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!
While some students may just see Memorial Day as a day off from school, it is a great time to teach them about Memorial Day and why we celebrate it. It is important for them to know about those who gave their lives while serving our country.
Here are some ways you can teach elementary students about Memorial Day in your classroom.
- Start by giving them the definition. It seems simple, but this is something that not a lot of students know or understand.
- Read a book about the holiday. Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Jill Biden and Raul Colon is a great book written by the First Lady.
- Write a letter to a hero. If your students have any friends or family members that served they can write a letter to them. For other students you can have them write a letter to hero you select for them. This is a great way to give students perspective and a chance to express their gratitude.
- Discuss the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. On Veterans Day we celebrate those still living who served our country, on Memorial Day we celebrate those we lost.
Perfect for students in first through third grade, you’ll get a variety of writing activities.
Included with this resource, you’ll get
- an informational sheet about the holiday
- acrostic poems with self rating systems
- Home of the Free Because of the Brave printable
- Informational writing planning page
- Informational writing page
- Thank you, Hero Letter
- Thank You Letter
- Posters for students to fill out
- Poster about informative writing
- Transitional words and phrases list
- Word wall words
You’ll get everything you need to get your students engaged in learning about our American heroes.
Looking for more teaching activities for May? Check out Mother’s Day ideas here!
I have always loved celebrating Mother’s Day in my classroom, and students do too! Mothers (or other primary caregivers) are without a doubt a huge and important part of a student’s life. They have unlimited amounts of love and guidance for their children, so students love to celebrate them!
One of my favorite ways to do this is to have Mother’s Day Tea.
This is a special day where we show moms how much we care by having cookies and tea with them.
Before the party you can have the students decorate the cookies especially for their moms using premade sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles. You can go around and take pictures of students with their moms to give to them at the end of the year.
To go along with tea time, students create these sweet Mother’s Day lapbooks.
With this craft, they can color and decorate a special gift for their mom. They can write a letter to mom, draw a picture of the two of them, give them tea, share what they love about her, create Mother’s Day coupons, and more. This gift is sure to be a hit with all moms!
Mother’s Day Tea may be a little more challenging this year because of the pandemic. Some classes are in person again, but some students are still learning from home. If you aren’t able to bring moms into the classroom, you can send these gifts home with students as well.
If you are distance learning, and need something kids can gift virtually, they can create these digital Mother’s Day cards.
This resource comes with 10 Google Slides. Just use the edit boxes to add your own text, add an image of mom and print to give to mom or their caregiver.
It may be a little different this year but students can still spoil their moms and show appreciation for all they do with these fun resources.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate Mother’s Day with your students? Let me know in the comments!