08 September 2018

Bloomz app for back to school!

Y’all have you heard of @bloomzapp ? I’ve used other messaging systems before but this one is a little bit special. Did you know you can message him agents and they won’t ever know your number or info?  And my most favorite part is it’s free!!! You can schedule conferences without using an additional website  Like its all on the app y’all!! Read more at: bitly.com/bloomzbacktoschool


04 August 2018

Frog Street Press Conference

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I spent last week in Grapevine, TX attending/presenting at the Frog Street Press conference.

I had never attended this conference before I had a BLAST!
There were so many amazing sessions and such a positive and fun environment.
If you teach the littlest littles up to about first grade...then you should definitely consider attending next summer.
Here are a few pics of the fun!


18 July 2018

Diversity Matters: Back to School Part 2

Hi Y'all!
I am finally back to blogging about my most favorite thing....BOOKS.
I've got a list of some great new and upcoming books to share with you.

But first, a quick update.
If you follow me on social media, you know that I have recently made the big move from Massachusetts to Brooklyn!
I am so excited to start a new adventure here and I'll be sure to keep you updated!
So let's get to the books!

If you have questions on how to take advantage of these (and many other books) wonderful books during the entire school year, please email me at thetututeacher@gmail.com...we can chat!
This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which allows me to purchase more books to be able to share with you! Click on any of the pictures or titles to grab your copy.

I've featured some books that are currently out and available, and a few that you'll have to patiently impatiently wait for.
Let's get into it!

Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader
by Christianne Jones
I cannot WAIT for this book to come out (release date: August 1). I just know this book will serve as the perfect mentor text at the beginning of the year when we discuss body space. Most students have the best intentions when they get right up in your face to ask a question, but I'm sure once they see how Harrison's friends react, they'll be able to get a better understanding about personal space. It's also important for teachers to rem ember that certain families and cultures look at personal space in different ways. Since this book isn't out yet, I can't give it a rating. Check back to see what I think once it arrives.

Alma and How She Got Her Name
by Juana Martinez-Neal

Oh how I love this book! Alma is a sweet girl who doesn't like her very long name.  After an in depth exploration into their family's history and culture, Alma learns that her name, well, ALL her names, are beautiful and important.  I personally connected with this story as my name is 5 names long. I almost always take up the entire space on a paper when writing my name. But each name has a special history and significance. ALL my names make me who I am.  This book would be a great addition to your classroom library. Especially at the beginning of the year when discussing names.

All Are Welcome
by Alexandra Penfold

This book should be in every classroom.
There's no need for me to tell you all about this book because you are purchasing it for your classroom right now.

Hello School!
by Priscilla Burris

Hello School! is a great addition to you Back to School collection. The story helps children familiarize themselves with the expectations and events that take place in school. This book would work wonderfully for an early childhood classroom, as students come to us with little school or classroom experience.  What I love most about this book, is that the classroom teacher looks like me!

Mae's First Day of School
by Kate Berube

Oh this book. If you've been teaching for awhile, you definatiely have had a Mae in your classroom.  Mae is that sweet child, who on the first day of school, can't seem to make eye contact, has trouble speaking up or feeling comfortable. Mae's feelings are important to recognize and discuss.  I am sure many children will connect with Mae's feelings on the first day of school.

The Day You Begin 
by Jacqueline Woodson

I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS BOOK! I can't even stand how much I need this book in my life! Set to release, August 28, The Day You Begin is about finding yourself in any place, when it seems as if it is impossible to find yourself. The entire book is written in verse, and there is one specific verse that sticks out to me:
"And in that room, where no one else is quite like you, you'll look down at your empty hands and wonder, What good is this, when other students were flying and sailing and going somewhere."
That really resonated with me, as we return to school and ask students what they did or where they went, that some students, might not see themselves in the opportunities or experiences other students have had. How to we level the playing field so every child can see themselves in the classroom.  Because this book isn't out yet, I'm unable to rate it...but I have no doubt it will be amazing!!

Lena's Shoes are Nervous
by Keith Calabrese

Similarly to Mae's First Day of School,  Lena is a little nervous about her first day of kindergarten.  She and her father work through her nerves by hunting down those nervous shoes of hers. This is a fun and silly way to discuss that it's ok to feel nervous or scared. What a great way to validate the anxious feelings many of our students will have.

What if...
by Samantha Berger

I LOVE THIS BOOK.  I think this book can be used any time of the year. However, I think this is perfect for back to school. It's a perfect story of the power of imagination, creativity, and never giving up. The story sets up the expectation we teachers have for our students to dig deep, try anything, and be brave.  The illustrations ALONE will capture the hearts of students.
I have shared this book at a few of my presentations, and teachers have fallen in love. It is just perfect.

What other books would you add to this list?
Don't forget my initial Back to School post, you can find that list below:

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase. For more information about my Disclosure Policy, please visit this link.

