Friday Fiction, Find and Newbie Blog Hop

My all-time favorite book for teaching text-to-self connections is “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst.  It’s so easy for the kids to connect to the many events that put Alexander in a bad mood. 

A good one to pair with “Alexander” is “The Pout Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen.  It’s about a glum fish with an “ever-present pout” who spreads “dreary wearies all over the place.”  The book lends itself to student participation and the kids love the Pout Pout Fish song.

I like reading these two books at the beginning of the year because they spark good discussions about attitude and the fact that we are in control of our own behavior.  We also get into what makes a good friend and how to cheer someone up. 

I like to have my students put their connections into writing by telling about a time when they had a bad day.  I included this page as a freebie for you.  I also have a generic venn diagram you can use to compare Alexander and the Pout Pout Fish (or any two characters you’d like). 

I’m sure many of you use “The Lorax” for teaching text-to-world connections, but I wanted to share this activity I did that goes along with the book in case you haven’t seen it.  I found the free mustache template and writing prompt on this site.
For my Friday Find I’m sharing my new printer, which is on sale right now at Best Buy.  I was in desperate need of a new one, and I absolutely LOVE this guy.  It has amazing picture quality and even allows you to print directly from your phone.  I love that it can scan and fax without needing a phone line. 
Finally, I’m linking up with Janis from Grade 3 is the Place for Me for a Newbie Blogger Linky.  Here are my answers to her 5 questions:

1. I live in a suburb of Chicago, IL.
2. My current teaching position is 4th grade, a brand new grade level for me. I couldn’t be more thrilled!
3. My teaching experience includes one year in fifth and three years in first.  Moving around can be tough, but I thrive on change.
4. I started blogging about a month ago and it’s been such a great experience so far.  I love being able to share resources and ideas from teachers from all over the country.
5. My advice for new bloggers is to join linky parties because they help you connect with amazing bloggers.  Oh, and turn off the evil word verifier!  

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! :)


  1. I teach 4th grade too! I love how blogs connect us all. It is great to meet you! I am your newest follower! I am a new blogger too and found you on the newbie blog hop. I love connecting with other teachers and getting new ideas!

    Fancy Free in Fourth

  2. Hi Kristin! Thanks for linking up again this week and providing great books AND a lesson. I have used Alexander for text to self, but I've never heard of The Pout-Pout Fish. I am absolutely in love with that title! I grabbed my freebie to do this lesson at the beginning of the year. We do 7 habits at my school and these books go so well with habit 1: being proactive! Awesome! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas.

    The Teaching Thief
    Fiction Friday: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

  3. Wait, I couldn't get the freebie!? Is anyone else having that trouble?

  4. I love both of those books too! I never thought about reading them at the beginning of the year. I will now thanks!

    The Busy Busy Hive

  5. I fixed the freebies- you can now grab them in a PDF. Sorry about that! You will all forgive me since I'm technically still a "newbie," right? ;) Thanks to Amanda for letting me know!

  6. I love "Alexander Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday!" That is such a fun book to teach :) Great blog.

    Look Who's Teaching

  7. I like "Alexander and the Terrible,Horrible....Day" and never heard of "The Pout-Pout Fish" it sounds like a book I need to buy! I'm going broke buying all of these great books!! Thanks for joining my blog, I'm now one of your newest followers! I only wish I could have more than 1 iPad in my room! It's a great tool and motivator!

    Teaching Special Kids

  8. I read the Alexander book at the beginning of the year, too :)
    Your printer looks awesome!
    Thanks for linking up with me.

  9. Just stopping by to thank you for following me and to check out your blog! I am your newest follower and will be back to visit often!

    Keep Calm & Imagine

  10. I love your blog!!! I've given you The Liebster award, come by and pick it up!! I can't wait to see more on your cute blog!!
    Mrs. Saunders' Lovelies

  11. I just found your blog through the Newbie Blogger link up! Stop by and check out my blog too! Can't wait to read more-and I'm HUGE on technology too! :)

  12. Just want to say thanks for checking my blog out! I am your newest follower...95...almost to 100!! Woohoo! Would love to hear more about the 1:1 with the macs!!


  13. I LOVE Alexander! My kids really loved the whole series! Great to see more Chicagoland bloggers out there as well!

    dede @ A Series of First Grade Events

  14. So glad you stopped by my blog! I love the Alexander book and love how you linked it to Pout Pout Fish! I am your newest follower!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  15. I love love love your blog! I am your newest follower! :)

  16. I haven't read the Pout-Pout Fish. It sound great! I love the idea of using it to help the kids learn about controlling their attitudes. Thanks for following my blog! :) I'm following yours also. Have a great day!
    Teacher Treasure Hunter

  17. Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm now following you too! Can't wait to see what great ideas you have!

