My Kids LOVE Corduroy!
The first day of school is right around the corner! That has me both bummed out (Summer is never long enough) and excited (I really do love teaching)!
I love to start the year with certain stories that I know the kids will love all year long. For so many of them, these are their first real experiences with books and it's exciting to hand them the key and watch them open the door to that whole new world.
On the first day of school, I always read Corduroy by Don Freeman. The kids immediately love this spunky teddy bear and they find his adventures really funny. We then color a picture of Corduroy so they have something to take home on the first day.
Here's one from twistynoodle.com: Corduroy
The other thing about this book is that a teddy bear represents comfort to children and the first day can be stressful for some of them. And in the end, it's all about finding a friend. So this book has been a great way for me to start for the past twelve years or so.
If you don't already have it, you can get your copy of this book here:
Beginning the first day of school, I select a "Star of the Day."
The Star of the Day gets many special rewards (which I will cover in a later post) but most importantly, the Star of the Day gets to take home a backpack containing the "real" Corduroy and a journal! Corduroy gets to spend the night with them and they draw/write about something fun they did together in the journal. The next day, they return Corduroy and the journal in the backpack and share with the class what they did with Corduroy. There is a new Star each day until everyone has had a turn, so this process takes about a month.
A real Corduroy bear has become quite difficult to find. If you want one, Amazon has one here:
But honestly, until a couple of years ago I just used a plain old teddy bear and called him "Corduroy" and the kids loved it.
Then, the first Friday of the school year, I show the Corduroy DVD. The story is a bit different from the book, lending to discussions about same & different (early comparing/contrasting). And they find the video utterly hilarious.
You can purchase a DVD here.
I use a simple, plain backpack with my name and room number written on it for sending Corduroy and his journal home. For the journal I simply staple some blank half-sheets of paper into a laminated construction paper cover. Basic, basic, basic.
We read Corduroy a few times over the first few days, retelling the story, taking a picture walk, practicing partner talk about our favorite part, etc. Then I follow up with A Pocket For Corduroy and throughout the year I read various Corduroy stories that fit with some of our other themes. There are tons of Corduroy books out there!
Corduroy never fails to become one of my class' favorite book characters! They will often include him in their drawings and writings throughout the year.
They love this adorable bear!
What stories do you love to start the year with?