We are back in full swing at my school but I know many of you are just entering your first few weeks of school. The first weeks of school can be a little rocky because routines and procedures haven’t been established, you are still getting to know you new kiddos, and you are really trying to help student transition to the new school year. One way to establish routines, procedures, and a sense of community in your classroom is by doing read alouds.
Today I want to share with you my top 5 read alouds for establishing an environment so children feel safe and know what to expect in the classroom. I love these books all for different reasons! I have found that these five books really help students get over those back to school jitters and creates opportunities for great classroom discussions.
My first pick is David Goes to School by David Shannon. Last week I blogged about how I use this book to help me teach rules and expectations. You can read about it and snag the David freebie here. I use this story for it’s humor and to show my students how NOT to behave in school. The kids love it because they can easily choose the behaviors such as calling out, playing after the bell, or touching others that are against the rules. Here is a journal entry prompt I sometimes use to have my students really think about David’s behavior.
My second pick is First Grade Stinks by Mary Ann Roman. I love this book because I want my students to understand that we will have fun in first grade but it is very different from Kindergarten. Here is an idea for a journal entry for this book.
My third pick for back to school is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I enjoy reading this book because I love the message that it is okay to be different and that we should never let others change who we are. Many times I have student new to country or new to school and I want them to know that being different can be a great thing weather they have a unique name, speak a different language, or have a shy personality. I usually do this on the first day of first grade so our journal entries are very minimal. At my school they are only 5 weeks out of Kindergarten so I don’t expect too much writing after summer vacation. That being said, my expectations for first grade writing quickly changes:)
My fourth pick is First Grade Jitters by Robert Quackenbush. My students like this book because it helps them to see that it is okay to feel anxious the first few days of school. I usually like to read this book and do some of the activities from Abby Mullen’s TpT unit Fun With Firsties.
My fifth and final pick is First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. I LOVE this book because it shows my student that they are not the only ones who get nervous about the first day of school. I think it is important for them to know that we teachers get the jitters too.
If you are going to pick some or all of these titles up, I recommend doing so through Amazon. Often times they will give you a great deal for picking up three or more titles at once. If you are interested in any of these books, just click on the cover and it will send you to the book title on Amazon.
I hope you have an amazing start to the new year! Good luck, and remember no matter how tough it may get, always…. Teach With a Smile!