When the #stayathome began, I asked my son who teaches third grade, "What do you think might make some great read alouds for our students right now?"
"Maybe they just need books that will make them laugh," he replied without missing a beat.
I was ready to solve the world's problems with picture books. Isn't that what you do? However, he had an excellent point. Our students are away from their friends, there is much uncertainty, and all the joys of being five, seven, or nine have been placed on hold in many ways.
Since then, our #stayathome orders have been lengthened. We are all trying to learn to teach in this new abnormal. (Sorry, I just can't call it our new normal as there is nothing normal about it.)
Thankfully, my picture books are here with me. If I had been in the classroom, instead of my current role, my picture books likely would have been left on the shelves of my school. I probably would have filled a bag or two for good measure, but I would be without a lot of them. With libraries being closed right now too, the challenge of getting books is amplified. We've been grateful to have these books at home over the last month+, but it always makes me think about teachers who may be home without their books.
Yesterday, I hosted a Zoom opportunity to talk about picture books. It seemed a good idea to lighten things up a bit - okay, maybe I needed to lighten up a bit. Picture books not only solve any world problem, they also lighten things up. They're good therapy. I tried to consider that we are all stuck at home without access to books. Some of the titles you see in the S'more are only available for delivery, but many are available digitally. I found several of these titles available digitally in our local library - some weren't even currently checked out. That's a win.
Here's what you'll find in the S'more:
Five New Picture Books: There are many great picture books coming out right now. While not as easy to obtain in this crisis, it is possible to order them for delivery and a few can be found digitally. Yep, I might still be ordering books on occasion. You've gotta support small businesses - and authors right now, right?! These are five titles I currently love.
Five Books to Lighten Up: My son made such a good point that I went to my shelves looking for lighter titles. I was pleased to come up with a nice stack of funny books. It was hard to reduce this list to five, but you'll find a few suggestions here.
Five Digital Resources for Remote Learning: When this situation began I started collecting resources on a Padlet. It seemed the first thing we tried to figure out as teachers was how to maintain the read aloud. Before authors and publishers started granting limited permission for use, I went on a quest to find some ways to get stories to kids. This search included some of the spaces we all know and love such as: Storyline Online, Tumblebooks, and BookFlix. You'll find a few others, I have since discovered in the S'more.
Five Digital Spaces to Remember: Many of us have subscriptions to digital spaces that provide books, articles, and other reading material. These spaces are important to remember right now. (Of course, you'll want to check into copyright: COVID-19 Reference from SLJ: Multiple Publishers Fair Use Policy.) Here are a few I have found helpful in this situation.
I hope you find this resource helpful. If you have something new, something light, or something digital you love right now, please share some of your favorite's in the comments below.