The school year is wrapping up everywhere so it is time for teachers to start preparing for next year! If you are a first grade teacher, it is fun because school is still so exciting and new to the students.
The great thing about that is that even though school is still relatively new to them, this isn’t their first experience with it. This means they have a little more confidence and independence than they did in kindergarten.
Here are some tips for having an amazing first day of first grade:
- Get to know each other! One of the biggest reasons for those first-day jitters is that students aren’t familiar with each other yet. Spend the first day playing some ice breaker games or crafts. You can pair students up for some activities so they can start developing friendships from the start.
- Make sure to cover the rules. They may be familiar with a lot of them because they are likely similar to kindergarten rules, but summer break is a long time so it is always good to reiterate what is expected. Don’t forget to cover rules for the classroom, lunchroom, recess, and hallways.
- Read books about the first day of school. Everyone loves a good book! Reading some about the first day of school is a fun way to illustrate how even though you may be nervous, it will all turn out okay.
- Explain how your classroom schedule will go. Explaining to students what they can expect when they come into school is another great way to ease some of their nerves. Don’t forget to review going-home procedures so they are all prepared at the end of the day.
After 20 years of teaching, I created an easy and detailed first day of first grade lesson plan! This includes a full day of detailed lesson plans with printables, links, editable plans, suggested plans, ideas, and activities!
Here is what’s included:
- 31 printables including detailed lesson plans, links, planning checklists, Welcome to First Grade welcome sheet, directions for the icebreaker name game, materials for First Day Jitters, name crafts, a photo poster, an All About Me Home Connection activity, name tags, and certificates!
- An Editable PowerPoint to easily add students’ names to certificates, crafts and edit your own lesson plans
- Classroom rules posters
- Gingerbread Man hunt to find all the important locations at school!
- Morning greeting and goodbye posters
Everything you need for an amazingly fun first day of first grade!
Love these ideas but teaching kindergarten? Check out my post here.
Kindergarten is a very big deal for young students. For many, it is the first time they are away from home regularly. While it can be scary, there are ways we can help ease the stress of the unknown for them and show them how fun school can be!
One way to do this is to establish a classroom routine early on so they learn what to expect. Setting a daily schedule and routine can be a huge relief because they know exactly what happens and when.
Morning work is a great way to ease students into the daily routine. As soon as students come in the door, have morning work on their desk ready to complete. They can work on their morning work independently while you work on other tasks. This is a great time to respond to parent emails, address student issues, and otherwise prepare for the day.
Here are some benefits of kindergarten morning work
- It is great for review. While at the beginning of the year, kindergarten students won’t have much to review yet, as the year goes on, you can focus morning work on the crucial skills they need like sight words, letters, and numbers. Circling back time and time again will help increase retention of this vital knowledge.
- It helps with classroom management. As mentioned above, having assignments ready to go when students come in for the day helps free up time for classroom management tasks. Having that time really does improve the flow of the day.
- It teaches independence. As we all know, students learn so much more in kindergarten than just letters, numbers, and reading. They learn social skills and independence too. Kindergarten students are very young so they have likely not had much experience with doing tasks independently at home yet. Morning work is a great way to teach this.
Ready to try some morning work? Try my kindergarten morning work packets for August and September!
This no prep morning work resource includes 40 printable pages of meaningful morning work for your kinders! Model it once and then they should be able to work independently each month.
This packet covers handwriting, sight word practice, color recognition, number sense, tally marks, counting, number lines, and writing numbers.
Looking for more tips for kindergarten, check on my tips for the first day of kindergarten here!
Do you assign morning work? Let me know in the comments!
It’s time to start thinking about the new school year! If you are a kindergarten teacher, it can be especially exciting because you are preparing for a year with brand new students who have never been to school before!
You are probably exhilarated, and your kids are excited too and maybe a little scared but that’s okay! You are more than prepared for a fun learning experience with lesson plans and activities that will keep your little ones busy every step of the day, right?
If you aren’t quite prepared yet, that’s okay! I’m here to help. Being well prepared for the first day of kindergarten (there will likely be tears!), will save you so much time in the long run. Your transition times will be kept to a minimum and it will save your sanity!
Here are some tips for having a stellar first day of kindergarten with your students:
- Make it fun! As mentioned above, a lot of kindergarten students have never experienced school before so, understandably, they will probably be pretty nervous about this new experience. Once they start having fun in the classroom, they will realize how great learning can be! Playing some get-to-know-you games is a great first day of school activity.
- Read some fun books. Find a great story to read together and do a simple craft to go along with the story. You can encourage your students to share what the story was about with their caregivers at home.
- Discuss rules. This one isn’t as fun but it is necessary to make sure expectations are set from the very first day. Make sure to cover classroom rules, recess rules, and lunchroom rules so they know what to expect all day long.
- Review going home procedures. This is a very important piece of information to cover. Going over what each student will do at the end of the day will alleviate some of the stress that usually comes along with that part of the first day.
Included you’ll get:
- 33 first day of school printables (includes detailed lesson plans, links, planning checklists, Welcome to Kindergarten coloring sheet, directions for a fun name game, name crafts, photo frames, A Kissing Hand Home Connection activity, name tags, certificates, and more!)
- Editable PowerPoint to easily add students names to certificates, crafts and edit your lesson plans
- Classroom rules posters
- Gingerbread Man hunt to find all the important locations at school
- How I Get Home hats
Everything you need for a fun and successful first day!
What are your favorite activities for the first day of school? Let me know in the comments!
Want some more kindergarten teaching tips? Check out these kindergarten homework ideas!
Looking for great ways to celebrate the amazing parents of your students? Father’s Day may be during summer vacation but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate it in your classroom!
You can either celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day separately (check out this amazing Mother’s Day celebration idea here!) or you can combine them both into a super fun Parent’s Day. Not only do you get to bundle it all together, but this is a little more inclusive for kids who don’t have a mom, dad, or traditional caregivers at home. Parent’s Day parties can be for anyone who cares for them!
Here are some fun ways to celebrate Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, OR Parent’s Day.
- Invite parents to the school! Doing this in the late afternoon or just the second half of the day will make it easier for parents to leave work if necessary and make it in.
- Have a picnic. A simple picnic with chips, sandwiches, and juice is fun for everyone. At the end of the year the weather is usually nice so take it outside and get some sunshine. Just make sure to have a backup plan if it gets rainy! You can request food and supplies from parents ahead of time to save yourself from spending too much on food.
- Play some games! Get some frisbees (you can usually find some in the Target Dollar Spot or the Dollar Store this time of year) and let students play with their parents. You can also get some footballs-which would be a hit for Father’s Day!
- Take a tour of the decorated classroom. After the picnic and games, invite parents to tour the classroom. You can decorate with students’ artwork or crafts they made for their parents!
This Bulletin Board Decoration set is perfect for classroom decoration during Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or a Parent’s Day party. It also makes a great gift that they can take home and give to their parents.
This download includes different pull waffle books, a pocket to hold coupons, and blank waffle books to create your own story! Just add a bow and a folded lunch bag to create a keepsake for students to give to others or use on the bulletin board.
What is your favorite way to celebrate parents? Let me know in the comments!