The first day of first grade is always a really fun, but hectic day for my littles. They are so excited to come to school, but they are always a little nervous since they don’t know what to expect when they walk through my classroom door. I always have an activity such as a first day coloring page or a play-doh model on their desks to work on right when they come in so my students are busy creating while I welcome students and take attendance.
After getting settled, one of my favorite things to do on the first day of school is read picture books to my students. Reading a book to my new students is a great way to help them stay calm and feel welcomed into our classroom on the first day.
First Day Jitters is my all-time favorite children’s book! After our first morning meeting, I always read this book to my students. It is about a girl who is too scared to go to school with a silly twist at the end. The girl just happens to be the teacher! This book always leaves my students roaring with laughter at the thought of a teacher being so silly! After reading the book I always notice that my students seem much more comfortable being in our class. This is the perfect time to grab a quick writing sample from my students by having them write about their own first day jitters. You can grab this and many other first day worksheets in my First and Last Day of School Worksheet Pack.
After we finish writing, we come back together for a fun drink of jitter juice! I make the jitter juice with sprite and some sprinkles. We just shake, shake, shake the jitters away by shaking the sprinkles in our jitter juice!
After recess, I bring in my students and we read Chrysanthemum. This is such a sweet story that leads us into a discussion of the importance of each of our names. We also take a few minutes to talk about kindness and how we can show kindness to one another.
The next book I love to read is a book my professor from my credential program read us called A, My Name is Alice. This book goes through all the letters of the alphabet and tells a story about each character’s name. After reading the book, we form a classroom circle on the carpet. Then, we start with the letter A and go through the alphabet until each student has said their name using the frame “(insert letter) my name is __ and I like ___.” I always go first and say “L my name is Laurin and I like lemons.” I encourage my students to come up with something they like that begins with the first letter of their name.
After lunch, I usually have a few students who start to miss their parents. We read The Kissing Hand and it helps my littles feel a lot better. This book is about a young raccoon who feels nervous about going to school. To help him feel better, his mother kisses the center of the young raccoon’s hand and tells him that whenever he feels lonely, he can press his hand against his cheek to remember how much his mommy loves him. We always take a minute to each hold out our hand and imagine that the person most special to us left a special kiss right there. This always brings HUGE smiles to my little’s faces.
To end our day together, each of my students writes a narrative piece about our first day in school together. I create a circle map on the whiteboard with ideas from our first day of school together. I always love to hear their favorite books! This worksheet is also available in my First and Last Day of School Worksheet Pack.
Send me a message on social media with your favorite picture books for the first day of school. I am always looking for new favorites!
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my affiliate links, which helps to support The Primary Brain blog. As always, I only recommend products that I love and all ideas shared are my own.Written on July 10th, 2018 by Laurin Brainard