Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Two Days of School in Kindergarten

My first week of school is complete! I am always glad to have the first couple of days under my belt because they are by far the most exhausting! I tried to document everything we did the first two days of school. You may have to excuse some of the pictures... I took most of them in a rush! Of course I planned to do way more than I actually did! But, that always seems to happen :)
Day 1:
 I had coloring sheets out on the tables. We let parents walk their children into school the first 2 days so I knew I would be distracted.
 All of the children were busy coloring while I talked to parents and asked them to say their goodbyes :)
As they finished coloring, I walked around and put a sticker on each paper. Then, I asked them to try to find their name on the mailboxes and put their coloring sheet inside. They did wonderfully at this! 
 We gathered at the carpet and read Officer Buckle and Gloria. The kids loved this book!! and it is a perfect introduction to discussing rules.
I wasn't quite planning on introducing the behavior chart just yet, but I had a little one who definitely needed to see this already. So we gathered at the clip chart and went over each 'color'. 
Then, it was time for a school tour! Before we left we went over hallway rules and we practiced lining up in number order. While we were in the hallway we worked on keeping our feet close to side of the hallway.
Then, we read 'The Day A Monster Came To School' and again, talked about the rules of our classroom. When we were finished I introduced the 4 centers that they would be working on.
2. The first page in their Rules Book
3. Exploring Unifix Cubes
4. Exploring links
After I sat at the 'Spin and Graph' center for a couple of minutes I was able to leave them to complete the center independently while I walked around. I had the bell set for 15 minutes (if I saw the kids getting restless then I would ring the bell a tad early!)
When the bell rang, we played a quick game of Simon Says. For instance, Simon says stand up. Simon says push your chair in. Simon says point to your next center. I always ended with that so I could make sure they all knew where they were going when I said 'switch'. 
We ended up only finishing 2 centers before it was time for the park.
We are lucky enough to go to the playground everyday for 30 minutes. Then we go straight to lunch for 30 minutes.
After lunch we have an awkward 15 minutes in the classroom before specials. Usually during this time I am going to try to squeeze in calendar math (we will see if that's possible), but today we continued our centers.
They were loving the Spin and Graph!!
Then it was time for their first special. They have one special everyday for 30 minutes. Today it was music!
When we returned to class we gathered at the carpet and read Manners at School
Then we worked on the cover of our Rules Book whole group. 
If students finished super fast, I directed them to the back table where they could play with the math manipulatives that they used at their centers earlier.
While they were doing this, I called over students one at a time to take their first day of school photos! 
Then, we gathered on the carpet to play a little 'getting to know you' game! This activity is in Alisha's Kickin' It in Kinder Unit.
Students wold roll the dice and answer the questions that they rolled. It was adorable! I was expecting some of the kids to be too shy to answer...but they all couldn't wait for their turn!! 
Then, believe it or not, it was time to go home! I turned the TV on while I passed out folders and tagged all the kids with their dismissal clips.
Day 2:
The second day was very similar to the first day, but not as hectic! I actually finished everything I planned! haha
Again, we started the day with a coloring sheet. This totally helps get the day started! I had parents handing me school supplies and wanting to know how their child was doing, etc. So I was handling different tasks while the children were busy coloring.
Today as they finished I showed them where the 'hand in box' is. I showed them how to highlight their name with a highlighter before handing in their paper. This helps catch all of the 'no name' papers!  
If you would like to grab the little 'stop' sign, you can grab it for free HERE
Then, we gathered at the carpet and read Splat the Cat. Such a cute book!
Now it was time for morning centers
2. The second page of our rules books
3. Write the Room (this was my center for the day)
4. Introduced one of their free play activities (we usually have free play the last 30 minutes of the day)
After centers were complete we headed to the park and then to lunch. When we returned we did calendar math.
Then we headed to specials. After specials I will normally do math, writing, then free play. BUT we aren't starting our math or writing until next week. Instead we played 'I Have, Who Has' whole group. 
The first round I really had to help them to remember to say I have ___, Who has ___? They were kind of just shouting out I HAVE IT!! But, the second go round they did beautifully! 
Then we did our first page of our memory book, had snack, packed up, and headed home!!
Some other centers we did throughout the week:
 a monster ABC game
 word work: magnetic letters
 practiced our cutting skills
and played a monster roll and dot game!

I hope everyone had a wonderful first week of school!!


  1. Thank you for posting this!! I am at the point where I need to start planning my first few days and I have no idea where to start!! I am going back to Kindergarten after being in 1st grade for 8 years, so I need to find new things to give them on the first day :) Thank you for your ideas!!


  2. You are amazing!! What a fun first week of school!

  3. Everything looks so good!!! I start your word work on Monday:) I'm busy printing and laminating today:)

  4. Cailtin! Thsnk you again for your help! I am so grateful! Be blessed!

  5. I got a lot of good management ideas for next week from this post! I can relate to the "sooner than planned" introduction to the clip chart! I had to do that on the fly this week when one of my kiddos talked in a less than respectful manner to me. We will be working on our monster rules book next week!

