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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


March Principal's Book of the Month: Testing Miss Malarkey

Kids and adults alike are sure to laugh aloud as Finchler and O' Malley poke fun at the commotion surrounding standardized testing, a staple of every school's year. As the school embarks on the season of testing, I thought it was ideal to identify a book that speaks to the the many factors associated with preparing for testing season! Please stop by the media center to check out this month's featured book!


Happy Reading!

February Principal's Book of the Month: Dear Mrs. LaRue Letters from Obedience School

I am excited to share the Principal's Book of the Month with each of you!


A beguiling dog laments his fate at obedience school through a series of hilarious letters home--by the best-selling illustrator of HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOOD NIGHT?

When Ike Larue is "imprisoned" at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, he tries everything to get sent home--weepy letters to his owner, even illness. In reality, Brotweiler is more like camp than prison, but still, Ike's not cut out for life w/o Mrs. Larue & his creature comforts. Finally, he runs away only to find himself back in Snort City--just in time to save Mrs. Larue's life.

Students will be spending time discussing perception and reality as well as point of view! Be sure to stop by the media center and check out my selection for the month! It is sure to bring lots of laughter and discussion within your homes!

November's Book of the Month: David Gets in Trouble

I am excited to present my Novembers Book of the Month! Stop by the media center to checkout my book of the month and read with your children!  Have fun discussing this month's theme: HONESTY!


Plot Summary

David Gets in Trouble, written and illustrated by David Shannon is an extraordinary picture book.  The book is about a young boy, David, whose actions cause him to get into trouble; however he manages to come up with numerous excuses for his mistakes. Throughout the story David uses excuses such as he didn't mean to, when he was skate boarding through the house. When he hit a baseball through the window it was obviously an accident. He refused to eat his eggs. He even "forgot" to wear pants to school. David attempts to say his dog ate his homework and makes a silly face for his school picture. Everywhere David seems to go and everything he does he tends to get in trouble for, but he just doesn't want to admit his wrongdoings. When he does get in trouble he either thinks it's funny or doesn't understand why he is getting in trouble for it. Finally,  at the end of the story, when it looks like David is waking up from a bad dream or is laying in bed alone, he admits it was him! He then apologizes for all of his wrongdoings.  He is apologizing to who the reader would assume to be his mother. Lastly, the book ends with David in bed telling his mom he loves her. It is a happy ending to a book with such a mischievous child.


Textual Elements

Genre:The genre of this picture book is Contemporary Realistic Fiction, because the storyline of the book is current and rational. Many children and even adults can relate to the events David goes through. They too have done the things David has done or has known someone who has eaten dog food, broken a window with a baseball, etc.


Setting:The setting of the story is David’s community, which includes his house, neighborhood and school.



David is the main character of the story. He is the playful young boy who causes all of the trouble. He is of elementary school age. David seems like he has quite an interesting, fun, and naughty personality.


While David’s mother is not really shown throughout the book. Her body is shown, but never her face. She does play the significant role of disciplinarian though.


David's classmates, dog,  and cat also make minor appearances. David's classmates are seen throughout the story laughing or looking at David. His dog is blamed for eating his homework and his dog watches him eat what are supposed to be his snacks. Lastly, David's cat is shown when David is pulling her tail insisting she likes it.


Point of View:  David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon is finally told from David's point of view. In the Author's Note, Shannon explains that this is his third book about David. Shannon's first book in the series, No, David! was told from his mom's perspective. The second book, David Goes to School was told from David's teachers perspective, and finally David gets to tell his own side of the story in David Gets in Trouble. After the first page, the rest of the story is in first person with David talking.


Theme:There are multiple themes to this story. One being, children make a lot of mistakes and will say just about anything to keep from getting into trouble. At first they deny it because they don't want to get in trouble, but then they actually feel bad so they admit their wrongdoings and apologize, but it's a process that takes time. Also, David just wants his mom and even though he does all of these bad things he still wants her there and loves her. This is showing that no matter what you do or what excuses you make your parents will always love you. In the end, this book is a lesson of honesty.


October's Principal Book of the Month: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

The Principal's Book of the Month for October is sure to generate conversations within the classrooms, around the school as well as, in your homes!


Lily is a young, female mouse who portrays similar qualities to most young girls attending elementary school.   She adores her teacher and loves going to school. Lilly describes her teacher, Mr. Slinger, as a young teacher, who inspires her to want to become a teacher.

One day, Lilly brings a new purse, quarters, and sunglasses to school. She is so excited with these new items that she wants to share them with the whole class. This sharing becomes a distraction to the rest of the class during Mr. Slinger's lessons. He explains to Lilly that she will get her items back at the end of the day. Lily becomes very angry ay Mr. Slinger.

Lily draws a mean picture of Mr. Slinger and places it in his bag. When she receives her purse back, at the end of the day, she discovers a note and treats from Mr. Slinger. Lily immediately feels bad about the picture that she placed in his bag earlier. She rushes home to tell her parents and then creates a new picture with an apology letter.

Lily returns to school with a new picture and treats for Mr. Slinger. He accepts her treats and apology. During share time, Lily is allowed to share her purse, quarters and sunglasses. The story ends happily with Lily being inspired again to be a teacher.


This book is filled with a variety of literary concepts which are all interwoven into a story children can relate to. Lily's experience mimic the daily like of young students. Lily's Purple Plastic Purse tackles common social issues that young elementary children face each day. It brings feelings of anger and shame to the forefront, opening the door for discussion without ridicule. This book also demonstrates that we can all make mistakes, but we can also fix some with an apology. This book captures all of these elements, making it a highly engaging book for all students!



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 2016-2017


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!