17 June 2018


  • Have you heard yet?!? Britt from The Superhero Teacher is teaming up with We Are Teachers and LYSOL to give one lucky teacher the classroom of their dreams! Five lucky teachers will be selected based on their entry to win a $100 gift card. From there, winners will need to work closely with their administrator to complete a form about what can be renovated in their classroom. One of the first place winners will be named the grand prize winner. The grand prize winner will receive an Extreme Makeover Classroom Edition from The Superhero Teacher, which is an amazing classroom makeover is valued at $5,000! Brittany Wheaton, aka The Superhero Teacher, will lead a complete renovation of your classroom. She will work one-on-one with you to build your dream classroom.
  • 1️⃣ Post a picture of your classroom on instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #flipmyclassroom
  • OR
  • 2️⃣ Go to myhealthyclassroom.com and share your picture and story there!
    Thanks again We Are Teachers and LYSOL for the mini-makeover— I love it and can’t wait to see who wins (contest ends June 30)
Check out what you could win!


07 January 2018

Diversity Matters: Diverse Books featuring Leaders of Color

Hi y'all!
Happy New Year!
Let's start the year off with some great books featuring Leaders of Color.

Please, please, please, please remember that while it is wonderful to celebrate and acknowledge a culture during specific months, these books should be a part of your classroom library and classroom discussions every month. All the time.  They should be weaved into classroom continually.
Please, don't let these books sit on a shelf to only make a debut once a year.

If you have questions on how to take advantage of these (and many other books) wonderful books during the entire school year, please email me at thetututeacher@gmail.com...we can chat!
This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links.

diverse books

This book isn't out until June 19, but I've already preordered it! Katherine Johnson was a mathematician who worked for NASA. Due to her knowledge and quick thinking she was monumental in ensuring Apollo 13 returned safely. I'm so excited to see this book for many reasons. One, a woman in a leadership role. Two, a woman whose job was to solve complex math problems. And three, she's a woman of color!! I just can't wait to share this story with my students.

My husband just gifted me this book as part of our New Year Book Flood gift exchange.  The illustrations in this book are beautiful! The author does a wonderful job explaining the integral part children played during the Civil Rights. The Children's March was a turning point for African Americans in the south and this book does a wonderful job highlighting that.  Younger students will need some background knowledge about the climate of the south during this time.

Probably my most favorite purchase in the last month.  I am so in love with this book.  Each page features a new leader who has done amazing things.  It is a quick and inspirational read.  My goal is to read one of these a day to my students, so they learn about a new leader every day! The illustrations are simple and quaint.  This book is in my top 10 most favorite!

Kadir Nelson creates some of the most beautiful, detailed, and inspiring illustrations I have ever seen.  He continues to write beautiful books with amazing illustrations. I always feel like I'm part of the story because his illustrations are so life like! This book is completely appropriate for younger students without needing a ton of background knowledge.

Another beautiful book with amazing illustrations. An Afro-Latino, Arturo Schomburg had a large collection of African centered texts.  He worked with the New York Public Library to preserve those texts so that future generations could learn about the history of African writers, poets, and artists.  This book highlights the amazing work of Schomburg, a little know figure in history.  This book is quite long, as would be expected.  While it is a picture book, it isn't suitable for a one session read aloud.  Younger students would have some difficulty with the entire text, but would easily benefit from hearing parts of the story. Regardless, this is a must have for any teacher, as it sheds light on a fascinating part of American history.

I love that his book is in English and Spanish, we need more diverse books in Spanish. I also love that this story provides a mirror opportunity for many of our students, as it tells the story of Judge Sotomayor as child in the Bronx.  I've suggested this book many times, as I find there are just so many things to love about this book. It's perfect for younger students!

This book will be released on January 9th and you can bet I preordered it.  The illustrations alone have my jaw on the floor! This is the story of how Mae Jemison became the first African American Female astronaut in space. I can't wait to read this story because I have so much in common with Mae.  As a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. I even wrote to NASA and they wrote back! I am still fascinated with space, and I know many of my students will see themselves in her story. More importantly, I hope it sparks an interest and love of space and science in some of my girls!

I'm sure you are very familiar with the story of Malala. This book is the perfect introduction for our students. The book takes us through a journey of Malala's magic pencil. We learn of all the wishes she would wish to make her world a better place. I think the book is a wonderful inspiration for younger students.

Malcom Little: The Boy Who Grew up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
One of my personal goals, is to integrate books about Malcolm X into my curriculum.  In college, I was fascinated to learn more about Malcolm X, and I felt that my teachers had done me an injustice by excluding him from my education.  This book is on it's way to me, and when it arrives I will give it a full review.  From what I can tell from the previews online, the book is somewhat text heavy.

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren
Dolores was a teacher, activist and mother.  Her work in the classroom led her to fight for the rights of migrant workers.  This book is better suited for upper elementary students. However, I feel younger students will appreciate the story of an important woman in history.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
This book is set to release on January 16th.  I have definitely preordered this book and I CANNOT WAIT!! This book looks beautiful! It was written by the same author who wrote the adult version of Hidden Figures. You know, the one that went on to become a movie!! I'm pretty sure this book will quickly become a favorite among teachers AND students!

Which one of these titles do you look most forward to adding to your classroom library?
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