Monday, August 17, 2015

Best Books to Read at the Beginning of the School Year


The theme this week for Must Read Monday is must read stories for the beginning of the school year. This is also the FINAL week of Must Read Monday (sniff, sniff).  This has been a great summer linky party and I am so happy you came along on this reading adventure!

Some of you have already started school and I hope it is going well.  Some of you are like me, and won't get to meet your new little sweeties until September.  In any event, these are books that can be read at the beginning of the school year, and may also be revisited throughout the year.  Many of these become class favorites and students love to hear these stories more than once.

We wanted to end Must Read Monday with a giveaway!  Make sure to stick around so you can enter the rafflecopter below!

The Kindergarten Connection and I would love to know  - what are your favorite book(s) to read at the beginning of the school year?  You can link up with us and/or leave us a comment down below!  Here are a few of my favorites!



No David!,  David Goes to School and David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon are must reads for any primary grade classroom.  The books have easy language for children to learn and funny illustrations.  The David books are great because they show non-examples (or wrong examples) of behavior, and it leads to a class discussion about what the behavior should look like.  I always read these books within the first week of school and they help guide our discussion while developing our classroom rules.


How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen is another fun book that illustrates challenging behaviors.  The story asks questions about how dinosaurs go to school and throughout the book I ask the children if the different behaviors are appropriate.  They always answer "No!"  The second half of the story talks about the correct behavior a dinosaur should exhibit at school.  The dinosaur books rhyme, are silly, and the students enjoy them.


Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate is a book that teachers setting up their classrooms can definitely relate to.  Miss Bindergarten comes into her classroom and unpacks, decorates, and gets ready for her sweet students at the beginning of the school year.  This story is a wonderful rhyming book and the students' names in the story start with each letter of the alphabet A-Z.  I tell my students that I have to do similar things when setting up our classroom - just like Miss Bindergarten.  I read this story at the start of the year, and so my kindergarteners usually just stare at me!  Ha! This is a charming story and a great beginning of the school year read!


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is a wonderfully playful alphabet book with rich and silly language.  The letters are trying to go up the coconut tree, but can they all do it?  There are capital and lowercase letters featured in this story.  I have the audio version of this story.  I never just read it.  Instead, I always play the song, and we sing along.  It is quite fun!


There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books! by Lucille Colandro is another fun Old Lady story with a repeating structure.  She swallows many different school supplies and this story is perfect for retelling the order in which she swallowed them.


The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing follows the pattern of the other The Night Before stories.    This story focuses on several children who are getting ready for kindergarten and dreaming about school supplies on the night before the first day of school.  The parents bring their children to school and everyone meets the teacher.  Tears may be shed in this sweet rhyming story!


Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a favorite story of mine that I read to initiate discussions about treating each other kindly.  It is a lovely story about a little girl with a long and pretty name who gets made fun of by a group of not so nice girls.  Chrysanthemum feels awful after school each day and her parents try to help her feel better.  It is only when the music teacher enters the picture that things begin to change for all involved.  This story is very relatable when talking about being a kind friend and what using un-kind words might feel like.


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is the book I read right away to my kindergarten students - like on the first day of school right away.  After backpacks are put away, I gather the children on the carpet.  There are many sniffles from children and parents simultaneously but that is when I start to share the story about Chester the raccoon going to school and not wanting to leave his mother.  The mother shares "the kissing hand" with Chester and that helps him go to school with a smile.  After I read this story, I tell the children that we are going to give the kissing hand to our parents and say goodbye and we will see them at the end of the day.  This is a nice way to have a large group of parents slowly exit the room, and a good way for us to get started with our kindergarten day.  Warning: this also causes some children to cry harder!


Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes, Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin are also must reads for your primary classroom!  The children love Pete the Cat, and why not?  He is easygoing, chill, and flexible.  He has great lessons to teach us as well.  After all, "It's All Good!"

We read, or shall I say listen, to the CD's at the beginning of the year, as well as throughout the year.  The children love to listen to Pete the Cat over and over again.  My grade level has also put together a Pete the Cat school tour after we read this story on the first day of school - which will be here September 9th!


For More Book Recommendations, please check out:



Must Read Books About Math

Must Read Books About Cooperation

Must Read Books About Compassion

Must Read Books About Rhyming

Must Read Books Just for Fun!

Must Read Holiday Books

Must Read Modern Fairy Tale Books


This post contains affiliate links.

Thanks again for reading along this summer!  It has been wonderful writing about many of my favorite children's books and I always looked forward to Must Read Monday!  Thank you to all of the bloggers who linked up with us, and everyone who read along.  You helped to make this so very special!


                                                             Time for a Giveaway!


We are giving away two $25.00 Amazon gift cards and two $10.00 Starbucks gift cards to two lucky winners!  We hope this makes your time heading back to school very sweet!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. I love all of your choices! The David books and Pete the Cat are some of my favorite for the first week- good for teeny tiny attention spans!

    Deirdre
    Mrs. Garcia's Super Scholars!

    ReplyDelete