As the new school year approaches, I am reviewing my plans from previous years and working on ways to improve my lessons. The Daily 5 has completely changed the way I teach and has allowed me more time to read to my students and teach through mini lessons. Mini lessons are short periods of time where you focus on reading or writing skills and strategies. Mini lessons at the beginning of the year can also cover classroom procedures, rules, and behavior. Here are a few of my favorites for the first few weeks of school:
First Day Jitters
This is a good book to help break the ice and let the students know that they are not the only ones who get nervous on the first day of school.
I usually read this on the second day and do activities using the students' names.
What if Everybody Did That?
I already used this question a lot in my classroom and was thrilled to see that there was a book with the same title! I like this book because it shows the action and the consequence. It covers some good areas for discussion such as yelling out in class and littering.
Another book that shows the action and the consequence. My students and I make anchor charts with the classroom rules. These books helps generate ideas for setting our classroom guidelines.
My Mouth is a Volcano
Another good one to help generate discussion about waiting your turn to speak and being a good listener.
The Recess Queen
A fun book with lots of rhyming and a good message about playground behavior and bullying.
A Bad Case of the Stripes
A great book for getting the students to understand that it is o.k. to be different.
The Brand New Kid
A nice story about a new kid who looks and sounds different from the other students.
Whoever You Are
I use this book to help introduce our involvement in The Global Classroom Project. Students see that there are kids all over the world just like them!
I hope this gives you some good ideas for the the start of school. What books do you read to your students during the first weeks?