First Week Read-Alouds

This is it.
My last two days of summer.
Last days of freedom.
Just kidding...
sort of :)
I love the beginning of the school year - I love the nervous eagerness, the "get-to-know-you" games and activities, going over routines and procedures, and the read alouds!
This week's theme is technically Language Arts, but I don't think the *Cuties* would mind if I cheated a little bit and shared some of my favorite books for back to school. All of them COULD be used in Language Arts :)
I already shared about two back-to-school book favorites in this blog post, but here are three more!
First up...
First Day Jitters
A classic - but oh-so-good!
Synopsis: (from Amazon) Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn't want to start over at a new school. She doesn't know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending.

It's even more perfect because this is my first year at a new school, so Sarah is ME! :)
It will be a great launching pad for discussions about any "jitters" we might be feeling as well as a community building activity.
To go with this book, I've created a fun and engaging packet:
 We don't use all of the activities on the first day (of course!) but I'll refer back to the book throughout the week and sprinkle in activities as we go.
You can grab the 22 page packet for only $3!

Secondly, I love this book:
Synopsis: (from Amazon) Oscar no longer wants to be just another ordinary snail. He s bored and wants some excitement. Oscar wants to be FAMOUS! But when a fairy godsnail appears to make his dream come true, Oscar learns to be careful what he wishes for. . . . This hilarious tale about the ups and downs of celebrity is anything but ordinary.
Oscar dreams of being anything but who he is - until he learns that he is most valuable when he is true to himself and is doing what he does best...being a snail! :)
It's a great opportunity to take about being yourself and not comparing oneself to others.
And lastly, this book is always a hit with my students:
It's a book written FOR students BY students
(a fourth grade class at Sycolin Creek Elementary)
The students love that it's written by kids and it shares all sorts of (unbelievable) zany reasons why a student wouldn't have their homework to turn in.
I always read it after talking about homework policies and procedures :)
Then I let the students come up with their own "excuse" of why they might not be able to turn in their homework:
Each student thinks of a creative excuse and writes it in the top box. The second box is for a picture, like the book's format.
You can grab the free template HERE.
Then we compile the pages in our own "class book"
The kids love looking through it all year.
Then I end the lesson by telling them that none of these zany excuses with get them out of doing their homework. I have this sign hanging in my classroom :)
What books do you read to your students the first week?


  1. Your packet looks great! So does Ordinary Oscar! Thanks so much for sharing--enjoy your last few days...

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  2. I love new book suggestions, the only book I'm familiar with is First Day Jitters. Thanks for the new suggestions!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  3. I am on my last two days too, where did summer go! Have a great first week. Thanks for the book suggestions - the last 2 are new to me too. I am sure my class would love the excuses book and I am looking for any excuse to make a class book :)

  4. Hey Jessica!!
    Of course we don't mind Back to School books!! We love books!!! And the last two are new to me!! There are so many great back to school books I need about 3 weeks to get to read all of them and do such fun activities! All of your activities look awesome (as usual!) and your kiddos will love them!!

    I love the U turn poster!!! That's great!! I'm adding the last two books to my ever growing wishlist!

    I hope you have a great week back to school!! The beginning of a new adventure!!! Enjoy the rest of today and tomorrow!
    Collaboration Cuties

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  6. I love First Day Jitters!

    Ordinary Oscar is a new title to me. I'll have to check that one out. Thank you for sharing the books and your activities to go with them.

    Fit to be Fourth
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  7. Greatest Homework Excuse Book Ever looks fun! I'm going to have to check that out!


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