Is there anything quite like the first day of school? The excitement and nerves about the new year are indescribable. I never start the year without a stack of first day of school books to help me through the day!
Heading back to school is such a fun, nerve-racking, overwhelming time for everyone! Parents, teachers and students alike tend to feel nervous about something (though it may be different for all of them 😉).
Books help calm nerves, let students relax, and give the kids a shared experience.
I have a variety of books available to grab on that first day. If we don’t get to them all – it’s okay!
A few of these books are for specific lessons.
Others are just for times when we need a breather. This gives a chance to get comfortable with our routines and also gives us the chance to get comfortable in what will soon be a familiar setting.
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My Top 10 First Day of School Books
This book is a MUST READ on the first day of school! I like to read it early in the morning on that day so anyone who feels nervous will know they’re not alone.
You see a man in this book trying to coax someone to get ready for the first day of school. Students may think that he’s talking to his son or daughter, but it turns out he’s talking to his wife.
It’s the TEACHER who has the first day jitters! I love that it flips the script so students who are feeling nervous know they are not alone.
Mae is feeling really nervous about the first day of school. She is so nervous she doesn’t even want to go. (Imagine how many kids might feel the same!)
Thankfully she meets some wonderful people at school. This book is a great opportunity to share how you can make someone feel better, more comfortable and happier when they feel nervous, which also happens to be the perfect introduction into how to be a great friend.
I like to pair this book with “First Day Jitters” to show a student’s perspective. You can even do an anchor chart to compare and contrast feelings if you have the time!
This books is a newer one on my list. It had to be included because if we’re looking at different perspectives, how could we forget our school building?! 😉
Students can identify with the way the school is feeling while also gaining some comfort with their own school building’s spaces. This book is a perfect read before touring the building! Students may even have empathy for the school building in a way they wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s a win-win!
If your classroom has kids who have never been to school before or are struggling with leaving their caregivers, this book is a must-read!
This sweet story is about a little raccoon named Chester who doesn’t want to leave his mom to go to school. (I bet we have all met a kid or two like this!)
Chester’s mom reassures him in a way that will help your kids feel reassured as well. I like to pass out heart stickers for students to put on their hands. Anytime they are missing their caregiver, they can hug their sticker close.
If your students are anything like mine, they LOVE pigeon. Not only is he super funny, he’s very relatable for our students.
There is nothing quite like coaxing my students to respond to a book the first time. They are so surprised I want them to talk during a read aloud! #coolteacher
This new book is a must have for back to school! I can imagine pulling this off the shelf when we all need a break to laugh and build community on the first day.
First of all, make sure you read this sweet book to yourself before you read it to your class because it is SPECIAL and you might (I did!) tear up.
It’s such an important message to tell kids from DAY ONE that every single one is different in the best way and so important in your classroom.
This book encourages kids to connect to one another even when they might feel scared or alone. What an important message for all of us!
This book turns the tables. The kids get to tell the teacher how to get ready for all of the things that are coming up this school year.
It starts with the first day, ends with the last day and shares about all of the fun milestones in between. What a great preview to get your kids excited about what is to come this school year.
I love giving my students the chance to be leaders on the first day because that is who I ultimately want them to be by the end of the year! Giving them this responsibility is empowering.
Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade, here we come! There is one of these books for each grade level by David J. Steinberg.
I like these books because they are filled with all of the things your kids encounter in that school year. You can read a page here and there throughout your day. It’s a big bonus that they are grade specific!
This book gives your class the perfect opportunity to do two things:
1. Determine classroom rules and boundaries
David’s antics are so funny and relatable to teachers and students alike, reading about his first day of school is a great first step to a positive classroom climate. Make sure you laugh with them as you read!
This imaginative story will catch the attention of your students with it’s funny twists and turns. Your students will be so excited to share about their summer adventures, too!
I love using this as an intro to a sharing and writing activity. This is one that I keep on the shelf on the first day but I may not get to it and that’s okay! We have a lot of school days left on the calendar 👏
“Do you really read ALL of those books on the very first day?”
Any of the books we don’t read on the first day stay on the shelf until we get the chance to crack them open. I almost always have a student point out a book we didn’t read and ask “Aren’t we going to read that one?”
It is the perfect opportunity to say “Maybe we will get to it tomorrow. I can’t wait to see you then. I have a great day planned for us.” What better way to build excitement for another great school day?
What are your favorite first day of school books? Are there any I should add to my shelf? Let me know below 👇
If you’re looking for even MORE books for back to school, check out my favorite back to school books!