Plan too much. It is too hard to guess how much you will need those first few days. Sometimes you have too much, but what you never want is to not have enough. It's ok if you don't get to everything, you can just push it to the next day. Also books, songs, and movement activities are great time fillers. Also have all of your materials ready to go in the order you need them and easily accessible. Kindergarteners can't wait for you to run back to your desk to grab materials.
Don't be afraid to establish rules and boundaries from the start. From the moment you invite students to the carpet to sit, let them know the expectations for sitting. They won't know unless you tell them. I actually have a poster that I use to show my students just how I want them to sit. Then I invite my students to see if they can sit like the students in the poster. I try to make it a game. 1-2-3 sit great!!! let's try again I also use many of the techniques from Whole Brain Teaching such as Eyes and Hands. These are really the only classroom rules I have and use. You can grab my Free WBT posters in my TpT store. The book
Here is a poster I use. It is from my Back to School Rules set on TpT You can download the poster by clicking on it or you can purchase the entire set from my TpT store. Enjoy!!!
Rosey Aldana Krauel Don't take any routine, no matter how small it may seem to us, for granted. Some will come in with preschool experiences but for many others, this is the first time in a school setting.
Katie Griswold Cafeteria routines and procedures!! A make or break.... how to hold a tray with two hands... how to open milk... I get a tray from the cafe and set up a pretend lunch line with food from my kitchen Center and we practice.... usually I can snag a real milk and spoon pack and ketchup packets from the cafeteria for our pretend lunch line.
Sandy Johnson Procedures procedures, procedures and more procedures. Be waaaaay over planned. Expect to be exhausted beyond belief for the first month. Welcome to the BEST calling ever.
Kelli Hadley Mccarver In between learning all the procedures Etc have something memorable planned. Fun activity that they won't forget. Our teachers go on a school hunt looking for "who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?" The office, lunchroom, nurse station etc all participate as they learn the school.
Sabrina Terry BEFORE the first day talk with parent or guardian about how their child will get HOME FROM school. Have tags pre made (laminated) and put them on their backpacks and tell parents you are doing this so please DON'T remove them. On these tags (Google get home tags) put how they get home bus#--, car, walker (terrifies me), etc ALSO add their name and teachers name. This way anyone in your school knows where that child belongs after school or before school. And when you leave your room you can look at each child's backpack and know where they go. If a child has a change from that tag I tape a sticky note to it with the date on it. This lets me and anyone else in the school know what that child is doing. I am terrified of misplacing a kid because of changes.
Marcy Pollinger Di Eduardo Take it slow... Don't plan for more than you all can handle. Your pace will be slower those first few days... Don't stress yourself out by trying to jam too much in. Have a morning and afternoon playtime.. If you're full day. Model model model your expectations... Don't just tell them... SHOW THEM!
Oh yeah... Have fun!
Tamara Morrison Patience, parents have lots of concerns of leaving their child. Make things simple and don't expect miracles. Be stern kids need to know you have rules from day one. It's the best job in the world you will love it.