Free First Day of Kindergarten Lesson Plans


The first day of kindergarten is always a mix of feelings. I’m nervous, excited, and everything in between.  I seem to forget how hard the beginning of kindergarten is each year (maybe I block it out of my mind on purpose), but somehow, I always make it through! So if you’re feeling this way about the first day of school too, know that you’re not alone! 

THE REALITY

My goals for the first day of school are that everyone feels safe in our classroom, and that everyone makes it home at the end of the day.  If those two things happen, it’s a win for me. In kindergarten especially, we have to take things slow, and practice things many times. We also have to remember that our students’ attention spans are short, so we can’t expect them to sit for lessons on routines and procedures for more than 5-10 minutes at a time.
So what do I do in my classroom on the first day of school? Our first day is jam packed with lots of modeling, practicing, and moving. Some of the things we do on our first day are:
-Learn the quiet signal
-Practice sitting like a whole body listener
-Practice walking in line with Marty the Marshmallow
-Practice choosing a center and cleaning up that center

THE REST OF OUR DAY

Of course, that’s not all we do on our first day of school! If you’re wondering what the rest of our day looks like, click here to download my first day of school lesson plans for free.  I’m excited to hear if you do similar things on your first day! What do you have planned for the first day of school?

And if you're still feeling completely overwhelmed, don't worry, I've got you covered! Everything you need for the first day of school is ready for you if you click here!

How to organize your classroom library

Read to self time, private reading, independent reading, or whatever you choose to call it is so important for kindergarten students to learn how to read.  It's the time where students actually GET TIME to practice reading real books.  Not worksheets, not task cards, not passages, but real, live books.

It's so important for your kids to have access to a variety of different books so they are engaged and can build their love of reading.  If you're a new teacher, it can feel overwhelming to start building your classroom library.  Veteran teachers have TONS of books, and you're lucky as a new teacher if you get a few leveled books for your classroom library.  But don't worry, lots of teachers get books at garage sales, libraries, and used book stores.  There are plenty of affordable ways to start building up your library...and remember, it will continue to grow over the years!

Once you have different books in your classroom library, it can be hard to keep up with organization.  I like my library to be about 50 percent books sorted by level, and 50 percent books sorted by theme (cats, dogs, nonfiction, etc.).  This way, my students can have books at their reading level, and can also find books that just plain interest them. I love having a variety of different books for my kids to read, but I don't want to be the one organizing them all the time, and I definitely DON'T want my library to become a mess!

So here's how I keep my library organized and my kids independent, and it's super simple.  The bins in my library are labeled with either the level or category of books that are in that bin. 
And all of the books have a sticker on the back left-hand corner that match the label on one of the library bins.
Then, when my kids go to put their books back before they shop for new books, they just match the sticker to the bin. It's that easy! No more "Where do I put this book?"!

Now, it's inevitable that a sticker's gonna fall off a book, a cover's gonna rip, or a page is gonna fall out of a book.  But it's still easy for my kids to stay independent and not have to interrupt me.  I have one basket labeled "book hospital," and my kids know that no matter what the problem is, if there's something wrong with a book, it goes in the book hospital.
At the end of the day, I can go through the basket and fix whatever I need to, but during teaching time, it keeps my kids independent, and the piles off of my teacher table. And that's a win, win!  

Do you want to help your kids be independent too? Click here to get everything you need right now!

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