Just a friendly reminder....
Stop by Ramona Recommends. Have a great day!

My goal as a teacher is to make my students feel wonderful! I love making people feel wonderful about themselves. I love when students dance to their own beat and dress the way that makes them feel confident. We live in a society that promotes perfection. I posted a question on instagram last week, "Why as a society why do we care so much to be perfect?" I received some great answers.I will be honest, I do struggle with wanting to be societies perfect, but then I think, "Who defines perfection?".  I want my students to know that perfection is not perfect. We can be perfect without having perfection. How can we do perfect, by being ourselves. We all have our own perfect. My perfect is being me and doing what I love. 

Today's book is perfect to celebrate being different. I was introduced to this book by my friend Sara during our masters program. It is written by Dr. Seuss and a few of his friends. Get ready to travel to Dinkerville and attend Differndoofer School. This story is odd, silly, magical, sad, loud, and a perfect example that being different can be perfection. Hopefully you will go order a copy of Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! and celebrate "uniqueness" in your classroom. I believe students need to hear more from teachers and parents that being different is actually being perfect.
Do you sit at your computer and look up new releases only to find out that they are only up for pre-order? Yep, it happens to me all the time. I started writing down in my calendar when those special books would be available to buy at Barnes and Noble or order off of Amazon. I suggest writing down the dates of your favorite book releases in your personal or school planner. I love when I look in my planner and notice a book has been out for a week. I usually go straight to my amazon app! :)  Here are some books that are coming out this year that I can't wait to purchase.

Celebrating 50 years!!! 
Available Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

A Snicker of Magic will be able Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

 What was Ellis Island will be available Thursday, March 13, 2014

Who was Louis Braille will be available Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

will be available Tuesday, May 6th

What is the Statue of Liberty? will be available Thursday, May 29th

Hope one of these books finds a home in your bookshelf. Have a great Tuesday. Thank you so much for reading. :)
How many of you know the famous song, "Yankee Doodle". How many of you actually know what it means? Or! Better yet, how many of your students know what the words mean? I remember singing this song in my 2nd grade musical performance. Let me tell you, I belted those words like I was the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL. I will let you imagine the scene. I actually do have a family video of this somewhere. :)

For me, February has always kicked up my love for America. Every year around this time, I bust out the red, white, and blue and whistle patriotic songs. Lets face it, I love AMERICA! I love red, white, and blue and I publicly would tell people one of the reasons I loved going to the University of Arizona was because of their colors.
 Photo Credit: Jennifer Lensing Photography

 The book I am going to recommend today, has been eying me when I scan my library for books for months. I decided since I am in the Olympic, National Antheme mood this book will be a perfect selection for this week. How many of your students have read the Origmai Yoda books by Tom Angleberger? They are a hit at my school. The boys can't get enough. I personally have not read them since Star Wars isnt my thing. #sorrynotsorry.

Tom Angleberger is the author of this weeks selection entitled, Crankee Doodle. This picture book is a HILARIOUS take on the song we all love and sing at all school America performances- "Yankee Doodle". I reread it again tonight to my mom and I was could not stop laughing. The author's words are enjoyable for the adults reading the book as well as the children listening. He talks about going to town, riding a pony, and WHY his hat is called MACARONI! According to Angleberger this song was written before The American Revolution. 5th grade teachers read this to your students during the study of the colonies.

Fast forward 2 years-Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 4:31pm. I had just returned from a run. I went upstairs and checked my phone. My phone spoke words that I was not ready to hear. My brain couldn't comprehend what I had just found out. My body went into a shock that I can't describe. A very close family friend, a 2nd mother figure in my life had passed away. I mourned and am still dealing with losing a very close person in my life. #itsnoteasy. This lady was such a wonderful person who radiated the best sunshine. Her laugh, her pearl earrings, her gentle words, her love for life radiated to the world. She also had a love for children's literature. We would chat about different books all the time. Another friend asked me, "Courtney, what was the name of that one book you told me about." Lights started to flash!! I should totally recommend books for my teacher friends and parents. I started it on my personal insta, but I wanted to reach more people. Ramona Recommends quickly got herself another instagram account. Soapbox moment- I really don't like how you have to log in and out of your different accounts! Insta developers I hope you are listening! :) I believe starting Ramona Recommends was an angel message from my pearl wearing friend. It has given me a new outlook on life. It makes me so happy to sit at my computer (for hours) and plan my different book debuts, create lessons, read other blogs, meet new friends, and know I am blessing someone's need. I am doing a special recommends because yesterday I received a gift that I will cherish forever. I received my friend's favorite book from her husband and daughters. It was their family favorite and read year after year. The teacher in me is super excited because it has ALLITERATION on each page. It is funny, about cooking, and just plain fabulous.  

