It is still July, right? We don't start school for another month! But I have been reading other Kindergarten teachers' plans from the First Day of Kindergarten Linky party so I thought I would share mine, too.
We actually have our Back to School night the Thursday before school starts. The parents all arrive around 6 pm and check the board to see who their child's teacher will be then head into the cafeteria for a short presentation. We take turns going over things like how much lunch costs and when the field trips are. Then we take our own group of parents to our classroom. In the room, we get more specific. We also have them fill out some paperwork and sign up on our classroom Shutterfly site. Then we go home and collapse!
Then on Friday, the whole school has an open house. Most of the parents bring the kids and all the supplies so I let them sort their supplies into big bins (we do community supplies). I set out a few baskets of crayons and some paper, some legos, and a few toys in the house corner. The trick is to get them to feel comfortable but not to trash the room (usually, it is the little siblings!). I try to take a picture of each child during this time if I can. I have a nametag for the kids to take home and wear on the first day of school (actually, we ask them to wear them for three weeks). I have the parents write the bus number or car rider or walker on the tags for me.
At 9:10, the first bell rings and students start arriving at my door. The bus riders, car riders, and walkers are collected by assistants and brought right to me (we ask the parents to let them travel their usual way that first week as we teach them the way to the classroom).
The kids enter and are shown where to put their lunch or buy lunch, where to hang up their back packs, and to answer the question of the day. I usually can talk to each child and help them. After the first few days, most of the kids will be able to do this on their own. Then they choose a table to play at where I have set out legos, puzzles, pattern blocks, etc. I try to get them to stay at one table and not wander off. Wow! I am already exhausted just typing this!
At 9:25, the tardy bell rings and the announcements start. Some of the kids will know the pledge, some will be doing it for the first time. We practice standing up and looking at the flag with our hand on our hearts a few times. Then they sit down and use the materials for a few more minutes while I put out fires.
At 9:45, I play music and ask them to clean up and come to the rug for Morning Meeting. We point to the schedule. (Every year since we went to full day, we have had a different schedule.) I write a short morning message. We stand up and dance. We practice sitting. We visit the bathroom and discuss the expectations. Depending on how the time goes, I will either read a book (Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten big book. I tell them I worked hard to get ready for them. I try to get them to remember something they did to get ready for their first day of school and we write a class book about it on the second day of school.) now or after we visit the cafeteria.
10:15 Practice lining up, using a few models and narrating how nicely they walk to the place to line up. We take some deep breaths and try to be peaceful. It will not be pretty but we will make it to the cafeteria and find our table. Most of my kids bring their lunches from home for most of the year. We try to encourage it for the first few weeks. But we will show them the lunch line, trash cans, and rules for the cafeteria with our assistants. Then we will do the same thing outside. We stay with our kids for lunch or recess the first few days to help out.
11:45 Wash hands/ Books on the carpet/drinks/bathroom (we wash hands again after lunch because we usually have a few kids with allergies and this helps protect them).
12:00 Calendar time, read another book, The Kissing Hand. This book is a story of a raccoon who is afraid he will miss his mom when he goes to school so she helps him out with a kiss on his palm. We have a great discussion about how things are the same and different for us and the animals in the book. Then we have four activities: one is making a handprint puzzle , one is a handprint book, a Kissing hand paper book, coloring a wooden person/stick for our special friend box . I may start them all coloring the Chester book and then call them one at a time to make their handprints. I am not sure how this time will go-we used to have the bigger time block before lunch. I have another First day of Kindergarten book and I have them draw themselves.
1:15 Snack/small recess on Kindergarten playground
1:45 Special (PE, Music, Art, Tech, Media-not sure yet which we will get on what day)
2:45 Self-selected activities. I will have the house, blocks, legos, and coloring available for the kids to choose from. I will be firming up dismissal details, helping kids, filling the folders for the kids to take home.
3:20 Play music and clean up. Start dismissal procedures early! I model being Special Friend and I put all the sticks into the box and choose a Special Friend for the next day (they take home a journal with directions in it. They share it the next day.) I have a few kids demonstrate how to go get their backpack and lunchbox. I hand out the folders and make sure they get into the backpack.
We line up early, in bus order. The walkers and car riders will be escorted by a teaching assistant, I walk out the bus riders.
I have plans for the first six weeks of Kindergarten available on my website (free!). Just click the link!
Check out the other first day plans at Teaching With Z!
I am going to link up with Time for Kindergarten's Classroom Jitters Party, too!
And the First Day of School party at Teach 123!
Be sure to click here and enter to win a copy of Pete the Cat!