Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
BCA 16:17 Week 1.001
Getting Ready For A New Year
4 Aug, 2016. 5 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Back to School, Kindergarten. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Hello everyone! I hope that you are enjoying your last few days of summer. For us here in Texas, the first day of school is right around the corner and I am busily trying to get my room set up and all of our first week of school activities ready to go for my new group of kindergarteners. This year I will have 18 students in my class and am getting very excited to meet all of them!

During the first week of school I focus on procedures and classroom habits while introducing my new group of students to life in kindergarten. I want them to go home saying that they had a great time at school and that they made friends. I want them to begin to feel comfortable in our classroom and to internalize the structure of our day and the rhythm of our week.

Keeping in mind that this might be the first time that many of our students have been to school five full days a week, I make sure that our first week is full of engaging activities.

I posted a set of FREE first week of school lesson plans last year but wanted to change things up a bit this year. I have been reading “Pete the Cat” and “David Goes To School” for the past six years and while they are great books, I’m honestly a bit tired of using them the first week of school. Therefore, I wrote a new bundle of FREE first week of school lesson plans. (You can download last year’s plans here.)

This year, my picture books of choice focus on interactive (aka engaging and fun!) color books and friendship/empathy.

On the first day of school, my school lets the students come right to the classroom. This means that my students will enter anytime between 7:30 and 7:45. During this time, I will have table activities set out for my students. (Last year I used pattern blocks and templates. I’ll probably do the same thing this year!)

First week of school lesson plans for kindergarten (FREE!)

(If you would like the recipe and freebie that goes along with the Magic Play Dough lesson, you can get it here.)

I tried to schedule my day so that we are learning procedures and classroom habits along side some engaging activities. When we get into our groove of school, all of our language and math lessons will occur before quiet time these plans mirror that. After quiet time is when we have more exploratory play and inquiry based activities.

To set the tone for the year during exploration centers, we will begin by reading “Bear Sees Colors” and discuss what exploration centers are.  I usually teach a brief mini-lesson at the beginning of Exploration Centers so that students can select what they want to do that day and define their plan and purpose for their time. This helps them go even farther in their play. (This is also a great place to teach how to solve problems, how to problem solve, what to do when you are stuck, and inquiry lessons later on in the year.)  In the book, “Purposeful Play” there is a fantastic section that explains how you can incorporate a workshop model of education into free play. By having students “set their intentions” for their play, it will help when we really launch into an inquiry and in problem based learning.

Day 2

Our second day of school happens to be a Wednesday which is also our chapel day. Therefore, we will discuss and practice those behaviors and expectations. Later in the day, we will begin to get to know each other better as well as draw self portraits. I will also use the book, “What I Like About Me” to teach a character lesson on how even though we are all different, we can all be friends.

BCA 16:17 Week 1.004

During exploration centers, we will begin to explore some of our science tools with a fun color mixing activity.

First week of school lesson plans for kindergarten (FREE!)

Day 3

On the third day of school I will begin to introduce some of our curriculum and teach the very basics of morning rotations and centers. As morning rotations are such an important part of our day, I make sure that I launch this slowly and with high expectations.
First week of school lesson plans for kindergarten (FREE!) First week of school lesson plans for kindergarten (FREE!)

Day 4

By Friday, most students are starting to get familiar with each other and the sequence of our day. Today we will continue to learn new procedures and habits that we will use throughout the year. You’ll notice that during the first morning rotations, Ms. Margie (my assistant) and I are both teaching an activity. These activities will be some of our first literacy centers and therefore, I want the kids to have small group instruction and practice using the materials. It is also a great way for me to assess my students’ fine motor skills. First week of school lesson plans for kindergarten (FREE!)

Friday afternoon we will have our first STEM activity. My students always love these activities and they help them to think deeper and critically about things. Our fist activity is a color activity that explores acids and bases. In kindergarten terms, the experiment will begin to introduce my students to different shades of colors.  First week of school lesson plans for kindergarten (FREE!)

A Day In First Grade-136

(All of my STEM activities are available in this bundle.)

I am excited to meet my new group of students! If you would like to download these lesson plans for free, you can do so by clicking {here} or on the picture below.

First week of school lesson plans for kindergarten (FREE!)

Related Post

Tags:
, , , , , ,
5 Comments
  1. I love your plans and always look forward to your ideas and strategies! You’ve inspired me to research the Reggio approach and I’ve fallen in love with it! I’m actually doing my SRP on it!!!
    I am doing my student teaching this fall and am looking forward to learning all about kindergarten and hopefully will have my own classroom by the next school year!! Many of the schools where I live seem to do the bare minimum in terms of hands-on inquiry-based learning. So it’s exciting to be able to be inspired through social media!! Planning in purchasing all of your resources come December!!
    Thank you for inspiring me :)

    • Olivia- You are so sweet! I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog! I hope that you have a blast student teaching!! Join our online community to join in on the conversation! Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1771065536510915/ A bunch of us like to chat about inquiry and exploration! We’d be happy to have you join the group.

  2. Chris -

    I love all the inquiry based activities and the Reggio inspired environment in your classroom! I am a long time teacher who spent the past 5 years teaching kindergarten while slowly evolving into more inquiry and Reggio inspired activities/environment.
    I desperately need help! I have been told that I am looping to first grade for the upcoming year. I want to continue to create the type of environment and activities that I have incorporated in kindergarten (though I realize that I now have to meet the first grade common core standards), but everything I read is more related to pre-k and kindergarten. Can you recommend any resources that would be geared more toward first grade?

  3. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing all of your brilliant ideas. I am a teacher in England and am moving from Year Six (Fifth grade) to Year One (Kindergarten) this year! Your blog has given me lots of great ideas – now I just have to get planning! Thanks,
    Sophie

    • Sophie, thank you so much! I’m so glad that you enjoy it! Have fun with your Year Ones!

5 Comments

  • I love your plans and always look forward to your ideas and strategies! You’ve inspired me to research the Reggio approach and I’ve fallen in love with it! I’m actually doing my SRP on it!!!
    I am doing my student teaching this fall and am looking forward to learning all about kindergarten and hopefully will have my own classroom by the next school year!! Many of the schools where I live seem to do the bare minimum in terms of hands-on inquiry-based learning. So it’s exciting to be able to be inspired through social media!! Planning in purchasing all of your resources come December!!
    Thank you for inspiring me :)

    • Olivia- You are so sweet! I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog! I hope that you have a blast student teaching!! Join our online community to join in on the conversation! Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1771065536510915/ A bunch of us like to chat about inquiry and exploration! We’d be happy to have you join the group.

  • Chris -

    I love all the inquiry based activities and the Reggio inspired environment in your classroom! I am a long time teacher who spent the past 5 years teaching kindergarten while slowly evolving into more inquiry and Reggio inspired activities/environment.
    I desperately need help! I have been told that I am looping to first grade for the upcoming year. I want to continue to create the type of environment and activities that I have incorporated in kindergarten (though I realize that I now have to meet the first grade common core standards), but everything I read is more related to pre-k and kindergarten. Can you recommend any resources that would be geared more toward first grade?

  • I just wanted to say thanks for sharing all of your brilliant ideas. I am a teacher in England and am moving from Year Six (Fifth grade) to Year One (Kindergarten) this year! Your blog has given me lots of great ideas – now I just have to get planning! Thanks,
    Sophie

    • Sophie, thank you so much! I’m so glad that you enjoy it! Have fun with your Year Ones!

  • Leave a Comment