Since Valentine's Day is on Friday, I have the perfect ALLITERATION packet for you in my TpT. I say a little Fosdyke and Valentine Alliteration makes for a wonderful week!

 I am always talking about my blog when people seem interested. I love to share in my love of opening the magic. Along with talking about it, I am always writing down the blog address on paper. I am sure many people lose it by the time they get to the car. #notjudgingjustbeingreal SO! Since this is my year of new opportunity through joy, I am making this blog my life commitment. I will be Courtney the author and editor of Ramona Recommends as long as I am able. This is my JOY. This is what I LOVE. Instead of pencil and paper, I took the leap and ordered blog cards. I am so excited to share them. My blog designer created them for me. She did a wonderful job. KreatedbyKelsey1 can be found on Etsy. She is a teacher too! She is nothing but professional, sweet, quick, and just plain AMAZING! After she designed the card, she sent me the file and I easily uploaded it to Vista Prints. Might I add Visa Prints is SUPER affordable! I should get the cards on Friday. Here is a sneak peek. I am OBSESSED!

Do you have blog cards?

I would also love to thank Jacque from Mommy and Me Creations for creating my very own Ramona Recommends Subway art. I just love it. Seriously, the gifts that God has given mankind to help each other smile is just AMAZING! Thank you to Melonheadz for allowing Jacque to use her clip art too! Eeek! 

Hello! Happy Tuesday! I am super happy that I am actually getting this post out before 10 on Tuesday evening. #happydanceishappeningrightnow. I am just going to skip right over the Super Bowl events because well that was just sad. I waited all season for the Super Bowl. My wish came true and then it fizzled reallllll quick. Guess what, I am still a TRUE Bronco fan. Try again next year.

The Winter Olympics are just are just around the corner!!!! WOOT WOOT! There is something so magical about the Olympics. I feel so honored to watch and cheer on my fellow American athletes. I almost feel that I become their friends during the televised events. I get pumped when the hard working American athletes compete. I cheer from my seat, and I get super teary eyed during the National Anthem. Lets face it- I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!

There is a reason for today's book choice. Well actually there are several reasons. Last week during RTI, my groups and I worked on author's viewpoint. I created a fun and engaging lesson surrounded around the Winter Olympics. You can check it out here. The students worked together to create their own viewpoint about different Winter Olympic events and then commented on each other's opinion. The overall lesson was fantastic and students went away with some tools to use when inferring author's viewpoint. But, there was one little problem, I assumed my students had background knowledge about the Olympics. Red flashers came flooding in when I heard So-Hi, what is figure skating?, I dont care about the Olympics..... I was able to field some of their unknowns with a wonderful article from NEWSELA. If you do not have this website bookmarked- DO IT NOW. It is a free website that has current news articles adapted for different reading levels. The article was about how Russia is having a hard time selling tickets because of negative feelings towards the country. After the students read the article, we discussed key points and then in pairs they looked for evidence that would support the author's viewpoint.  So! That brings me to my book recommendation for today.
G is for Gold Medal- An Olympics Alphabet is a FANTASTIC non-fiction resource to inform your students about the Olympics. It teaches students about the history of the games. Each letter has something to do with the Summer or Winter Olympics. I learned this morning that due to World War II, the Summer and Winter Olympics were cancelled in 1940 and 1944. What I also love about this book are the pictures and in depth detail of events. Lastly, in the back of the book, there is a site map of all the Olympic destinations since 1896. I plan to read this book to my RTI group this week and pump them up for the Winter Olympics.

What are your favorite books to use to PUMP UP your students during the Olympics. Lets use a rating scale 1st favorite- GOLD, 2nd favorite- SILVER , 3rd favorite- BRONZE.

Happy Tuesday and thanks for reading!

PSA- I am having a SALE at my TpT store until Tuesday 12midnight.
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