First Day Jitters Book

First day jitters

Educators – starting the year with a fun read aloud activity is a great way to kickstart the academic year! Especially if the book talks about the ‘first day jitters’!

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a story of someone being extremely discouraged about starting a school year at a new school! They whine and groan, but eventually make it to school (very reluctantly!) The book has a fun twist at the end that leaves all of the kids gasping and giggling. 

After I read this book to my students, it is an easy opener to discuss how they felt that morning prior to coming to school. Many emotions are shared and reasons are given. This discussion can be done orally or in writing – the choice is yours! You can tailor it to their age group, too!

Following the discussion, I displayed a big poster paper titled First Day Feelings. At the bottom, I listed 5 common feelings that were shared (excited, happy, sad/upset, mixed). I gave each student a sticky note and asked them to write down their feeling that morning followed by an illustration that showed what they felt. This really showcased their creativity, too! 

Finally, they stuck their sticky notes on top of the emotion written below. At the end, you have a bar graph of emotions! What a great SEL (Social Emotional Learning) check-in, too!


About the author

headshot of woman smiling with brown hair wearing a green lace blouse.

Marissa Will is the mother of two, Olivia (4) and Logan (2). Writing was her first passion: she’s a freelance writer and a Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna. Will is currently educating the future leaders of tomorrow: She has spent the past eight years teaching third grade with a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University-Yuma.

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