  5. I have been trying to get this book everywhere!! Why is it so expensive here? Do you know how I can get it?


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