What books will you read your first week back? The first books you read with your students give you the opportunity to discuss all those “Back to School” feelings and set the tone for the learning environment you want to create with them this school year. I like a balanced mix of “Back to School” books and books that encourage values I feel are especially important in my classroom. Check out the list below for my favorite books to kick the year off!
When I found this book last year, it quickly became one of my new favorites. It uses emojis to discuss social-emotional language from A to Z. Being able to identify and communicate feelings is a powerful tool for children that will help them both socially and academically.
This book teaches that it’s okay to make mistakes and that mistakes can be marvelous learning experiences. This book is especially great to read before trying a new type of project in class. It encourages perseverance and creativity, two key skills in 21st-century learning.
An interactive book that is written in a “Choose Your Own Story” style. The reader helps the main character, Danny, make choices throughout his day that are choices children face on a daily basis. This is a book you can read many times, and children enjoy seeing how making different decisions for Danny changes the story. This book is great for empowering children to take ownership of the decisions they make.
This classic is great to read for a pre-first day meet and greet or on the first day of school. Separation can be very difficult for some children and parents, and this story does a beautiful job of bringing those feelings to light and giving comfort.
This book helps children figure out the difference between problems they can work out themselves and problems they need adult assistance with.
More Great Back-to-School Reads:
Chrysanthemum | by Kevin Henke
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? | by Jane Yolen
What if Everybody Did That? | Ellen Javernick
Pete the Cat: Too Cool For School | by Kimberley and James Dean
The Day the Crayons Quit | by Drew Daywalt
She Persisted – 13 American Women Who Changed the World | by Chelsea Clinton
If You Take a Mouse to School | by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Rosie Revere, Engineer | by Andrea Beaty
Maddi’s Fridge | by Lois Brandt, illustrated by Vin Vogel
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School | Deborah Diesen
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse | by Kevin Henkes
Dinosaur vs. School | by Bob Shea
The Interrupting Chicken | by David Ezra Stein
Samantha Burke is a Bay Area educator who is passionate about teaching literacy and social-emotional development. She is a credentialed reading specialist who has worked with children for ten years and enjoys creating innovative learning opportunities for students and resources for parents through her tutoring company, Valley of the Moon Learning.