As many of Star Bright titles are geared toward responding to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), all contain high quality stories, the illustrations, and messages. Their philosophy is that “all children should see themselves in print,” and they take great effort to include children of all colors, nationalities, and abilities in their books.
“We Love First Grade!”™ series, written by Miriam Cohen and illustrated by Ronald Himler, are books that have become a “must have” series for educators and parents to share with young students. Strongly recommended for SEL, young readers will see how the children, with gentle encouragement from teachers, figure out how to deal with issues that they come across.
You can find most titles in the “We Love First Grade!”™ series on Big Universe:
The first time that these first graders are faced with a standardized test upsets most of the class. They become competitive and begin arguing. Their teacher explains to them that a test doesn't reflect important things like building, reading, and drawing – but most of all reflect their kindness and friendship with each other. This is can be a greet reading prompt to facilitate a classroom discussion on testing, how to ease nerves and a child’s self-worth should not be limited to test scores.
The first graders are excited about Valentine’s Day cards they will receive. Although their teacher tells them to send a card to everyone in the class, ensuring that no one will feel left out, George ends up getting fewer cards than everyone else, and runs into the coatroom to cry. His teacher asks the class how they can make George feel better – and they cheer him up! Another great book to use a classroom discussion – from figuring out how George was shorted on cards, if it was intentional, and how the day ended.
Layla is a shy new girl in first grade, and her classmates wonder why she wears a head scarf. As the school day progresses, they learn about Layla's culture as the librarian reads to the class a book from where Layla’s family is from. She encounters more personal questions during lunch and recess, but during art, the class learns just how much they all have in common.
When Jim returns to school after his dog, Muffins, dies, his friends try to comfort him. But instead of playing with his friends, he sits alone, sadly missing his beloved dog. Paul knows how to cheer up his friend, and through tears of joy and sadness, Jim finally opens up and shares memories of Muffins. Readers can see how classmates empathize with Jim losing his pet but learn that they need to allow him to grieve as he chooses.
When the new boy in school, Alex, tries to make friends by bragging, the class refuses to play with him! However, he learns that there are better ways to befriend others. Helping each other out and being a “team player” is how Alex becomes a part of the class.
When the first grade plans a costume party, everyone is excited. Jim comes as “the Strongest Man in the World,” and finds himself face-to-face with a third grade bully. He saves the day when he accidentally takes on the bully, proving that he really is a strong man. Exposure to diverse personalities help readers to empathize with characters' experiences.
Star Bright Books
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