Happy Tuesday, everyone! As I type this, I am sitting on the couch as the flu finally found me! #bummer! Luckily, I have this whole week off to rest and catch up on blog reading and activity making. Ok, now on to the good stuff. Since it is Thanksgiving week, my two book recommendations are about teaching children to have good manners. Who wants a kid jumping up and down on the table during thanksgiving? Not me!

This guide book provides 14 comical best behavior "how tos". Each "good manners" topic is provided by a different well-know artist. When you turn the page, it is like Christmas because you don't know what is inside. When you open the book, you might learn about how to act in the classroom, at the dinner table, in a movie theater, and at the playground. I believe this book would be great in the classroom and at home to help promote good behavior in all settings. Look in my TpT store soon, for an activity about good manners vs. bad manners. 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA)- Every teacher and home should be proud owners of this masterpiece. The book discusses the meaning of, "Do unto others as you have others do unto you". Want to teach kids more about what FRIENDLY looks likes, or how to be POLITE, or when someone should say THANK YOU? This book will be the teacher for you. Just sit back, relax, and let this book do the teaching. Instead of just telling your kids about manners, use this book to teach a valuable lesson. Children learn more effectively through examples than just being told. 
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this week's Ramona Recommends. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. See you soon!

Hope everyone is having a good week so far. I know it's only Tuesday. Hopefully, my post will make your day or week better.
This week, I would like to share two books. One of these books holds a special place in my heart. My first year teaching, I taught in Tucson, Arizona. I taught in a school with mostly Hispanic kids. I came from a completely different world than all of my students. As the year progressed, I learned about many wonderful Hispanic traditions, foods, and songs.  One of my very good friends told me about a wonderful chapter book that would have our students begging me to read it during  our read aloud time. Soap Box Moment- having students listen or read books that they can relate to will have more of an impact than if they can not relate. When we read it together as a class there were times when my eyes would well up in tears. Without further ado:

Esperanza Rising is one of the those books that changes you. It allows you to dive into another culture and learn about the hardships different people have to deal with. I recommend reading it with 4th and 5th graders. It will open their eyes and allow for a vocal classroom discussion. Sometimes life isn't fair- how would you deal with losing something close to you? Sometimes fair isn't always equal. 

3rd Grade Thoughts has a wonderful Response to Text Menu
that would allow for such rich conversation Before+During+After reading Esperanza Rising. If you go to her blog, she has this Response to Text Menu for free. In her TPT store, she has a menu for each calendar month. So cool! Want to see, click here.

I want to know who invented LICE? Ugh! #Sogross, just being honest. If you aren't a teacher, you might not have the same sentiments as we do about this bug. The feeling when you go check your mailbox and you see a stack of 32 white papers from the nurse's office, you just get sick (start itching your hair) . Yep! Ever since I found out about the lice party that happends in most elementary schools, my hair has decided to be in a pony for most of the year. I did hear that lice do not like colored hair so maybe im safe! For my second recommendation, I would like to introduce David Shannon's newest gem...

Bugs In My Hair
I feel that the title and picture explain it ALL.  I think this would be a great read aloud to read during the beginning of school. I am also thinking during story time before bed. Enjoy the itchy read! :) The pictures are quite the experience. If you get easily grossed out, save this read for someone else. I wonder is there National Lice Day?- wouldn't this be a great classroom present.
In Loving Memory of

Over the weekend, we lost one of the most influential writers in children's literature. Barbara Park wrote a wonderful inspiring series about a little girl named Junie B. Jones. If you have a reader reading between 2nd and 3rd grade level, I recommend this series without hesitation. Each book is about a different event in Junie B. Jones' life. I would recommend using for story elements as Junie B. is always finding problems and solutions. :) If you want to learn more about these books and the writer behind Junie B., go her website where you can find a whole book list, games, and fun lessons for the classroom. 

The three books in the window pane are my three favorites.

Thank you Barabara Park for all the years of wonderful books!

Font Designs- Lettering Delights

  I told you I love surprises! I am sure you do too! Here is my first Ramona Recommends SURPRISE POST. I know you are excited! Before I started my Ramona Recommends Blog, I had posted a few books on my personal insta that I thought I would share with you. Before I share, I must put out a public service announcement: Taking pictures is not my strong suite, please bear with me. Even though the picture quality is icky, the books I have chosen are amazing!

How Big Can your Pumpkin Grow?
I love this book because it has wonderful illustrations and talks about different US monuments. Could be used in school for measurement, creative writing, and social studies.  How would you use this book in your classroom?

