Posts Tagged ‘Grade One’

Back to School? Picture Books to Help Your Child Start the Year Right

Posted on August 13th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts shares Back to School picture books and free printables for kindergarten

Storytime Standouts highlights three special picture books for youngsters headed off to school and back to school in September and has a free printable picture dictionary and writing paper for a back to school theme.






For many adults, books are a great source of information as well as entertainment. Whether searching for a delicious recipe, researching an upcoming family vacation or deciding if a visit to the doctor is necessary, books can be inspiring, entertaining, informative and reassuring.

Just as adults seek information from books, children gain understanding and confidence as they explore new and unfamiliar situations through books. Whether beginning preschool or heading off to school in September, there are many delightful picture books available to help you and your child make the transition with relative ease.

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School and Going Back to School including Ready Set Preschool
Ready, Set, Preschool! – written by Anna Jane Hays, illustrated by True Kelley
Picture book about preschool published by Knopf Books for Young Readers an Imprint of Random House Children’s Books



Ready, Set, Preschool! features stories, poetry and detailed illustrations that will enable youngsters to explore a typical preschool classroom, experience a field trip, observe playground activities and more. As well, the illustrations and text offer opportunities to practice counting, identifying colors and shapes, recognize rhyming words, the alphabet and letter sounds.

Extensive notes for parents provide helpful suggestions of ways to extend learning and prepare young children for their very first school experience.

Ready, Set, Preschool!: Stories, Poems and Picture Games with an Educational Guide for Parents at Amazon.com

Ready, Set, Preschool!: Stories, Poems and Picture Games with an Educational Guide for Parents at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School and Going Back to School including Off to First Grade
Off to First Grade – written by Lousie Borden, illustrated by Joan Rankin
Picture book about starting first grade published by Margaret K. McElderry Books



I can still recall vividly a recommendation that was made when I attended my eldest son’s kindergarten orientation: make sure your child is not expecting to ride the school bus to school unless he actually is going to climb aboard)! It was great advice. In those days he was captivated by large vehicles. Discovering at the last minute that he would not be riding the bus off school could have been terribly disappointing. The transition from kindergarten to grade one is explored thoroughly and with thoughtfulness in Off to First Grade. The author tells the story from a variety of perspectives. We discover some children will ride the bus and others will walk. Some are eager to begin grade one and a few think they would rather stay in kindergarten. Mrs. Miller is hoping to remember everyone’s name, the school bus driver is excited and the principal wonders which book to read aloud to the new grade one students.

Off to First Grade at Amazon.com

Off to First Grade at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School and Going Back to School including How Do Dinosaurs Go to School How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? – written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Picture book about school life published by The Blue Sky Press an imprint of the Scholastic Trade Book Division.



For children heading off to school, the best How Do Dinosaurs title by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague is How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? Here the reader visits a conventional elementary school. The school, its staff and students appear quite unremarkable except for eight or ten extraordinary pupils. Enormous creatures from the Jurassic period demonstrate proper behavior enroute to school, on the stairs, in the classroom, during show-and-tell and at the playground. Lots of funosaurus for dino fans who are heading off to school soon.

How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? at Amazon.com

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? at Amazon.ca

Our Free Back to School Printables

image of our free printable school picture dictionary for children

image of PDF icon  School Picture Dictionary

Free printable school picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.


image of our free printable back to school interlined paper for children

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Back to School

Back to school theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


My First Day of School Interlined Paper

image of PDF icon  My First Day of School 'Boom'


Grade One Chapter Book: Being friends is better than being famous

Posted on August 31st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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When my boys first ventured into reading grade one chapter books, they were delighted to discover Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. Featuring a wonderful friendship and many happy adventures, the Frog and Toad series has been a favourite with young readers for decades.

James Howe’s latest book, Houndlsey and Catina is very reminiscent of the Frog and Toad series. Howe is famous for Bunnicula (Today Vegetables… Tomorrow the World). Houndlsey and Catina will appeal to younger readers who prefer shorter, generously illustrated chapters and less text. It will likely suit a child reading at a mid to late grade one level.

Grade One Chapter Book: Being friends is better than being famous Houndsley and CatinaHoundlsey and Catina written by James Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Chapter book series for kindergarten – grade three published by Candlewick Press





Illustrated beautifully by Marie-Louis Gay, Houndlsey and Catina tells of Catina’s desire to write a prize-winning book and Houndleys’ wish to win a cooking contest. Together, they help us see that being friends “is better than being famous..” This is a lovely tribute to friendship.

Houndsley and Catina at Amazon.com

Houndsley and Catina at Amazon.ca

The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set (I Can Read Book 2) at Amazon.com

The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set at Amazon.ca


Grade Two Chapter Book – Why Nate is Really Great

Posted on August 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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When looking for a special grade two chapter book, you can’t go wrong with Nate the Great

Grade Two Chapter Book – Why Nate is Really GreatNate the Great written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and illustrated by Marc Simont
Published by Yearling





Nate likes pancakes and syrup almost as much as he enjoys solving a perplexing mystery. Nate and his canine sidekick, Sludge, are called upon to solve all sorts of cases; locating lost paintings, disappearing dogs and, in one case, a missing key.

With an appearance that is often reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, Nate is all business – except if pancakes are on the menu. Along with with Annie and Rosamond, our hero cracks each case with solid detective work.

