My Favorite Back to School Read Alouds

I love reading books aloud to students and seeing how happy stories make them.  This is a great way to build a great classroom culture at the beginning of the school year.  If you want to see some awesome read alouds for back to school then you are in the right place!!

1. The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing
This is a great book to read to first graders.  It talks about the previous year in kindergarten in the book.  It helps the kids to think about the previous year and a brand new year.  It also discusses it being okay if you are not in the same room with a friend from the previous year.

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2.  Mouse's First Day by Lauren Thompson
This is a good book that has surprises on each page.  The kids guess what mouse sees at school just by looking at a small piece of the item.  For example: a pencil.  Just a fun read aloud.

3. First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
This book has my name written all over it.  I think I am more nervous on the first day than my kiddos.  I truly have sweaty palms and the nervous shakes.  But after a few weeks its smooth sailing.....hopefully.

4. Howard B, Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!  My mom bought it for me and it so good with teaching students the proper rules for school.  In the beginning of the book Howard doesn't listen.  It shows the bad things that could happen from not listening.  By the end of the book, it shows Howard listening.  He is happy at the end because he is a good listener.

5.  David Goes to School by David Shannon
This book is a must for the beginning of the school year.  It goes well with a rules lesson.  Each page shows a rule that David breaks.  At this time, for each page, we discuss why David should not act this way.  This book really helps the students think about good vs. bad choices.

I have the perfect sort to go with this book. Click here to get it for free!
Setting expectations freebie for primary learners is perfect for your back to school lessons.  Watch your students learn how to become responsible citizens by reviewing these key good versus bad behaviors!
6. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
I like to use this book to discuss bullying and names.  It is important to teach students about bullying because even at a young age it happens a lot.  We have a lot of fun using this book to complete activities using each student's name.

7. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin
This is the newest book I have added to my collection.  We had so much fun jammin with Pete. I love my BLUE shoes! I love my BLUE shoes!  They really danced along and sang the song.  The cd of the book is awesome and it was a fun book for the first week of school.

8.  The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
I think this book will forever be my favorite back to school book.  It is just so sweet and the students really love the kissing hand secret.  I don't know if this book was out when I was little but I know I would have loved it.  I definitely needed it! I was such a daddy's girl and wanting to stay at home with him.

9.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle/Bill Martin Jr.
What more can I say?  One of the most popular children's book I know. Love it!!!

10. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
A great book for letter recognition and matching uppercase/lowercase letters.  The video is super cute! It is on YouTube here!


I hope these read aloud suggestions help make back to school a breeze!

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This is a list of 10 awesome back to school read alouds that are perfect for the first week of school.

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How to make your own Guided Math Toolkits?

I love the Balanced Math framework which includes Spiral Review, Mental Math, Content Lesson, Guided Math, Centers, and Closure.  On last school year, I helped my school implement guided math toolkits for all teachers.  I have been getting many questions about how we use them and what’s included.  If you are looking to make your own guided math toolkits… are in the right spot!

Why and when would I need a guided math toolkit?
A guided math toolkit is very helpful when you are doing small group math lessons and rotations.  It is a way to have everything you need on hand and in a convenient place.  Our guided math toolkits consist of various math manipulatives depending upon the grade level.

What materials are needed to get started?
I will list the contents for each toolkit below by grade level.  Other than that…you will need a bucket and a label to put on the bucket.  I used the freebie labels from The Creative Classroom.  You can get them HERE!

