One of the best ways to prevent behavioral issues and conflicts in the classroom is to teach kids how to get along with others. And what could be a more fun approach to that than a shared read-aloud?
The slideshow below features some excellent books to read aloud to children ages 3-11, not only during the first few weeks of school as you set new expectations, but throughout the year to address behavioral concerns as they arrive. I’ve selected titles that teach about kindness, sharing, team work and cooperation, personal responsibility, dealing with bullies, manners, and more. I’ve also included a few teacher resource books that I think have good ideas for preventing discipline issues and interpersonal conflicts between children.
Morning Meeting is an excellent time to read books like these and talk about how the concepts apply to situations you’ve noticed (both positive and negative) in your classroom. I also used read-alouds like these at the end of the day during dismissal time to help my students reflect on their choices and think about how they would treat one another the following day.
After reading the books, make sure you place them in your class library for the kids to look at throughout the year. Most students love to re-read anything that you’ve already shared with the whole class, and they’ll return to these books over and over again.
To click through the images quickly, mouseover a book and use the forward and backward arrows that appear at the top.
(ETA APRIL 2017: The slideshow is an Amazon widget that apparently is no longer available. I’m sorry about that!)
If I had to pick a favorite book from the slideshow above, I would recommend What If Everybody Did That? It’s a very short, easy book which resonated with my third graders in really powerful ways. The premise is this (from the book description): “If you drop just one soda can out the window, it’s no big deal … right? But what if everybody did that? What if everybody broke the rules … and spoke during story time, didn’t wash up, or splashed too much at the pool? Then the world would be a mess. But what if everybody obeyed the rules so that the world would become a better place?” I read this book aloud a few times each school year to help students reflect on how their personal choices affect everyone around them, and I often heard kids using the phrase with each other when they noticed one another making irresponsible decisions.
What are your favorite read-alouds for teaching classroom norms and creating a positive learning community?