Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10 for 10 2015~#pb10for10

#pb10for10: Picture Books for Professional Development/Coaching

As my almost 4 year old nephew would say, this is my "pavorite" day of the blogging year, hands down! I can't think of a better way to celebrate the power of picture books across grade levels and content areas. Now in it's SIXTH year, I'm always inspired by the variety of book lists that everyone creates. Today, and in the days to come because it will take that long to get to all the lists, we will see old "friends" in new ways, find new "friends", and inevitably create long hold lists at our libraries and pricey shopping carts at local bookstores and/or online outlets. 

Since last year, I've moved out of the classroom and into the role of literacy coach. The shift from focusing on children as my learners to teachers as my learners hasn't diminished my firm belief that picture books move our understanding and thinking. Because of that, I've always included them as read alouds in professional development session for a variety of purposes. Today I'm sharing ten titles with ideas and themes that support discussions about the teaching practices and classroom environments we strive to create.  If you've never used a picture book with teachers to get conversations started, I hope today's list will spark some ideas. 

If You Hold a Seed by Elly MacKay captures the magic that happens when dream seeds are planted and tended. Each year we are entrusted with a new packet of seeds. This beautifully illustrated book reminds us that will patience, skill, and perseverance, extraordinary gifts can blossom within our classroom communities. 

Courage isn't just found in the BIG things life throws our way. This book by Bernard Waber offers the opportunity to have teachers think about the things that take courage in their teaching practice.  Staying true to what you know is best practice, listening to another point of view, writing with your students, trying a new instructional strategy. It's the small acts of courage that make the most impact! 

Flight School by Lita Judge demonstrates the important reminder that success often comes out of  perseverance and team work. Moving teachers from working in isolation to working as a team is important work and this is a beautiful picture of what team work can bring about. 

The fact that one little bird's determination is responsible for saving a forest is one that shouldn't be lost on teachers. There is no problem too big when we are willing to face our fears, put aside misconceptions, and work to make a difference. Teachers do this every single day, in lots of small ways. The Little Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is an invitation for teachers to talk about the little ways they face challenges everyday.

I knew on page 2 of this book that I must own it and add it to the picture books I use with teachers this coming year. My Pen by Christopher Myers is perfect for launching writing work with teachers but it can also be used to remind teachers to look beyond the page to truly see their students as individuals, getting to know their interests, fears, and dreams. 

Bringing this book out in the middle of the year offers the opportunity to remind teachers that learning something new...a new strategy, conferring, using a workshop model...takes time and practice.    Walk On! A Guide for Babies of All Ages  by Marla Frazee is a good reminder that missteps, bobbles, and failed attempts are all part of the learning! Embrace it!   

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an important book to share with teachers when thinking about teaching & learning. As members of a learning community, we need to be open to a variety of perspectives, taking time to listen to views that are different from ours. We all bring experiences with us that impact our perspectives..and allowing time to share them might just help us all look at a situation or student differently. 

We often start our school year with the big picture in mind. We know exactly the kind of learning environment we want to create. We just what we need to do to make it. And then we hit a roadblock. The plan doesn't go as we envisioned. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spire reminds that sometimes it okay to step away, to refocus, and then try again.  

Going Places by Paul Reynolds reminds teachers that it's okay to think outside of the box, embrace our creative side, and try doing things in a different way when it comes to implementing curriculum, school routines, and community. You never know what amazingness might emerge from the ordinary. 

I know many teachers used this picture book at the end of this school year but I think it's also a perfect one to share with teachers at the beginning of the year. I Wish You More by  Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld is a great reminder to stop and wonder along the way during the school year. Embrace the natural curiosity of the children you will teach...and don't forget to stop and wonder about yourself and your teaching too. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what books others have included in their lists this year! A huge thank you goes out to Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek for continuing to host the amazing celebration of picture books. I'm off to check out the #pb10for10 Google Community and hope you will too.

You can see my past lists here:


  1. I absolutely love this list! Reading a picture book during professional development is a great idea and these books can spark some great conversations. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Sharing a read aloud to start a staff meeting or professional development session sets an important tone. In the grad classes I teach, I always start every class with one and it's always the thing I get the most positive feedback on. We forgot how read alouds can connect matter our age.
      Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting.

  2. Great titles! I am book marking this post! I plan to use these titles as I plan to work better with parents this year!

    1. I love the idea of sharing these books with parents. After all, they are our students first teachers aren't they?

      Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting Cousin!

  3. Love these book ideas to last throughout the year! A couple I need to read again, put them on hold at the library already. Thanks, Susan!

  4. I love lots of these but see others I'm excited to check out. I love creating a supportive classroom culture. So important at the beginning of the year!

  5. YES! I love these books (there are a few I'm not familiar with, but I'll be borrowing those...) and this post! Woo-hoo!

  6. Thank you for sharing these titles and how they can be used with teachers as well as students. This year, I am returning to a literacy coach role after 7 years of being back in the classroom so I need to start shifting focus to all grades K-6 and teachers too. :)

  7. FABULOUS list!! Lots of favorites here that can be used in so many ways!

  8. These are awesome books! I want to go to the store right now and buy them! Thank you so much for sharing all these titles!