All 20 Another Sommer-Time StoryTM Picture Books and
Read-Alongs Won the Teachers' Choice Award for 2005
Unabridged Comments

Learning® Magazine

11th Annual

2005 Teachers’ ChoiceSM 
Award Program

For the PDF version click here

What aspects of the product did you like the most?

The social content of the text is extremely important to teachers of young children. We actually need a supportive, social curriculum to meet the needs of children growing up in society today. The world is a much different place than it was even 3 years ago. The variety of topics, even under the social umbrella, was varied and comprehensive. I especially liked the audio cd (no tapes!). After an initial reading, children can listen to the story independently. The illustrations are attractive to children, for example, I Am A Lion remind children of The Lion King.
I like the fact that the book came with the cd, and it was stored in the book
The stories engaged my students. The pictures were clear.
My class loves the listening station so everyone wants to listen to books on CD. They liked how they could learn how to behave.

These books by Carl Sommer’s are absolutely fabulous! I liked the fun illustrations and the interesting stories. The books teach life skills without preaching. The children connect with the stories and remember the events.
I really like the cute stories. I like the option of letting the students listen to the stories from a CD. I also liked all of the resources that are made available on the accompanying website.
I liked the stories and illustrations. I also like the website link that provides lesson plans, activities and awards that support the message given in each book.
I liked the interesting and fun stories. I thought the illustrations were well done. I also liked having the story available on a CD.

What would you recommend to make the product better?

The audio cd should inform the children when to turn the page...When you hear this sound, turn the page. [The CDs do have audio signals.] Children did not automatically acquaint the sound with turning the page. Also, suggested lesson plans or activities would also make this more appealing to teachers. Teachers like to have ideas for using a product.  [On there are lesson plans and activities for each book.]
I would recommend making the stories shorter. Also tie the virtues in with our character counts pillars. My students are first graders. They need shorter stories. The length is fine for third - fifth.

I really can’t think of any recommendations at this time. No recommendations that I can think of.
I would like to see a CD with all of the songs that go with the books provided all together. [We have two Karacter Kidz CDs that contain all the songs.] No recommendations that I can think of.

How did you make use of the product, or integrate it into your lesson plans?

I read a book at our class meeting and we discussed the implications of the text. We then related it to life in our classroom. Then I put it in our listening center for independent reading.
I placed it in the listening center.
I read the stories aloud to my students and we discussed them
I made this part of the listening station during center time. They had to write and draw about what they learned.

In my classroom, we have been using this product to talk about the traits of a good friend, what it means to persevere. I also connected to the web site that provides lesson plans, words to the songs which are on the CDs. We use the songs for shared era.
We have been using these books to help build a sense of community in our classroom. We have been using the books to learn how we should treat each other; how we can persevere through hard times or difficult situations; how we can be good members of our [?]
We have been using this product to build community in our classroom. We are using the stories to help us learn how to get along and solve problems.
We have used this product in a few different ways: I printed the words that are in the songs at the end of each CD. We read through these songs and sing them as a shared reading activity. We have also been using the books to build community in our class

How did your students react to the product, if applicable?

Some of the texts were a bit long for kindergarten students to listen to in one sitting. I would sometimes have to break the reading of the book into two sessions. However, during independent reading, it was the most chosen book. They loved the illustrations and the story lines held their attention.
My students really liked the stories, and went back a second time for certain ones. They wanted me to read more of them right away. They love listening.. Everyone liked it.

The students have really enjoyed the books. They will often ask to reread a [a] book. The love the songs that go with each book. They have had a very positive reaction to the product. The books have generated some lively conversations.
The students love the books. They ask me to read them over and over! They love to make connections between the books and their lives.

The boys and girls have really enjoyed the stories. They often ask if we can read them again and again.
The children enjoy the stories. They often refer to them in class discussions. They often ask if we can read them again and again.

What skills could this product teach?

Social skills! So many children come to school lacking basic socialization. Listening skills could also be taught using these books and concepts of print, left to right, top to bottom. Story retelling (acting out various scenarios) and fluency.
Social skills, morals, values.
Character counts, social skills.
This shows good character and manners. It helps promote positive behavior.

These books help me to teach social skills or life skill to my students. The stories are told with animal characters who personify human characteristics.
These books can be used to help build a sense of community in a classroom. They can be used to help children learn how to treat each other; how children can persevere through hard times or difficult situations; how children can be good members of our country.
We have been using the books to learn how we can become better friends, what are some things we can do when we become discouraged, and other important social skills.
We have been using the books to learn how we can become better friends, what are some things we can do when we become discouraged, and other important social skills.

Do you feel this product effectively helps you meet state/national standards?

Absolutely. Our standards specially target life-long learners and caring, productive citizens. Without a solid social curriculum and material content to support that curriculum, teachers can not foster altruistic behaviors and maintain effective classrooms.
I think it could very well fit into the curriculum, and if it was tweaked to meet our 12 pillars of character, it may really prove to be beneficial.

Yes. It presents skills of character in a way first grade students can really relate.
This product can be incorporated with our district character counts program.

I think that using the songs for shared reading can help me, as a teacher, to help my students be successful in meeting state and national standards. I can review reading skills with my students while they are singing and enjoying the songs.
I don’t think this product directly helps children meet state and national standards. The product seems to teach social skills/life skills.
I don’t really see that this product would help a teacher meet state and national standards. However, I think the product is helpful in teaching children other skills that will assist them for the rest of their lives.
I think that using the songs as a shared reading activity will help children develop reading skills that will help them to meet state and national and state standards.

If funds were available, would you purchase this product OR recommend this product for the teacher at the appropriate grade level? Why or why not?

Yes, I would recommend this product. It is imperative that schools foster character education as well as academic content in order to educate the whole child.
Yes. They are very useful to teach issues of behavior and social development.
Yes, I believe it helps to promote positive behavior in students in an non threatening manner.

I would buy these books or at least convince my school librarian to purchase the books for the school. I believe the books provide a valuable resource -- especially for students who struggle with social skills in the society.
I think these books are very valuable. I would encourage other teachers to purchase them because I think the books would be helpful in teaching self-esteem, social skills and work ethics. I think these books would be especially helpful for elementary school.
I would encourage teachers to buy this product. I think this product is a very effective way to help children develop social skills that can improve their lives and prepare them to make positive contributions to society.
I would buy this product because I think it can be used in a variety of ways to teach several topics. I am very impressed with this product. It would be a great school wide character-ed program. It is also very effective in building a classroom community.