Tuesday, June 25, 2013

First Week of School Picture Books!

Happy Summer Friends!,
I don't know about you, but I know my brain NEVER turns off from teacher mode, not even in the summer time. I'm already thinking of fresh new ideas for the new school year and what to do to prepare for that time we all know and love...back to school time.
EEEK...Yes, I know that I should not be thinking about this yet. I've only been on vacation a little less than 3 weeks, but it's a teacher thing!
Today I'm linking up with the lovely Deanne from First Grade and Fabulous and The Teacher's Chair to tell you about the books that I use for the first week of school.

Since I have a pirate theme, I always read the pirate books by Melinda Long and David Shannon. First we start off reading "How I Became a Pirate" which I turn into a writing activity afterwards. Students write about what they would do in a sentence frame (beginning 1st graders :-)) if they became a pirate. It is always a hit!
How I Became a Pirate
Then we follow up with "Pirates Don't Change Diapers" and discuss the similarities and differences between the 2 books.
Pirates Don't Change Diapers
I make sure we do a book themed study with fun activities every day of the first week. On the first day of school, we always read the Kissing Hand and A Pocket Full of Kisses.
The Kissing Hand [With CD]
Pocket Full of Kisses:
We discuss how we feel as first graders in a new classroom and being separated from our parents. Then we do an activity related to that. We have made Kissing Hand Necklaces, Handprint puzzles with a poem to go along with it, or eat Kissing Hand cookies.
Another book that we cover the first week of school is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as we review letters and sounds from Kindergarten.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Following this book, we make our own coconut trees with cut out letters. This activity can be found in my Back to School Read Alouds Activity Pack:
Another day we read one of my favorite books, "Chrysanthemum" to discuss names and how special and unique our names are.
Then we make a flower glyph based on the vowels, syllables, and letters in our names which is also in the Back to School pack above. Here is a picture of the glyph:
Another book that I love to use to go over school safety rules is "Officer Buckle and Gloria". My students always get a kick out of this book as we read it.
Officer Buckle and Gloria
Then we discuss our school safety rules and come up with some class rules collaboratively that we will follow in our classroom.
Some other books that I will be adding to our first week of school fun this year:
A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue
A Pirate's Guide to Recess
I just found this one!!! How perfect for my pirate theme and playground rules...I am in LOVE!! <3
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
I am a big believer in the bucket filling program. After a overwhelming year last year, I want to get this program back on track in my classroom.
What books do you use for the first week of school? Link up with First Grade and Fabulous to share!!!
Have a great one!!,


  1. Love the flower glyph to go with Chrysanthemum! We love that book and the activity is so great!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  2. Love your pirate theme! Have you ever read "Roger, the Jolly Pirate"? It's a fictional account of how the pirate flag came to be. It's quite funny. Found you on the picture book linky!


  3. I am definitely getting Tattle Tale Tongue this year-I waited on it last year and wished I hadn't! Kissing Hand and Chrysanthemum are huge favs, so thanks for the ideas :)

  4. Ha ha - Pirates Don't Change Diapers - that sounds like a good one!

  5. I am the same way - my teacher mode is always running! You listed so many fantastic books - "Chrysanthemum" and "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" are definitely on my must-have list!

    Love to Learn

  6. OHHH Lisa, I too LOVE the pirate books! I've tried to "read/talk" like one, and add in my country bumpkin accent and it just doesn't pan out! ;)

    Thanks for linking up!!

    First Grade and Fabulous

  7. OMG!! I have to get The Pirate's Guide to Recess! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Such a great list you've given! Some are new to me, but a number are among my faves, so I bet I'd love them ALL. I'll be checking them out over at Amazon...
    Crafting Connections