A jam-packed back to school guide for teachers filled with articles, primary learning resources, classroom ideas, a free email course, books, and more!
Back to School Guide for Primary Teachers
Back to school can be a stressful time for teachers. The job bombards you with a sea of images from social media, a never-ending list of things to get ready, and have many subjects to prep. As you know, ideas are flying at you from all different places, and the pressure is on.
You know you need to focus down and find the best ones. But how?
First of all, you need to think and plan for the essential pieces of the large teaching pie. You must decide which items to tackle first before all the rest. For example, you must organize your classroom and plans, set expectations, build community, practice classroom management, and form relationships.
Ask yourself what are the most important lessons to teach in those first few precious weeks, and keep your focus there. Push the rest back…or hit SAVE for later!
Be mindful about the time you have in the classroom by planning before the first day.
This back-to-school guide offers a wealth of helpful ideas to encourage you to prepare and stay focused. Among the resources included are blog posts, an email course, children’s book suggestions, and classroom resources to help you start in the right direction on day 1.
These engaging classroom ideas and resources will support you as you begin to teach a new group of children.
Back to School Articles with Tons of Tips
The articles below include ideas for the first week of school, setting up the classroom, and getting the organization in place. You will find tips on managing a class effectively, as well as developing a child’s social and emotional skills, and more. They include many helpful strategies, lesson ideas, and teaching tips to help you get set up before school and on your way that first month.
Many of the back to school articles below include FREE resources you can print and use in the classroom. Click on any of the images below to read.
FREE Back to School Email Series
Ready to learn more? Then sign up for the summer (or anytime) learning email series filled with actionable tips and strategies to get you prepared for back to school.
It’s completely free and includes…
- tons of back to school tips, including the things you MUST remember the first week
- classroom management strategies that are positive and effective
- classroom organization tips to help you achieve the classroom you always wanted
- ways to make the start of school memorable – think FUN activities your students will LOVE!
- the MUST-HAVES every primary teacher should have at their fingertips
- the BEST books to share with your class that will have them BEGGING to read each day
- how and why you should start teaching social-emotional skills right away
- and tons of ways to build a connected classroom environment
PLUS gain access to TONS of FREE resources to help you get ready for back to school!
Click the image below to sign up. Then you’ll receive those back to school tips, ideas, and strategies that you crave in small digestible “summer size” bites!
Children’s Back to School Books
Reading books with your class is a great way to spend time together every day, and especially during those first few weeks. This time spent together brings opportunities for sharing, making predictions, and getting to know one another.
Children’s books help make their new experiences relatable. When a child sees a character going through a similar experience, it helps them internalize and connect to the story.
Set up a display or fill your classroom bookshelf with tons of books for back to school. Choose to read at least one book a day. Make the books available for kids to view and read together.
Below you will find a curated list of the best back to school children’s books.
- This School Year will be the Best by Kay Winters – It’s the first day of school, and the classmates are sharing their dreams for the upcoming school year. Also, the video read-aloud can be found here.
- How to Get Your Teacher Ready by Lee Wildish – The students are in charge. They need to prep the teacher for all of the fun events and milestones happening in school this year. But, they finally realize that the teacher is prepping the kids. Video read-aloud can be found here.
- What Should Danny Do? School Day (The Power To Choose Series) by Adir Levy – What will happen to Danny at school today? There are 8 endings to this fun “you choose” book. In addition, the video read-aloud can be found here.
- The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems – Does Pigeon really need to go to school if he knows everything? For example, he might not like school. Or, he might learn too much! Plus, the video read-aloud can be found here.
- It’s Back to School We Go!: First Day Stories From Around the World by Ellen Jackson – Read stories about the first day of school – from children in 11 different countries! Video read-aloud (Canada story) can be found here.
- First Day Jitters (The Jitters Series) by Julie Danneberg – Sarah Jane Hartwell needs a nudge to go to school. She’s nervous about starting over where nobody knows her. Thankfully, Mr. Hartwell helps her get ready for her first day. Also, the video read-aloud can be found here.
- Back-to-School Rules by Laurie Friedman – Percy’s in charge with 10 simple rules for school. Video read-aloud can be found here.
- Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School! by Christina Geist – Mom has her backpack on, ready for the first day of school. But, can adults really go to school with kids? In addition, find the video read-aloud here.
- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold – It doesn’t matter whether you wear a parka, hijab, baseball hat, or yarmulke. Everyone is welcome in this school. Video read-aloud can be found here.
- David Goes To School (David Books [Shannon]) by David Shannon – What will happen when David goes to school? Will he get in trouble every day? In addition, the video read-aloud can be found here.
