Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to School Book Favorites Linky

It's that time of the year!  I feel like jumping for joy and crying at the same time.  August is quickly approaching (umm...less than 72 hours away!) and my "back-to-school" brain is in full affect!  My first day of school is not until August 19th, but I already feel the "back to school panic" setting in.  How about you?

So, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite back-to-school picture books.  It's one of my favorite books to read aloud on the first day of school because I love the discussions that are created!

My book is called What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick.  It is recommended to be read to children ages 4 to 9.

What if everybody fed the animals at the zoo?  What if everybody threw their soda can out the window of their car?  What if everybody broke the rules?  The world would be a mess!  This book, What If Everybody Did That?, is a great book to read to discuss rules within the classroom, school, and even the world.  This book offers humorous illustrations that display the consequences and answers to these types of questions in a child-friendly way.  This is such a great way to introduce your classroom rules while reading this book together in a class.  

Here is a page from the book. Wouldn't this be great for some open-ended class discussions?  I love to hear what my students have to say about the consequences for the certain situations in the book.  This is such a great way to encourage students to be more mindful of their own behaviors and how it affects people around them.
I have used this book for several years on the very first day of school.  I think it is very important for my students to come up with our classroom rules.  When my students write the rules, I feel that they take more ownership and responsibility of their actions.  

Click here for Forever Freebie
Before we create our classroom rules, I have the students brainstorm some actions that could happen in our classroom and the consequences if everybody did that.  For example, "what if everybody was late to school?"  The freebie to the right is a document I created that allows the students to describe and illustrate two actions that could happen in the classroom. To ensure the students understand the directions, I like to do a few examples on the whiteboard before they get started.  

Once the students have finished, I like to have them share their actions with the classmates at their table groups.  Depending on time, I may have students share with the whole class.  

Side note--(I think this book would also be good to use when teaching cause and effect.....but that's not something I would do on the first day of school.)  

This activity leads us into our group discussion of class rules.  We brainstorm our ideas on the board, decide on the most important and crucial rules for our classroom, and I'll write them onto chart paper.  All students sign their names to the rules and I laminate it before hanging it on the wall.

Check out the bloggers below for their back-to-school favorites (and a freebie!!).  Leave me a comment and tell me how you do your classroom rules at the beginning of the year!

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