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25 First Day Read Alouds All Successful Teachers Should Know About

picture books to read aloud on the first day of school

It's the first day of school and your brand new students are excited and nervous.  

They were probably up all night worrying about - Will I like this new classroom?  Will I learn a lot? Is the new teacher nice?  Will I make any friends?  Or maybe even - Will everybody accept me and be nice to me?  Will I enjoy coming here each day?  Will I feel important and motivated to learn?

Just imagine.....

Maybe Sarah was bullied last year and is hoping this year will be different.  Maybe Eli hated reading and hopes his new teacher will let him choose his own books.  Or maybe Trenton is a transfer student and looks different from the others.

Whatever the worry is,  it's your job (and mine) on the first day of school to ease that anxiety and to show your brand new students that this is going to be the #bestyearever.

But knowing exactly how to do that is tough.

That's where picture books come in.  

Yes, even big kids still love and need to hear the crucial messages that picture books deliver.

Where can you find these books that share messages of love, respect, diversity, perseverance, growth mindset and more?  Those perfect books that will show your brand new students that this year will be different? This year will be better!

thank you mr. falker

Right here that's where!  

How did I find these amazing picture books that NEED to be read on the first day of school?

I asked over 500 veteran teachers on my Instagram account for their recommendations and I'm going to share their responses with you.  Right now!

(Click HERE if you're not already following me on IG.)

Actually, I'm going to do more than just share their responses, I'm linking up the covers of 25 books they recommended (in order of popularity, first to last) so that all you have to do is click on the ones that look perfect for your classroom. Each link will take you directly to Amazon. (This post contains affiliate links.)

I know how busy you are planning for that perfect first day, I want to make finding your read alouds as simple as possible.

And now I'm off to add several of these gems to my cart as well.  Oh Amazon, you get me every time!

Here's to the #bestyearever!



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Thanks for reading.  If you have a favorite first day read aloud that didn't make this list please share it in the comments below. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission (that I spend on buying more books for my students) if you make a purchase using these links.

How to End Your Year in Social Studies with an Engaging Project Your Students Will Love

Are you struggling with keeping your students engaged these last few weeks of school?  Are they flipping water bottles, spinning fidgets, hiding slime and anything else to avoid having to do actual school work?

Image result for fidget spinner, slime, water bottle flipping meme

My fifths can barely sit still right now.  But I can't give up on teaching and learning yet.  We still have a lot to cover - the entire American Revolution to be precise.  I can't let those slime loving dabbers off the hook yet!  

So how do I tackle this problem every year? By sneaking in learning, while making them feel like they're having fun!

This is where mock trials come in!  If you've never tried mock trials in your classroom you are missing out!

To read more about how I implement mock trials in our classroom check out this blog post HERE.

Mock trials are my absolute favorite project every single year!  They are the perfect way to bring alive any event in history AND bring the judicial branch to life in your very own classroom.

We started our mock trials projects last week with auditions, and now our attorneys can't keep their hands off every book/source that has anything to do with the topic of their case (either the Boston Tea Party or the Boston Massacre).  Literally they are working their little behinds off (yes working hard in May!!!) and their sense of purpose and drive blows me away every year!

Meanwhile, I'm wandering around aimlessly without much to do while they're strategizing with their witnesses, writing their opening and closing statements, practicing their lines of questioning and learning more about these events that I ever thought possible!  

I can't imagine ending the year in social studies any other way. My kiddos are so engaged I haven't seen a water bottle flip in almost a week! 

I believe so powerfully in mock trials that I am giving away a set of my Road to the Revolution Mock Trials Project to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is enter the giveaway below before May 13th. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Plus, there's more great news.  If you enter this second giveaway you'll also have the chance to win a $100 Target gift card - perfect for some summer clothes shopping!   Make sure you enter all parts of the giveaway so you can be considered for the prize.

Best of luck with both the giveaways and with surviving the last few weeks of school!

For the chance to win more end of the school year activities, continue the blog hop by clicking on the link below!

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