Read Alouds for the First Weeks of School

While walking through my local Target recently, I started to see the back-to-school end caps and signs. Although I am not in the classroom anymore, it always brings back feelings of preparing for the new school year. I still look over the supplies and picture what I would buy if I had a classroom today. This year especially, I am thinking about how I would approach teaching after interrupted school years and the stress of lockdowns, mandates, civil unrest, and other unforeseen factors students have faced while navigating the ever-changing pandemic. I have a tough time wrapping my head around the enormous weight teachers must feel going into this school year and applaud them for persevering. As a first-grade teacher, I received students who already experienced a full year of kindergarten and learned the ropes of in-person instruction in a school setting. That is not the case for first-grade teachers this year; those students do not have that in-person experience which adds another level of needed preparedness. This situation is not unique to first-grade teachers either, all grade-level teachers are preparing for students who have been out of the classroom setting and navigating that on top of all the other responsibilities of teaching. 

In my role as a classroom specialist, I get to prepare for this upcoming school year a little differently than I did as a classroom teacher. A shining light I get to experience in my new career serving schools is the ability to see the amount of great picture books that are currently being published. I make recommendations for classroom libraries, and it brings me joy to include amazing literature that incorporates positivity, inclusivity, and purpose. These titles make me so excited for the teachers and students who get to experience the joy of reading a new book. I picture the little faces soaking in these texts, listening, learning, and having conversations. These picture books bring me happiness and a sense of hope for the future. My wish is that this school year brings teachers and students joy that outweighs the challenges. Below are some of my recommendations of books to read aloud the first few weeks of school. 


K-3 Read Alouds for the First Weeks of School 

I Got The School Spirit By Schofield-Morrison, Connie
Day You Begin By Jacqueline Woodson
Outside, Inside By Leuyen Pham
Eyes That Kiss in the Corners By Joanna Ho
We Will Rock Our Classmates By Ryan T. Higgins
Becoming Vanessa By Vanessa Brantley-Newton
The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! By Mo Willems
I Promise By Lebron James
Sorry (Really Sorry) By Joanna Cotler
All Are Welcome By Alexandra Penfold

 Jabari Tries By Gaia Cornwall
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus By John Grandits
The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts By Trudy Ludwig
You Matter By Christian Robinson
Many Colors of Harpreet Singh By Supriya Kelkar
If I Built a School By Chris Van Dusen
All Welcome Here By James Preller
Something’s Wrong! A Bear, a Hare, and Some Underwear By Jory John
Speak Up, Molly Lou Melon By Patty Lovell
First Day Critter Jitters By Jory John