There are not many things in life that make me happier than back to school. Everyone posting on IG of their fabulous finds at the dollar spot in Target and their PD fun just makes me happy happy! I love the excitement of a new group and everyone just recharging to get ready for the new year. Naturally, back to school read alouds are part of that fun for me. I pictured some of my favorite stories that we do for those first couple weeks at school.
I also have some activities that go along with each book that we read.
Here are some of my favorites…
Always at the beginning, we read “The Kissing Hand” and students talk about how they felt on the first day of school. I usually tear off a big piece of paper and write what they said. We always put a heart in the middle and at the end of the day, I give them either a heart tattoo, stamp or sticker on their hand so they remember to tell their parents what they did at school that day. I usually do that book on the very first day.
“Kindergarten Rocks” is another story that we read on one of the first days and I have the students draw a self portrait and this is two-fold because I save this piece and put it in their memory book. I also have a “Last Day in Kindergarten” self portrait and they always love to see their progress of how they drew themselves on the first day compared to the last day.
Not only do I have a lot of books that I love to read aloud during the first couple of days/weeks, but I ALWAYS have books on display in my room that students are able to read themselves. Most can’t “read” but it’s so important that we teach kiddos how to respect our books and allow them to read the books that we read them. My favorite mini lesson on this is by Kim Adsit about “Book Lovers vs. Book Bullies” and I highly suggest you do that as your very first mini lesson with students.
I use a lot of these stories to kick off activities that we will do a lot of during the year. We do a TON of emergent readers in my room with highlighters. I have the students practice highlighting picture words after we read a book about school (You could use is with Mouse’s First Day or First Day, Hooray!).
We also use books to talk about behavior and rules that apply to our classroom. I feel like I can’t get enough books in those first couple of weeks because there is always SO much to do and students are getting used to being at a new school. Everything is so new and exhausting for all involved ;0)
But, I do want my students to love and appreciate books from the beginning so that’s what we do a lot of…read!
One of my favorite books is “Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Sleep in Room 10” and I try to convince the kids that I really do live at school (because we all do, right?) and then I have them vote. I make a T-chart and have the students write their name on a post it note. Then, they put their vote either under the School side or Home side depending on where they think I sleep. We make a class book using this and they illustrate where they think I live.
I hope you got some ideas for those first few weeks back to school because I know how hectic and crazy it can be! Hopefully, these books and activities will help with some of the classroom management and lesson planning for the first few weeks!