August 31, 2016

16 Books For the First Week of School

Please note: This post contains affiliate links.

 One great way to break the ice with new students is to read a story to them. There are lots of great books themed around the beginning of the school year. I have compiled some of my favorites here:
  1.  The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - This is a well-known classic. When Chester Raccoon is nervous about his first day of school, his mother teaches him a secret that will ensure he knows that she is with him always. Great for kids struggling with separation anxiety from their parents.
  2.  First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg - This is one of my favorites! The main character does not want to get out of bed on the first day of school, and imagines how horrible it will be. In a twist at the end it is revealed that the main character is a teacher. Can anyone else relate?
  3.  How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague - With funny rhymes and hilarious pictures the authors describe how dinosaurs might act if they went to school. This would be a great book for younger readers and lends itself to talking about appropriate behavior at school.
  4.  Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 10 by Judy Finchler - When the main character's teacher moves into his apartment complex, he is hit by the realization that she doesn't live in her classroom after all. Sometimes it sure feels like I live in my Speech room...
  5.  Brand-new Pencils, Brand-new Books by Dianne deGroat - This story follows Gilbert through his first day of first grade. I like this book because it features realistic situations, from worrying about first grade being difficult, to learning about all the classroom rules, to eating in the cafeteria, etc. It's a very sweet book with innocent pictures.
  6.  Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes - Chrysanthemum loves her name. That is, until she starts school and the other children mock her for it. It is not until her teacher reveals an equally unusual name that the other children accept her. It's a cute story about fitting in and accepting others despite their differences.
  7.  Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate - This rhyming book follows Miss Bindergarten and her students as they get ready for class. A great book to talk about morning routines. This is a good choice for younger students.
  8.  A Tiger Tail: (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School) by Mike Boldt - Anya wakes up on the first day of school only to discover that she has grown a tiger tail. Fearing the jeers of the other children, she does everything to get out of having to go to school. When she finally does arrive to school she discovers that several other children have also sprouted animal body parts. Students really appreciate the funny story and hilarious pictures.
  9.  A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech - This book is pretty funny, too (as are the illustrations). Tillie attends Mr. Keene's school. Mr. Keene loves his school so much that he decrees that students and teachers will also have school on weekends, holidays, and break. Neither the students nor the teachers want to go to school every day, but because they don't want to hurt Mr. Keene's feelings no one wants to speak up. Finally, Tillie convinces Mr. Keene that she is needed at home to teach her little brother and dog new things. In the end Mr. Keene relents and gives teachers and students their free time back.
  10.  My Teacher's Secret Life by Stephen Krensky - This is a story about a student who believes all of his teachers live at school. He fantasizes about how his teachers act after the students leave. When he sees her at the park with her husband and daughter, he concludes that she must have a secret life. A good book to use for teachers to introduce themselves to students and share information about their own life.
  11.  Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry G. Allard - Another well-known favorite. Miss Nelson's class is full o misbehaving students. One day, Miss Nelson disappears and a new teacher shows up. Unlike sweet Miss Nelson, Miss Swamp is strict and direct. The students hypothesize what might have happened to Miss Nelson and fear that they will be stuck with Miss Swamp forever, until Miss Nelson returns. From now on, her students are perfect little angels. In the end it is revealed that Miss Swamp was Miss Nelson in disguise. A great book to talk appropriate classroom behaviors.
  12.  David Goes To School by David Shannon - I have never met a kid who didn't love the David books. In this edition, David gets in trouble around the classroom. This book is a great way to talk about classroom and school rules.
  13.  Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin - Pete the Cat is rocking his School Shoes in this book. Readers get to guess which part of school Pete is in after each page as they follow him through his school day. This is a great choice for younger students.
  14.  A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon - Camilla Cream likes to fit in to the point of where she refuses to eat lima beans only because her friends don't like them. But on the first day of school she wakes up with rainbow stripes all over her body! When she goes to school, her condition is such a big distraction to her classmates that the principal orders her to stay home. Doctors are working to help cure Camilla, but every treatment seems to exacerbate the problem. In the end, the cure is a large helping of lima beans. This is a great story about individual differences and trying to fit in.
  15.  This School Year Will Be the BEST! by Kay Winters - A teacher asks her students to share their wishes for the school year. A quick, easy read for younger students. You can also launch into a discussion about what your students are hoping for this school year.
  16.  The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing - This rhyming book follows the main character as she completes her back to school preparations and goes through the first day of school. A little hiccup occurs when the main character ends up in a different class than her best friend and is forced to make new friends. This is a good story to talk about forming new friendships.
Do you have a back-to-school book you love that is not listed here? Please share in the comments!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment