End of the Year: A Reflection and Book List

EOY13

I cannot believe I am in my last week of my second year of teaching. In some ways this year has gone by so fast, and in others it has dragged on. I guess that’s the way it is in my profession. This year has been SO different from my first year of teaching. I have faced more challenges while still developing more as the person I want to be as a teacher. With that being said, I have come up with a list of goals for next year (patience being one of them). These goals will help shape myself further into the teacher that I want to be (and the teacher i’d want my children to have). Those goals are for another post. 🙂

But, wow! What a year! Needless to say, I am soaking in these last few days with my students. A few of my kiddos will be moving on to kindergarten, but most of them will just be moving up to Pre-K 4 at my school (yep, I teach a bunch of rambunctious 3 year olds!). I am so very ready for summer, but I know I will feel a bit of sadness seeing my student leave (3 and 4 year olds grow up SO much over the summer). I know these kids of mine will look much older 3 months down the road. I look forward to seeing them in the halls in the Fall.

This year started out pretty tough. I (among a few other teachers at my school) had to move classrooms. Then shortly after the year began, I had to up and leave my students for a few days as my grandmother passed away. That was very difficult seeing as the year had just begun. I am so thankful for all the people that surround me at my job. My coworkers have not only helped my students, but they have helped me in countless ways!

Although this year has been rough in some ways, I know that teaching is the profession for me and the school I am at is the place I want to teach!

Here are a few pics from this year.

Oh, the memories!

For this post, I have compiled a list of books that I enjoy reading to my students and some that I have available on my classroom bookshelf at the end of the year. The books on my bookshelf rotate by each unit, as I certainly do not want my kiddos to get bored of the books available (or be overwhelmed by a billion books like last year).

I love the little library in my classroom. I used to have a different book shelf that was more challenging to organize. I like having the books displayed for the students. It’s also easy for the children to put the books back (although many have fallen behind the shelf).

On to the books…

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses– Kids love Pete the Cat. I read Pete the Cat year-round, but this version is perfect to lead the kids into summer. I mean, sunglasses? Can’t get too much more “summery” than that. A bonus is that this book has a great message for the students! Pete thinks his glasses are magical because they help him see things in a better (happier) perspective, but he learns that in reality, he does not need the glasses to see the good in things. I read this book to my students last week. It may be a good book to read on the last week next year…and i’ll give the kids sunglasses to go with it! *Now for me to NOT forget this idea by next year*

Aqualicious– I have not read this book to my students. It is part of the Pinkalicious series. Unfortunately, I did not read any books from that series this year, but I will add Pinkalicious next year (into one of the weeks leading up to valentines day). I read Pinkalicious and Emeraldalicious to a class when I was a substitute teacher a couple years ago (it was in the plans left by the teacher), and they loved it! I just know that I will be incorporating these books into my teaching next year, including Aqualicious at the end of the year. This is actually the first time I have seen this exact book, but look how fun the illustrations are (I love the ocean). And anything ocean related is great for leading into summertime!

Oh, the Places You Will Go- You’d be lying if you told me you have never heard of this classic Seuss book. It is a great send-off for students moving on. I read this book last year on the last day of school (most of my students were 5 by then) and I won’t lie, It went right over their heads. I felt like I was reading it more for myself than for them. Seeing as my students are even younger this year, I opted out of reading it aloud. This book is still a good one to display. The illustrations are great and kids will enjoy flipping through the pages.

Puddle Pug– All I have to say about this is: I like pugs. A lot. I put all of my pug related books out on the shelf at the end of the year. I could put them out for display during the animal unit, however I have SO many animal related books, and would never want my pug books to be hidden in the back behind zoo, farm and ocean animal books. Never. *I have more pug books where that came from!*

Picture Atlas and My First Big Book of Why– Unit 11 is all about exploration. I obviously don’t read these books out loud to my class, but I do have them out on the shelf. It is interesting to sit with a student as they flip through the Atlas. The kids will say the funniest things (seeing as they are very new to learning about maps).

Off to Kindergarten–  This book, and many others with similar titles are on my shelf for obvious reasons. It is the end of the year, and some of the students are headed to kinder! I read this book out loud last year, since all of my students were going to kinder. I just have it on the shelf this year seeing as the majority of my kiddos are moving to Pre K 4.

Where the Wild Things Are– As mentioned above, we are currently finishing up our unit about explorations. This is probably one of the ultimate children’s stories (among others) about exploration.

There you have it, some great end of the year books. I must add, I am by no means a very experienced teacher. I am just finishing my second year and have a lot to learn, therefore I am not claiming to be a super pro teacher. I just love what I do. 🙂

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