First Week in Kindergarten
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It is the first week of kindergarten! What do I teach??
I get this question all the time! I am so excited to put together this blog post for you. I cover books you can read (plus you can print my FREE coordinating activities that go with our favorite stories!) I show you how I assess my new kinders - with a FREE assessment tool - how to teach rules and expectations, what we cover in those first few days along with pictures and ideas!
We usually start school on a Wednesday, so I have three days where I do “get to know you” activities, ice breakers, songs, procedures, rules and expectations, assessments and just basic skills for kindergarten.
If you haven’t grabbed my FREE first day of school lesson plans, you can print those HERE. It is a helpful outline because I walk you through our entire day and link to the freebies and resources I use.
On this blog post, for day two and day three of kindergarten, I outline the activities we do. You can insert them into your day where you see fit. I also link to a bunch of free resources as well as curriculum you can use.
You can print my lesson plans for Day 2 and Day 3 on this post as well!
Since the first day of kindergarten is on a Wednesday for us, I write out very detailed first day plans. Then day 2 (Thursday) and day 3 (Friday) will get us to the weekend. I ‘m sharing what we do on these two days and I have uploaded these free lesson plans for you as well on this blog post! I work really hard those first three days so Monday morning I try to then jump right into our routine!
Here are some of the FREEBIES and activities we use on Day 2 and Day 3.
WHAT DOES THE SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL LOOK LIKE IN KINDERGARTEN?
CLASSROOM RULES AND EXPECTATIONS
I am still very focused on teaching classroom rules and procedures. I started teaching them the first day of school (CLICK HERE for more) and we continue learning and reviewing all of the expectations for the next couples of weeks.
We cannot practice these enough - and we love that they are positive using the words “I CAN” - to see the entire slideshow and to print a FREEBIE you can check out the blog post HERE
BACK TO SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN ASSESSMENTS
My goal is to complete all of my student assessments by the time we are done with school on that first Friday. I like to be able to look over the data so I can get my instructional groups going as soon as possible.
I put the assessment mats in page protectors. I record their answers right on to their recording sheets. You can have them write their names and numbers whole group or when you have them one on one.
Having an aide (or two!) or parent help you with these is incredibly wonderful. I assess letter names, letter sounds, writing their name, writing numbers 1-10, identifying numbers 1-10, rhyming, shape identification, and counting that first week of school.
I have found it is easiest to continue instruction and have the aides and/or parents who I have trained to pull students 1:1 to complete these assessments.
This assessment is FREE CLICK HERE
This FREE back to school assessment coordinates perfectly with my Kindergarten Aligned Assessment Kit and Report Card.
It covers all four quarters and takes you through the kindergarten standards progressively throughout the school year. Plus, it comes with the assessment tools, recording sheets, parent communication tools and MORE.
To see more, please CLICK HERE
On DAY 2, I pass out these adorable FREE Welcome to Kindergarten books. We then use the coordinating Welcome to Kindergarten Reading Passage on DAY 3.
My whole goal with these is teaching students that words have meaning, CAP skills such as 1:1 correspondence with words, left to right progression, picture clues, etc.
You can read more about this activity and grab the FREEBIE CLICK HERE
POETRY FOR BACK TO SCHOOL
We love doing poetry every month in the classroom! This poetry unit comes with already made poems as well as activities for students to create their own poem for every month! Students enjoy the poetry and you’ll love that all the prep work is done for you! These August poems are not free, but there are freebies from the unit you can try CLICK HERE
READ ALOUD AND CLASS BOOK
Have you read “A My Name is Alice?” yet with your kiddos? You are in for a treat
We love this book so much, we then make a class book when we are done reading! It is such a cute story with the letters of the alphabet, rhyming and kids’ names. Perfect for back to school in kindergarten! To grab this FREEBIE printable book and to see how we use it, please
One of the first steps to teaching reading and writing is learning that words have meaning. How do I teach this? With labeling activities!
These activities even come with sticker labels, or they can be printed and students can cut/glue.
I made differentiated versions to provide scaffolding. Some pages the students match the words/labels, and others I have them try to sound out the words.
You can grab this adorable label the dog FREEBIE HERE
We use our centers the first week of school! I do not set out centers that require a lot of attention to detail or directions. My goal is for students to practice using our materials the correct way, and learn how to clean up when they are done. These adorable center labels are FREE and you can grab them HERE
CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM FREEBIE
Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM is a must read during the first week of school.