    Always an Adventure in Kindergarten

  6. Thank you for sharing your first two days. Just getting ready for PD days and schools starts after Labor Day.

  7. I love your Stop and Highlight note. Do you have a copy for free?

  8. What fun . . . I loved everything about this post. Your babes are darling :)

  9. Where do I find the Memory Book? Is it yours? Thanks!I start Sept. 3 and feel so much better to see what another K teacher does. I have not started centers this early in the year-I may be brave and try this year!

  10. So fun!!!!! Is your kinder all day long?????

  11. Wow - this was such an inspiring post! I love all of your hands on activities and the way you are introducing rules and procedures in such a structured way. We are just past halfway in our school year here, but I am bookmarking this post for January. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  12. I loved looking at all of your pictures!! Sounds like a successful first 2 days!!


  13. So glad the cube game went well! Thanks for the shout out!:)

  14. Great pictures---looks like they are all having fun!! :)

    First Grade and Fabulous

  15. DO you have a download of the sign that you put up to remind the kids to highlight their names before turning something in?

  16. So great! Love the activities you showed. You are so lucky that you get a 30 minute recess... the kids truly need it, especially at the beginning of the year!


  17. What an awesome post!! THANK YOU! Have a great year!

  18. Im curious about the memory book too? Is this something you made?

  19. Loved looking at and reading about your first few days of school! Great pictures and wonderful activities. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I have been a teacher for 15 years. I must say that you are TRULY amazing with your activities, however, what you have done is right up my alley: VISUAL! LOVE ALL that you did. :)

  21. Caitlin, Thanks so much for the freebie! What a great idea to have the students highlight their names. I'm definitely going to use this!

  22. Caitlin, Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. I enjoy reading your blog and facebook page. My cart is full and ready to cut and laminate. :-)

  23. Sharing your first 2 days was an amazing idea, especially to show how successful your product is in the classroom. Thanks!

  24. Thank you for showing your first two days of school! I will be using your Monster activities and this gave me a better idea of how the first few days will go! What are you using for the memory book? That is darling. Thanks!

  25. Looks like a fun first week! Our kindergartners start the first 3 days staggered so only one-third of each class comes to get acclimated. How did your kiddos do with center work? Our kindergarten teachers don't do centers because they believe that the children are not ready for them. Have a good second week!

  26. Hi Caitlin - oooh I wish I was in your class. Fun and lots of learning!

    Also- I can nit get the "write your name" sign to open (getting error message in google docs) any chance you can put on your tpt site??
    Thanks for considering!

  27. Where can I find the memory book?

  28. Appreciated seeking at and studying about your first few times of school! Excellent images and amazing actions. Thanks a lot for giving!

    Kindergarten In Indiranagar

  29. Looks like a successful start to your year Caitlin. Thanks for sharing. I love Splat the Cat and Officer Buckle for the beginning of the year too.
    A Differentiated Kindergarten

  30. looks like a wonderful start to the year Caitlin!

    A Kindergarten Lifestyle

  31. very nice blog. More informative.I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Thanks for sharing.Play School in Indiranagar

  32. Although I am a homeschool mama now, I used to teach Kindergarten... I LOVE your blog! You are so cool and have great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  33. I'm so happy with your blog site, it contains all the matter with regards to Best Kindergarten school Good luck to you and your well performed job. Thanks for keeping us updated with the latest information for Kindergarten school.
    How to Start Play School

  34. Caitlin - Unless I browsed through the comments too quickly, I didn't see a link to your Rules Book. Did you ever post what the rest of the pages were? I love the first two pages that you posted here and would love to see the finished product. Have a great year!

  35. The rules book is actually part of the Back to School Unit I mentioned above. I am not sure if I have it offered for free on my blog. Sorry!

  36. Thanks you for sharing your experience of first two days of preschool! I am impressed with these fun activities and it gives me great ideas for my Phoenix kindergarten also. Really very informative blogs! Thanks dear for great share.

  37. I LOVE this!!! Is there any way to find your paper that says, "This is how my teacher writes my name, this is how I write my name..."?? Or your memory book? I'm searching everywhere!

  38. Can't wait to use all of these goodies!

  39. Thank you for your detailed first 2 days of school. I am going back to Kindergarten after being in first grade for several years. I do have one question for you though. You referred to "specials" a few times. What are 'specials?'

  40. Where is the spin and graph activity

  41. The spin and graph is also from the Back to School (Monsters) unit.

  42. My class loves the monster unit! I am very interested in the memory book but can't seem to find it.

  43. Fabulous! Any way I can get your Stop! Highlight your name! Poster?

  44. Your blog is amazing! Thanks for sharing your creative ideas and innovative activities which you implemented in first day of the school. I too like the games which you shared that will be useful when children felt sleepy.