The first few weeks of school are so important for teaching classroom rules and expectations because it helps set the tone for the rest of the year. Teachers need to model the desired behaviors and let students practice them correctly over and over again until they become second nature. You can help make this process a little more enjoyable by sharing quality books that help teach classroom rules and expectations. Sometimes books have a way of getting through when your words can’t.
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Books to Help Teach Classroom Rules and Expectations
Here are some of my favorite books to share at the beginning of the school year as I introduce classroom rules and procedures. You’ll find books about following the rules, safety, listening skills, tattling vs. reporting, and learning the difference between teasing and bullying.
Back to School Rules
School’s in session! When it comes to surviving school, Percy’s at the head of the class. If you can follow his ten simple rules, making the grade will be a piece of cake (and school will be a lot of fun). But there’s more to school than showing up on time and staying awake in class. If you have any doubts, Percy also shows exactly what not to do.
• No spitballs!
• No running in the halls!
• No bouncing off the ceiling!
• No crazy scheming!
See what other trouble―and tips―Percy has in mind!
Officer Buckle and Gloria
Officer Buckle is a roly-poly bloke, dedicated to teaching schoolchildren important safety tips, such as never put anything in your ear and never stand on a swivel chair. The problem is, Officer Buckle’s school assemblies are dull, dull, dull, and the children of Napville just sleep, sleep, sleep. That is, until Gloria the police dog is invited along! Stealthily pantomiming each safety tip behind Officer Buckle’s back, Gloria wins the children’s hearts. Meanwhile Officer Buckle assumes the cheers and laughter are all for him. Check out these resources to pair with this book.
What Should Danny Do School Day
In this book, your children will get to decide how Danny’s day at school will end! Children love being able to make all the choices for this Superhero-in-Training and control the outcome of the book, while parents and teachers love the lessons the book teaches!
The Recess Queen
Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different. Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced. If kids ever crossed her, she’d push ’em and smoosh ’em lollapaloosh ’em, hammer ’em, slammer ’em kitz and kajammer ’em. Until a new kid came to school! With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp. Check out these resources to pair with this book.
The Buddy Bench
Patty Brozo’s cast of kids brings a playground to raucous life, and Mike Deas’s illustrations invest their games with imaginary planes to fly, dragons to tame, and elephants to ride. And these kids match their imaginations with empathy, identifying and swooping up the lonely among them.
Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Check out these resources to pair with this book.
Do Unto Otters
Mr. Rabbit’s new neighbors are Otters. OTTERS! But he doesn’t know anything about otters. Will they get along? Will they be friends? Just treat otters the same way you’d like them to treat you, advises Mr. Owl. In her smart, playful style Laurie Keller highlights how to be a good friend and neighbor―simply follow the Golden Rule! Check out these resources to pair with this book.
David Goes to School
David’s teacher has her hands full. From running in the halls to chewing gum in class, David’s high-energy antics fill each schoolday with trouble — and are sure to bring a smile to even the best-behaved reader.
Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill
Stop! Drop! Roll! Learning the rules of fire safety is a lot more fun (and less scary) when demonstrated by a charming and diverse group of animals. Alligator, Panda, Octopus, and the others work hard to master the rules of fire safety and perform the perfect fire drill, but thinking about fire is a bit nerve-wracking, and each of them reacts differently — often with hilarious results.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen
Howard B. Wigglebottom gets into a lot of trouble for not listening. When he becomes a better listener, his life improves dramatically. Check out these resources to pair with this book.
Buddy’s father had a beautiful big nose. He was a great sniffer. Buddy’s mother had beautiful big teeth. She was a great chomper. Buddy had beautiful big ears. It didn’t matter. Will Buddy ever learn to listen? Check out these resources to pair with this book.
Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice
Spunky, spirited Isabella is always shouting out her every though, idea, and feeling. She loves using her loud voice so much, it’s even earned her the nickname Decibella! But that’s not a nickname to brag about. Isabella’s so loud, she interrupts class and irritates others. She doesn’t know how or when to use a softer, quieter voice until her teacher introduces the five volumes of voice.
