5 Best First Day books for your classroom

Teaching Firsties > Literacy > Reading > 5 Best First Day books for your classroom

For me, the first day of school means nervous kiddos, 1,705 glue sticks, folders, boxes of crayons, and bus notes all shoved at you in the first five minutes. It’s chaotic, it’s unorganized (later, I’ll post some first day tips to lessen this!) But the first thing I do is gather at my blue carpet and do an interactive read aloud. Here are five of my favorite choices for a first day of school read aloud. 


My number #1, since “Busy bees” is the theme in classroom A8!

What’s that buzzing around? It’s a busy bee! With beautiful, engaging, and authentic photos, and accessible text, kids will learn all about these incredible insects in this level 2 reader.


Teaching children how to manage their thoughts and words without interrupting.

Louis always interrupts! All of his thoughts are very important to him, and when he has something to say, his words rumble and grumble in his tummy, they wiggle and jiggle on his tongue and then they push on his teeth, right before he ERUPTS (or interrupts). His mouth is a volcano! But when others begin to interrupt Louis, he learns how to respectfully wait for his turn to talk.

My Mouth Is A Volcano takes an empathetic approach to the habit of interrupting and teaches children a witty technique to help them manage their rambunctious thoughts and words. Told from Louis’ perspective, this story provides parents, teachers, and counselors with an entertaining way to teach children the value of respecting others by listening and waiting for their turn to speak.

An Association for Educational Publishers 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award Winner.


A favorite for many teachers as their very first read aloud.

Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending.

Fun, energetic illustrations brighten page after page with the busy antics surrounding Sarah Jane. FIRST DAY JITTERS is an enchanting story that is sure to be treasured by anyone who has ever anticipated a first day of school.


The best book to teach children that they are happy when they help others be happy. 

It’s all in the bucket, that invisible bucket that follows you everywhere. . . teaches young readers valuable lessons about giving, sharing, and caring. This guide to daily happiness, though, is not just for kids. We all need reminders of the benefits of positive thinking and positive behavior. It’s an important lesson to teach and remind us all . . . that showing kindness and appreciation of others goes a long way to making this world a happier place for everyone, including ourselves. A classic tale, beautifully told and beautifully shared.”-Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews


Another favorite “go-to” for the first day. Especially for the nervous kiddos.

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children’s classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. It is widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep their Kissing Hand alive.

Here is the companion book unit I have created and use in my classroom.

The Kissing Hand activities differ from other products with a focus on reading comprehension skills and cross curriculum activities. Five days of NO PREP lesson plans and anchor charts are included to teach the reading comprehension strategies asking questions, main idea, sequencing, and making connections. These cross curriculum lesson plans (math, phonics, grammar, science, and social studies) can be used to teach a fun back to school unit and meet your common core standards.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Teaching Firsties with Mrs Hull 2019
%d bloggers like this: