Well people, it’s that time of year.  Target has filled the Dollar Spot with school goodies.  Everyone is pinning all of these amazing back to school ideas.  Teachers are cramming in the last few naps and real meals that don’t have to be inhaled in 10 minutes.  Teachers are going to the bathroom whenever they want. 
It’s time for Back To School.  I know some of you are back already.  We start July 31 for teachers and August 6 for kids.  This gimpy knee has until August 6 to get it together.  Ain’t nobody got time for a gimpy knee when you have to chase 5 year olds around.   Just sayin…
I asked for favortie read alouds on my Facebook page and got a huge response.  There are so many amazing books and ideas.  I am listing all of the suggestions that were made.  I’m also including ideas that were shared for the books.  If you ahve ideas for these books or suggestions for other books, please leave them in the comments!  Help a teacher out! 
Also, you can click on each picture to snag the book at Amazon.  I ordered all of these that I didn’t have!  Thank you Amazon Prime!  

In my class, we use Big Plans to set BIG PLANS for kindergarten.  This is when we introduce our hopes and dreams for kindergarten.  We share what we hope to learn.  We make a large circle map of all of the hopes and dreams of our class.  We make a class predictable chart where each child shares their biggest goal for kindergarten.  I send home a letter asking for parents to share their hopes and dreams for their child in kindergarten.  Then I write the child’s hope on a puzzle piece and the parent’s hope on a puzzle piece and create a display to remind us all of what we’re working for.  It’s a great way to connect our learning to home!
Click the picture to see a post with more about the hopes and dreams activity!

Any book that encourages us to be ourself and to accept others  is a must have!   And I LOVE Todd Parr!

This is a great book for talking about teamwork and tolerance.  After we read the book, I give my ‘staches a piece of paper and 1 crayon.  Just 1.  I ask them to draw me a picture of a rainbow.  Then we discuss.  Then I give them all of the colors and have them to the same picture again.  We talk about which is better and why.  This is a great visual to help students understand that we must work together if we’re going to make beautiful learning in kindergarten!

I read this book at the beginning of the year and we talk about the behavior of the kids.  We discuss what happens if we make bad choices (Miss Swamp shows up…and that ain’t no good people!).  We make a simple Miss Swamp project and for the rest of the year if the class acts up, someone always says Miss Swamp is coming!  Great behavior management book!

My friend Darilynn shared this book and this idea:
After reading the book each child turns to their shoulder buddy and gives them a compliment.  Then each child takes a turn throwing a pebble into a clear container of water so they can see the ripple effect of the pebble.  This is the ripple effect of kindness.  POWERFUL STUFF FOLKS!!!  

We read this book and do a predictable chart.  I felt ___________ on the first day of kindergarten!
Then we drink jitter juice of course!

I just ordered my first Pete book.  TRUTH!  I am giving in a bit.  Just a bit…

After we read this story, we make a T chart.  On one side we list all of things that they do in the book to get ready for kindergarten.  On the other side, we list all of the things WE did to get ready for kindergarten.  It’s a fun way to talk out some of the jitters!

Names.  Nuff said.

We list all the things David SHOULD be doing at school!  

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  • Reply Becky July 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I love all these books! I love the Miss Swamp project– and your comment, “Ain't no good!” Random statement… I noticed yesterday (on fb/not stalking) you live in Nashville! I live in Smyrna. Not too far!!

  • Reply Michaele July 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Great list, Greg! Here's a link to my post sharing how I made Kissing Hand cookies to go along with the story: http://kidney-garden.blogspot.com/2008/08/first-day-of-school.html

    I've been getting my room and materials settled early too, though today I took it as a sign that I should head home for the afternoon and enjoy some down time when I used my last piece of laminating film. 🙂 No more laminating until Amazon gets my order to me.


  • Reply Barbara July 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Awesome list! Each Kindness is one of my new FAVES!

    I found this AmAzInG post to go along with Polka-dot!



  • Reply Kayla July 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    This was a great assortment of back to school books. Thanks for posting all of these!

  • Reply Linda Griffin July 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Great choices! I loved your Miss Nelson comment! Please read Leo the Late Bloomer. It teaches that everyone blooms at different times. But that we all bloom and ae special. Great lesson for the classroom.

  • Reply JB Kelley July 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Greg! I love the list of books you posted. I am adding some of those books to my collection. I love your idea for the chart with Bindergarten and Miss Nelson crafty. I will be adding those activities to my first week. Thanks!!!
    I love The Kissing Hand story and using it for feelings on the first day. I found a super cute crafty from pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/pin/30751209928800603/

  • Reply Heather July 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    That's a great book list. I teach 4th grade and I always read Stand Tall,Molly Lou Melon to them. Love it!

  • Reply Jackie July 28, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I do hopes and dreams too! I use the book The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater. i have each student do their own hope and dream for the year then keep it. we look at them during the last week of school and write about if we accomplished our dream and how.

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