Jen from Sparkling in Second and I are here to recommend MORE  monthly-themed books!
Before we get started, I want to share one of my favorite memories with my mom. She is the BEST!!!! My mom and I are best friends. I love the special relationship we have. I will never forget when I was in 5th grade we would sit in her bed and read Confessions of Charlotte Doyle each night. My mom was my biggest cheerleader. I remember she would read a page and I would read a page. As a kid weekly library visits were a must. We were also lucky to get to go to Rakestraw Books and pick out new books frequently. I am glad that my mom shared my motto, "OPEN THE MAGIC!".

Now back to our regular schedule blog post....
Check back with us each month for our top picks for K-5 classrooms. This month  our recommendations are like a pot of chicken noodle soup. We are bringing you Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Wordless picture book favorites!!!
Check out some of our favorite read alouds...
A Chair For My Mother

One of my favorite books of all time. Such a wonderful story of how a daughter pays respect to her mother. Every time I read this book, I cry. :) Great read aloud before starting mother's day projects. Also great for teaching cause and effect, money, and family traditions.Amazon Affilate link provided.
Grades: K-5

Do you have 4-6th grade girls in your class that love books about "girlie" matters? This series is perfect for them. The girls in my class read this series like wildfire.  A group of girls become friends as they read the classics and learn how to deal with growing up. 
5th-7th grade
The Secret Knowledge of Grownups

I love this book! It is light and hilarious read about why parents do the things they do. I would use this book to teach about "how to" or a unit on growing up.
Grades 1-6

This is my favorite wordless picture book. A story filled with friendship, trails, animals. I love using this story when teaching about hard work and life. One activity I have done is let the kids use their imagination and write their own story based on the pictures.
Grades 1-6

Chicks and Salsa

The PERFECT read aloud for Cinco de Mayo!!!! Great for opinion writing, how to, and celebrating Cinco de Mayo. In the back, it has a great guacamole recipe too.
Grades 1-6

These books are linkable with my amazon affiliate program

Hop on over to Jen's blog to read the rest of our list!
What's your favorite memory of your mom?
So excited to be a GUEST BLOGGER over at Teacher Approved by the lovely ladies of Second Story Window. Come on over to learn how I use picture books in my 5th grade classroom. 

Layla from Fancy Free in 4th and I are super excited to invite you to join in our STRESS FREE GIVEAWAY. We have called in the troops and other amazing bloggers have joined in. You will win a fabulous gift card to buy STRESS FREE fun things! In order to win, graciously like the TpT stores of the people below.

Are you feeling the burn of the spiral of the end of the year craziness. I do not think I ever stopped from the day I received the call that I had been offered a 5th grade teaching position. Really.... I do not think I have stopped. As a teacher, you don't stop you just keep going because that passion we all have ignites each time we have a light bulb moment. #itsateacherthing.

I thought I would share with you my Top 10 STRESS FREE S.O.L.O activities that I do to RELAX, REFRESH, REWARD, and REJUVENATE.

1. Read.  I go to Barnes and Noble and sit in their children's section and read. There is something about fresh new books that relaxes me. I usually come home with at least 2-5 new books and add them to my library. Have you seen my library?

2. Workout. I can't believe what it does to my soul after running a few miles. Oh it feels absolutely yummy!

3. Yogurtland. If it is a yogurtland night, I will shower and then head there around 7:30. I pick up a cookies n cream and plain tart delight with some chocolate chips and almonds. Upon return, I will go into my office read blogs and eat my fro-yo.

4. Organize. Everything has a place and everything needs to be color coded. The end.

5. Pray. I am thankful that God is in my life. He has delivered such a gracious path for me even when I think "Hello, God it's me Courtney, are you listening!?. God and I chat a lot. We are homies.

6. Create. My coworkers are always asking me how I have time to blog, create posters, cute lessons, products or anything in between. When I need a stress reliever, I craft. Creating a poster with backgrounds and fonts... OH THAT IS A GOOD TIME!

7. Movies.Yep, I like going to the movies by myself. It is a great feeling of just getting lost in the story line as I enjoy my popcorn. I used to think, "omg, what are people going to think?".... Now, I just smile.

8. Shop. There is no stress that Nordstrom or Loft can't fix. The end.

9. Scroll. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Blogs.... you get the idea.

10. Watch. When I do watch TV, you can find me enjoying Nashville, Greys, Hart of Dixie, Bachelor/ette, and anything on HGTV.

You will win a fabulous gift card to buy STRESS FREE fun things! In order to win, graciously like the TpT stores of the people below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I never thought I could meet anyone who loved books more than I do. Luckily, I have! In fact, I have met 8 other amazing teachers who have that real innate love for children's literature. It is goosebumps amazing. Every time I go onto instagram and see they have posted another book I jump for joy. I want you to feel that same JUMP for JOY feeling. We have teamed up to bring you AMAZING, PAGING TURNING ideas. 

Want to follow us, we will be using the hashtag #wecantputbooksdown 

 Are we friends on instagram? If not, you are missing out! Come find me at @ramonarecommends

Are you ready to JUMP for JOY!??!?! "We" as in the group #wecantputbooksdown have decided to share our love of reading with all of our instagram followers. We are giving away a $100 BARNES and NOBLE gift card for you to spend on children's literature books for your classroom or home library. It gets better, starting TODAY thru April 18th, teachers get 25% off of all books at Barnes and Noble

In order to win, please do the following ON INSTAGRAM:
1. Follow All 9 of us @ramonarecommends @literacyforbigkids @brownbagteacher @nmotting @miss_griggs @smriggss @msleslieann01 @msaplusteacher @fourthnten
2. Like This Post
3. Comment below with your favorite read aloud
4. Winner will be announced on Monday, April 13th after 5pm PST. 

 Download this cute #wecantputbooksdown club poster. Mine going up on the wall, YESTERDAY! lol Comes in 4 different cuties :)


For More Information Read Below:

Here are some pics from prior years :)

I am SUPER excited to be linking up with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners. These two are a dynamic duo. I had the pleasure of meeting them in Vegas last year. What a treat!

If this is your first time to my blog, Welcome! I am Courtney from Ramona Recommends. I teach 5th grade in Southern California and L.O.V.E books. Come see what we do in room 20. 

Here is my weekly schedule that must be posted in our rooms at all times. It is very helpful when I have the kids helping to create the daily schedule. They just look at this calendar. When I need to change the schedule, I write on the post-it note the kids plan according. It is quite wonderful. My kids know the routine. I am the type of teacher who loves routine. I feel that my kids have grown to love routine as well. Schedules make my heart full. What about you?
My theme this year is "Let Your Heart Be Your Compass!" by Lady Antebellum
LOVE my Erin Condern Planner. The colors make me love planning. :) 
My schedule on the left is a WEDNESDAY. On Wednesdays, the kids get out early. After the kids leave we have PLC Meetings, Staff Meetings, or Staff Development.

Where do I get my curriculum?
We have textbook adoptions for all CORE areas: Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science. BUT! Like any great teacher, I supplement A LOT. My top two resources that make me LOVE teaching.....Drum Roll.......

Children's Literature Books. Want to see my library?

Teachers Pay Teachers
 My favorite 5th Grade GO TO SELLERS and my favorite product from their store:

Thank you for penciling my blog into your busy schedule. Have a great day! Remember TOGETHER WE ARE BETTER!

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