Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Day Read Alouds for the Middle Grades


I am one of those teachers that LOVES reading aloud to my students.  I read for a multitude of reasons, but a few main reasons for reading aloud to my students is that I want to share with them books that I think they will: 1) connect with to have models and examples of various genres for their own personal writing
2) provide them the opportunity to hear fluent reading in order to build their vocabulary
3) improve their listening comprehension
4) ENJOY!

If you are like me, you are always looking for a few great read-alouds to connect student learning and get those imaginations flowing on those first few days back to school.

Here are a few of my favorites to share during this exciting time that I have and will be incorporating into my instruction again this school year...

This read aloud is a fun way to start your work with a brand new crew after summer break...
Writing Prompt: How did you spend your summer vacation?   I began last year with a Smilebox that I made of my summer trip to Disneyland with my family.  The students got to know a bit about me, my family, and how we spent some time together in the summer.  I plan to do the same this year to share some of the fun I had the chance to have with my family.  In addition, I love to read this story about a boy who is reporting to his class about how during his summer vacation his imagination got so wild his parents sent him out west and the story goes from there.  It is a story told in rhyme with excellent illustrations that will have the students laughing.  My purpose for sharing is that some students take elaborate vacations and some do not.  This text gives those that don't the opportunity to share what they "WISH" they had done on summer vacation if they don't have what they believe to be an exciting story to tell.  A perfect writing prompt...



Your older students will LOVE this silly picture book because what they infer is completely wrong...Use this fun book for...

Predicting/Inferring/Ice Breaker-The reader of this book believes until the very end that the main character of the story is a little girl that is nervous about the first day of school.  The reader finds out at the very end that it is in fact the teacher that is nervous to begin her first day.  Students love this book because they often don't consider that a teacher is nervous.  This text sparks great narrative writing topics about times when we have been nervous, but we didn't want to admit it.  Here is my latest creation to go along with this perfect "First Day of School" read aloud...


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Day-Jitters-Readers-Theater-and-Reading-Literature-Toolkit-for-Grades-4-8-1916518

What read alouds are tried and true with your kiddos?  Please pass along the awesome texts and ideas you utilize to grab the attention of your students from the moment they walk through your door on that first day of the new year!  Happy Reading! 

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10 Comments:

At Wednesday, 11 July, 2012 , Blogger Justin Greene said...

I never thought about starting with a picture book. Great idea! First day jitters sounds like a good one. I usually start with a story called Curses Inc. by Vivian Vande Velde from the short story compilation book called Curses Inc. I really like to get in to my characters as I read and this is a great, fun read aloud with a twist at the end. This usually takes me 3 days to read.

Justin Greene
http://inthegreeneroom.blogspot.com/

 
At Thursday, 12 July, 2012 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

I took a peek at it on the goodreads site. It looks like a good book to add to the classroom read-aloud list. Thanks for sharing!

 
At Sunday, 22 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am teaching grade 4 for the first time after teaching Kindergarten and ESL for 4 years, I am a bit scared and I love your site, great help! Tnhanks.

 
At Monday, 23 July, 2012 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

Thanks for the kind words! Keep me posted on how your year goes! What a change of pace!

 
At Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 , Anonymous Cristine V. said...

Today is my last day of school. But as I was cleaning out my bookshelves, I came across First Day Jitters. I currently teach 7th grade, but kept the book from when I taught 4th grade. I almost tossed out the book until I came across your post. My school is doing a big anti-bully focus so reading your post threw my brain into a furry of ideas for next year's first day of school. Thank you for getting my brain running in that way. I am excited to take a short read aloud and use it for my language arts first day of school activity with prediction/inference along with a writing prompt about being nervous. I'm hoping that will allow for some discussion and we can start the year on an inclusive note.

 
At Friday, 13 June, 2014 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

Congrats on the completion of another school year! Every year is a true accomplishment. I am so thrilled that you will be utilizing this fitting book with your middle schoolers. No one will ever be able to convince me that 1) this age-level is beyond picture books or 2) they don't LOVE being read to! Great lesson idea...we all get nervous at some time or another. I will be using that one too, thanks to you! Despite your brain already planning for next year-enjoy your summer! You have earned it!

 
At Thursday, 03 July, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have used First Day Jitters with each of the grades I have taught in 8 years (Grades 1-4 respectively), it is one of my favorite books and I also have the "sequel"Last Day Blues which I read at the end of the year. I am being placed in a 7th grade position for next year after teaching 1st for the last three and I wasn't going to bring First Day Jitters with me but now I most certainly am! It is one of my most favorite books and since the 7th graders are the newest students to our Jr./Sr. High I am certain many of them will have First Day Jitters right along with me on the first day. I also have How I Spent My Summer Vacation and really enjoyed the writing prompt/smile box idea. Thanks for sharing.

 
At Saturday, 25 July, 2015 , Blogger Lisa Robles said...

Love me some Mark Teague!

Lisa
LisaTeachR'sClassroom

 
At Wednesday, 19 August, 2015 , Blogger Kate Olson said...

I just came across this now and that book has been reissued with a new title and is only $7!!! Just ordered it for my library and to read the first week with my 5th grade classes :-)
http://www.amazon.com/Top-Ways-Ruin-First-School/dp/0615974198/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440001882&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Top+10+Ways+to+Ruin+The+First+Day+of+5th+Grade

 
At Thursday, 27 August, 2015 , Blogger Marcy Howe said...

What a great post. In the past, I've read aloud How to Be Perfect in Just Three Days. It's great for teaching about the myth of perfection. I heard about the book while taking a class on teaching GATE students. All kids love it because it's humorous, short (takes three to five days at most), and is an interesting lesson about trying to be something you're not. Plus, it's just really fun to read it aloud!

 

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