No matter what grade you teach, you’re sure to have a wide variety of emotions entering your classroom this new school year. You’ll see students who are eager, excited, and ambitious, but also students who are annoyed, unmotivated, and disappointed that summer is over. Helping your students form a positive and growth mindset around school will need to be one of the very first things you establish this new school year!
To have a good relationship with your students from the very beginning of the year, it’s important to build trust, understanding, and accept students for who they are. To help you do this and get your new school year kicked off right, I want to share with you 27 different read-alouds to get your classroom setting goals, building relationships, having positive attitudes, and just being excited about being back in school! I’ve also added a few to the list just for YOU, too! 🙂
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Goal setting is a skill that everyone uses all the way into adulthood! When your kids know how to set goals and are motivated by growth, both big and small, it’s a great way to instill confidence and work ethic. Here are a few of my favorite goal setting read alouds:
- The Magical Yet by Lorena Alvarez
- After the Fall by Dan Santat
- I Can’t Reach It! by Jana Buchmann
- The Empty Pot by Demi
- Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires
- How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
Building Relationships Read-Alouds
I love that there are more and more read alouds popping up about showing empathy, being kind, and showing how to be a good friend. With more and more diversity being present in schools and many kids meeting for the very first time, talking through being brave, how to help each other, acknowledging differences in one another in a positive way, and what it means to have a good friendship is super important.
- Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll by Mr. Jay
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
- Kindness is my Superpower by Alicia Ortego
- Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen
- Friendship is Like a Seesaw by Shona Innes
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba
Positive Attitude Read-Alouds
I really believe everything stems from your mindset – how you interact with your peers, your confidence and self-esteem, perseverance and determination – having a positive attitude affects it all in the best way. This is by far a category of read alouds that I feel is most important simply because of that! If our students know how to regulate their emotions and overcome their negative emotions, it’s going to set them up to be more self-aware, empathetic to others, and more capable of maintaining positive relationships with their teachers and peers.
- Still I Fly by Nikki Ace
- Roaring Mad Riley by Allison Szczecinski, M.Ed.
- My Strong Mind by Niels van Hove
- Impulsive Ninja by Mary Nhin
- Some Days I Flip My Lid: Learning to Be a Calm, Cool Kid by Kellie Bailey
- The Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon
- A Little Spot of Frustration by Diane Alber
Back to School Read-Alouds
And of course there are always some first day of school “specifics” that are always super fun. 🙂 While all of the read alouds listed above can be applied to at least one aspect of starting a new year, it’s still fun to get your students excited about all the possibilities to come in the new school year, as well as first day jitters and those uneasy first day of school thoughts.
- The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes
- Ally-Saurus and the First Day of School by Richard Torrey
- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
- We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
- LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
- A Letter From Your Teacher on the First Day of School by Shannon Olsen
Good Reads for YOU!
Teachers can read for fun, too! 😉 I have just a few books to share with you to add to your classroom just for you, a book to add to your nightly routine, or a fun back to school gift for your best teacher pal.
- I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids by Kyle Schwartz
- What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
- How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
- Positive Mindset Habits for Teachers by Grace Stevens
I hope these read alouds bring your first few weeks of school some fun, intention, and love. Have a great year!