|This is my beginning of the year attention signal. I say, "Give me |
your best monkey face!" and students respond by blowing out
their cheeks (can't talk!) and pulling on their ears (can't be
touching anything). Works like a charm!
I am linking up with Teaching With Z's sweet, kindergarten blog! Head on over for more First Day of Kindergarten tips and ideas! What a great idea to put all of these ideas in one place.
No matter how many years I have been doing this teaching kindergarten thing, I STILL get nervous planning and making sure I have everything all set and ready to go for the first day of school I thought I'd share some tips to help make your planning easier and make your first day back to school as smooth as it possibly can be:
- Remember that this is likely the first real school experience for most of your students. They do not necessarily know how to "get in a line" or even how to "sit criss cross apple sauce". You need to take the time to TEACH them these itty bitty things and it will take a big chunk of your first day.
- Make sure students have a name tag that will stay on them all day that says their name, as well as YOUR name. Kindergarten children are easily "lost" on the first day of school.
- They do not understand the difference between cold and hot lunch. You are better off calling it home and school lunch.
- These children are going to be on OVERLOAD from the moment they get in line with you. They are going to need brain breaks frequently throughout the day. Plan in 10 minute increments and put in lots of tasks that do not involve lots of directions (movement breaks, math tubs, extra recess, etc.). These unstructured times will give you a chance to get to know the children you will be spending the rest of the year with.
- Over plan! It won't take much to over plan because you will not get to everything you want to. The great thing about being over planned for the first day is that you can choose which activities will work best for this group which you are meeting for the first time AND you will have activities ready to go for the second day, too.
- Know your attention signal and be ready to practice it A LOT during the first day. Make it a game throughout the day to see how quickly they can respond by listening.
- Have all supplies that you need for the day organized and ready to go.
- Be sure to have a personal conversation with each of your new darlings! This will make them feel special, allow you to get to "know" them a bit, AND make them excited to return the next day.
- Send home something to the parents letting them know how their child did on their first day of kindergarten. I have certificates that all say they had a great day in kindergarten on the first day, but I will add anything additional to the back (if necessary) like, "Davey only cried for a couple of minutes after you left and then smiled for the rest of day" or "Sylvia was very shy today!" etc...
|Grab this freebie at my TpT Store!|
I got thinking about how nervous I was about planning my first day of kindergarten back at the beginning of my career (WAY more nervous than I am now!) and I thought how nice it would have been if I had a guide to go by. Of course, back then, there was nothing like that and I found in my research that there still isn't! So, guess what? I created something for those newer kindergarten teachers who are feeling a bit uncertain about the start to their year. I think you will find it very helpful and able to put your time and energy elsewhere (setting up your room, collaborating with colleagues, blog stalking, etc!) once you know that your first day of school is all planned and ready to go.Are you new to teaching kindergarten or are you just in need of some new ways to start your year? This kit includes everything you need to have a successful AND fun first day with your kinders. It is jam packed with activities, as well as detailed directions and ideas to keep the day moving along smoothly. I have also given book, finger plays, and movement video suggestions to go with the Monkeying Around in Kindergarten theme that includes a coloring assessment, a simple cut and paste project, two math activities, and a simple art project to end the day with AND decorate your classroom. It even includes the headings for bulletin boards you can create with the projects the children do AND 1st day of school certificates to give the children at the end of the day. Ease your mind and let a veteran kindergarten share her classroom-tested (for years!) lesson plans with you. You will have them for years to come! And there is enough here to likely spill into the 2nd day of kindergarten, so actually 2 days could very well be planned for you! You DO NOT have to have any special books or unique materials to easily implement this back to school lesson plan. Be sure to take a peek at the preview download to get a better picture of what is included!
Please add anything else that you think would help kindergarten teachers planning the first day in the comments! Thank you!
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