Bullying is a required topic to cover in most schools across the country. Kids are bullied everyday(sad, but true). Patricia Polacco's Bully gives a clear picture of both sides of bullying. I think it is important to explain to students even though this is a fictional story,these events do happen in real life. Use this book to introduce a class discussion on bullying. #bullyingissonotcool
Ahhhh, I LOVE THIS BOOK! Go buy it... like now. Come on I know you want to! As I sit here and type, I am laughing out loud thinking about the plot of this story. Wonder what it's like to be a fish that lives in a glass bowl for his short (or long) life? We have all had that fish that we wish would kick it to the toilet bowl, but doesn't! California 4th grade teachers-great way to introduce narrative writing for the state writing test. Fyi-I just saw on amazon that the author just came out with Memoirs of a Hamster (going on my Christmas list)!
Are your children in a word rut? Do they talk in simple words? Let Boris broaden their lexicon filing cabinet. Boris is a little boy who happens to have eaten a thesaurus. He will teach,show,explain how to make dead words come ALIVE.
*Fun Fact- Last year, I went to the OC Children's Book Festival in Costa Mesa, California where I met the author and illustrator of Boris. They were super friendly. I even got this book (look up), signed for my collection. Happy dance!
 The world is full of competition. We all want to feel important and give something to the world (at least I do).  This beautiful poetic book, illustrates why simple objects are important to the world. As classroom teachers and parents, it is our job to make children feel important. I believe this book is wonderful because it speaks that simple "things" can be important.The important thing about me is the way I love to make people smile. This would be a great helper for the beginning of school. Read the book and then have students come up with their own, "The important thing about me is...". Last year, I had each student create an important page and then I created a classroom book. It was a classroom favorite during free time.
Remember picture day? I will never forget my junior year photo. Lets just say I would have not won for best smile. Get your kids ready for picture day with this hilarious book about how to make your picture look awful. Let the kids practice what not to do on picture day.
 Look there is a picture book for everything! Math Guru, Marilyn Burns, writes a cute mathematical tale about how to fit 32 people at the dinner table for Spaghetti. This is a great #commoncore book! Makes the kids really think!

Need a quick book to teach about story elements. Well, here it is! I used this book to teach 5th graders about story elements. Spoon wishes he could be a knife, a fork, or chopsticks because they can all do cool things. For example, chopsticks always has a friend with him no matter what! As the story progresses, Spoon realizes he is pretty great too- he gets to dive into a bowl of ice cream alllll the time.

Hope you enjoyed the surprise!
Oh! hey figurative language!  One of my favorite figurative language elements to teach is similes. To teach similes, I use Hanoch Piven's My Dog Is as Smelly as Dirty Socks. The author describes a little girl's family using objects around the house. After we read the story, we talk about the different similes we see in the story. Then, the students create their own self portrait using similes. For example, my hair is as yellow as a Sunflower. I drew sunflowers for my hair. The self portraits look amazing hanging around the room for B2SN or Open House.

Ramona Recommends will be sharing some really great picture book ideas on Sunday, December 1st thru Thursday, December 12th. Some will be Christmas related, while others will just be some of my all time favorites. 
*I will be posting picture books and chapter books for all ages. 
*What book is Santa going to bring your littles this holiday season???? 
*For all you grandmas out there.... My mom started a special tradition even before she was a Grammie, that each year at Christmas she bought a special "This is for my grandchildren" book. She now has a mini collection of books that she reads to my nephew, Jayden. 
*Don't know what to get your child's teacher?- You can never go wrong by purchasing books for their teacher libraries.
"Give the gift of Magic!"

ONE- {Balloons Over Broadway} Gives a sweet history lesson on the Macy's Parade on Thanksgiving morning. I love the illustrations in this book. Growing up watching the parade has made me love this book even more.
TWO- {10 Fat Turkeys} Teaching your little one to count? 10 Fat Turkeys is great for kindergarten and below and helps with learning to count from 1-10.
THREE- {Thanks for Thanksgiving} This book should be my number one. This books explains to kids what it means to be thankful and then has a section to write down your thankfuls. If I had a child, I would have the babes/or me write it down each year in the back of the book. 
FOUR- {There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a PieThe old lady swallows everything "thanksgiving". It's great to read with your child because it repeats.What a fun way to read with your child. 
I am so thankful for my love of children's books. Oh hey teachers-I truly believe books can make any lesson come alive and help children understand challenging concepts. Teachers! Stay tuned on Tuesday, for a great book for your classroom!!! 

Thank you for reading!

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I have hit the delete button about 7 times. I keep going back and forth whether or not to start this blog. I have the best intentions to keep it going forever, but life sometimes gets in the way. So here is my promise: I, Ramona Q, am going to try REALLLLY hard to keep this blog going in order to share my love of reading and in hopes my love will shine on to many more readers.

I was the kid that smiled as she opened a book as a present. I have this small ok... REALLY BIG obsession with children's books. I might or might not have over 1,200 books. It's like I have a mini school library in my office. I have always loved books. A year ago, I earned my masters in Reading Education and have really taken an interest in the importance of reading-more importantly, the importance of using children's literature in the classroom. I will not get on my soap box tonight, but- it is SOOOOO important to read to your child. Like Dr. S says, "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read to a child." With all this said....

About a month ago, I decided to start Ramona Recommends on my instagram account. Every Tuesday, I recommend a children's book to use in classrooms or at home. BUT, since I am private, it only allows a small fraction of readers to see my recommendations-which includes my mom,a few friends who are mommies, my teacher friends, and friends who honestly probably scroll right thru that day:). I have started a "ramonarecommends" Instagram account. Follow me! So, here I am tonight sitting on the floor as I watch the UofA/UCLA football game starting a new blog called Ramona Recommends.

 Here are my intentions for this blog.....
 #To provide teachers, parents, and book lovers with recommendations of my favorite children's books. I will recommend new and old titles.
#Every Tuesday join me to learn about a new book to add to your shelf.
#Special recommendations will appear :) I love surprises.
#I will always try to link to Amazon or Barnes N' Noble for easy shopping access. FYI- I receive no compensation for this blog. It is just a personal blog to share my love for books.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. Share in the magic.

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