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August 7, 2013

Want to know what a teacher thinks about a certain book? These educators can tell you what books they're selecting for their classroom, and why.

Katie F.
Preschool Teacher
Chicago, IL
Katie feels she has the best job in the world as a preschool teacher in Chicago, Illinois. She is a fourth-generation early childhood teacher whose mom also currently teaches preschool—imagine the fun they have collaborating and sharing old and new favorite books! Reading aloud to her class is Katie’s favorite thing to do. She loves finding engaging, fun stories (like Pete the Cat!) that her students ask for over and over again!
Karen K.
PreK Teacher
Glen Falls, NY
From playing school during her childhood to the real-life classroom she has now, story time is still the most enjoyable part of Karen’s school day as a teacher. In her 30-plus years of teaching, including 20 years at the pre-kindergarten level, she has always made certain that the classroom is rich with books.
Staci M.
Preschool Teacher
Elizabeth, NJ
Staci has taught preschool for 13 years and loves the excitement and creativity of this age group. In her years of experience, she has realized the importance of making a connection to a personal experience for young children to help them engage with their first school experience.
Brian S.
Kindergarten Teacher
Conover, NC
As far back as Brian can remember, he wanted to be a teacher or a truck driver. He loves being a teacher and knows he made the right decision (though he surely would have been a good truck driver). His passion is getting his kids to love books and to be excited by reading, and he values his role in helping his students on their “journey to literacy.”
Renee P.
Kindergarten Teacher
Cary, NC
Renee has taught kindergarten for eight years and loves giving her students their first positive experience with elementary school. She says that watching the kids grow from basic letter knowledge to learning sight words to reading on their own is the most rewarding and exciting experience. Nothing beats the excitement of seeing her kids’ eyes when they read for the first time!
Lisa E.
Kindergarten Teacher
Cheyenne, WY
This is Lisa’s fifth year teaching kindergarten and her twelfth year teaching in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Daily read-aloud time is one of her favorite parts of the day, when she can demonstrate her love of reading by sharing some of her favorite books for kindergartners from well-liked authors including Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Mo Willems, and Kevin Henkes.
Courtney N.
1st Grade Teacher
Lutz, FL
Courtney shares her passion for reading with her first grade students. She loves to see a struggling reader progress into a confident, proficient reader. One of her professional goals is to increase literacy in her community and teach students that they can become lifelong learners when reading is brought to life!
Kelly K.
1st Grade Teacher
Peoria, IL
Kelly is a first grade teacher in Peoria, IL, and kicks off her school year by reading Dr. Seuss’s ABC. The classroom is decorated with the alphabet, and the students write their own new ABC entries. This gives them a solid start on the lifetime road to reading!
Elizabeth M.
2nd Grade Teacher
Chester Springs, PA
Elizabeth kicks off most writing lessons in her second grade class with a story and uses books as jumping-off points for social studies too! After the books are introduced, her students have a chance to read them again on their own. When she chooses a read-aloud, she likes to have fun and teach a little lesson along the way, so Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Amelia Bedelia are favorites. Her students practice reading aloud with books already in the classroom, or they bring in favorites from home.
Jean D.
2nd Grade Teacher
Grantsville, UT
Jean introduces books to her second graders with a mystery box. She loves watching the children’s faces as they anticipate what could be in the brightly wrapped box. It may be s’mores from when Henry and Mudge go camping, or it may be a model of an ant when reading nonfiction books about insects.
Jessica R.
2nd Grade Teacher
Pflugerville, TX
Jessica loves reading chapter books like The Tale of Despereaux to her second grade class. Reading aloud higher-level books is a great way to expose students to vocabulary, and it’s just plain fun!
Diana G.
2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher
Denver, CO
It doesn’t take long for Diana’s second and third graders to realize that she introduces all her chapter read-alouds the same way: “This is my favorite book ever!” Introducing her students to characters like Ivan the gorilla, Louis the swan, and Bradley Chalkers is the best part of her job.
Jennifer J.
