Books Teachers Love – August Books For Your Classroom

Books Teachers Love Blog Series HeaderWelcome to the premiere post for what is sure to be your new favorite teacher blogger link up…Books Bloggers Love. Each month, 12 teacher bloggers will be linking up to share our favorite books for that month/time of year and giving you a peek at a few ideas for incorporating each book into your lesson plans.
Book page from Do Unto Otters
You are going to love this link-up because every month, you will have a chance to win 4 of the 12 books featured. Be sure to follow so you won’t miss this monthly opportunity to stock up on some fabulous literature ideas to fill your classroom library with tried and true texts.
mybook Many students and teachers head back to school during the month of August after those warm months of summer freedom. When you walk through the door on that first day, your heart is filled with excitement but students and teachers alike can’t help but feel a bit awkward back in that classroom setting.
Of course, we are the adults…so we have to push that longing to sunbathe in the grass at recess or take a nap after lunch aside and kick our school manners into high gear.If you are a warm demander, you have high expectations for respect and appropriate behavior the moment your students walk through the door each morning. But let’s be honest, sprinkling a little humor into your introduction of classroom expectations helps to ease those first day nerves and build an environment of trust and comfort from the get-go.
Cover of Laurie Keller's Do Unto Otters
One of my favorite tools for doing just that, is the book Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller. In this lighthearted book, Mr. Rabbit’s new neighbors are otters…a species he knows nothing about. With the guidance of wise Mr. Owl, Mr. Rabbit learns how to be a good friend and neighbor by simply following the Golden Rule – “Do unto otters as you would have otters doo-dee-doo unto you!”
How I Use this book header
After giggling through this read aloud, you can lead right into a talk about the Golden Rule and begin gathering ideas for what your students expect their classmates to “doo-dee-doo” to make this school year a success.
In our classroom, we create an anchor chart titled “Ways We Will Show R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” using the ideas introduced in Keller’s book as a starting point. Having the students brainstorm and record ways we will show respect is a great way to build buy-in and set a high standard for respectful behavior in the classroom from day 1.

RESPECT poster and how can you be respecful anchor chart

Year after year, I am impressed by the staying power of this approach to introducing behavior expectations in the elementary classroom. I hope you enjoy the same benefits of using this book and the idea of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. in your own classroom.

For more ideas about incorporating read alouds into your back to school lesson plans, check out all of our Books Teachers Love posts for August here.


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I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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