Parent's Resource Center

Off to school
We go together
In the Summer's
Sunny weather
Going back to school is an exciting time of year for kids, parents and teachers!  This is a time of hopes and dreams for a happy and successful school year.  Below you will find a first day checklist,  activities and book suggestions to help the first few weeks of school go smoothly.  Best Wishes for a Wonderful school year!  Denise :o)
First Day Checklist
1.  Have 3 copies of your class roster with the child's home phone number listed.  Keep one on your desk, one on the wall for emergency drills, and one in your take home bag (I keep mine in a monthly planner in my bag) for reference.

2.Have a name tag for each student to wear for the first 3-5 days that includes
* His/her Complete Name
*Bus number (or walker, car rider)
*School name and phone number
*Your name
(I laminate my students tags hole punch them and string them as necklaces with a note ***(laminated) on the back of each one that tells parents to send the tag back to school every day for the first week until we have established our dismissal routine.)  ***Tip--Use Avery Address labels and your printer to quickly print up 20+ copies of the return tag request.  Then you can easily peel them off and stick them on the back of your name tags before laminating them!  I use these same tags for field trips except I use the shipping labels)  E-mail me (below) if you need more info.! 

3.  Have your first week planned, and ALL materials prepared~~but always over plan!  I never get to half of what I had planned the first week of school due to first week changes and interruptions, but I feel better knowing I am ready and over prepared if necessary!  I suggest keeping a monthly planner and an ongoing "to do list",  "to buy list", and "materials to prepare list."
This keeps me on track and it's also a helpful resource when I have parents who want to volunteer or help out in some way. 

4.  Have a copy of your lesson plans on your desk and one in your take home bag (in case the first gets lost in the shuffle of madness the first few days!) I staple a copy to my monthly planner so I will always have one for reference if I need it.)

5.  Have a signed form from each parent regarding HOW their child is to go home from school.  I have parents fill out a special form that tells me how their child is to go to and from school, and how their child is to go home in case of an early release day due to bad weather.  I keep the original copy of this with my sub folder in the office, and make an extra copy that stays in my desk until the last day of school.
To print a copy of my Transportation / Emergency Contact Form

6.  Have 1 sharpened pencil ready for each student on their desk.  This saves you the headache of everyone wanting to visit the pencil sharpener first thing on the first day and it's also a nice little gift for kids to find on their desk the first day!

7.  Have stations prepared as to where you want the children to put their supplies.  Decide what you want and don't want to have the kids have at their desks!  Ex. "Girls, bring all tissues to the round table."   Bring all paint shirts to the yellow basket.  Bring all markers to the square table, etc.   This keeps you organized while trying to gather student supplies.  Have 2-3 volunteers to help you check items for student names, with permanent markers in hand to quickly write names if needed.  If parents bring their children, which they almost all do on the first day of Kindergarten~have them double check their child's name on all supplies before leaving and have permanent markers on the table available for the parents.  To make a long story short~have a place in mind to put all of these new supplies!  :o)

8.  After all supplies are put away I show the kids where their backpacks and coats will go.  Have all individual desks, cubbies, hooks and spaces labeled, ready and waiting for the children and their supplies. 

9.  Be prepared for 'new' students not on your roster due to late enrollment.  Have blank name and desk tags, and cubby tags ready for them and prepare extra materials "just in case!"  You want these children to feel just as welcome as those who enrolled early.

10. Remember--That the first days, weeks and months of kindergarten (or any grade!) are ALWAYS the hardest for the kids and teachers!
Remember~~ your class WILL establish a routine and things will begin to flow.  It just takes time!  After several years of teaching, I still have to remind myself of this through the months of September and October!
First Day Activities
The Kissing Hand is an Excellent first day book to share with your class.  Click here to visit my Kissing Hand Page for activities and ideas!

The Name Game

Besides helping the children learn the routines and their way around the school,

I make sure they learn each otherís name. I play a game with a ball and when the ball is rolled to you, you say your name,something your like, your favorite color, etc..

After the class gets comfortable with that, you say somebody's name and roll them the ball. This is a very simple activity but it works and helps the children to get to know each other and start talking to each other. We always make our first class book the first few days. Each child draws a self-portrait and the page says,

"This is me. My name is __________."

This book is a favorite pick from our classroom library.


The Gingerbread Man

About 3 weeks before school begins I send a letter to each new child with a
picture of Gingerbread man. In the letter I tell them how excited I
am to see them on the first day and tell them they can color or decorate the
Gingerbread person. Then I tell them that there will be a surprise for them
on their first day of school.

On the first day of school I read the Gingerbread story.

However, I do not read the ending of the story. Before school that day, I hide clues
around the school for the children to go on a hunt for the Gingerbread
man. (This is a great way to give the kids a tour of the building!)

I hide a clue in the oven, library, etc. When they return from the hunt
to the classroom there is a Gingerbread cookie and milk waiting for them and
a note from the gingerbread person welcoming the children to school.
We then enjoy hearing the rest of the story while we eat out Gingerbread cookies.
*Tip~You can buy Little Debbie Gingerbread cakes at the grocery store if you
do not want to bake the cookies.

The children LOVE this and when we reminisce about our favorite
activities at the end of the year this is the first thing they remember
about our Kindergarten year.