Hey there, kindergarten teachers! Can you feel the excitement in the air? The first day of kindergarten is just around the corner, and it’s time to make sure everything is in place for an incredible start to the school year. In this blog post, I’m going to cover five must-dos that will help you kick off that much-anticipated first day with confidence and ease. So, let’s dive in and get ready to create a truly unforgettable first day experience for your students! Keep reading to find out how I prepare for the first day of kindergarten with these 5 MUST DO items!
Preparing for an Unforgettable First Day for Kindergarten
The first day of kindergarten sets the tone for the entire school year. It’s an opportunity to engage your students, excite their curiosity and set them on a path to excel academically and socially. By following these five must-dos, you’ll be well-prepared to welcome your new kindergarteners and create an environment where they can thrive from day one.
How to Prepare for the First Day of Kindergarten as a Teacher
1. Create a Transportation List for a Stress-Free Start
As a responsible kindergarten teacher, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive transportation list for the first day of school. Gather the necessary information about each student’s preferred mode of transportation, including bus numbers, parent pick-up or any other pertinent details. Gather all of this information from families during Meet-the-Teacher night to collect this vital information or make sure you email ahead of time. This will help to ensure a smooth transition from school to home on that exciting first day!
2. Prepare a Well-Organized Class List
A well-organized class list is an invaluable tool for any kindergarten teacher. Type up a comprehensive class list that includes not only the students’ names but also their transportation details as well as any other pertinent information. For example, if a child has a food allergy, I would add that under their name as pertinent information. I also try to snap a quick picture during the first week of school and add this to the list later.
This list will help you keep track of every student and be easy for a substitute to quickly understand who’s in your class and the important information they need to know about each of them. Have this list readily available on a clipboard, making it easy to reference throughout the day. It’s even more helpful if you can keep it by the door! This helps make it super simple when another staff member has to step into your classroom to help with dismissal time or anything else.
3. Arrange Carpet Spots for Engaging Classroom Activities
Every Kindergarten classroom typically has a designated carpet area for read-alouds and group activities. Before the first day, take the time to arrange carpet spots for each student. Consider using floor markers to indicate where they should sit or just put tape with names on the rug. This type of preparation before the first day of kindergarten will help establish a sense of structure and routine from day one. This way, you won’t have students fighting over carpet spots or trying to decide where to sit and wasting time. This definitely helps set the stage for successful learning experiences throughout the rest of the year! Always remember-kids LOVE structure and routine (even though sometimes they may not act like it!)
4. Plan Engaging Activities for Arrival Time
When students arrive on the first day of kindergarten, it’s essential to have a plan in place to keep them engaged while you attend to other tasks such as attendance, teary-eyed students and greeting parents. I have always found it best to prepare some very simple, age-appropriate activities that students can do independently on day 1.
Options could include playdough, puzzles or a “Welcome to Kindergarten” coloring sheet. These activities will help create a positive and welcoming environment while you greet students and their families. Plus, it will help keep your students engaged and excited when they walk into your classroom to work on something fun that they already know how to do!
5. Stick-On Name Tags: Building Connections from the Start
Name tags play a vital role on the first day of kindergarten, as they help students and teachers get to know each other. Prepare name tag stickers for each student in your class to put on their desk on that first day. This way students can easily put their name tag on when they go find their seat. Not only will this aid in learning names quickly, but it will actually help foster a sense of belonging and community within your kindergarten classroom. These small gestures can make a significant impact on creating a positive and inclusive learning environment. (Not to mention 5 and 6 year olds always think stickers are really cool!)
Have a Successful First Day of Kindergarten
By completing these five must-dos before the first day of kindergarten, you’ll set the stage for a successful and memorable start to the school year. Remember, organization and thoughtful planning are key to creating an environment where students feel welcome and excited to learn. And to make your preparation even more effortless, check out this Back to School Activities for the First Day of Kindergarten pack. So, let’s gear up for an amazing year of discovery, growth, and endless possibilities in kindergarten!
Need More Back to School Ideas for Kindergarten?
Back to school time is always so busy prepping everything to make the first few weeks run smoothly. Check out some other resources and activities to help make back to school time a little simpler (and tons of fun) this year:
Thanks for stopping by & I hope you have a wonderful first day of kindergarten!