First Weeks of Kindergarten

Kindergarten Cafe

Welcome to Kindergarten Cafe - your home for teaching ideas, activities, and strategies across all content areas! I am Zeba McGibbon and I love creating resources for teachers and sharing my teaching experience with others. Kindergarten Cafe is aimed for kindergarten, but teachers of Preschool-First grade can find resources here for their students! I love to connect with other teachers so please reach out and say hello!

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Can I Help You?

Are you a new teacher to kindergarten? Have you been stressing out about what the first few weeks of kindergarten will look like? What activities will you do? What do you need to teach the students? What is realistic to plan?? All of these questions and MORE floated in and out of my brain and took it over pretty much all summer before I started kindergarten two summers ago. I had the help of some amazing teacher mentors who helped guide me through those first two weeks. They got me started on the right foot, and now I want to pay it forward and help YOU get started!

First Two Weeks Resource

I have uploaded everything that I do for the first two weeks (for me, this is 7 days because of our back to school schedule). I uploaded lesson plans (editable to fit your schedule!), activities, class books, parent letters (both .pdf and .docx), and even activities for a visit day before school starts.
But, for you guys checking out my blog, I will put here my first two days of plans so you can see what I do on the first two days of kindergarten! I seriously would consider checking out the product on tpt because it has everything I actually use those first two weeks of school – everything I needed my first year teaching K! If you are new to kindergarten, (or even if you’re not!) and you want to reach out to ask questions or advice or to collaborate, please don’t hesitate to send me an email! I’d love to pay back all the awesome support and advice I got when I started teaching!

First Two Days of School Plans

1st Day of School

8:30:                           Meet children and parents outside

8:45-9:15                   Backpacks in lockers

“Learning Labs” (play time)- Table activities ONLY (like puzzles, playdough, coloring, and small building games)

  • 9:00 Goodbye to Parents
  • Teach attention getter: Teacher says: “Hands on Top”, then all students put their hands on their head and they say, “Everybody Stop”
  • Play freeze game: have the children keep playing, and every so often try the attention getter and make sure everyone is following the directions.
  • Take first day pictures while children are playing, holding up the first day of kindergarten sign, and take one picture without the sign to use in the class books!

9:15-9:35                  Morning Meeting (have everyone sit in a circle)

  • Greeting: Teacher greets each student around the circle with a handshake and says “good morning ______”. Then go around the circle and share your favorite animal. Finally, everyone sings “if you’re happy to be at school” (tune of “if you’re happy and you know it”)
  • Morning Message – First teacher reads, then students read

9:35 – 9: 50     Mini-tour of the school (teach school quiet signal and practice as you walk through the school. Review expectations of quiet walking in the school and how that helps other students learn)

  • Introduce lining up
  • Bathroom – how to use (remember to flush, wash hands with soap and water, throw paper towels in the trash)
  • Show the students the Main Office and the Nurse (you’ll teach more later)

9:50 – 10:00   Fire Drill + Recess Rules

10:10-10:15     Recess

10:15-10:35     Snack

10: 35 – 10: 50 Read The Kissing Hand (Teach Rug rules) & then have the students complete a kissing hand coloring picture (if time!)

(Guided Discovery Crayons)

(Teach second attention getter. I sing, “I have a message” and then the students respond, “What is your message”)

10:50-11:15     Complete the First Day Picture

  • Show students how to draw what their first day of school was like and to write their name. They will only use crayons, because that is the only material you have taught

11:15-11:30  Introduce Morning Routines so that the students know what is expected the following mornings. Teach how to put their backpack away, sign in, complete their lunch choice, answer the morning message, and anything else from your morning routine.

11:30-12:05       Prepare for Dismissal (Read aloud Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten if time) Leave plenty of time for this – way more than you would think! You’ll need to model and practice how to clean tables, stack chairs, pack up backpacks with folders, and sit on the rug.

I give all my students dismissal stickers with their name on it, so that every adult in the building knows how they are getting home (in case they get lost during dismissal)

12:05                       Line up for dismissal

2nd Day of School

8:45-9:15                   Backpacks in cubbies

“Learning Labs” (play time)- Table activities ONLY (like puzzles, playdough, coloring, and small building games)

  • 9:00 Goodbye to Parents

9:15-9:30                  Morning Meeting (have everyone sit in a circle)

  • Greeting: Have students greet each other around the circle (teach how to shake hands, look in the eye, and say “good morning _____”. Tell them that they can ask, “what is your name again?”. Pre-teach ELL students how to say “good morning”
  • Morning Message – First teacher reads, then students read. Teach that when we read, we point to the words as we read.
  • Activity: Cross the circle if…
    • You have a sister/brother
    • You like to play soccer
    • You’re favorite color is blue
    • You walked to school today
    • … ETC

9:30-10:00         Read Aloud: Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes with mini tour (read the book as you are walking and go to each of the rooms in the book)

(practice walking quietly in the hallway)

  •             Library, Café, hallway bathrooms, gym, art
  • Talk about how we are readers and we can read the signs outside of the classrooms.

10:00- 10:15         Recess

10:15-10:30         snack

10:30 – 11:00          Finish Pete the Cat read aloud if needed

Introduce the calendar routine:

Today’s date

Days of School

Weather

Schedule

11:05-11:20         Classroom Scavenger Hunt (tell students each item they need to find and show them how they can use markers to check off the item. When they are done, they can do a guided discover of markers.

(Teach attention getter: I sing, “5 more minutes” and students respond, “ok, teacher name”)

11:25-11:35         Read Aloud: First Day Jitters and talk about how they felt on their first day of school

11:35-11:45         Review Morning Routines (what went well this morning, what needs to be reminded for tomorrow)

11:45-12:05          Prepare for Dismissal (remember, give lots of time! Practice, practice, practice the dismissal routine! And give out the dismissal name tags and stickers!)

12:05                           Line up for dismissal

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Emma Hayes

There I was in a hot yoga studio with plenty of bright natural light and bending myself into pretzel like positions for the very first time.

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