Nate the Great is a series that has been delighting young readers for more than thirty years. Suitable for children who are reading at about a grade two level, some of the stories are divided into chapters. Generously illustrated, the text is perfect for young readers who are ready to take on a meatier story (than typically found in easy readers).

Series like these are great because beginning readers often decide they want to read every single one of the Nate the Great books. This is just what we want, a child who is motivated to read by fun stories and a delightful cast of characters.

Nate the Great at Random House includes printable activities plus author information.

TeacherVision Nate the Great summarizing activity

Nate the Great at Amazon.com

Nate the Great at Amazon.ca


Printable Sight Words – also known as Dolch, high frequency or whole words

Posted on August 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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image of printable sight words

There are many, many ways to support young readers with these printable sight words

We want all readers to aquire the skills they need to decode unfamiliar words so that most words become sight words. This aspect of learning to read is also referred to as aquiring ‘Instant’, ‘Whole’, ‘Look & Say’, ‘Dolch’, &/or ‘High Frequency’ words.

We know readers with large sight word vocabularies read more rapidly and more fluently than readers whose sight word vocabularies are small. It is logical that a reader who is able to ‘instantly’ recognize and understand the words he reads, will be faster and more fluent than a reader who must often pause in order to decode unfamiliar words.

We also know that some English words are not appropriate for ‘sounding out’ – they occur much too often and are not necessarily phonetic (for example ‘there’ does not sound anything like /t/+/h/+/e/+/r/+/e/).

Our early literacy printables, including our sight word printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already have Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the printable sight words.


Please note: some of our early literacy printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website (without cost or obligation), please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early literacy printables here.

You may be interested in our Sight Word board on Pinterest

image of Storytime Standouts' Sight Word Board on Pinterest







If you appreciate our free early learning printables, including these free printable sight words, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.




On my “Printables” page you will find links to printable sight words, that is, lists of high frequency words. We also refer to these as whole words. I have organized the sight words in groups of ten (per page) and a total of sixty sight words per link. (#1-60, 61-120, 121-180 & 181-240). Here is a shortcut…

image of PDF icon  Sight Words 1-60

Sight Words 1-60

image of PDF icon  Sight Words 61-120

Sight Words 61-120

image of PDF icon  Sight Words 121-180

Sight Words 121-180

image of PDF icon  Sight Words 181-240

Sight Words 181-240

The printable lists can be used for flash cards (I don’t call them ‘flash cards’ with children. I prefer something a bit zippier) but the real fun is in finding creating ways to introduce these words and make them ‘instant.’

There are dozens of ways to make learning sight words fun – especially if you have access to colored paper, attractive stickers, cardstock and/or file folders. Adding authentic game pieces (like dice, markers, spinners, and penalties (for example “go back two”) will help to engage your child in the activities. In all likelihood, he or she will be glad to help you create board games, memory games, special tic tac toe squares or bingo cards.

Note, we also have sight word dominoes, practice sentences and special PDFs (i.e. seasonal, vehicles, and activity-related sight words) that include words and pictures.

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 1

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 2

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 3

Important Note: Please limit the number of sight words you introduce at any one time – five or ten at most.

Emergent Readers Captivated by Drama and Mystery

Posted on August 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Check out this series for emergent readers

I spent a fair amount of time in a dentist’s chair today and was reflecting on my recent experience with a grade one student. I’ve been working with him for a while. His older brothers have had some difficulty with reading so I spend half an hour, once a week with this youngster. Yesterday he read from the Oxford University Press Read at Home series. He is familiar with these books and knows the characters; Floppy, Chip, Kipper and Biff.

During our session, I suggested he try one of the Level 4 stories. He eagerly selected, Trapped! text by Cynthia Rider, illustrations by Alex Brychta. It was delightful to hear him read confidently but what was even more special was his reaction to the book. Clearly, he saw this story as different from others he has read independently. There was more text – about three sentences per page. There were letters and hidden keys to locate within the illustrations. But, most surprising, there was drama – when Grandma was briefly trapped in a castle – and mystery – why was there face at the castle window?

My emergent reader was thrilled to read Trapped – he likened it to the kind of books his older brothers read. He felt competent, confident and intrigued. If only all books for young readers could replicate this winning combination.

The Oxford University Press Read at Home series is excellent from beginning to end and includes dozens of great titles for emergent readers.

Read at Home: More Level 4c: Trapped! at Amazon.com

Read at Home: More Level 4c Trapped! at Amazon.ca

Read at Home: Level 4, Pack of 6 at Amazon.ca

What is your favourite series for readers at this level? Please share your ideas and suggestions.


Picture Book About Recycling – Tips for Grade One

Posted on March 4th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Why Should I Recycle? written by Jen Green and illustrated by Mike Gordon

Why Should I Recycle?a picture book about recycling is part of a series of books that includes Why Should I… Save Energy, Save Water, and Protect Nature. It explains that items typically tossed into the garbage often can be reused.

On a field trip to a recycling center, Mr. Jones explains that bottles, cans, plastic, clothing and paper can all be used again. Additional suggestions include composting, donating used clothing, books and toys, reusing plastic bags and choosing to buy items made from recycled materials.

Endnotes for teachers and parents include suggestions for points to discuss as well as follow-up activities and a list of picture books about recycling, pollution, and conserving energy.

Best for children aged 4 – 6, Why Should I Recycle? provides an introduction to this subject and is well-suited for use in a classroom library.

Why Should I Recycle? at Amazon.com

Why Should I Recycle? at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



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