What to Do on the First Day of Kindergarten

Congratulations you've just been hired to teach kindergarten.  You've set up your classroom and now you are starting to panic because you haven't any idea what to do on the first day of school.
New kindergarten teacher what do I do, procedures and lesson plans for brand new kindergarten teachers, poster for role model behavior

What Do I Do on the First Day of School

If you don't know what to do on the first day of school, don't worry.  I've been doing this a long time and even I get back to school jitters every year.  Don't stress they are 5 years old. They won't have a clue that you are unsure of what to do.  However, just in case, I will walk you through what I do on the first day with my kids, just to give you an idea.

Name Tags  
On the first day of school have your name tags ready and placed outside your classroom door.  Don’t wait and try to put them on inside the classroom.  Let the parents do the work for you.  I place a pocket chart outside my door holding all of my name-tag lanyards.  There is a note that explains exactly what to do.    This way when the students enter my classroom I am able to greet each student by their first name.  “Good morning Mary, Welcome, it’s so nice to meet you”. Being able to “know” their names also helps to calm some of their fears.

***Have extra blank name tags for last-minute student enrollments

Here is a Freebie.  I've made these name tags that will fit into the plastic lanyard badges.  You can download them from my TpT store by clicking the photo.

Free editable name tags for kindergarten.  Print and insert into name badge holders from Time4kindergarten.

I buy lanyards from Amazon

First Day Arrival

Once you get your students inside, make sure you have something for them to do immediately.  I always have tubs of activities at the tables.  Basically easy manipulatives.  You want something to entice them to enter the room and forget about saying goodbye to mom and dad.  

Warning, there will be criers.  You may need to peel a few from their parents' arms.  Hopefully, your school provides you with a few extra support staff for the first few days.  If not, ask a friend or family member to come to help you.  You will need it, trust me.

First Day of School Procedures

Once you get everyone into the classroom, it's time to get them to the carpet.  The doorbell is the best thing to grab their attention.  Ring it a few times,  place your hands on your head and tell the kids near you to do the same.  Soon the others will do it too.  Now that hopefully everyone is looking at you ask them all to join you at the carpet.

Now that your children are all on the carpet, welcome them to school.  Next, introduce yourself,  then take attendance. This would also be a good time to go over some basic classroom procedures; such as how to sit on the carpet and raise a hand to ask a question. 

I usually next read a story and follow with an alphabet activity for the Letter Aa.
After that, we take a tour of the school as we walk out to recess.  Before the children can play.  All of the classes go over the rules together.

Snack time Procedures

After recess, it is time for a snack.  Be prepared for snack time, it can be very stressful on the first day of school.  Not all parents send a snack for their children.  Hopefully, your school has a plan for this.  If not, Ritz crackers are easier than goldfish to pass out to students as a snack.

Making Classroom Procedures Fun

After Snack time,  it is time for another story that gives your little ones more practice in sitting correctly on the carpet. This is also a good time to introduce a game I call "Eyes and Hands"   When I say "Eyes and Hands"  they need to be sitting perfectly still with eyes on me and hands in their laps. 

If they do, they earn a point, but if not, I get the point. Of course, they want to beat the teacher at the game.  The first few times, I get the point, then they do.  Eventually, they get the hang of it.  I model a lot of my classroom rules from Whole Brain Teaching, this is something that is from the book and has worked very well with my kids over the years.

Hopefully, I've given you a few tips to get you started- if you like these you might like my First Days of Kindergarten resource.  It comes with everything you need for the first 3 days of school. 

Here is what is included:
Class Activities
  • 3 Letter search A, B & C color and find
  • My First day of Kindergarten portrait page
  • First Day of Kindergarten Crown
  • Kissing Hand Activity
  • School BussCraft
  • Cat Craft
  • Zero number page rainbow write
  • Snack reminder English/Spanish
  • First Day name tag directions for parents English/Spanish
  • Copy forms
  • To-Do lists
  • Student Information cards (2 types) English/Spanish
  • Emergency Clothing Kit English/Spanish
  • Oops forms English/Spanish
  • First Day of Kindergarten Color & Black and White 2 sizes
Posters Rules and Procedures
  • First Day of Kindergarten (3 kinds)
  • Name song
  • First-day poem
School Tools
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue (stick, bottle, sponge)
Bathroom Procedures
  • Bathroom (multiple variations)
  • Hand washing (multiple variations)
  • Drying hands (multiple variations)
Playground Rules & Lunchtime Rule
  • Slide
  • Lining up/walking
  • Monkey bars
  • Jump rope
  • Hula hoop
  • Balls
  • Lunchtime Procedures multiple

This resource is perfect for first-time teachers or new to kindergarten teachers.  
Kindergarten teacher survival guide.  Teach procedures successfully with these colorful posters and lesson plan templates.  This resource has everything a beginning teacher need for the first three days of school

No comments