3rd Grade Teacher
Dickinson, ND
Jennifer loves teaching and marvels over how third graders use their imagination to visualize what is happening in a story and find themselves so immersed in a book they become one of the characters. Her ultimate goal as a teacher is to develop a strong relationship with each and every student. She’s found that when she has a positive connection with her students, she can get them to do just about anything!
Briana A.
4th Grade Teacher
Grayson, KY
Briana’s favorite part of the school day is reading aloud to her students. She is currently reading the novel Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper to her reading class. She is amazed at the emotions and questions it has brought out of her fourth graders. The compassion they feel for this main character is heartwarming. She believes this book will change their lives forever.
Katie H.
4th Grade Teacher
York, PA
Katie loves to spread the joy of reading with others. She shares her enthusiasm for books with the students in her fourth grade classroom, and encourages an early love of reading with her one-year-old son at home. Katie believes that one of the best ways to help others enjoy reading is to model her own passion for books.
Lauren P.
4th Grade Teacher
Palmdale, CA
This is Lauren’s second year teaching fourth grade. She begins each year with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. She enjoys doing read-alouds with her class! Lauren loves to get her kids excited about reading!
Angela M.
4th Grade Teacher
Phoenix, AZ
Angela moved to Phoenix, Arizona, this year, where she is teaching fourth grade! She loves that in her classroom you will find students engaged in a variety of amazing and enchanting novels!
Mike L.
4th and 5th Grade Literacy Interventionist
Washington, D.C.
Growing up, Mike didn’t think comics and the sports page counted as reading, so he never saw himself as a reader. Eventually he discovered that some books were actually just as good as comics and sports writing. Mike spent six of his seven years teaching fourth and fifth grade for the Cohasset Public Schools advocating for boys’ rights to literacy instruction. He created summer book clubs, wrote grants to bring in authors, and organized fund-raisers for the purchase of guy-friendly texts.
Seema B.
5th Grade Teacher
Diamond Bar, CA
The favorite part of Seema’s teaching day is when she reads aloud to her class. She likes stopping just as the suspense builds to keep the students interested in the story and so they will look forward to hearing what happens next.
Christi J.
5th Grade Reading Teacher
Doniphan, MO
Christi believes that reading aloud to children of any age is the best way to create lifelong readers. She likes to read the first book in a series aloud to hook kids into reading the rest. When recommending books to her students, she asks them to read the first few pages and see if the book speaks to them. If it does not, she lets them know that it’s okay to choose something else. This way they have ownership over what they themselves are choosing to read.
Joanna D.
6th Grade Teacher
New York, NY
Joanna teaches inquisitive and energetic sixth graders at a Gifted and Talented K–12 in New York City. Sixth grade is when she discovered her own obsession with Roald Dahl, Diana Wynne Jones, Joan Aiken, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Gary Paulsen, and Nancy Farmer…so sharing her love of reading with her students comes naturally. As they read novels, short stories, and poems, her students also study author’s craft and emulate writing style, finding inspiration from authors as diverse as Billy Collins, Gary Soto, S. E. Hinton, Mary Oliver, Paul Fleischman, and Lois Lowry.
Rhonda S.
6th Grade Literacy Teacher
Somerset, NJ
In addition to teaching two sections of literacy to help develop lifelong readers and writers, Rhonda has begun blogging for Scholastic Teacher Ideas. This year, she decided to stretch her instructional wings and teach in an inclusion setting. This is the first time she is team-teaching in literacy, and it has been a blast. One of her favorite read-alouds for the beginning of the school year is Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell. When the students are introduced to Miss Pointy, Rhonda believes they are making a self-connection and begin to think of her as a teacher who thinks outside the box.
Jennifer G.
Reading Specialist
Liberty Township, OH
An avid reader since childhood, Jennifer loves helping struggling readers discover their own love of reading! She firmly believes making reading engaging and fun is essential to helping readers grow as much as possible. Jennifer especially enjoys incorporating science and social studies content into her literacy lessons!