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The 10 Best Back to School Books For the Elementary Classroom

August 13, 2019 No Comments
Best Back to School Books
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The back to school season is one of my absolute favorite times of the year.  Yes, it can be incredibly stressful and difficult to find the time to get every little thing done, but I absolutely love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, a new back to school outfit, and the promise of new smiling students walking through my classroom door.

In order to insure that all of the necessary procedures are reviewed and the classroom community is established, I find that using favorite back to school read alouds and simple reading response activities work best for the first week back to school.  By pairing my favorite read alouds with simple comprehension worksheets that can be used with any book, I can pick and choose which picture books I want to use based on the needs of my students.  Once I know what procedures need to be addressed, I can choose a book and reading response worksheet easily to teach that lesson.  
My hope is that by using simple reading comprehension worksheets alongside my favorite back to school read alouds, I can review important lessons for the beginning of the year quickly and in an enjoyable way.  I have listed, what I think, are the Top 10 Best Back to School Books for the elementary classroom.  I hope you will find some new titles to add to your classroom library! 

The Top 10 Best Back to School Books for the Elementary Classroom:

1.  First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

Your students will love the final twist in the story as they recognize all their same first day feelings but without an unexpected ending this is sure to be a fast favorite!

2.  Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

This is the sweetest story that is appropriate for all year round but especially important to help build classroom community at the beginning of the year.  Written about a sweet girl named Chrysanthemum and her coming to terms with her beautiful name despite being bullied by classmates.

3.  Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Another classic by Kevin Henkes, this one is always a classroom favorite!  Perfect for establishing rules and proper behavior while still celebrating the love of school.

4.  No, David! by David Shannon

If your students aren’t familiar with David already, they are sure to fall in love with him after hearing this silly story.  This book lends itself to a wonderful discussion about good and poor choices both at home and in the classroom.

5.  David Goes to School by David Shannon

Another opportunity to discuss good choices and poor choices with one of your students’ favorites!  This story shows David at school getting into all kinds of mischief.  I love to use this book as an opportunity to show what NOT to do at school that David learns the hard way.

 6.  The Night Before Series…by Natasha Wing

The Night Before First Grade was always a favorite amongst my students and I to get the school year started on the right foot.  Whether we read it together on the first day of school or I asked them to listen to the story before they came to school on the first day, it was a wonderful way to discuss our feelings and emotions about starting school.

7.  The Best Seat in Second Grade by Katharine Kenah

Sam is a sweet new second grader looking to make it his best year yet.  Your students will love hearing about the mishaps he gets into with his new class pet!

8.  Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

Your students are sure to find Officer Buckle and his sidekick Gloria funny and entertaining! This story lends itself the perfect opportunity to discuss classroom and school rules as well as appropriate behaviors.  Have your students review classroom rules or help to establish your own.

9.  Giraffe’s Can’t Dance by Giles Andraea

Giraffe’s Can’t Dance is a beautiful story of Gerald the giraffe who only wishes to dance even though it’s a struggle for him.  Watching Gerald keep going without giving up will surely inspire students to dream big.  It will set up discussion for your class to set big goals for things your students hope to accomplish this school year, even if they haven’t been able to…yet.

10.  Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle is the perfect story to share with your students at the beginning of the school year.  Your students will come across a lot of difficult tasks as the school year moves along and this story is inspiration showing how if you keep working hard at something you will get better and meet your goals!  Your students will see what it’s like to fall down and get back up and you will be able to reference this throughout the entire school year when your students come across something that feels too hard for them to keep going.

First Week of School Reading Comprehension Worksheets

If you are looking for a resource to help make your first week back to school less stressful, my first week of school reading comprehension worksheets would be a great addition to your lesson plans.  These are so easy to prep, simply print them out, copy for your students, and pair them with a favorite back o school read aloud.  Choose from the list that I have above and you’re ready to go! 
 Back to School Reading Comprehension Worksheets
These reading comprehension worksheets can be paired with any back to school book and help make your lesson planning stress-free while also helping to build classroom community, establish rules and procedures for the school year, and set goals for your students like their favorite book characters. There are 16 reading response sheets included in the packet that go perfectly with these 10 best back to school books.  You can see more about them in my TpT store here!
I hope that these book suggestions help enrich your classroom library and allow for a seamless back to school prep time!  If you’re planning on using any of these read alouds with your students I would love to hear how!
Thank you so much for reading!
If these No Prep reading comprehension worksheets for back to school sound like something that will make lesson planning easier, make sure to check out my Reading Comprehension Worksheet Bundle for reading response sheets to go along with read alouds for all of your holidays and themes throughout the school year!
Reading Comprehension Worksheet Bundle

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Hi! I’m Jayme! A former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom sharing toddler activities, mom tips, and educational resources to help you learn and play with your children. I believe in the power of PLAY and creating meaningful activities for you and your little ones to enjoy together.

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