The beginning of the school year is such an exciting time in kindergarten, but it can also be a little bit overwhelming to get everything set up! In this post, I’m sharing kindergarten teacher tips for a successful school year. You’ll find a variety of tips and resources that you can use to get your year started on the right foot!
Kindergarten Teacher Tips for a New School Year
Kindergarten is the first exposure to school for many of your students! As you are making plans for the new school year, consider all of the “firsts” that your students will be experiencing. With this in mind, keep reading for some kindergarten teacher tips for four different “firsts” that you will have at the beginning of the school year.
1. First Impressions
The right first impression will help your students get excited for kindergarten while also putting their minds at ease. By planning a successful meet the teacher event, you are creating a great opportunity for this first impression.
First, you are able to collect important information from families and take care of loose ends before the first day of school. You can gather information about how your students will be transported to and from school. You can also verify parent contact information and answer any questions they might have. You can show your take-home folders so they know what to look for in their child’s backpack.
A successful meet the teacher night also allows you to provide important information to families. A colorful flip chart like this one can ensure that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of a bunch of paperwork.
Finally, you are able to let your students know how excited you are to have in your classroom! You can provide a simple gift with a welcoming message to help your incoming kindergarteners feel special!
I have compiled a free download with everything you need to put together a successful meet the teacher night! Just fill out the form below to grab your copy of this freebie.
2. First Day of School
The first day of school is one of the most exciting days in kindergarten! As teachers, we can feel a lot of pressure to ensure that this day goes smoothly so our students have a sweet memory of their very first day of school.
Welcome students with an open-ended activity at their desks so you can take care of any parent questions and give students the chance to recover from any big feelings they might be having. Play dough name mats are always a hit!
The first day of school is also a great time for read-alouds that spark discussion about emotions and classroom expectations. I like to use “The Kissing Hand” and “David Goes to School” as read-alouds for the first day.
You can also have some simple crafts and activities to help students ease into the classroom routine. One of my favorite activities is a first day of school coloring page! You can give students a matching coloring page on the last day of school so they can see how much their skills have grown over the school year.
I have created a sample lesson plan to take some of the guesswork out of putting together a successful first day! Just fill out your information below to receive your free lesson plan and printables. It will be delivered straight to your inbox!
3. First Week of School
After the first day of school, there are still many things you can do to help your students grow more comfortable with the daily routine. You can use back-to-school themed activities all week long to get students excited about the year of learning ahead!
The first week of school is a great time to gauge how comfortable your students are with different school supplies, especially glue and scissors! This will help you plan future activities since you will know which students will need some additional support.
You can also use this time to create a special kindergarten memento that students can take home to remember their first days of kindergarten.
If you’re looking for some fun back to school activities to use during the first week, I have you covered! This set of ten hands-on activities will help you get your school year off to a fantastic start! Just click below to find this resource in the A Spoonful of Learning shop or on TPT.
4. First Day of Centers
After a successful first week of school, you have likely had a chance to see the wide range of prior experience and academic skills in our classroom. You can use a centers routine to help you differentiate instruction for your classroom. The first day of centers is very important in setting up a successful centers rotation.
First and foremost, adjust your expectations for the first day of centers! The goal of the first day of centers is to help students get comfortable with the idea of practicing academic skills independently.
Next, be sure to use plenty of modeling and visual supports to help your students navigate the activities. After introducing and modeling each activity, I like to use “I Can” picture direction cards that show students what they will be doing for each center activity.
Finally, choose engaging activities that meet your students where they’re at. Centers are for review and practice, not for teaching brand new skills. I like to use fun back-to-school activities for the first round of centers. This fun theme keeps students engaged and the simple letter and number activities help students experience success in practicing literacy and math skills independently.
I have put together a bundle of back to school literacy and math centers that you can use to get your centers rotation off to a great start! With 29 centers to choose from, you’re bound to find activities that will work perfectly for your first day of centers and beyond! You can find this resource in the A Spoonful of Learning shop or on TPT if you would like to take a closer look at all of the activities included.
Save These Kindergarten Teacher Tips and Resources
To find these tips and resources later, be sure to save this post! Just add the pin below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to come back to this collection of kindergarten teacher tips and resources whenever you need them!