It’s the first week of school. It’s fun. It’s overwhelming. It’s exhausting. Hopefully, you’ll find some ideas and resources in this post to help make the first week of school a little easier.
You can download our first-week lesson plans below!
You can get our EDITABLE lesson plan template by clicking on the image below:
The First Day
Our first day (actually, our first two days) is half days! We’re mostly focused on not losing anyone and getting everyone home at dismissal and making sure we get fed! We’re also focused on establishing procedures and routines and building relationships! Oh, and we make sure everyone knows my name is MR. GREG and not “teacher.” This is important so when someone asks who their teacher is, they can say your name! Trust me. On day 1, no one leaves until they know my name!
We start with arrival. The kids will have our morning bins/morning tubs/STEM bins to explore and play with. Then we have our very first-morning meeting! Everyone says their name, and Mr. Greg shares about kindergarten and our classroom! Then we sing!
Our first read-alouds are The King Of Kindergarten and The Queen Of Kindergarten. These are the perfect first-day-of-school read-alouds because my students can connect with the stories and the characters. After reading, we make a chart to show what King did to get ready for the first day and what we did to get ready for day 1!
We also do name-writing on day 1! We all write our names on our charts! Then we do independent name writing. These are saved, and we bring them back on the last day of school to show our growth!
Then we go to brunch and work on walking in the hallway! After brunch, we use our School Supply Research Project to learn how to use crayons!
To practice with our crayons, we color a soccer ball. I chose a soccer ball because it has many different sections to practice using various different colors!
Click the image below to get your freebie!
First Day Hats
Finally, we make our first-day hats! Actually, they’re pre-made! I have to staple them and put them on the kids!
The First Week
Our first week continues with procedures, procedures, procedures! And more procedures!
We will read The Queen Of Kindergarten and discuss all the things we did on the first day of school! Then the kids will draw a picture of themselves as a king or queen!
We will read the book, Wild About Books and discuss how books help us learn. We will do a notice and wonder chart and work on comprehension!
School Supply Research Project
During our first week and beyond, we use our School Supply Research Project to learn how to use our school supplies. The students generate the rules for the supplies, and I record their answers!
To practice with our supplies, we do our supply puzzles. We get plenty of practice with numbers, coloring, cutting, and gluing! These puzzles are great for cutting practice, coloring, following directions, and learning how to use our glue sponges!
Another way we practice with glue sponges is by using squares of paper! I cut the squares, and the kids glue them on paper.
We also, traditionally, start ABC BOOTCAMP the first week. Our district typically starts on a Monday, so Monday and Tuesday are half days. Wednesday (day 3) is a full day, so we would start ABC BOOTCAMP then. However, some years we don’t start on Monday, so we hold off on starting ABC BOOTCAMP until the 2nd week of school. It all depends on the timing of the first day. We do a circle chart where students generate words for the sound, explicit handwriting instruction, and silly hats for each letter!
We also do our very first directed drawing to work on listening, spatial awareness and following directions.
We start math on our first full day (which is technically day 3 of school)! We start learning our number and counting songs, and we kick off NUMBER BOOTCAMP!
As part of our Number Bootcamp, we learn to explicitly write the numbers!
Our first math game or activity is a simple number recognition game. The idea is to see if students know numbers. I give each student a number mat and say a number. They either point to the number or put a manipulative on the number.
The next day, we explore our manipulatives more. Then we do a counting game. I give the kids paper plates. I say a number, and we put the correct number of manipulatives on the plate! This helps me see how well we follow directions if we have one-to-one correspondence and know numbers!
The first week or two of school, we begin each math lesson by giving the kids 10 minutes to play with the various manipulatives. Let them explore, talk, and have fun. This can help eliminate some distractions during your math lessons.
Colors, Names And Hopes And Dreams
We also spend the first week and beyond, working on colors and names. For names, we use many books but our favorite is Your Name Is A Song. I love how this book focuses on the importance of pronouncing names correctly.
We also do torn paper names. This project is not only great for names, but also for working on fine motor skills. And it takes a long time so you can do some of your baseline assessments! I write the names on black construction paper. The kids tear the paper and glue the pieces onto their names. I model how to tear small pieces and glue them on then they work on their own. If someone finishes, they go help their friends!
To work on colors, we read Brown Bear Brown Bear! The kids love this book because they can join in the reading. After we read the book, I give them a coloring page to see if they can remember the color of the animals!
We also graph our favorite color!
Our hopes and dreams are just the things we hope to learn in kindergarten. We read the book Big Plans, and the kids share what they want to learn. I record all of their ideas. And we keep this up all year and I use it to try to plan lessons and activities. I strive to include as many of their ideas as possible throughout the year.
Foodie Fun Friday
Grab our Foodie Fun Friday creation for all the details and directions for these two recipes and 32 additional recipes!
Our first Foodie Fun Friday lesson has been a tradition in our class for years! We make school bus cookies! And it’s not even on Friday! We actually do this on our second half-day of school!
We also do Friendship Salad this week! This lesson is all about establishing the classroom we want. Kindness, hard work, sharing, happiness, and NO ROTTEN BANANAS! This is just fruit salad. After we add all the ingredients, I pull out a rotten banana and the kids scream that we don’t want that in the bowl and we talk about how we don’t want any rotten bananas!