So, as you are preparing for those first days of 'teaching bliss' here is a post to help you with those lesson plans..specifically for the Elementary years: (Find the original post on The Adventure of Teaching.)
Read Alouds are so important for those Elementary years. They grab the students' attention, make lessons more exciting (even for yourself), and make lessons a tad more relatable for kids. The following are book recommendations to use at the beginning of the school year. I have also written project and lesson ideas underneath each book recommendation:
Back to School Rules by Laurie Friedman
This book is an excellent choice for the first day of school as it is a fun hook to talking about the classroom and school rules with the students. Talking about rules can be 'a real drag' on the first day of school, so I am always looking for ways to spice it up a bit. It was a fun way to start the talk and thinking about ways for a good student to act! After reading the book, we came up with our own classroom rules, I wrote them out on a poster, the students' signed it, and we could refer to it throughout the year. This is also a great book to go back to if you find the class getting out of hand in any way or forgetting about the importance of rules.
How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
I like to make a point of talking about the summer vacation with my students the first week (As I am sure many of you do). As my students wrote journal entries about their summer vacations, I read this book to the class before the students share their journal entries with the class. If nothing else, it is simply a great book for a laugh, and to get the students' imaginations rolling.
My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook
I have some wonderful, imaginative, and excitable talkers in my class this year. This book is a great way to help students understand the importance of not speaking out when you are not supposed to. As an activity to go with it, I found a great idea at Thank God It's First Grade .
Beyond First Week
Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill
Recess is a time where bullying and mistreating others can happen easier than in the classroom. To remind students the importance of treating each other with respect, this book is a great one to read. It is not only good to to read at the beginning of school year, but any time it seems that there is bullying going on during recess time. Post-reading I would chose to do a type of group activity as opposed to a writing assignment, as I feel this would be most effective for such a book. There are some great ideas found here for discussion and group activities.
You Are Special by Max Lucado
This is another book that is great to read both at the beginning of the year and if your class struggles with bullying or self-confidence. This book can also be found on Youtube: You Are Special by Max Lucado
Happy Planning ;)