In honor of School Library Month, we’re showcasing something that deserves to be celebrated every day: Kids reading. We know teachers and librarians provide enrichment to children’s lives every day when they help them exercise their brains with reading — from the moment students sound out their first word to the final page of their first chapter book… and well beyond. That’s powerful stuff. So pour yourself a cup of tea, and ponder these reading-related thoughts from some terrific TpT’ers: what books their students are loving right now, the reason libraries are so important to them, and so much more.

1. From @positivelylearning on Instagram

When asked about her student’s all-time favorite books, she explained, “We always start the school year off with Chrysanthemum. Our 1st graders can relate to feeling unsure in a new environment, yet also still wanting to feel special and unique. Kevin Henkes’ humorous language and illustrations make the story so enjoyable for all ages. You should see our students as they listen — they’re mesmerized!”

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman is another story her students love. “Because of the repeated readings and repetition in the text, my students have really shown growth,” she says. “They’re able to recognize many of the sight words, read with inflection (i.e. asking “Are you my mother?”), and apply their phonics skills.” A bestseller in her TpT store, NWEA MAP Primary Reading Quick Question Cards, is a resource she says she’s used every day for the past two years to help build students’ skills and confidence.

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2. From @begborrowsealblog on Instagram

“My kindergartners are in love with the story The Book With No Pictures written by B.J. Novak,” says TpT’er Kelly McHaffie. “They often ask me to read it, mainly so they can get a good laugh! The story doesn’t have a single picture and requires the reader to say some really silly things. Even though we read the story first for comical reasons, it’s become a great conversation starter into the use of adjectives and particular writing techniques, what reading strategies we need to use, and much more!

Our librarian is incredible in her efforts to make reading come to life for the kids in our school on a daily basis. We also have a classroom library that we use — creating a thirst for knowledge and a love for reading go hand-in-hand in setting students up for continued academic success!”

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3. From Young Teacher Love on Facebook

Kristine Nannini, 5th grade teacher, TpT Teacher-Author, and blogger at Young Teacher Love wants to share a book that she says causes her students to fall in love with reading and come together as a community. “Every year I start out reading Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. It’s a sweet story about a boy and his love for his hunting dogs. The author uses flashbacks and such vivid imagery to make the writing come alive for readers. Every time I read it, a few students and myself will shed a tear together at the end of the story. There’s something about crying together over a novel that builds a community of readers.”

She says her students love her Analyzing Characters Pack, which can be used with “Reading Workshop, Daily 5/Cafe, basal readers, literature circles, book clubs, small group lessons, and whole group lessons!”

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4. From @mrsthompsonstreasures on Instagram

Homeschooling mother of four and TpT’er Mrs Thompson’s Treasures explains that visiting the library and reading with her children is very important to her. “I’m able to take my kids to the public library every week for story time and check out new books to bring home! It’s a great opportunity for them to hear other people read to them and get introduced to new books. I love that we always see people of every age and walk of life when we visit the library. It shows that you’re never too young or too old to love a good book!”

Her kids are currently loving the story of The Wizard of Oz. She says “I asked my daughter why she liked the book and she replied, ‘Because you read it to us!’ I think it’s so important to spend time reading aloud to children, even after they become proficient readers themselves. Most students can listen to and understand stories that are above their own reading level. By reading to them, you’re helping them with listening skills, introducing new vocabulary, and showing them that you care about reading, too!”

She also wants to share her Fluency Strips Interactive Notebook  Sight Words & CVC: “It’s a great way for beginning readers to practice fluency and build confidence.”

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5. From @studentsofhistory on Instagram

Secondary teacher  Students of History is not only a history buff; he loves reading, too. “I teach history but always keep a library in my room stocked with books I’ve picked up over the years. I never want a student to be without something to read if we have a few extra minutes.”
My favorite book to teach is Stephen E. Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage about the Lewis & Clark expedition. It’s chock full of amazing anecdotes of what they experienced. When I was reading, it I found myself highlighting passage after passage to share with my students. By the end, I found I’d need to share almost the whole book!” Another one of his favorite literary works to teach in his World History class is Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. “I’ve found my students really connect with the theme of betrayal and love the political maneuvering.” He uses his resource William Shakespeare Magic Portrait when he introduces it to help bring Shakespeare to life!

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6. From @fabulousgreenfrogs on Instagram

Kindergarten teacher Wendi says, “We begin the year introducing ourselves in Our Green Frog Friends and Green Frog, Green Frog What Do You See? We also write class books about apples and autumn, and we publish a book at the end of the year titled All About the Green Frog Class. My little authors are so proud of their writing and enjoy reading their books all year long.

At the school where I teach, we’re fortunate to be able to visit the library every week. It’s definitely a highlight of the week! Our media specialist does an excellent job of teaching lessons and planning centers that correlate to our standards. I believe it’s important that children are provided with a wide range of reading material early in life. Our school library is the only time that some of our students are exposed to such a choice, and they soak it in!”

TpT resources she recommends: “My current favorite resources from TpT are Cara Carroll’s Do You Hear What I Hear and Filling In The Gaps Packets. I also love The Moffatt Girls’ Reading Comprehension Pack and QR Code Stories and Response Sheets from Teaching Superkids. My students are QR code rockstars!”

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7. From @Mrs Peyerk’s Porcupine Pals on Facebook

Tina Peyerk shares her thoughts on the importance of libraries:”Our school library is a vital part of our neighborhood community. Once a week, our school hosts ‘Family Library Night.’ Parents and their children are welcome to come to the library and have a few snacks, peruse the bookshelves, take accelerated reader tests, and complete an activity.

Libraries are important to students because it’s in the library that the love of books is brought to life. It’s here that characters are animated, settings are visualized, and imagination is born. It’s in the library that the gasps are heard when the plot changes, and the laughter pours out into the hallway when the character does something amazing!

Back in the classroom, teachers are reaping the rewards of the library experience, too. During instruction, students attend to the text, collaborate in discussion using their learned skills and strategies, and they start forming their own opinions about what they’re reading. They are engaged readers and thinkers, and that wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t enjoy literature. Thank you to all the librarians out there who open up this wonderful world of words, to children big and small!”

She’s recently added a resource to her store that she’d like to share: Multiple Meaning Words: A Homonym Booktivity.

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A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. –Neil Gaiman, author

{Feature image thanks to The Unique Classroom}