What Should I Read Aloud To My Fifth Graders?


I’m excited to be moving from third grade to fifth grade. Whenever I think about the move, the first things I think about is reading aloud to them. I think that the books that fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade teachers read aloud to their students have the potential to be some of the most memorable books of a student’s childhood.

My summer is going to be filled with catching up on books to book talk and read aloud to my students. I’d love to know what books you think make great fifth-grade read alouds. Just leave a comment below, and I’ll add your recommendations to my ever growing to-read pile.

Thanks for your help!

I talk a little bit about the move to fifth in the video below.

The Best Part Of My Day Volume 19: Ready Set Draw!

My students love watching YouTube videos. I even have a few students that have their own YouTube channel. Crazy to think that we will soon live in a world where kids leaving high school already have 10+ years experience creating videos. I bet these kids end up making some pretty amazing things. Yesterday, I turned on the tube and we watched one of Kid Lit TV’s Ready Set Draw videos. The kids loved it!

Check out some Ready Set Draw! videos, and be sure to share them with your students.

The Best Part Of My Day Volume 18: The Extraordinaires

Yesterday was an amazing day in class! Ann Smart and Alaina Sharp stopped by and totally rocked the afternoon with my students.

5 Things I Thought About After School


Some things I thought about on my way home from school:

1. It doesn’t matter how many books you have in your classroom library, it is never enough. My classroom library is pretty big, and I have a lot of great books. For some reason, every time I think about my classroom library I stress out about the books that I don’t have. I got angry with myself today for not having Grace Lin’s Ling & Ting. How do I not have those books? ARG!

2. I’m really going to miss my students this summer. We still around a month of school left, but as we inch closer to mid-May, I am starting to come to terms with the fact that I only have so many days left with this group of kids. Sure, I’ll see them in the halls, and I’ll probably reconnect with a bunch of them on social media when they get older, but it will never be the same as spending the day with them in our classroom.

3. They have learned a lot. I’m not a huge fan of all the end of the year assessments, but it is fun to reflect how much they’ve grown during our time together. I’m proud of them. They have put in so much work this year. They’ve earned all the growth they have achieved.

4. They love stories. We finished Because of Winn-Dixie today, and boy was it an emotional journey. They weren’t ready for a book like Winn-Dixie at the start of the year, but their hearts and their souls ate it up the last few weeks. Kate DiCamillo was right when she said that stories connect us.

5. My classroom will never look like the classrooms I see on Instagram. I was not blessed with the neat gene. Looking at beautiful and fancy classrooms makes me happy, but I have come to the realization that I will never have that sort of space. We’ll always have papers in random places, and pencils on the floor. Books will always be in the wrong spot, and some of them will be upside down. I’m cool with that. As long you find books wherever you look, I’ll be happy.

6. I have the best career in the world.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s The Creativity Project Tease


Over the weekend, Debbie Ridpath Ohi posted a photograph that she “vandalized” on social media.  In the background of the photo will probably notice a friendly looking creature waving. That creator is featured in the piece she contributed to my book, The Creativity Project (learn more about the project here).


I cannot wait for people to read Debbie’s comic in The Creativity Project. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t come out for 336 more days. While you are waiting you should read Debbie’s latest book Sea Monkey and Bob (written by Aaron Reynolds).