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The First Six Weeks of School by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete

Book Blurb: This book gives teachers ideas about how to begin a successful school year, by taking the time during the first six weeks of school to build community, establish classroom rules, introduce children to the curriculum in engaging and meaningful ways and setting high expectations for all. It gives specific and practical guidelines to teachers with chapters focusing on early childhood (K to 2), middle elementary grades (3 to 4) and upper elementary grades/middle school (5 to 6). It brings many ideas for games, songs and read aloud books that are appropriate for the first weeks of school. It also has sample daily schedules that can be easily adapted to any classroom. 

Recommended for:

All teachers in grades K to 6th. This is a wonderful resource for new teachers and experienced teachers alike. I read it every year before the school year begins, and keep it close to me during the first weeks of school. 

Questions and themes to consider as you read:

  • Many teachers feel they must begin with instruction right away: there is so much too cover and even in September it seems like there is not going to be enough time! However, if you take your time at the beginning of the year to establish rules with your children and to get to know them and support them in getting to know each other, your year will be much more productive. Think about taking this time as you read the book. You do not have to do every activity and game suggested, but can you make time to do a few of them?
  • How can you integrate social and academic learning during the first weeks of school and throughout the year?
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