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6 Books for Back to School

The back to school season is upon us. During those first few week I love sharing books with my students that they can connect with and how they are feeling during those first few days. Some of my back to school favorites include ChrysanthemumFirst Day Jitters, and A Bad Case of the Stripes. While I love those stories, I wanted something different this year. Today I am sharing six new books that I've added to my classroom library that I feel are must haves for every teacher. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school. 

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my disclosure here

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.

Wordy Birdy
This book is absolutely adorable. It's funny and entertaining while focusing on the importance of listening.  It can be used during back to school season or anytime throughout the school year. It's about a silly bird who talks way MORE than she actually listens. One day Wordy Birdy is so caught up in the excitement of all things around her that she doesn't listen to her friends warnings and ends up in a tricky situation. Luckily, Wordy Birdy's friends are there to save her from danger! Does this change Wordy Birdy? No, she still LOVES to talk and talk and talk but she also learns that she likes to listen to others too. 

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.


Be Kind
This book fits it's title perfectly and is an excellent way to teach and reinforce kindness to young children. It's about a little girl who questions how to respond when she sees a friend spill grape juice on herself. While others laugh, she did not think it was so funny. She goes on to think about different ways that she can be kind to others in ways that young children can relate to such as helping others, giving, paying attention, or just saying hello. It really focuses on how small acts of kindness can lead to making a huge difference. 

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.


All Are Welcome
The book All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, the have a special place at school and are always welcome. It walks though a school day of a diverse classroom where each child learns from each other's backgrounds and traditions. 

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.


Alma and How She Got Her Name
This beautiful story is about a young girl named Alma who learns the identity of her name. She has six to be exact! One day Alma complains to her dad that her name is so long that it "never fits". Her dad then shares stories about where her long name came from and the family members it represents. Alma learns that her name just might be perfect after all and realizes that one day she will have 
a story to tell. 

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.



Most People
In the story Most People, it shares that the world can be a scary place but that in the middle of that scariness most people are good people. With the kid friendly illustrations Most People follows two siblings through the city for a day where they encounter people of all kinds (bikers, mohawks, etc...) who are doing nice things of other people. Despite all the bad, most people in the world want to help others and share goodness too. 

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.


This Is How We Do It
This story takes you around the world with seven real kids from different countries where they share their day. The book shares how each child's family, school life, chores, what they eat for dinner and how they play. This book gives students an inside look on cultures and traditions that may look different than their own. 

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.


I hope that this post have given you some ideas and books that you can add to your classroom library. If you have another back to school favorite, I'd love to hear from you!

This blog post shares 6 books to use in your classroom during back to school season. They focus on kindness, listening, diversity, and making all children feel safe at school.


Have a blessed one, 


Classroom Tour: Burlap and Brights

Hey there, friends! I often get asked what the inside of my classroom looks like or how I set up specific areas. Today I'm going to give you a tour of my classroom but this wont' be your traditional back to school post where everything is neat and tidy. Most of these photos were taken randomly throughout the school year or at the end of the year last year. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a type B teacher. I'm not good at organization and most of the time my classroom is a hot mess. I don't have a photo of every single angle of my classroom but I can give you a general idea of what my home away from home looks like. Let's enter room 205 shall we!

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my disclosure here



This is what my classroom looks like when you enter. I have a flexible seating classroom but had to leave my desks in my room. Eventually, the first two groups of tables (where you see the lapdesks) were lowered all the way to the ground).


When you enter my classroom, just behind my door is my student display area. I use these two fastener folders from Amazon to display student work. All year long we add student writing, crafts, or any other work I feel like would make a good addition to our scrapbooks. At the end of the year, I simply take the folders down off the wall and add a cute cover to give to students as end of the year gifts. I love to see how much they've grown and this is the perfect way to do it.

Yes, you see a random Christmas craft. I had a student leave mid-year and well I just never took his scrapbook down. Did it drive me crazy, yes but I was also lazy too. :D

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

On the back of my door you see my student birthday display. At the beginning of the year, I have my kiddos write their birthday on a whiteboard. Then, they hold them up and I take their picture by each month and place them on the these monthly posters. You can grab these burlap themed posters in my TPT store.

My classroom has a bright burlap theme birthday board. Simply add student photos and you are ready to celebrate!


To the left of my student work display I have a large whiteboard with two bulletin boards at each end. The first smaller board holds my Daily Five posters and rotation chart.

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

Each of my Daily 5 groups is named a color. I used velcro dots on the back of the tags and the color cards are just moved through each rotation. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

This large white board doesn't get used much. I'll hang anchor charts on it or large pocket charts when needed. The turquoise pocket chart with numbers you see below the board holds our headphones. You can read all about this in this blog post


The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

Above my white board you'll see a classroom quote along with my alphabet line. I wanted my students to always know that no matter if we had a good or bad day, they are always loved. To make these letters I just enlarged some of my favorite fonts and printed them onto colored paper. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

My alphabet line has a bright burlap theme. These come in half sheet sizes and two to a page. You can get them here. They are also available in a traditional brown burlap too.

