The 2014-2015 School Year Begins
For the past several years, I have begun the school year with the same read aloud: Mrs. Spitzer's Garden by Edith Pattou. It was gifted to me by one of my students at my previous school. I love it because it illustrates how we all have different needs in order to grow and thrive. It reminds me to get to know my students well to find out what they need, and it teaches the children that everyone doing the exact same learning all the time will not meet their needs.
The analogy of students as plants and Mrs. Spitzer as a gardener/teacher is never obvious to the third graders. They start with a literal understanding of the story, but as they share their thinking with each other, the connection is made and the light bulb moment happens.