- Milk Goes to School by Terry Border – Is Milk, with the sparkly backpack, the creme de la creme as her dad says? In fact, her classmates think she’s spoiled. Also, find the video read-aloud here.
- Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean – Pete the Cat gives you a tour of the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and lots of other cool places at school. He rocks his groovy shoes while singing …because it’s all good. In addition, find the video read-aloud here.
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson – If you’re scared and alone, find the courage to connect with someone. Also, the video read-aloud can be found here.
- School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex – Aren’t the kids supposed to have first-day jitters? What’s wrong with School then? Plus, the video read-aloud can be found here.
- The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing – Twas the night before first grade, and what’s a child to do? Thank goodness, Penny will be in the same class as her best friend. In addition, find the video read-aloud here.
- Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten! by Lisa Robinson – Should they walk the plank or batten down the hatches? Most likely, the first day of school will be stormy! Find the video read-aloud here.
- The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi – Unhei is the new kid in school, and she has a different name. Should she let the kids pick her name? Or, should she use her real name? Also, find the video read-aloud here.
- The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett – Beatrice Bottomwell, the girl who’s always right, makes a huge mistake in front of everyone. Find the video read-aloud here.
- The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig – Brian feels invisible until the new boy, Justin, comes along. Find the video read-aloud here.
- Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller – What should Mr. Rabbit do? His new neighbors are otters! In addition, find the video read-aloud here.
- The Jelly Donut Difference: Sharing Kindness with the World by Maria Dismondy – Leah and Dexter are siblings that don’t always get along. Can they learn? Find the video read-aloud here.
- Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy – Ralph is so mean. Can Lucy make a courageous good choice to help Ralph out? In addition, find the video read-aloud here.
- A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook – Josh tattles all the time. Then one day, he wakes up with a very long yellow tongue covered in bright purple spots. Find the video read-aloud here.
- My Mouth Is A Volcano by Julia Cook – Louis constantly interrupts people. How does he feel when others interrupt him? Also, find the video read-aloud here.
- Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity. A Cute Children Story To… by Steve Herman – Dragons can get nervous because they look different. How would you handle that?
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña – Take a drive on the bus to learn about all different types of people.
Looking for books to build valuable social and emotional skills? Find an extensive list in the ultimate guide to social and emotional learning.
Back to School Learning Resources for Teachers
Looking for teaching resources to improve your classroom management and make SEL a part of your classroom? Well, what if you had resources that took the guesswork out of what to plan and also made your life easier?
Permit yourself to get what you need and use tools that will make a difference in your classroom.
The comprehensive resources below will help you accomplish this and more before, in the beginning, and throughout the school year.
Before School Starts: The Ultimate Classroom Management Resource
Before the door opens on the first day of school, you will need to have a plan for how you will manage a group of children. There are so many different classroom management strategies out there, but your job will be to select and start with a few. Be flexible and patient as you try out new things. Switch things up when you find something isn’t working.
This classroom management bundle has positive, easy-to-implement strategies that are teacher and kid-approved. Find all your classroom management essentials with the Class Management bundle. It includes eight engaging resources that kids will love!
The First Month: mind+heart Back to School Resource
The first month can be overwhelming with all the things to teach. However, keep it focused and start with the essential skills ~ social and emotional ones.
The beginning of the school year is such a valuable time to start teaching social and emotional skills. Teaching these early will help set a positive tone in your classroom for the rest of the year. As a result, kids will begin to feel a part of the classroom community, have a stronger sense of self, and be better prepared to handle the challenges that they face throughout the year.
The mind+heart SEL back to school resource and activities will support kids as they learn to be positive members of the classroom community. They will develop self-awareness and self-esteem, build new relationships, and act with kindness and empathy.
The Entire Year: mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning Resource
Once a positive tone is set at the start of school, and kids are ready to learn, you will want to continue that mindset throughout the year.
The mind+heart SEL curriculum includes a variety of thought-provoking lessons and discussion topics, community building ideas, and engaging activities to help build and maintain meaningful social and emotional skills. Children will have many opportunities to learn, practice, and develop through a variety of lessons and activities.
This program is full of kid & teacher-friendly lesson plans, discussion topics, posters, and activities to make learning social and emotional skills tons of FUN!
Free Week of Morning Meeting
Try social-emotional morning meetings in your classroom with this FREE week-long resource! It includes editable PowerPoint and PDF slides, printable cards, and instructions on how to use. Click the image below to grab a copy.
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FREE Classroom Management Email Series
Sign up for the classroom management email course filled with positive, actionable strategies and tried and true advice, plus tools and free resources you can access right away. Everything you need to rock your classroom management this year!