Then I give each student one of these printable activities.
They color the tree, and I place a bunch of letter stickers on a tray on each table.
They find the letters in their name and spell and stick their name to the tree.
See how cute they turn out below!
CLICK HERE to print this activity
WHAT DOES THE THIRD DAY OF SCHOOL LOOK LIKE IN KINDERGARTEN?
We are continually going over procedures, rules and expectations. Today is a good day for students to reflect. You can grab this FREEBIE HERE
It may seem silly to practice each expectation five times, but I promise… it is not time wasted! You’ll be so glad you did. And don’t forget, for students to really learn a rule, they must see it, discuss it, know what it feels like, and reflect! Over and over again.
WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN - READING
We completed the mini book yesterday, and on Day 3 we do the comprehension page. The pictures, vocabulary, etc. are all the same so students love feeling confident! CLICK HERE to grab this FREE Welcome to Kindergarten pack!
LEARNING HOW TO GLUE
By day 3 of school, we finally tackle how to use glue - “Just a DOT not a LOT!” I tell my kiddos.
You can actually use glue sticks or white glue with this activity because the same rule pretty much applies to both. I have some kiddos who just want to use the entire bottle or the entire stick of glue for one project.
I use just little scraps of paper for this activity and they glue a piece to each little dot. Here I just used the same rainbow pieces that we use for the next activity shown below! Just cut extra and save yourself some prep time.
It is so funny how excited they are to do this activity! I make a BIG deal about using glue in our class.
Grab this FREE activity CLICK HERE
This leads us right into our next activity. With rainbow names, we are practicing fine motor skills, how to use glue, our names, letter recognition and colors!
These are so cute to hang in the hallway or on a bulletin board. This is super easy to prep… just write student names in black marker on a large piece of white construction paper.
I cut strips of color paper on the big cutter and you can keep them separated by color or put them all together.
Students glue them over each letter to make their rainbow name. There is a cute rainbow song on youtube I show them first so they can sing the colors of the rainbow in order.
On Day 3, we also come back to the poetry we started yesterday. We reread the color version on the front board (I blow it up big on the smart board.).
We talk about the school words, the rhyming words, etc.
I introduce them to their Poetry folders and they are excited to get their very own!
You can print these word cards and they work so well in a pocket chart. It is part of our daily warm up, and every month comes with these so you can use them the entire year! Just the theme changes, but it is an excellent way to practice so many CAP skills. They become so familiar with the poem and it helps students with sight words, fluency, confidence, vocabulary and more!
See more about how I teach poetry and grab these activities CLICK HERE
If you’ve read other posts on my blog, you’ll know I am a huge advocate for teaching handwriting - and keeping our standards high for students to use correct formation and directionality. Bottom line - handwriting is very important!
It can be challenging to teach just because it often requires one on one attention and a ton of follow through and practice. But it can be done!
I use a systematic approach, and I teach letters in groups based on how they are formed. This helps students see the connection between letters and how to write them.
I start with BIG LINE DOWN letters because that is the easiest for students to make.
I don’t even teach a letter today, but I introduce the poster and we just practice starting at the star and making a big line down and stopping at the bottom line with Lesson #1.
That’s it! It seems simple but this is an important first step.
I CAN STATEMENTS
I love using “I Can” statements in the classroom. Children WILL live up to our expectations and they want to know what is expected so they can make good choices.
In the district I used to work in, we were required to have our objectives written on the board every single day. We also were required to read the objectives before each lesson, and revisit them at the end of the lesson to see if we met our goal(s).
You don’t realize how much time it takes to write out 7+ objectives a day… until you have to do it!
These adorable, color coded cards will save you tons of time, plus they are in student friendly definitions with adorable pictures. Just print, cut apart and use in a pocket chart.
It is completely free to sign up, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
You’ll receive an email with a link and password so you can access this freebie and so many other free resources right away!
You can read more about how I use I Can Statements and see everything that is included HERE
FREE LESSON PLANS FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF KINDERGARTEN
If you haven’t grabbed my detailed first day of school lesson plans, you can print those for free HERE.
My Day 2 and Day 3 lesson plans are available for FREE to print HERE
Next Monday, I start with more of a regular routine and we really get started! I will be uploading my weekly lesson plans SOON so check back!
Leave a comment and let me know what would be most helpful for you.
Don’t forget to grab my Complete Kindergarten Curriculum Map that will outline the entire year for you.
Blessings and happy teaching :)