First Days of 16-17...Here We Go!

We started school on a Thursday this year.  I used to think that was strange, but I think it's just about perfect now.  Get them in the door.  Get them excited about school and our class, then send them home for the weekend...while the teachers revamp seating arrangements and change name tags (I wrote/typed Nicolas 97 times....It's Nicholas) to get ready for the first "real" week.

My first unit in kindergarten (for those 2 days plus the whole next week) is called Here We Go!.  My goal is to read lots of awesome beginning of school books, including some really funny ones.  A few of my favorites: 
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten is the very first book I read to my class, and one that I reread for other activities.  I base a lot of my Here We Go! Unit around this book; it is a great way to talk about names in our classroom, who's name starts with what letter.  I also love to tell my class about my crazy dog, Lucy, who looks a LOT like Miss Bindergarten.  We had a rainy day on the 5th day of school this year and it went kind of crazy.  We read Miss Bindergarten Has A Wild Day In Kindergarten and made some great connections!

My other HAVE to read on the very first day is a book that is guaranteed to make even the "coolest" kindergartner laugh called We Share Everything!.  My theory is if I can get them laughing on the first day, I've won half the battle.  This Robert Munsch Book is about the first day of kindergarten and how we share (but not everything!).  When the kids share their pants...everybody giggles themselves silly.

The last book is a new book I read for the first time this year called Stick and Stone.  It's my favorite way to talk about how in our classroom we are a team, and we take care of each other.  Fast read about a pinecone that isn't very kind to stick and stone but they take care of each other.  My kids make a connection with this book every time they see a pinecone now.  :)


I try really hard to make my schedule from the very first day similar to what it will be for the rest of the year.  We aren't ready for "small group rotations" yet, but we do something similar.  I should mention, for the first 4 days (Th, F, M, and T) I only have half my class on an A/B schedule.  That means I have about 10 kids on those days.  It helps SO much when we are teaching procedures.

For math, I have half of my kids at my table playing a very simple math game.  We take turns rolling a dice, and putting apple erasers on a grid.  We end up giggling a lot when somebody rolls 3's for the 5th time.  One of my little guys said "This is the best game ever!".  It's the little things.

The other half of the group is working "independently" on making a patterned hat.  They have apples and buses to make an AB pattern.  Make anything into a hat and it multiplies the fun.

We did this on the first day.  On the second day, we did the same two activities, I just switched groups.

In Literacy, for those first few days, the first group made a "Miss Bindergarten" book with me.  The book has 3 pages.  The first says "My name starts with ____".  The second says   "My backpack is _________." (I introduce our color chart in the classroom as a classroom writing tool if you need to write a color word).  The third page says: "I had ________ for breakfast." (working on listening for that first sound).    We draw a picture for each of the pages as well.  

During center time, I bring each child over to have them make a handprint puzzle to take home.  Some years I use paint and other times I use stamp pads.  I print the "first day handprint puzzle" poem on labels, and put them on envelopes to send home.  

I have 3 goals for the first day. 

1.  Make them laugh.
2.  Give them something that they made to take home.
3.  Email the parents in a group email as soon as possible to let them know how things are going.

I accomplished all that this year.  

 Miss Bindergarten Unit on TPT

Miss Bindergarten Unit on TPT--- $5.00

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