Saturday, September 3, 2016

Back to School in Kindergarten (With Monsters!)

I always start my year off with my Back to School Monster unit.  It is a great way to introduce classroom rules while still incorporating all of the back to school fun!
At our school we meet our students the Friday before school starts at 'Meet and Greet'.  I found these CUTE monsters on Oriental Trading and thought that they were the perfect way to kick off our monster unit!
I typed up a cute and easy little tag and I was ready to pass these out to my students at Meet and Greet!  They were a hit!
You can grab these editable tags for free by clicking on the image below.
As soon as Meet and Greet was over, I started prepping for the first day.  I leave these coloring sheets out on the table for students to work on when they enter the classroom on the first day.  It is always a little hectic with parents being allowed in the classroom, dropping off supplies, etc. Leaving a coloring sheet out will keep the students busy while you are 'running around'.
I start off our week by reading 'The Day A Monster Came to School'.  It is an awesome introduction to classroom and school rules.
After reading the story, we brainstormed some class rules together. 
Then we get started with our rotations! I do a lot of exploration activities the first two weeks; however, I also introduce a lot of our centers at this time.
We do 'spin' activities a lot throughout the year, so I introduce 'Monster Spin and Graph' the first week. I sit at this table to make sure it goes smoothly.  I focus on teaching the children how to take turns, how to pass the spinner, how to graph from the bottom up, etc. 
I also take this time to introduce bingo dot activities with 'Monster Roll'.  We talk about how if the die gets rolled onto the floor it counts as 'skip a turn'.  By introducing this early on, I can leave center activities just like this out early on in the year and students can work totally independently.
One of my students' favorite activities is this glue activity sheet.  We read Too Much Glue and then we practice making little dots of glue.  If they do a good job, they will get a sprinkle of glitter on top!
Throughout the week we also work on our Monster Rules book.  Each day we complete a different page.  I have found that by having the children make their own rule books, the rules actually 'stick' better with them. 
Throughout the year I refer to these rules a lot and so do they! I overhear them referring to 'walking feet' or even telling their friends that they are the 'boss of me'.  It is great!
To celebrate completing our back to school monster unit, we end the first two weeks of school with a monster party!
We had special 'monster juice' aka apple juice ;)
 I found all of these amazing monster party supplies on Oriental Trading.  Type in 'monsters' in their search bar and the possibilities are endless! So many goodies!
 While the kids were at lunch I quickly set up.  Each child had a plate, cup, napkin, and their very own pair of monster sunglasses (all from Oriental Trading)!
When they got back they were amazed! They loved the decorations and especially loved the glasses!  
I passed out a cookie to each child and told them that we were going to be making monster cookies! 
They had the choice of making either a pink monster or a blue monster (pre dyed vanilla icing found at Publix).
 Then, they got a little cupcake liner with edible eyeballs to add onto their cookie as well!
 SO adorable!
 I don't think anything was left on their plates!
As the students started finishing up, I called them over to come into our monster photo booth! I found these photo booth props on Oriental Trading!
Then, we played 'Pin the Eye on the Monster'.  I think this game is a new class favorite! All of the students kept asking to play again and some were saying how they were 'definitely going to play this at home tonight'! 
 I pre-typed all of these students names onto the eyeballs so we knew who the 'winner' was at the end.
You can grab some editable eyes for your game by clicking on the image below:

The students had a blast ending our back to school monster unit with this awesome party! I think they have already learned so much and they have really gotten the hang of centers, rotations, and classroom rules! 

You can find my Back to School pack by clicking on the image below.
You can also find my lesson plans for the first two weeks of school by clicking below.


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