5 Activities You Shouldn’t Skip the First Week of Kindergarten


The beginning of kindergarten is so busy! We pack in so much in 15-minute increments that I know it can be hard to make lesson planning easy.

Here is my cheat sheet of 5 activities I’d totally make sure get into my first week of kindergarten lesson plans.

5 Activities You Shouldn't Skip the First Week of Kindergarten

Now, please don’t mistake this for the only five things you’d do in a week. {wink}

Rather, think of this as a list of things to pepper into your lesson plans to help get a smooth start.

What to do the First Week of Kindergarten

These are things that will help you work towards building fine motor skills, get your first class book created and teach good versus poor choices.

Learn How to Handle Scissors

5 Activities You Shouldn't Skip the First Week of Kindergarten - learning how to cut in kindergarten

When it comes to teaching the basics, don’t skip the mini-lessons! I’ve been known to clearly teach how to blow noses, use the bathroom and teach how to glue on the first day of school.

Later in the week though, it’s time to face the music and teach how to use scissors.

Use the song included, the scissors salad cutting activity and teach exactly what your two hands are doing as you model cutting.

Count 1:1 and Form Numbers

5 Activities You Shouldn't Skip the First Week of Kindergarten - How to Write Numbers

The first week can’t all be procedures… though it may feel like it at the time. Find engaging ways to start introducing standards-based content that can be done in those 15 minute increments.

For example, teach them how to write numbers with this fun video I made. My kinders were always engaged using different parts of their bodies (which helps keep them learning for longer) to form the numerals!

That is the audio version of my read aloud book and materials to teach numbers 1-10 and it’s a system that really works for the first weeks of school. You’ll love it.

Work on Names

5 Activities You Shouldn't Skip the First Week of Kindergarten - Work on names by pokey pinning them

Start out small – but teach them how to do independent center work successfully by using their names whenever you can.

A perfect example is have them pokey pin their names. This is an easy activity to teach them how to do a center and work on name recognition {and bonus: fine motor skills} that’ll easily fit into a 15-20 minute lesson.

Let ’em lay on their bellies (if you have a carpeted area) and get to work!

Make a Class Book

5 Activities You Shouldn't Skip the First Week of Kindergarten - Make a Class Book - so cute

Build a sense of “we’re in this together” by creating a class book. They will love having you read the final product to them and it will get read in your library center over and over again.

This “Who Took the Cookie” class book I made is super easy. They’ll get name writing practice, drawing practice and you can totally model how to color.

Simply bind all of the pages together to make it into a class book!

5 Activities You Shouldn't Skip the First Week of Kindergarten - First Day of School Feelings Class Book - KindergartenWorks.com
source: mrsparisisclass.blogspot.com

Or if you want to get out paint – you can totally reflect on how they felt about the first day of school with “The Kissing Hand” and create a first day class book.

Paint one hand, make a hand print and glue a heart right onto the middle. Later on, they come back and write in their feeling from modeled words written on the board (or you do it for them using dictation).

Tip! If you paint, have them rub in a small amount of soap onto dry hands (like they would hand sanitizer) to help prevent staining and make hand washing faster.

This would also work with a stamp pad too instead of paint.

Lay the Ground Rules

Teach that it’s all about attitude and actions. Those, after all, are the only things in life we can control.

Use the famous (affiliate links) “David Goes to School” book or even “How do Dinosaurs Go to School?” to teach good choices versus poor choices. Do a picture sort mini-lesson and use the images as reference as you roll out your classroom management plan.

That’s my top-hitting list that covers a lot of bases!

Of course, there are lots of other things to do at the beginning of the school year too…

Want in on all of my secrets? You should totally check out my Back to School Bootcamp for kindergarten teachers. It’s a free, nine-day email series with all of my best sent straight to your inbox!

You can also see everything I’ve got tagged here on my wesbite with back to school or try out the ideas below on for size.

If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.

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