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 "The educator is like a good gardener, whose function is to make available healthy, fertile soil in which a young plant can grow strong roots." E.F. Schumacher


October's Principal Book of the Month: Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathmann

Ruby the Copycat is an excellent beginning of the year book, and also a wonderful common-culture-creator for an introduction to other books (especially novels) related to the theme of Identity. As the students settle back into school-wide routines and learn their way as students this book focuses on being an individual not a follower.

Class newcomer Ruby admires Angela's bow. After skipping home to lunch, Ruby returns to class wearing a similar bow in her hair.

Another day Ruby admires Angela's handpainted T-shirt and sneakers. Coincidentally enough, Ruby returns after lunch with a hand-painted T-shirt and sneakers. "Don't touch," she warns, "I'm a little bit wet."

This continues until Angela, who had been flattered at first, grows tired of Ruby's replications, which are stealing the thunder from Angela.

Finally Miss Hart, the girls' teacher, asks Ruby to stay after school for a talk. In what seems like the final scene, Miss Hart encourages Ruby to be herself, to be the best Ruby she can be. Miss Hart smiles at Ruby. Ruby smiles at Miss Hart's long, painted fingernails. 

When Ruby returns after the weekend with long, painted (fake) fingernails, and continues to copy what her classmates say, an exasperated Miss Hart asks, "And what else did you do this weekend?" Ruby responds, "I hopped." She then demonstrates her unique hopping skills for the class, and the teacher, seizing upon the moment, turns on some music and has everyone copy Rudy.

Thus dignified for her own unique gifts, Ruby hops home with Angela in a satisfying happy ending.

At home,  discuss the following:

  • What does the term "copycat" mean?

Please stop by the media center and check out Ruby the CopyCat!

September Book of the Month: David Goes to School by David Shannon

In this sequel to the award-winning bestseller No, David!, young David heads off to school for the first time. And David's teacher certainly has her hands full! from running, yelling, and pushing with abandon to chewing gum in class. David's high-energy antics fill each day with trouble. David's unruly romp through school is sure to bring a smile to the ace of even the nest-behaved reader. As all the books in this series do, this one ends with young David learning that, despite the difficulties he gets into, he will always receive plenty of encouragement and love.


Subject Focus: School Rules

September is the perfect month to discuss school rules and building a structured environment conducive to learning.

Comprehension Focus: Integrate Illustrations and Story Details

The text and the illustration in David Goes o School are complementary and together create humor and plot of the story. Students will learn how to read an illustration for its meaning and how to integrate it with the text. 

Language Focus: Verb Endings and Contractions


Students will have an opportunity to share their responses with a partner or small group:

1; Text-to Self

What school rules do you find most difficult to follow?

2: Text-to-World

How is first grade different from kindergarten? How is second grade different from first grade?

3: Text-to-Text

What is another book that you have read about school? What other problems did a character have at school in the book?


Parents, please stop by the media center and check out Dr. Baxter's book of the month and reread with your children at home! It is sure to bring lots of dialogue in your home!

Happy Reading!



Together Everyone Achieves More

Students at Berkeley Elementary School students meet monthly as a grade level to discuss grade level specific concerns. Students are reminded of school-wide expectations and rules:


1: Be Respectful

2: Be Responsible

3: Be Safe


Students are provided a forum to discuss school-wide concerns with the Principal and express new initiatives they would like to see within their home away from home!

Every Kid Needs a Champion!

Every morning students assist with morning announcements to set the stage for the day!

Students at Berkeley Elementary School recite the following motivational piece EVERY morning before starting their academic day!


I am somebody.

I was somebody when I came and I'll be a better somebody when I leave.

I am powerful and I am strong.

I deserve the education that I get here.

I have things to do, people to impress and places to go.


Please help your children learn the words to our motivational piece to jump start their day: EMPOWERED AND SELF CONFIDENT!

All classes are provided an opportunity to assist with the morning announcements on a rotating basis.

Principal's Book of the Month 2017-2018


The Principal's Book of the month was created to encouraged and foster a love of reading for pleasure in our students. 



Teachers are asked to read the principal's book to their students. Thereafter, students are required to submit a reading response or drawing depending on their grade level connecting  text- to-self, text-to-text, or text-to-world at the beginning of every month. Reflective writing provides students the opportunity to reflect on various genres and connect  books to themselves. The Principal's Book will be on display in our media center every month accompanied with blank reading responses for parents! Parents are asked to respond to reading responses each month. This will aid our efforts of learning how to connect text to ourselves, the world, and other texts! All responses returned will be highlighted in our media center throughout the month!