In my previous post, I told you that I had vowed not to go in to my classroom until our first teacher in-service day because I wanted to spend every precious moment with my girls this summer. In past years, I’ve always taken them into school with me to set up a day or two. Well, lately the girls have been asking me non-stop, “When are we going into school with you to help?” So I am giving in, and we are planning to go in one day this week.
Since I left the room super organized in June for the most part, I am going to take full advantage of no lines at the copier and prep all of my BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS to get me started for the beginning of the year. I’m going to copy away – until the copier jams, of course!
Here are my top items I plan on prepping for the Beginning of Kindergarten and some for the ENTIRE YEAR…
- POKEMON GO SCAVENGER HUNT – I seriously can’t tell you how excited I am to do this on our first day of Kindergarten! In past years, I’ve always done a KINDERGARTEN BEAR HUNT, which is so much fun as well. With all the Pokemon Hype lately, I thought I would switch it up a bit. Here’s how it works. As they try to catch Pokemons with their Pokeballs in hand, students find clues that lead them to familiar faces they will see throughout the year (secretary, principal, nurse,
librarian, etc). Each staff member hides a laminated Pokemon in their room/office. Once the kids find it, the staff member reads the kids their next clue that takes them to their next Pokestop. Click on the link above for more info. I plan on printing out the clues, arranging them in the order I plan to use them, and laminating the Pokemon characters. You can also print off a coloring page that goes with it!
- My BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS BUNDLE includes 8 things I use at the beginning of Kindergarten and some that I use weekly throughout the ENTIRE YEAR! Here’s what this AMAZING bundle contains..
- AUGUST/ SEPTEMBER NO PREP WRITING PROMPTS These are great for beginner writers in kindergarten and first grade. You get 25 prompts in 2 formats. Use as a journal, or use pages individually for morning work, Daily 5 Work on Writing, independent writing, or Writing Workshop. At the beginning of the year, I work with the students in a small group to complete the prompts while I model letter formation and proper writing techniques as I introduce the children to phonetic spelling. Sometimes, we do a page as a whole group after morning work. By November/ December, kindergarten students are usually ready to complete these independently. At that point, they are great for an independent center activity. Check these out as well as writing prompts for the other months as well!
- ALL ABOUT ME BOOKS One of my go-to Writing Workshop lessons for the first full week of Kindergarten. Just print and go! I have students complete one page a day, and I send home at the end of the week. It’s a great keepsake for the beginning of kindergarten, and it helps the kids practice name writing, number writing, writing color words, and illustrating in detail.
- KINDERGARTEN WRITING PORTFOLIOS Writing is my favorite subject to teach in kindergarten because you see so much growth from the beginning of the year to the end. I love using these portfolios at different points throughout the kindergarten year. At the end of the school year, I have the kids flip through their portfolios to see how much they have grown. They are also a hit with the parents! NO PREP – Just copy and staple!
- NUMBER WRITING BOOK This book is also NO PREP and is perfect for a week or two weeks worth of Math Workshop at the beginning of kindergarten. I have seen a lot of number books on TPT with 10 things on each page for the kids to do. Let’s be honest! At the beginning of the year, our students can’t handle too much. This format is simple and does not overwhelm the kids. Students trace the number, write the word, and practice the number at the bottom. There is also space for them to draw a picture of their choice to represent that quantity. We do this book as a whole group with step-by-step directions, which is exactly what our kids need at the beginning of the year!
- CHARACTER EDUCATION JOURNALS – This is another thing I print off, staple into a journal, and use once a month with Character Education lessons. You can use the Heartwood Character Education program or simply choose stories that exemplify the different attributes in this journal. I combine my character ed lessons along with our Olweus Bullying lessons. Another great keepsake to have at the end of kindergarten!
- KINDERGARTEN FROM A to Z I use this as my very first Writing lesson of the Kindergarten year! I read the student the book From Anne to Zach. Then, I pass each student the page with the first letter of his/her first name on it. They can fill in the bubble letter with dot art, watercolors, Crayola Overwriters, crayons, or markers – your choice! Then, they neatly write their name on the line at the bottom. I save these, laminate, and bind them to create our first class book for our classroom library!
- KINDERGARTEN ALPHABET BOOK I staple this into a book and use throughout the year as each letter is introduced. At the beginning of the year, we do this together. As the year progresses, students complete this page independently as a Daily 5 Work on Writing
Literacy Center activity. They phonetically write
four words beginning with the sound, draw four detailed illustrations, and practice writing the uppercase and lowercase versions of the letter at the bottom of the page.
- SCIENCE FIVE SENSES SEASONAL MINIBOOKS BUNDLE A bundle within a bundle – it just does not get any better. In a half-day kindergarten program, I struggle to get in as much science as I can. These seasonal writing mini-books combine science with writing as students write about what they see, hear, touch, taste, and smell as the seasons and holidays change. You get 8 mini-books in this bundle! Great for sub plans! I read the book My Five Senses before we complete the Fall Senses mini-book. As we change seasons, we review our senses and write about them. This is a hit with the kids. Prints two books to a page. Just print, staple, and cut in half!
All of the products listed above are sold individually, but you can get all 8 for one low price for a limited time in my BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS BUNDLE! Check it out!
3. I also plan on printing a stack of writing paper to have on hand for the year. I LOVE using this PRINTABLE PRIMARY WRITING PAPER WITH A WRITING CHECKLIST ! It is perfect for beginner writers in Kindergarten and first grade.
If you like this paper style, check out my other printable paper packages on my TPT Store!
4. TRAVEL WRITING JOURNALS I don’t know about you, but I always have a handful of students who travel during the school year. Hey, I would too if I could! Rather than scrambling to prepare work for my traveling students, I print off a stack of these at the beginning of the year to have on hand for those times when I am asked to prep work in a pinch! I tell my students to complete this journal, practice math facts/number writing, and read while they are away. I allow them time in the Author’s Chair to share the journal when they return. The kids really enjoy this!
5. The last thing on my list is to assemble my KINDERGARTEN ASSESSMENTS BINDER a.k.a. “My Kindergarten Bible.” I print off all of these assessments that I use throughout the school year and place them in a binder in page protectors. At the end of each quarter, I pull out this binder and I have everything I need at my fingertips to assess my student for kindergarten report cards! I could not survive without this binder!
If you are a new kindergarten teacher or a seasoned veteran, I hope this posts helps you get off to a great start! I’d love to know – What’s on your Back-to-School To-Do List?