Back to school : Read-aloud rules for classroom centers

During our first few weeks of preschool, I take a few minutes everyday to introduce a new center to our students. The goal of this time is to foster discussion and to share any expectations I have about how the children can help take care of the centers, where things belong in each center, and even a little bit of how to play positively in the centers…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

To help promote discussion on any given center, I like to introduce the center by first reading aloud a book that somehow relates to the kinds of play or materials that are common in that center. I could just give the children a set of rules they must follow but in order to get the children invested in our classroom, I want them to be a part of our discussion…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

To introduce the children to our reading center I enjoy reading “Book!” by Kristine O’Connell George. This is a simple read-aloud story about a little boy who loves his book. The little boy takes his book with him everywhere and along the way, the children are able to see how this book is very special to him. A perfect entry into how we can treasure and take care of the books in our classroom…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

Before introducing the concept of our word wall with my pre-k students, the book “Oh How I Wished I Could Read” by John Gile is fun to share with the children. The little boy in this book gets into different kinds of mishaps (like sitting in wet paint) because he isn’t able to read the signs…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

“When I Build with Blocks”  by Niki Alling is a great book about a block center which naturally leads us to talk about different types of constructing and engineering we can explore in our block center. Then we can weave in a little bit of information about how to take care of our block center…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

“The Crayola Counting Book” is another simple to read book that I can use to foster discussion about our writing center or if I rather, I can just use it to get my students focused on a discussion on how how to take care of crayons. The direction of each discussion depends on the book, the goal I have in mind, the center I want to introduce, and where the children might also take the discussion…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

You probably already select lots of fun back to school books to read-aloud aloud to your students during that first week of school. Whether it is to introduce all the things we can find around our classroom, how we get to school each day (book above), when or what we might need to know about snack time (book below) or to introduce the centers in our classroom I find reading aloud a simple book helps to get the conversation off to an interesting and positive start for the children…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

I don’t read a book for every single center or object in our classroom because that would certainly be going a little bit overboard. But I do like to read a few books here and as the school year progresses, we will continue to share reminders on how to take care of our things in our classroom so everyone can have a positive experience…

Read Aloud Rules for Classroom Centers by Teach Preschool

Discover and Explore!

As part of this back to school post, I am super excited to share with you these ladies and their terrific blogs. Each week, the five of us will be hosting the Discover and Explore themed linky series which will be a great way to connect you with lots of great new resources all throughout the school year…

Discover and Explore

The Discover & Explore Team

Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning

Jackie from KC Edventures

Stephanie from Twodaloo

Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy

>> See more Back to Ideas or jump in and share your own Back to School ideas too in the Linky located down below this post!

How our Linky Party Works

  1. Every Wednesday I will be sharing an idea related to the theme selected by our linky group. This week (and yes, I am a day late due to technical problems), is Back to School week.
  2. On Fridays I will feature one or more posts shared by those of you who link up each week here on Teach Preschool.  Next Friday, come back to see who landed a spot on the Teach Preschool Back To School Feature Post!

Please read the following guidelines for linking up:

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic — kids activities, book activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, free printables–anything that might be helpful to those wanting to put together activities based on this week’s theme
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels.
  • Take a few minutes to visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!
  • If you are linking up, we would love for you to link back from your blog using the Discover and Explore button or a text link so you can help us get the word out and built our collection of resources to share!

The linky will remain open for a week and a half. Then all co-hosts will feature activities in a separate post on Fridays and share featured posts on the Discover and Explore Pinterest Board!

Available on Amazon

Enter your Back to School link below!

By |2017-03-29T11:41:18+00:00August 15th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. We’re so excited to have you join the Discover & Explore linky. I know you’ll have terrific ideas to share for each theme.

    The book suggestions and discussions here are perfect. I agree that meaningful discussions and examples through literature are much more effective in introducing the classroom expectations than simply sharing a list of rules.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 15, 2013 at 9:02 am - Reply

      Hi Shaunna,
      I am looking forward to reading all these great linkys folks have shared with us today!

  2. Jen August 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Wondering if you have any great suggestions for books to introduce the art center, dramatic play center, or the writing center?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Hmmm, Karen Beamont’s book “I Aint Gonna Paint No More” might be one option to talk about how to use the paint (or not to) in your classroom. “If You Take a Mouse to School” cover’s lots of different areas in the classroom and could be used to bring up a discussion about the art center as well.

      I will have to look through my books to see if anything really stands out but essentially, any book that introduces a concept that might be related to a center would work if you are thinking ahead how to apply the ideas to that center.

      • Jackie Higgins August 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

        What about “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds? I love the quote, “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” Perfect open ended example for preschool art centers!

  3. Jackie Higgins August 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I love these books for the first week of school. We may even add some to our play time at home! We gave Pete the Cat the Wheels on the Bus to my son’s kindergarten teacher as a first day of school gift. I guess I was just trying to get on the teacher’s good side (ha), but it ended up really making my son feel special when his teacher read the book.

  4. mrs. P August 21, 2013 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Valuable advice even for moms! Sometimes it is frustrating when things don’t stay “exactly so” but items are meant to be explored, art supplies used…what kind of learning would happen and childhood would it be if things stayed just so on a shelf? Thank you so much for this post! Mrs. P @

  5. Stephanie August 21, 2013 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Love the idea of using books to spark discussion of classroom expectations! It makes your classroom seem much more like a democracy and less like a dictatorship 😉 Such a great concept!

  6. Chelsey @buggy and buddy August 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    I just love this post! I know from experience taking time to slowly introduce the centers is so important to helping things run smoothly for the upcoming months. I absolutely LOVE how you use children’s books to introduce the centers and draw the children into the discussion!

  7. kalaprem August 4, 2017 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Super . Just love the way of your teaching ideas.

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