BACK TO SCHOOL LESSON IDEAS - FREEBIES!
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Back to school season is here!
I absolutely love this time of year. My mind is buzzing with so many ideas, so much excitement for what a new year will bring, brand new adorable kinders to meet… and of course a tiny but of angst and worry.
It can be so overwhelming to work out the details.
I created this page to help you and to make your teacher life easier! I even wrote out my first day of school lesson plans with tons of ideas and freebies, as well as my curriculum map (at the bottom of this page) to help you plan out what to teach each month so you’re sure to hit all the standards in a progressive, structured manner.
FREE LESSON PLANS FOR THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN
I get asked all the time…. “What do you plan for the first day of kindergarten?”
If you have never taught kindergarten before, you are in for such a special, eye-opening, wonderful and exhausting day! If you’re prepared, it will most likely go really well. I think back to my first day of teaching kindergarten and I can’t help but wince. I had previously taught fifth grade and I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into with K.
The first day consists of meeting your sweet new kindies, calming and reassuring - both parents and students, showing new kindergarteners your excitement and enthusiasm for school, having fun, teaching procedures, rules and expectations, and making sure every five year old gets home safe. That’s it!
Like I said, the key is being prepared. So I am sharing my minute by minute lesson plans with you.
I am also sharing a bunch of FREE activities and resources that we enjoy on the first day of kindergarten. I hope you love them as much as we do!
To grab my FREE first day of kindergarten lesson plans shown above, please CLICK HERE
I use all five of the resources shown below on the first day of kindergarten. The welcome to kindergarten newsletter, first day certificates and curriculum map are all FREE! The classroom rules/expectations and the kindergarten I Can Statements both have freebies for you to try on the blog post.
Click the photos to learn more.
Scroll down for the free activities shown in my first day of kindergarten lesson plans.
FREE FIRST DAY ACTIVITIES
Here are some of the fun activities we enjoy on the first day of kindergarten (see more details in my free lesson plans above.)
PETE THE CAT SCHOOL TOUR
I love to read this book on the first day of school for so many reasons. It is the perfect way to introduce students to how exciting and fun school is, and there is no need to be nervous or afraid! “Did Pete cry? Goodness, NO!”
Pete tours around his school to the library, the lunch room, recess, etc. while rocking in his school shoes. So after we read the story, I take my kinders on a tour of our school. They are so excited to see where Pete has been.
The day before school starts, I hang up colorful cat paws all around our school - outside the nurse’s office, the cafeteria, the music room, etc. so as we are taking the tour the children love to be on the lookout for “Pete’s Paws.”
And even better, this book comes with a free song and the kids absolutely LOVE singing along as Pete is rocking in his school shoes (and this song saves my poor voice!)
MISS BINDERGARTEN GETS READY FOR KINDERGARTEN
On the first day of kindergarten, we love to read this book! It goes through the alphabet and talks about what all the kiddos did to get ready for kindergarten. “Adam Krup wakes up!” “Brenda Heeth brushes her teeth.”
I love how it goes through all the letters in the alphabet, uses rhyming words and of course all the students can relate to getting ready for kindergarten (you’ll hear lots of, “I did that too!”)
I created a FREE activity you can do with students after you read the book.
After reading, I pass one out to every student and they draw a picture of what they did to get ready for kindergarten.
I go around to each student and either write it for them or write their sentence on a sticky note and they copy it on the lines (just depending on the student’s abilities.) I have also written in highlighter on the lines and they can trace it.
“Tiara tied her shoes…” “Damian ate breakfast…” “Josh put on his backpack….” It is so fun to see what they come up with!
Depending on your class size, you may need parent or teach helpers so you can get to every student while they are coloring.
You can bind them all together and make a class book when you are done!
We love reading this book and making friendship salad in our classroom on the first day of school!
It is the perfect book and activity to discuss character and what it means to be a good friend.
The book Fruit Salad Friend outlines the recipe for a true friend including kindness, forgiveness, empathy, inclusion, communication and acceptance.
Some of these words are BIG for kinders, but that doesn’t mean they cannot understand.
We do a hands-on follow up activity and actually make kindness salad (and this is the perfect snack to have in the afternoon!) I prepare a bunch of fruit beforehand, and the children help me mix it all together.
I like to use strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, raspberries, pineapple and then cool whip on top!
I label each ingredient as one from the story ( the bowl of strawberries we say is kindness, the blueberries is forgiveness, etc.)
The students then each get to eat their own bowl of friendship salad and they are thrilled!
Afterwards we do a follow up activity. There are two versions you can choose from.
Personally, I do not like my kinders to cut and glue on the first day, so we do the coloring version. Students color all of the “ingredients” in their fruit salad bowl.
Use one or both!
FREE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN CERTIFICATES
How adorable are these first day of Kindergarten awards?!
I love sending these home on the first day of school so they leave feeling excited, proud and successful. I also like that the first note they hand their parents is positive! Every parent is anxious to hear how their kiddo did on the first day of school. This is a great way to start building a strong rapport with your students and their parents.
In my free first day of kindergarten lesson plans, you can see I hand these out at the very end of the day.
Have a great first day of kindergarten!
GRAB THE FIRST WEEK OF KINDERGARTEN LESSON PLANS!
CLICK HERE to hop on over and see what I do the rest of the first week.
2 and Day 3 lesson plans for FREE!
Need more lessons, ideas and FREEBIES for back to school?