The first day of school is fast approaching and you’re doing all the usual things that teachers do: setting up reading corners, hanging curtains and other decorative items, clearing out the cobwebs in corners. You’re climbing on top of desks to tack up number lines, stapling paper to bulletin boards, fastening letters onto the word wall. Photocopying your introductory parent letter, an “All About Me” packet and the supply list. You leave at the end of the day exhausted, sweaty and…excited.
Excited for the new faces that will enter your classroom in just a few short days. Excited for their stories, their enthusiasm and their own unique sense of excitement.
You’ve made a list of procedures to teach the first week, ice-breaker games, math lessons. Everything’s ready or as ready as it will be.
But what about read alouds? Sometimes we feel like we have so much to squeeze in those first few days (and beyond) that the read aloud is often the first thing to go.
Don’t let that happen.
There is so much to be gained from reading to students: fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and even phonics/phonemic awareness. And perhaps most importantly, developing a love of reading and a community of readers in the classroom.
I’ve listed a few of my personal favorites here, along with a possible classroom connection for each:
Book Title Author Classroom Connection
A Chair for My Mother Vera B. Williams Helping others
The Carrot Seed Ruth Krauss Hard work and persistence
Something Beautiful Sharon Wyeth Caring for our classroom and community
The Important Book Margaret Wise Brown We are all unique and important
Chrysanthemum Kevin Henkes Diversity
Today I feel silly… Jamie Lee Curtis Understanding feelings
A Bad Case of Stripes David Shannon Being comfortable with who we are
Bad Kitty Nick Bruel Following directions
The Relatives Came Cynthia Rylant Summer vacation writing
Knuffle Bunny Too Mo Willems Getting along and sharing
Lunch Money and Carol Diggerty Shields Poems about the school day
other poems about School
Have any of your own “go to” books to share? Please leave a comment so we can add to our list.
Then sprinkle in a few extra read alouds to your schedule those first few days. You’ll be glad that you did.
Love using The Carrot Seed the last 5 minutes before dismissal on the first day. It ends the day on a positive 🙂 I often reread this book and my students LOVE to make connections to it! Some other books I read the first week are: Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind, any Patricia Polacco book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, and No David!
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