The beginning of school and especially the beginning of kindergarten is the perfect time to teach your students to LOVE listening and reading books. It’s simple. The more you read engaging, thoughtful, humorous books – the more your students will beg you to read.
It’s a win-win if you ask me. After thinking about some of my favorite books to read when school begins each year. It changes from year to year because I have so many books and so little time to get in as many books as I’d like. With that thought in mind, I tried to chose some books that you may not have heard about. Some you will definitely know.
Here’s my ELEVEN favorite back to school/beginning of school read aloud books that are perfect for a primary classroom.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You can click on any of the book covers to take you to Amazon. I’ve also made a Back to School List on Amazon that includes all of these titles. If you purchase any of the books, I will receive a small percentage of that sale which helps to maintain my blog.
How to Get Your Teacher Ready: I love all of the books that I’ve read by Jean Reagan. They’re all fun and easy to engage your students with. This is a newer find for me since the book hasn’t been out for many years yet. In a child’s POV, they go through the school day and most of the things that every classroom has. This would be a good read on the first or second day of school.
Kevin Knows the Rules: I have used this book every single year that I’ve taught. I don’t remember how I learned of the book, but I am so happy that I have a copy. Kevin tells his mom about his first day in kindergarten. He goes over all of the rules that he learned from that day. I like to use this book so that my students can have a connection with what they’re currently doing. On one page, Kevin is sitting on their classroom rug and listening to his teacher read a book. I like to ask my students, “Do we have a rug like Kevin?” Most years the response is “Yes! We’re sitting on it right now.” I hope they see that they can relate to Kevin and his first day of school experience. We read the book multiple times and go over all of the rules from the book. This is so easy for kinders to understand why we need rules at school.
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes: If you just need a fun read during your first day, this is it! Pete goes through all of the ways that he rocks out in his school shoes. This is also a great way to do a school hunt and look for Pete. He gives little riddles about where he’s rocking out next.
My Mouth is a Volcano: This is the PERFECT book to introduce and easily say, “Don’t be a blurter and stop talking so MUCH!” Sometimes kids don’t realize that their mouth just spews words and information. Students think everything that is in their brain must come out. We have to teach them how to choose when, how and WHAT needs to come out.
A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue: This one is pretty self explanatory. Stop the tattling with help from this really cute book. I also LOVE the illustrations. They’re different and a little quirky.
What if Everybody Did That?: This is a good book to follow up from something else about rules. I like to read Kevin Knows the Rules first and then a week or two later, I’ll read this. It reminds kids that even if “one person thought” it was okay to not follow the rules, there may be others thinking the exact same thing and then everybody would do that. It shows what could possibly happen if everyone just stopped following rules.
Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker: If you meet your new class and find that you have a NONstop talking kiddo, this is definitely the book for you! I love having this in my stash to be able to pull out at any time. You never know when you’ll need a book to discuss talking excessively so this is also another favorite.
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Being differently is perfectly okay. As teachers, we must teach our students to be okay with who they are, even if it means being different with the rest of the world. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is a great read. Some of your students will connect with what happens between the kids. Some will connect with being different. Add this to your first month of school readings because it’s another favorite of mine!
I Can’t Do That YET: Growth mindset is something that has taken me a while to wrap my brain around. Now, I love that we are able to teach students to see what could be instead of what isn’t. The power of yet is POWERFUL. I Can’t Do That, Yet is a great read for primary classrooms. It will help to teach and show them that anything is possible.
Rulers of the Playground: So much to learn in this book! It is a great read for K, 1st or 2nd grade students. It hints on sharing, playing fairly, being a good friend, and so many other things that your kids may pick up on.
The Twelve Days of Kindergarten: A cute tune accompanies this book that may have your kids thinking of Christmas. This is definitely a just for fun book and sometimes you just need to read for pure enjoyment.
Hopefully, you found a new book or two to add to your collection. The beginning of school is also super important to teach students the proper routines, procedures, and expectations for school. If you need a checklist to help you out, you can check out my First 30 Days of School Checklist post.