Guided Math Toolkit Materials
120 Charts from Carson Dellosa

Counters from Lakeshore

Ten Frame Dice from Lakeshore

Pattern Block Dice from Oriental Trading

Foam Math Dice from Lakeshore

Ten Frame Flashcards from Lakeshore

Number Lines

Ten Frames from Lakeshore

Mini Dry Erase Clocks by Lakeshore

Dice within Dice from School Specialty

Pattern Blocks 

Place Value Blocks from Lakeshore

Fluency Flash Cards from Lakeshore

I hope these Guided Math Toolkit Ideas help make your guided math a breeze!
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Apple Activities, Ideas, and Read Alouds

It’s almost that time of the year when we teach our kiddos about all things apples.  I love to do read alouds, crafts, writing activities, and much more to teach students about apples.  If you are looking for some great apple activity ideas…you are in the right place!  I have compiled a list of apple activities that are perfect to accompany your apple content lessons this year!

What are some read alouds that are great for Apple Week?

Read alouds bring student learning to life.  Students are able to see real world pictures and gain new knowledge through visuals and text.  It is very beneficial for students to be able to see and learn about apples.  Let’s check out some of my favorite e applbooks!

 1. Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg
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When I taught Kindergarten, this was always one of my favorite apple themed books.  It is a great funny story about a dog, lion, and tiger that balance apples on their head throughout the story. It is great for counting practice.
Extension Activity:  The students should draw a picture of themselves.  Using red dot stickers, have the students count ten to put on the head of their picture.  Make sure students write the numbers on each dot.  Students can write the sentence I have ___ apples on my head.

 2. Apple Farmer Annie

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This book is another favorite!  Annie is a very busy apple farmer. She bakes yummy treats with the apples she picks and saves her best apples to sell at the market.

Extension Activity: Respond to the writing prompt.  Apple Farmer Annie loves to bake yummy apple treats.  Which yummy apple treats would you bake and why?

3.  Johnny Appleseed

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I just love this book and how it gives the background story on who Johnny Appleseed was and why he loved apples.  The illustrations in this book are awesome and your students will learn so much about Johnny Appleseed.

Extention Activity: Complete a double bubble map and list characteristics that describe Johnny Appleseed.

4.  The Apple Pie Tree

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This is a great book about how an apple tree grows.  Students can see the apples grow and read about when it is time to pick them to make apple pie.

Extension Activity: Go over the order of how to make an apple pie with your students.  You can have them write a story sequencing the steps to make apple pie.

5.  The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree
Image result for the apple pie tree read aloud

This is a great book that follows the main character Arnold through each season.  As the seasons arrive you can see how the apple tree looks throughout all seasons.  It is such a great book.

Extension Activity: Have your students draw pictures of the apple tree throughout the seasons.  They will draw arrows from tree in the order that the seasons change.

How can I integrate an apple theme across content areas?

Read two apple themed books and have students make text to text connections.  For example, there were red apples in both books.  This can be developed further with a venn diagram comparing the two books similarities and differences.

You can buy mini apples erasers and have students use them as counters to practice counting, adding, and positional words.  The erasers can be found Here.
144 Mini Teachers Apple Erasers Great Classroom Prizes! PARTY FAVOR, PINATAS, GOODY BAGS


Have families to send in apples for experiments.  You can cut an apple in half.  Have students immediately record in their journal what the apple looks like.  Allow the apple to sit for a while and then have students to record in their journal how the apple looks after time goes by.  Have them answer questions during a discussion…How are they different? How are they the same?  What do you think caused the apple to change?

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Social Studies
Lead students in doing research on Johnny Appleseed.  They can make a foldable with the following tabs….Johnny Appleseed was, had, wanted.

Have students to draw an apple shape and glue teared pieces to make the apple.  The students should label the parts of the apple.


Have students to do a taste test of different types of apples.  They can write about their favorite apple and explain why it is their favorite.

What are some other great apple activities and ideas?

1. Apple Freebies by Latoya Reed (that’s me!)



2.  Planting an Apple Tree Video by Harry Kindergarten Music

3. Make a Parts of an Apple Tree anchor chart

4. Apple Trifold by Latoya Reed (that's me!)

I hope these Apple Activities and Ideas help make your apple planning a breeze!
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Thanks for Flying By!  Let me know how I can help with engaging resources to help your students SOAR!


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