Back to School with a 10 Book GIVEAWAY

August 1, 2011

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Last school year, I often blogged about journal writing with children and posted writing samples from toddlers to third grade.

We kicked off the school year with two posts:

10 Easy Steps to Introduce Journal Writing: Preschool – Third Grade

Books That Inspire Children to Write: Book GIVEAWAY

Introducing Reading Response Journals

This school year, we’re introducing Reading Response Journals. I was first introduced to the concept of Reading Response Journals when I taught a mixed-age classroom, ages 6 – 9. As with writing journals, they allow children to learn, grow, read and write at their own developmental level. They work beautifully in both the classroom and the homeschool setting. Each child reads a book at his or her own reading level and then writes a response about his or her book. And just like writing journals, they are low-maintenance for both the teacher and the student! Low-maintenance learning allows both the teacher and student to actually focus on learning rather than on prep-work and busy-work.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share specifics on getting started and how to use Reading Response Journals as a teaching tool.

Let’s get started! This week collect your supplies! This is so easy . . .


Surprise, if you do journal writing, you already have all of these supplies! I wasn’t joking when I said this was easy!

1. Notebook: inexpensive spiral notebook, blank paper bound into a notebook or reading response paper bound into a notebook

2. Pencils

3. Colored Pencils, crayons, or markers

4. Books, Books, Books

  • fiction, nonfiction, easy, just right and challenge books

To Help You Get Started We’re GIVING AWAY:

1. Airport by Byron Barton

2. Frogs by Nic Bishop

3. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

4. Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

5. The Flea’s Sneeze by Lynn Downey

6. Scoot by Cathryn Falwell

7. Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie

8. What Do You Do With a Tail Like This by Steve Jenkins

9. Zigby and the Ant Invaders by Brian Patterson

10. A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Are you ready for back to school (public school, preschool, homeschool)? What are you doing to get ready? I was determined to have MacGyver’s room all set-up and organized before homeschool began in the fall. I haven’t even started painting. Where did the summer go? ! (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

One entry per person, please.

No entries after 8:00 pm Central Time, Thursday, August 4, 2011

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Friday, August 5, 2011. Check back it might be you!

Life with Jeannine

Giveaway Day

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

maryanne August 1, 2011 at 7:21 am

We haven’t even started, but school here doesn’t start until September, so hopefully I’ll get my act together in August!

Brandy August 1, 2011 at 8:09 am

We’re just about ready! This will be our first year to homeschool (2nd, k, pre-k) and we have done so much already. But it still feels like we have a good bit to do. Our start date is planned for Aug. 8.

Robin August 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

I have been making plans in my head. I will have more pre-K students this year and hope to to able to get them all ready for Kindergarten next fall. This is a really good idea about the reading response journal. Thank you for all the great ways to help children learn.

Stasia August 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

We are starting our first year today! 2nd grade and pre-k. I love the idea of a Reading Response Journal for my 2nd grader. Thanks for the idea.

Tara August 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

We’re starting next Monday! I am just trying to make sure the school room is clean and organized. I also want the laundry caught up on and for the house to kind of have a spring clean feeling! Whew!! That’s a whole lot of work left for just this week! :)
I did some of the journal writing with my little boys (2, 4, & 6) last year. This year I hope to put even more emphasis on it with all 5 of them! I think the reading response journal will really help my 4th grader as he starts book reports this year! And it will be great for my 2nd grader to get ready for book reports! Again, thanks for all your great ideas and for taking the time to share them!

Merelyn - Real Kid Friendly August 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I love this concept! It’s like the old book report – only fun!!

Natalie August 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

What a terrific giveaway, and I am looking forward to your series on reading response. Our school here starts in 3 short weeks, and daughter is nervous and excited at the same time. She is worried that she will have to work more in K :) We will be reading our favorite K books to get ready.

Dawn August 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I am putting together our back-to-school currently. I use all free materials, however they do require printing etc. I’ve ordered more/cheaper ink (refill kit) :) so I don’t run out. I try to have a month prepared at a time. I also am trying to find books that would be interesting/FUN to read to a 12 year old girl and 9 year old boy. (I love reading and I hope they both get bit by the reading bug) So long answer short: printing curriculum, searching for ‘fun things’ to read.

Tiffany August 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Due to the ridiculous summer heat trapping us inside most days, we did school through most of the summer. Instead of getting ready for school I am starting to plan a fall vacation. We could definitely use some new reading material for our road trip though.

Mrs Random August 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm

We’re starting again a week from today. We spent all of today school supply shopping and setting up the school room. It’s still not done and I seem to have misplaced the Mommy bag of school supplies!

I’m thrilled to learn that you will be posting on reading response journals. That is something I really want to successfully incorporate into our school this year. We have tried this before, but it flopped due to lack of interest? motivation? Something was lacking, and I don’t know what!

Cammie Talley August 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Purchased school clothes a few weeks ago, and registered by now 5 year old for school before the last school year ended. Still need to get school supplies, but I downloaded the list off the district website and have been comparision shopping. Of course, intellectually, we ready at least 2 books at night to our 5 yr old, and work with him on looking sounding out and repeating the words after us as we point to them.

Alice August 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm

We are ready and have been doing school for a month already!!

Anissa August 2, 2011 at 1:00 am

We are enjoying our Summer break – playing outside, library trips, free Movies on Tuesdays, splash park visits, working in the garden, and long bike rides. School will happen again in September. We are trying a co-op on Tuesday’s this year to supplement our homeschool. I hope it will be fun!

Jennifer Brosi August 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm

we started back to school on monday (homeschool) and we are greatly enjoying ourselves!! We still have to order our Math curriculum but otherwise, we are ready to get the ball rolling!! These all look like great book choices and I’m hoping i win this giveaway!!!

Angela W. August 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I’m planning, planning, planning! The calendar/teacher’s guides/booklists, etc. haven’t been far out of reach as of late. We will ease into school next week and be full throttle the following week.

Sarah H. August 4, 2011 at 9:37 am

I have set up for the first 20 weeks but don’t want to plan any further so I have room to change things up. This is our first year homeschooling so I’m not sure how we’d like things to flow yet.

Jessica Y August 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

Yes we are ready. This is our first year homeschooling so we started doing a day a week of school the closer we have gotten the more days we have added now we are up to 3 days a week so we will be ready for a full week next week.

Kala D. August 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

This is our first year homeschooling…almost ready. Still need some curriculum and a few other little things, but still have a month.

Nikki Parks August 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Well considering this is my first year homeschooling my son who is doing the 1st grade…I’m doing a lot of reading and planning to figure out how I am going to do my year and be successful in convincing my children this is going to be fun and better than public schools in our area.

Adriana August 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm

We homeschool, and ALMOST have everything ready. I want to try and get a head start now, because we will have a baby in the house beginning of September!

Michelle August 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I’m a homeschooling mom of 10(ages 1 to 19). We primarily ‘unschool'; so books are a mainstay.
We have lots of supplies on hand. I replenish throughout the year.
We will begin our school year after Labor Day.

domestic diva August 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

We homeschool and have lots of things on hand, but nothing specifically planned and ready.

sue August 2, 2013 at 8:59 am

School? Already! I am always ready to go back and anxious to try something new. This year will be the reader response journals. Looking for ideas and ways to implement here. Good luck to all who enter this giveaway and to a great school year.

Jeannine August 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Sue, unfortunately this GIVEAWAY is over; however, I’m putting together my new favorite read alouds today. I should have them posted tomorrow and the winner gets to select her favorite from the list!

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