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In today's Confetti Moments episode, I share my heart with you. My personal story is a hard one for me to tell, but also a very important story for me to share. My story explains why I started Ramona Recommends, and why I believe that picture books are for everyone! They changed my life and made me who I am today. I hope that this story will inspire you if your journey has been anything like mine, or it might give you insight into a student or a family member's struggles. After listening, please reach out if you need anything— I am just an email or DM away. I am here for you!

This episode is dear to my heart. I simply love sharing about how to use Social and Emotional Learning picture books to help people. This topic of books has been so helpful to me on my mental health journey. In today's episode, I am very honest about my social and emotional growth and what books you might use to help a child or friend or yourself, as well. Click here to listen to this episode and please share with others who might benefit from its message. 
Below are the books that I discussed during this episode. Like I mentioned, they are my Amazon affiliate links that help me be able to buy and review more books. Thanks for your support. 
My Monster and Me                                                 

Ruby Finds a Worry               
The "Don't Worry" Book                           
What If?                                                                  

The Night Before the Dentist                                   

•My Amazon List for Social and Emotional Learning

Open The Magic,
Courtney Hinshaw
@ramonarecommends (Instagram)

Bringing the FUN onto Confetti Moments this week as I share all about National Days and how I incorporate picture books. My students would say this is one of their favorite moments of the day. Where can you find all the FUN?

Episode 63: National Days with Picture Books

Blog Post: National Days with Picture Books

Instagram Post: National Days with Picture Books

Happy New Year! I am so excited for today's episode. I am sharing all you need to know about how to celebrate National Days with some really special picture books. This is one of my students' favorite times in my class. I love being able to find just the right book to pair with a National Day, especially the really unique ones. You will also Learn all about National Open the Magic Day that is celebrated each year on September 25! Enjoy this first episode of 2022! It's going to be an amazing "bookfull" year. 

For more information, explore these links (all Amazon links are affiliate links)

January National Days List
Open the Magic Day
National Days website
The Ultimate Kid Friendly List

-------Come hang out!--------
@ramonarecommends (Instagram) 
Magic Wear Shop 

Every morning my students run HELLO to YOU! During this time, the schedule is read, the pledge is recited, lunch count is completed, attendance is taken, and national days are read just before Open The Magic. 

My favorite National Day is Open The Magic Day celebrated on September 25th each year to acknowledge the importance of reading picture books to people of all ages. This last Open The Magic Day, I spent my morning at Once Upon a Time a quaint children's book store in Montrose, California. 

Each morning our National Days reader shares what the national day is and sometimes I pair a book with the holiday. Below you will find my favorite national days each month and books that I think pair quite well. I have also included my personal list of the days I celebrate in the classroom. All of the days are kid-friendly. If you are looking for more days that I do not share peer into National Days website

The Ultimate KID FRIENDLY List. Each month I print out a new list and give to the student who reads the national days for the month. This job is one of the favorites! To work on their confidence, I have the speaker stand up and say: Today's National Day is/are and then read the events. I have a good theme. To keep the fun going, I typically create a question surrounding the theme of the day. Lets not forget I try my hardest to also find a picture book to read as well. Do you follow my monthly national picture book posts? 

Example National Day:
National Bagel and Lox Day (February 9th)
Book: Bagel in Love by Natasha Wing
Question: What is your favorite type of bagel? Toasted? Cream Cheese?

Below you can click on the picture and it will take you to my list on amazon for each month. 

Month lists here too!

Need more suggestions about picture books you use at home or in the classroom, come chat with me on instagram @ramonarecommends.

Open The Magic,

Reason #4,554 that picture books are gold in an upper grade classroom. 

Recently, I introduced Narrative Elements and modeled each element using a picture book. 

Clovis Keeps His Cool is the PERFECT picture book to explicitly teach about character, setting and problem and solution. I mean a BULL in a CHINA SHOP! Can the creativity get any better ?!?

The quick deets of the lesson: Go over the definition of character, setting and problem/solution. Students write these definitions down in their journals. Then I share that I will be reading a picture book, and I want my students to be investigators for character, setting and problem/solution. After I read, we go back through the text looking for those elements. Students fill out their elements chart to refer back to once they start to become authors. 

Having students see INCREDIBLE writing allows for them to start thinking like writers. Its magic when I OPEN THE MAGIC! 

While Halloween may not be my favorite holiday, I do love holiday picture books. There is something sweet about a theme of books. I feel like it brings us closer together and gets that kids more excited about books, reading and the holiday. 

Each morning in October, during Morning Meeting, I read a Halloween picture book to Open the Magic. At the end of the week, we vote on which one we liked the best. Little did the kids know we will be practicing a RACE verbal response, as well. 

What is your favorite Halloween picture book? I love Crankenstein and the new Trick or Treat, Crankenstein by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat. This book always bring about great conversations about being cranky. The kids and I always learn something from these deep and informative discussions. 

Non- Fiction Reads are the best! They feed curious minds and new information is being learns through a unique format. 
You know the guy on Jeopardy said he learned most of what he knows from picture books. I think he is pretty smart, if I say so myself. ⁣

Picture Book > Textbook⁣

Here are some of my newer favorite non fiction reads to provide my 5th grade students confetti moments of curiosity. ⁣

The Great Stink⁣: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London's Poop Pollution Problem
Teatime Around the World⁣
Nina: The Story of Nina Simone⁣
Gizmos, Gadgets, and Guitars: The Story of Leo Fender⁣
Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem⁣
Playing At The Border: Story of Yo-Yo Mama ⁣

Ps! Can we discuss how teaching how to punctuate titles last week has been super helpful punctuating picture book titles on Ramona Recommends. #reallifekids

Open The Magic,

*Amazon affiliate links were used in this post. This is no additional cost to you, but helps Ramona Recommends be able to purchase more books to recommend to YOU!
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