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!
Are you ready to get back to school with your students? Returning to school safely is going to make teachers think creatively when designing their classrooms! There are so many unknowns but I know for sure that being organized and clean are going to be play a big role in our Back to School routine this school year due to the pandemic. Look at some teacher tips for back to school with social distancing in mind.
Here are some classroom decor designs and teacher tips for you to ponder!
Returning Back to School Safely
1. This is a kindergarten teacher’s classroom by Lacy Jenkins. She decided to make the protectors in a fun way to be less intimidating! Lacy used PVC piping and clear shower curtains to make her dividers. Learning will be like a beach in this classroom!
2. How creative is this Teacher’s Brain? Jennifer Pierson transformed her desks into jeeps using cardboard boxes and clear shower curtains! The front of each jeep has a removable white plate for students to write their names on each morning for daily practice and check in. Learning will be a smooth ride in this classroom!
3. Kaycie Huffman uses yoga mats, plastic serving trays and individual bins for supplies to keep her students learning safely in the classroom.
4. Let’s talk about how obsessed I am with this amazing make over by Schoolgirl Style! The colors scream happiness. There is social distancing happening, and it is tells students some fun is going to happen in this space. (PHOTO: @eccampbellphotography )
5. Having a sub material is going to be very important this year if you are in the classroom! Hrs. Henry in First ( @mrshenryinfirst ) has a great way to prepare for those unexpected absences!
6. Look at this Teacher HACK! Masks and shields muffle your voice, so @mshannahengelke found a wireless mic headset so kids can hear her from across the room. She also said she, “feels like a pop star from the 90s” wearing it. #micMASK
7. Use a Back to School Checklist to help you remember all the things you need to do before your year begins. Grab this FREE one with FLOOR MARKERS HERE.
Thank you to Rena Wooters for sharing this adorable DOOR and Bulletin Board DECOR for the classroom! It’s Going To Be a BRIGHT Year! I love this door and board! It is such a happy visual for students.
Also read these for some more Teacher Tips for Back to School with Social Distancing: