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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Make this the best year ever in Kindergarten!

There are so many things that you have to get done on the first day of school. Many years of teaching kindergarten has left me with what I found to be the 10 most important things that you HAVE to do the first day!

1. Bathrooms! I was lucky and always had bathrooms in the classroom, but I still pointed out the girls and the boys. We also went over closing the door, flushing(I had one deathly afraid of flushing), and washing hands. Lots of kinder kids are use to using the bathroom with the door open and a parent or care giver near by. So yes all of those steps are necessary.

2. Transportation! Many times the way a child goes home the first day is different than what the parent put on the enrollment form, so make sure you know how each child goes home. Nothing ruins a first day like a momma that thinks you lost their baby!

3. Line up! Many of my students come in with NO prior school experiences so the idea of lining up was totally foreign to them. I prefer an assigned line order starting day 1. I always have a girls line & a boys line. Then everyone has a spot. At the end of the week the line leader goes to the end and the next student is the new weeks line leader. You may have to make minor adjustments but it's so much easier than the first to line up argument. 

4. Call Roll! Make sure you start the day with all of the children you are suppose to have. Also I like to call roll and have them respond. This is the quickest way to help them learn your name and leave the HEY teacher behind you. So I would say "Good morning Mike" and he would respond "Good morning Mrs. Gill". You will always have a couple of teacher pleasers that can do it right away.

5. Let them use a pencil! They have all those wonderful supplies and beautifully sharpened pencils. Let them use them. The sooner the better. Great time to find out who can write their name!

6. Let them use crayons! More important than a pencil.....Yes, they must use those waxy smelling pointy crayons on day 1!

7. Read them a book! Even children whom aren't use to being read to have them sit and listen to a book. Then discuss a bit. I usually say make sure you tell your parents about this book. I try to say this a couple times in the first few days. This gives them something specific to tell their parents about kindergarten.

8. Say your own name TOO MANY times! Back to calling roll. Yes, it is ok to speak in 3rd person a bit. They want to remember your name and it so helpful to the whole school for them to know who's class they are in. 

9. Greet the parents! Make sure you greet each parent. You want them on your team!

10. Repeat lining up & bathroom several times! If you can make sure they know when and how to use the bathrooms and line up then you can accomplish just about anything!

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