Your search for Back to School Books for the Upper Elementary Classroom is over. This list of 9 MORE Back to School Books are a great way to start your year.
9 MORE Books for Back to School
Seven Rules You Must Absolutely Not Break If You Want to Survive the Cafeteria
I wait until day 3 to discuss cafeteria expectations. I teach 5th grade. They know the expectations. In my experience Day 3 is when 5th grade gets into trouble in the cafeteria. Sigh… To circumvent day 3 from happening, we spend quite a bit of time learning the expectations of the cafeteria from this book, Seven Rules You Must Absolutely Not Break if You Want to Survive the Cafeteria. Every year I have done this, day 3 has not occurred. Activity: We take a tour of the cafeteria. The cafeteria manager and several staff members form a panel for our interview questions. We hear directly from them the cost of feeding everyone each day, the time it takes, the expectations they have, and how they would like to be treated. This is a multi-day activity as it involves turning my class into school leaders. They market the procedures, role model for younger grades, set goals for other classes, follow-up with other teachers, and work with problem students.
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
Mistakes happen. It is how we deal with our mistakes which determine whether we can learn or not. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes is an excellent way to start this discussion. Activity: Have a class discussion on progress and not perfection. Create a rubric together for self-evaluations.
The Most Magnificent Thing
Mistakes are going to happen. We are to focus on growth mindset today and perseverance. The Most Magnificent Thing is about a little girl who had to overcome failure to reach her goal. Activity: Set up expectations for Good Morning Messages. This is our morning routine where we set the tone for the day and commit to learning despite any mistakes we may make.
Because You Are My Teacher
Because You Are My Teacher is a cute book that goes over all the things that a child discovers because of his teacher as they travel the world together. Bonus… its a great way to review geography. Activity: I use this to go over our syllabus for the year. I give my students a copy of the standards we will cover for the year. These go into their student binders and we will highlight each standard as we have covered them.
My Mouth is a Volcano
I bring this book , My Mouth is a Volcano, out as soon as someone forgets to raise their hand or wait their turn to talk in a discussion. I believe in teachable moments and this is making the most of one. It is a cute book that has a great message. This is a great time and way to review our expectations. Activity: Model polite partner talk and polite table talk. Discuss how to question to find out more and how to actively listen.
What Do You Do With a Chance?
What Do You Do With a Chance? is a new book about being brave when trying new things. This is something I want my students to do and is important. It goes back to our motto of progress not perfection. Activity: Create a list of new things that you want to try to do this year but might be a little scary to attempt. (i.e., mastering multiplication, trying out for a team, etc..)
What Do You Do With a Problem?
What Do You Do With a Problem? is a great book about how to solve problems when they arise. I like to read this early on and discuss how I expect problems to be solved that way when there is a problem, they have a plan on how to fix it. Activity: Come up with a class plan on how to resolve conflicts.
What Do You Do With an Idea?
We all have ideas and dreams. We all have things we want to accomplish or do. What do we do with an idea when they arrive? Activity: Set 2 personal and at least 1 academic goal for the year.
The Name Jar
The Name Jar is a cute story about a new student with an unusual name. It never fails, I get at least 1 new student each year. In one district, it was more like 1 new student a week. Either way a plan is necessary for these additions to your room. Activity: Work with your class to create procedures for welcoming a new student to your classroom.
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Why Purchase Books
Reading is essential to academic and personal success. It is the number one thing we can do as teachers and parents to help the children in our care reach their full potential. Research has shown that the more access one has to a book, the more likely the are to read it.
For this reason, I have a set of 9 books on any given topic in my room. Why 9? It seems to be the right number for me. Not too few that you have a line of students waiting to read on that topic and not so many that they never get read. You need this many to ensure your students have a choice in what they are reading and that they have access to materials at their unique reading abilities.
Looking for the more books on this topic?
Why is reading important?
Reading is the number 1 thing you can do as a parent to help your child become a successful adult. As teachers, we know the importance of reading but struggle conveying this importance to parents.
The post below shares the latest research from 2016 about who is reading, how often they are reading, and discusses the decline of reading within our society. In addition, you will discover a freebie about 9 ways to help support reading in the home.