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First Day Jitters (Mrs. Hartwells classroom adventures) Paperback – February 1, 2000
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First Day Jitters
Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn't want to start over at a new school. She doesn't know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending.
Fun, energetic illustrations brighten page after page with the busy antics surrounding Sarah Jane. FIRST DAY JITTERS is an enchanting story that is sure to be treasured by anyone who has ever anticipated a first day of school.
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I bought this in my first year of teaching and it summed up how I was feeling and of course as most teachers are, I get nervous on the first day even though I've been teaching for years. The kids in class always love knowing that even teachers get nervous about the new school year and students - it makes teachers seem more human and relateable to the kids, which I really like.
I'm giving this 4 stars because the illustrations are HIDEOUS. The colors are fine and so are the background details, but the illustrations make the people's faces look distorted, exaggerated, and frightening. I also didn't like that the teacher says she'll "hate" her new school several times - I don't think that's the best choice of words so I replace that word when I read it aloud each year.
Overall, this is a great book to start the school year with!
The book reads as if it's a child who keeps trying to delay getting out of bed in the morning and going to school for the first day. At the end, it turns out it was the teacher who was delaying it because she herself was very anxious about it. This struck my son and he asked if teachers get nervous too. I said that they do because they want to do a good job and will have to learn all the new kids and parents and figure out how to uniquely deal with each one. It made him feel better to hear the teachers are also nervous.
This book has been great for him. Not only does it help him work his way through his worries about starting school, it has some smaller words that he can sound out and help read. This alone has been great for his self confidence.
In the book, the morning is hectic and Sarah Jane Hartwell is quite hesitentant to begin her first day at a new school. She has excuses for not going, believes no one will like her, states she hates her new school and she really liked her old school. The art wonderful details Sarah Jane's vision how she believes her new class will be (disruptive and unruly) compared with Mr. Hartwell's vision of a calm class full of potential friends.
This book is wonderful for starting Kindergarted or a new school. The ending made me laugh and cry at the same time. My daughter finished Kindergarten and is getting ready for the first grade, but she still asks me to read this book about once a week and we laugh as hard as we did the first time we read the book.
The joke was above my students heads. I think the book is better used for talking about being nervous rather than a first day of school read aloud (at least not in 1st grade).