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Beginning of the school year


Senior Member
I am curious. What does your first day look like? I know we all do the same things in that we start teaching routines, and how to do basic things. Where and how to put away backpacks, how to "do" line up, walking in line, bathroom, etc..

Here are my questions, because I love to learn and make improvements.

What do you do with them while you wait for kids to trickle in from different buses, parent drop off, walkers, and comforting those having a difficult time? We also have breakfast in the classroom, so I am really busy opening milk, cleaning up milk spills lol, and so on. I usually have coloring, playdoh, and table top toys/puzzles.

Then the rest of the day, between routine practice, and how to "do" school, what do you do? I usually do a lot of outside play, learning how to do recess. Also read aloud, and classroom play.

What does your first day look like?


Senior Member
I don't have kids trickling in, so that helps the morning. They say goodbye to their parents outside, and then come in and play for about half an hour as I check in with everyone, comfort criers, etc. Then we clean up and have our first morning meeting where I introduce them to the good morning song.

The other things we do throughout the day:
We go on a school tour.
I introduce them to the calendar (VERY quick).
They make a first day hat.
I read a few stories.
We have some more play time.

That's about it. I feel like the first day is just talking about what we are doing next and how it's going to look, then doing it.


Senior Member
Hopefully we will be back to our normal first day of school this year.

My first day sounds a lot like what you and Sbkangas do. We just started the breakfast program a few years ago. Thankfully it is usually only a few students eating breakfast in the classroom. I think I would go bonkers if the whole class was eating breakfast.

That first day it is difficult doing breakfast in the classroom and trying to figure out which students are ordering lunch and getting them to order (especially when there are several lunch choices to pick from.) While I am dealing with the breakfast and lunch, the children are playing-similar to what you do. They each have a bin with Play-Doh, a puzzle, a lacing card, paper/pencil/crayons...

I start establishing routines that first day-what to do when they first come into the room, where to hang backpacks, how to order lunch... and we practice.

We don't have bathrooms in our kindergarten classrooms so we take a trip down the hall so everyone knows where the bathrooms are.

I try to follow my general daily schedule loosely to give them an idea of what our day will be like. We do opening and morning message. For math, I put the different manipulatives on each table for them to explore. For writing, I have them draw a picture of themselves and write their name. I collect that to use as an informal assessment.

I try do several read alouds throughout the day. (Hopefully this year will be without masks and we can go back to sitting on the carpet.) One book I read is Owen by Kevin Henkes. I give everyone their own "fuzzy" to keep in their supply pouch in case they need it. We talk about how they are feeling.

We sing songs and do brain breaks in between things.

We make the Kindergarten Rocks crowns to wear home.

I take them outside for recess and we have free choice center time (not everything is open, talk about how to clean up and put away things...)

I make a point of taking a photo of each child on the first day with a 1st day of school prop and another photo of them playing-either at free choice centers or at recess. I make sure that I catch them smiling and share the photos on Seesaw so parents know their child didn't cry all day. :D

I don't get much done those first couple of days. It is exhausting just thinking about it.:eek:


Senior Member
Thank you both for describing your first day. :)

I forgot one of my favorite things, their writing journals. On the first page they do a first day portrait and if they can, they write their names. I love looking through their journals with them. They are so proud of the progress they make. :)

iteachk2010- My School is in a very low income area. All children receive free breakfast and lunch. The whole class is eating breakfast in the room. It is crazy! Lol I keep a mop ready.


Senior Member
I am a specials teacher and I just looked at my schedule. I realize that this year I will have all of our kinders in on their first day at school. Yikes! They are very hard in my class anyway, so now I have to figure out what to do with them on their first day! LOLLOL

I would like to do something to help me learn their names. Gotta come up with an idea.

I have books I can read to them. Maybe teach them a song about my class= first I have to make one up.

I do need to show them where the bathroom is- but I hate doing that because then everyone has to go to the bathroom! Water fountain. What door they come in and the expectations, plus which door to leave and how that happens. Which door to leave by if we have a fire drill. Maybe take a walk outside and look at the route...

Whew. The class will go quickly. If anyone has a song or game that I could use for my computer class, I would appreciate the share. I might repost this as a new thread. Will see.

Enjoy the new year.