    Lacy's Letters

  18. I am following from the blog hop! I've been wondering about that printer - glad to hear a review!

  19. My printer is wireless and I LOVE IT! It's amazing the little things in life that just make everything better! I taught a year of 5th grade too! I loved it! :)

    Reaching for the TOP!

  20. Hi Kristin,
    I came over to look at your blog after you left comments on mine and I'm so glad I did! I love your blog and your ideas! I use Alexander... for beginning of the year with my 3rd graders to brainstorm ways to avoid having bad days at school which results in creating our own class rules. I haven't read Pout,Pout Fish...but I think I can use it and blend it in with my activity. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I'm your 106th follower! I love the Alexander books! My oldest son's name is Alexander and we used to read these books over and over when he was little (he's now 19!). I look forward to reading more of your posts! Lauren
    Teacher Mom of 3

  22. I've nominated you for an award! Stop by my blog to see what it is!

  23. I always laugh when we've ready Alexander and the next time a child is having a bad day, they try to recite the title. :)
    Thanks for stopping by! I'm following you now too. :)

    ★ First-Graders from Outer Space ★

  24. I agree, I hate the verifier!

    I'm your newest follower

    Mrs. D

    Reading with Mrs. D

  25. I have the same printer!! I bought mine a few months ago at Best Buy (I don't think it was on sale, doh!)

    Just found your blog through the newbie hop and I am GLAD I did!

    T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

  26. I am your newest follower! So glad I found your blog in this blog hop! I also live and teach in the suburbs of Chicago, and when I saw 1:1 I knew I had to stop by! I am hosting a "Connected" classroom link up for technology and would love it if you would link up! I am getting my masters in Instructional Technology, but not lucky enough to have 1:1 computers :) Stop on by if you get a chance!

    Here's the link directly to the link up!
    Teaching and Tech Link Up

  27. Wow a printer that lets you print from your phone! I've never heard of that... AMAZING!
    I just found your site thanks to the blog hop and am loving it!
    Come and visit when you get a chance...
    :0) Melissa
    More Time 2 Teach

  28. Hi, I am enjoying following your blog! Love the book ideas! Thanks:) I used to live in a suburb of Chicago. Great city! I have an award for you. Stop by and pick it up when you get a chance!

    Kelly Teach

  29. Hi Kristen,
    I’m your newest follower! I am also a Newbie Blogger, so I appreciate all of the sharing of advice and ideas.
    I am very curious about the 1:1 MacBook thing you mentioned in your profile. Please share mroe about it! Thanks!
    Stop by for a visit if you have a chance.
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

  30. I am so happy that I stumbled across your blog through the linky party! Welcome Bloggy Newbie!
    Drop by anytime :)


    Creekside Teacher Tales

  31. I just found your blog through the newbie blog hop and I am your newest follower!! It is so cute!! I would love for you to visit when you have a chance.

    Mrs. Wood's Class

  32. I can't wait to read The Pout Pout Fish - thanks for sharing! I have awarded you with One Lovely Blog Award - To pick up go to: :)


  33. Love the compare and contrast book idea. I am nominating you for the Liebster blog award.


  34. New follower! :) I found you through the blog hop! :) Nice to meet you and Im looking forward to getting to know you.

  35. Hi there! I'm stopping by to let you know that I nominated you for an award! You can swing by my blog to pick it up!


    Teaching Snip-Its

  36. You are earning a lot of awards! How fantastic. I'm adding to your wall of fame! I nominated you for the One Lovely Blogger award. Hop on over and pick it up!


  37. Thanks for recommending The Pout-Pout Fish!

    Best Fishes,
    Debbie Diesen (author of The Pout-Pout Fish)

  38. I love 3-in-1 printers! Mine is a printer, scanner and photocopy machine rolled into one! They’re so convenient, and save me a lot of money that I would spend for photocopying documents or for scanning pictures at the Internet shop. Does your printer connect to your phone via Bluetooth? Those things are awesome. Imagine having that at a party, and you just keep taking candid pictures of everybody, print them out as soon as you’ve taken them, and post them on a wall somewhere for everyone to enjoy!

    Clinton Mcalexander