My classroom has a bright burlap themed alphabet line. Come see my classroom tour for other burlap themed ideas.

On the other side of my whiteboard you'll find my math station area. You can read a detailed explanation about my set up in this blog post.

The colored cart holds all of my math stations I have made by standard. All of the baskets and containers you see here were purchased at my local dollar store. The baskets on the top hold our weekly math stations. The purple and pink baskets hold commonly used supplies such as dice, spinners, and dry erase markers/erasers. The Sterilite containers at the bottom of the small shelf hold all of my monthly math stations. I really should probably label those....

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

Just on the other side of our math station set up is my library corner. Above my library you'll find these burlap phonics posters (these are also available in chevron and polka dot) and reading strategies posters (free!!).

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The white baskets were purchased from Dollar Tree. I've used these baskets for four years and only had a few break. If one does, I'll just go replace it since they are very inexpensive. You can get them here.

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

I use the black shelf to display seasonal or topical books. The turquoise basket on the floor holds all of our book buddies.

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The back wall of my classroom holds my focus wall, writing center, and VIP table. Above you'll find my classroom rules posters (free). I bought the 8x10 frames from Hobby Lobby years ago.


The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme! My focus wall area is one of my favorite parts of the whole room.

All of the headers on this board were made with these editable burlap pencil banners.

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme! My focus wall area is one of my favorite parts of the whole room.


My focus wall is one of the most utilized areas in my classroom. I use these plastic sleeves to store anchor charts. The mini pocket charts hold all different word lists for the week. You can get the focus wall headers (free) by clicking here.

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme! My focus wall area is one of my favorite parts of the whole room.


The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme! My focus wall area is one of my favorite parts of the whole room.

Journeys Focus Wall Sets ---> Click here
Reading Anchor Charts ---> Click here
Grammar Anchor Charts ---> Click here

My writing center holds all of the materials students needs to write independently. The folders you see are their writing portfolios. The cube holds our monthly writing task cards, fun writing tools (crayons, markers, stamps, etc..), and paper.

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

Across from my writing center I have a similar tablet that is my VIP area. I have table caddies is special supplies. If I see a student demonstrating outstanding behavior or manners I'll allow them to sit at the VIP table for the day. Posters can be found here.

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!


Below my focus wall is where I have my interactive word wall. I love this for so many reasons. First, it takes up so little space. Second, kids can add words to it all year long. Third, they can access these word rings anytime they are writing. I teach my students at the beginning of the year to how to use it and take care of it. They are responsible for it all year long. You can get it here. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme! My interactive word wall is one of my favorite classroom tools.
Up next is my teacher area. I must confess...I took this photo during my last week of school and this was the cleanest it had been all year. The stools around my teacher table came from Amazon. You can get them here. These are so durable. The seats are made of heavy duty plastic. I also have some similar from the dollar store and they have not held up like these have. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

In my teacher area I have this large cart that I use to hold all of my math manipulatives and guided reading materials. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

Moving on the front of my classroom. On the front of my whiteboard you'll see nonverbal hand signal posters and voice level charts. Both of these can be found here

My husband build me the shelf underneath my board. All of our shared classroom supplies are stored there in baskets. Yes, I know there aren't any baskets in the photo. Whoops! 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!


I got this acrylic dry erase marker holder from Amazon. I mounted it to my board using command strips. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

On the other side of my interactive board you'll see my word work station. Weekly activities are kept in the Sterilite drawers. The turquoise pocket charts were purchased from Mardel. These hold my print and go spelling activities. (Remember earlier when I said my classroom isn't perfect? Well there is an example. Both of those charts should be filled and only one partially is. Again...WHOOPS!)

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

This mock bulletin board displays large anchor charts as they are created throughout the year. I got the wood paper from Amazon. The borders are from Creative Teaching Press. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

Above my word work center are my burlap number posters. Down the side I have burlap color posters.  

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

Previously when I taught first grade that area where I mentioned I hung anchor charts was replaced with my burlap calendar board. This was changed when I moved back to second but wanted to show you what it looked like then. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme! I love my calendar set up!

As we near the end of our classroom tour you'll find a wall of cubbies.  The book boxes were purchased as a class set from Overstock.com last year. This is also where their backpacks are kept. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

And now we are back to my front door. I have a small set of shelves and cabinets where my turn in trays are kept. I use a crate with hanging file folders for a turn in box. Each child has a folder with their number on it and when turning in work they place the paper inside their folder. This helps with knowing who has missing work. 

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my little home away from home. I've linked some of the items I've featured in this post below. All burlap classroom decor can be found here . The borders used on my bulletin boards were purchased from Mardel. They can be found here, and here




The blog posts features a tour of my 2nd grade classroom with a burlap and bright theme!

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