The beginning of the school year is simply overwhelming, right?! There is so much for us to do and prepare and so many procedures and routines to teach. We have so many emotions. Our students have so many big emotions. But, the beginning of the school year is a great time to start working on reading comprehension using those emotions and focusing on making connections to the text. It’s also a great time to use inclusive text that reflect our students, their families, and their communities. Keep reading to see what texts we use for the first few weeks of school and the comprehension lessons we teach using those texts!
The King Of Kindergarten And The Queen Of Kindergarten
Our first read-alouds are The King Of Kindergarten and The Queen Of Kindergarten. These books are great for making connections and comparisons to our first day of school. The students are able to talk about emotions and feelings about starting school.
The students also draw a picture of themself on the first day of school! Our Read It Up creation includes a page for Kings and Queens!
Your Name Is A Song
Your Name Is A Song is a fantastic book for learning about names. The book talks about the importance of names and the importance of learning how to pronounce names correctly! This is a MUST-HAVE for the classroom! We graph the number of letters in our name, we write our names using different colors and we do work with counting the letters in our name.
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten is a fun read-aloud that kids connect with and enjoy! This text is great for getting students to discuss the first day of school. We make connections to the characters in the story and how they got ready for the first day of kindergarten.
This lesson is a great way to help kids start talking about the first day of school. Relating to the story helps ease some of their fear and the conversations help build language and vocabulary!
We also talk about how we felt on the first day of school. I honestly tell my kids I was nervous on the first day. Because ya’ll, I’m ALWAYS nervous on the first day. True story. Then we make our first class graph for our feelings.
We also make a name chart to help us learn our names and letters!
For more first-day comprehension activities, check out Read It Up! Miss Bindergarten!
A classic text for the beginning of the year is Chrysanthemum. This is a great book for working with names. And we all know the importance of working with names at the beginning of the year. This book also helps us talk about kindness and being unique.
This How Many Letters In Your Name chart helps us learn our friends’ names, and helps with letter recognition and counting and number! The goal of these lessons and activities is to hit multiple skills at once and because we’re using names, the kids are engaged!
The Pigeon Has To Go To School
Who loves the pigeon books? My class loves these books. The newest book is about the pigeon going to school. This is another great book for getting kids to talk about feelings about school. The pigeon is also a familiar character so the kids relate to the story.
Miss Nelson Is Missing
Some day, I will show up to my class dressed as Miss Swamp. I promise this is coming. But until then, Miss Nelson Is Missing is a great book for discussing rules and expectations at the beginning of the year. It’s also a great opportunity to have students talking about what kind of teacher they want! This is such a huge opportunity to build relationships and understand what our students expect of us. We have expectations for them so it’s only fair that they have expectations for us as well!
Another lesson is to have the students describe Miss Swamp and Miss Nelson. Check it out, in the first week or two of school, you’re comparing and contrasting characters and building vocabulary!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
You simply can’t start the year without Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. This book is full of possibilities for letters and sounds lessons and activities. It’s also the PERFECT time to break out a costume!
This is actually a lesson on letter recognition. Students choose a letter, say the letter and sound, and then stick the letter on the coconut tree! (The letters are felt stickers from the Target Dollar Spot.)
CCBB is also a great opportunity to discuss letters/numbers/words. This is a great informal assessment that helps me understand my students’ understanding of some basic concepts of print.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom also opens the door to some great science lessons using coconut. We learn about our five senses and explore the coconut, we taste the coconut and graph the results. And we’re working on letters and sounds! Again, it’s about covering multiple skills and standards in one lesson.
The students pass the coconut and then we describe the coconut using each of the 5 senses. We also taste coconut water and fresh coconut. This is always a priceless activity because of their reactions!