It’s time for the little red chicken’s bedtime story — and a reminder from Papa to try not to interrupt. But the chicken can’t help herself! Whether the tale is Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood or even Chicken Little, she jumps into the story to save its hapless characters. Now it’s the little red chicken’s turn to tell a story, but will her yawning papa make it to the end without his own kind of interrupting?
My Mouth is a Volcano
Louis always interrupts! All of his thoughts are very important to him, and when he has something to say, his words rumble and grumble in his tummy, they wiggle and jiggle on his tongue and then they push on his teeth, right before he ERUPTS (or interrupts). His mouth is a volcano! But when others begin to interrupt Louis, he learns how to respectfully wait for his turn to talk. Check out these resources to pair with this book.
Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker
Lacey Walker loves to talk. She talks all day, and sometimes all night. But when she loses her voice, Lacey learns the importance of listening. She learns about all of the things she misses out on every day. Check out these resources to pair with this book.
The Worst Day of My Life Ever
RJ has a rough day. He wakes up with gum stuck in his hair, misses recess because he’s late to school, earns a zero on his math homework and messes up Mom’s kitchen. With his mother’s help, RJ learns that his problems happen because he doesn’t listen or pay attention to directions. Check out these resources to pair with this book.
Teamwork Isn’t My Thing and I Don’t Like to Share
RJ is having another bad day… His teacher wants him to work with bossy Bernice, messy Frankie, and Norma (who just sits and picks her nose) on a report about Egyptian mummies. She tells the class TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More, but RJ isn’t so sure about that!
After a frustrating day at school with his team, RJ goes home to find only one cookie left in the jar. And his mom makes him share it with his sister!
With the help of his coach, RJ learns that working as a team and sharing are skills needed not just on the soccer field, but in school and at home too!
You Get What You Get
Melvin throws fit after fit when he doesn’t get what he wants. He must learn how to deal with disappointment. After all, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue
No one likes “Josh the Tattler” because he tattles way too much. He tattles on his classmates, his brother, and even his dog! But one night Josh wakes up to find that his tongue is very long, yellow, covered in bright purple spots, and Itchy, Itchy, Scratchy, Scratchy…Will a bad case of Tattle Tongue teach him a lesson? Check out these resources to pair with this book.
Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal
Teaches kids when squealing on a fellow classmate is appropriate and when it is merely tattling! Set in a school classroom, the kids in the class constantly tattle on each other, creating an air of frustration and distrust. The teacher, rather than policing the situation, addresses underlying feelings and encourages mutual problem solving.
The Juice Box Bully
Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete’s new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates teach him about “The Promise”. Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make “The Promise”? Check out these resources to pair with this book.
Is the Tease Monster a friend or a foe?
That’s what One of a Kind has to figure out in this quirky tale.
One of a Kind has big feet and loves eating popsicles while standing upside down. He doesn’t understand the difference between friendly teasing and mean teasing. When Purple laughs at One for being weird he feels rotten. And when Plaid called One a brainiac for getting an A+ on his math test he doesn’t know what to say.
With help, he learns that teasing is part of life and that laughing at someone is mean teasing or bullying and can have a hurtful bite, but laughing with someone is alright when it’s not done out of spite!
Pinkerton the pig always wants to be first. Bun an encounter with a mean Sand Witch helps the pig learn that being first sometimes comes with a high price.
Personal Space Camp
Louis is back! And this time, he’s learning all about personal space. When Louis, the world’s self-proclaimed space expert, is invited to Personal Space Camp by the school principal, he soon learns that personal space really isn’t about lunar landings, Saturn’s rings, or space ice cream. This book addresses the complex issue of respect for another person’s physical boundaries.
Too Much Glue
Although Matty’s art teacher has warned him that too much glue never dries, Matty loves glue. After all, he and his dad make oodles of glue projects at home. One day during art class, Matty finds the fullest bottles of glue, and the fun begins. With a squeeze and a plop, Matty pours a lake of glue before belly-flopping right in the middle and finds himself stuck to the desk. When Matty’s dad arrives at the school, instead of being mad, he celebrates his son’s creativity and calls him a work of art.
Do you have a favorite book to help teach classroom rules and expectations that didn’t make the list? Let me know so I can check it out!
Here are some other book lists you might be interested in:
You can find even more book lists here.