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I know it’s only July, but you know that back to school time is just around the corner! Now is a great time to think about books you’d like to share with your students.

The first days of school usually provide time for a few extra read-alouds. Here is a list of books I found to help young kids ease into back to school time. I was cleaning my office yet again this weekend and came across this list I’d tucked away.
1. I Am Not Going to School Today! by Robie H. Harris (McElderry, 2003)
2. Imagine Harry by Kate Klise (Harcourt, 2007)
3. It’s Time for School with Tallulah by Nancy Wolff (Scholastic, 2007)
4. Off to Kindergarten by Tony Johnston (Scholastic, 2007)
5. Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees: School Poems edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (HarperCollins, 2008)
6. Mildred and Sam Go to School by Sharleen Collicott (HarperCollins, 2008)
7. My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells (Hyperion, 2004)
8. Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish and Lynne Avril (Greenwillow Books, 2009)
Please post any of your favorite titles for back to school, too!
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Back to school tips

What are some of your favorite back to school tips? We’d love to have you post them to share with others and get some chatter going.

I surveyed the girls that work at Debbie Diller & Associates to bring you a few of our favorites:

From Christe Cantu:  In the K-2 classroom, I like to take quick pictures of the kids as they come in on the first day of school. That way, we’re ready to sort the names in the pocket chart in order to get the Names Station up and running as quickly as possible.  Plus the pictures can go home later in the year as keepsakes of the first day.         

In the first day go-home packet, I also ask parents to write a letter telling me something special about their child.  I received some really touching letters and learned things about my students I might have never known.  It’s wonderful to see children through the eyes of their parents!

From Gretchen Childs: One thing I did in my kindergarten class was that as soon as I received my class list, I sent a postcard to each student saying “Welcome to kindergarten and I can’t wait to meet you!” 

From Pam Pierce: I used to take my kids on a scavenger hunt around the school to get them familiar with the office, library, cafeteria, nurse’s office, gym, etc…  I had little clues at each location and we would solve the clue and then go to the next spot. It was fun!!

From Debbie Diller: On the first day of school, I’d write a letter to my 3rd graders introducing myself to them. I’d include things about my family and what we liked to do, as well as what kinds of books I liked to read. Then I asked students to write a letter back to me. What a quick, easy assessment this was! I got to know my kids and quickly learned quite a bit about their reading, writing, spelling, and even handwriting! I still have some of their letters. These were special keepsakes.

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