Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Day of School Plans...LInky Party!

From year to year, I always forget how the heck I teach rules and procedures during the first few weeks of school! Some of my fellow teachers say it's like child birth (no experience there...yet), if we remembered we would probably rethink our careers! It's always a blur but I do remember that I tend to got to bed around 7pm every night during the first week! LOL


With all the changes going on this year(common core, CAFE, Daily Five, etc...), I started planning for the first week back in the spring! Here's a sneak peak at my first day of school! It may seem like a lot but I'm one of those teachers that gets the ball rolling on day 1!!! 
7:30AM

On the first day of school, almost all my kinder parents walk their child to my door. They've already been informed that no parents are allowed in the classroom because it makes it hard for the kids (and parents) to deal with the 1st day of school! I stand and greet at the door while my TA helps the kids unpack their book bags. We normally don't have a lot of supplies coming in on the first day because our parents have already brought them to "Meet the Teacher" the week before school starts. (Reason #2 for sending out welcome postcards: add a note asking parents to drop supplies off early!) This helps us sooooo much on the first day because we're not overloaded with stuff to put away!! After my kids unpack with my TA, they go to their assigned table and explore math manipulatives until the tardy bell rings. Kids tend to trickle in at a nice pace from buses and car riders so unpacking isn't chaotic at all! 
8:10AM
We have first block (PE, Computer Lab, Music & Art) but on the first day of school we don't get to go because all the block teachers are helping out with the car riders! (overload because it's the first day)  At exactly 8:10am, I set my chimes to ring on my Promethean Board and talk my kids through how to clean up and come to the carpet nicely! I've outlined what we do next... 
  •  Gathering Place anchor chart
    • model correct & incorrect way to sit on rug
Shows students exactly what being a good listener means.
Great chart I found on Pinterest!!
  • Watch Eagle News (daily)
  • Discuss Promethean Board rules & procedures
    • practice moving our names under our lunch choice (After today making their lunch choice will be part of their morning routine. Makes my life so easy because I can just print the flip-chart page and line the kids up according to their choice at lunch time.)
8:30AM
Cafe/Daily Five Lesson #1: "3 Ways to Read a Book" (only 1 & 2 on first day)
1. Read the Pictures
2. Read the Words
  •  Anchor Chart
  • Read: David Goes to School (modeling the 2 different ways to read)
    • use book to discuss class rules 
3 ways to read
David Goes To School

8:40AM BRAIN BREAK!!!!

8:45AM
  •  Read: Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes
Use clues to go on tour of our school!!!  I found this awesome activity on Inspired by Kindergarten!!! (click Pete to get your own FREE copy) When we get to the cafeteria, we always take a little extra time showing the kids where our table is located and how to carry their trays. Makes life a little easier during lunch time!
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes


9:15AM
When we come back from our school tour, the kids sit on the rug and we go over our "Gathering Place" anchor chart again. Then we begin our daily Calendar math activities using our Promethean Board. I create monthly flip-charts for our calendar time. (pictures coming soon) The kids always sit so nicely during calendar because they want a turn manipulating the different activities I've created for them! (great management tool) At the beginning of the year, I always have a name game flip-chart page to help us get to know each other a little better! If this explanation is as clear as mud, I hope to make it better with pictures SOON! After calendar we always DANCE!!! Last year we discovered "Just Dance Kidz" on YouTube and from that point on that's all they wanted to do during dance time! LOL  (video below...I couldn't resist. YouTube started buffering half way into the song so I stopped recording! Please ignore my messy room in the background.)



9:45AM
I'm trying out math journals for the first time this year and I'm super excited! So, my plan is to do journals after calendar every day...I'm using this time as my super mini-lesson before math stations.  On the first day, we'll discuss rules and procedures for math journals. Then we'll do a practice entry using the Promethean Board together. When we're finished,  I'll send the kids to their tables to complete the same entry by themselves. Here's what I've created for the first 5 weeks of school....
Teacher's Notebook Store
10:15AM LUNCH TIME!
ha! true!


10:45AM
CAFE/ Daily Five: Introduce CAFE Menu Board
Read: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe
Laura over at the Delightful Daily 5 Cafe blog has an awesome introduction lesson using this book!
 A Crazy Day at the Critter CafĂ©
  • post first strategy on board (click on picture for your own copy of Emergent Cards)

11:15AM  BRAIN BREAK!!!!!

11:20AM 
Read: Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition
  • What are letters?
  • What letter does your name begin with? (I create a flip-chart for an easy graphing activity.)
  • At this point in our day, we discuss our basket rules and procedures (We haven't needed them until now.)
    • I have 4 tables in my classroom that are distinguished by color (red, blue, yellow & green). Each table has a cubbie where the students have their own basket for their scissors, glue & crayons).
    •  I like to dismiss one table at a time from the rug to get their basket and take it to their seat.
  • Our letter activity for the day will be to cover the first letter in our names with colorful squares.Thank you Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching blog for this wonderful idea!!!

11:45AM  RECESS

12:15PM 
CAFE/ Daily Five Lesson: Read to Self
  • create I-chart with expectations
  • discuss & model book basket rules and procedures
  • model correct & incorrect read to self time
  • practice stamina for 3 minutes
  • practice putting book boxes up and returning to the rug
  • graph our stamina & celebrate
  •  repeat these steps 2 more times
Great for Daily 5 class library or individual book baskets!!!     
Book Baskets from the Dollar Tree
12:50PM SNACK TIME


1:00PM
Writer's Workshop Introduction 
  • rules and procedures
  • entry #1- write your name and draw self-portrait
I'm still working the kinks out of my writer's workshop design. I've been following the book study In Pictures and In Words over at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten blog! I would love suggestions on how you have your WW time set up! Please email me with any resources you may have!!


1:30PM BRAIN BREAK!!! (lots of breaks are needed in K)


1:35PM
Social Studies Unit: Welcome to Kindergarten
Read: The Kissing Hand 
  • How did you feel on the 1st day of kindergarten?
  • "________ felt ________ on the first day of school."
    • I always have this predictable sentence ready on a flip-chart to make things easier and faster.
    • After all the students have shared, I'll send them to their tables to color a 1st day of school picture.
      • This is a great opportunity to start packing up book bags and tagging students for their afternoon transportation!
2:05PM
Ring chimes for clean up time
  • I call tables one at a time to put their supply baskets away and join me on the rug.
  • If time, we'll share our favorite part of the day.
2:15PM 
Line-up and head out the door!!  We line K up a little early on the first day since our kids have never been through dismissal before...no traffic in the halls is nice.


2:30PM
Diet Coke & chocolate time because I made it through the first day!  I can't fully celebrate until around 3:30PM when I know all my kinders made it home without a problem! There's always one of us that gets the CALL..."so and so wasn't on the right bus" or "so and so was suppose to be a car rider!" Seriously, we asked you a million times how your kid was getting home on the first day!!!!   


I hope my first day plans gave you a few ideas! I know I have a lot planned but I'd rather have too much then not enough! I love sharing ideas and getting suggestions....COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT!

86 comments:

  1. Hi Nicole! thanksf or your nice comment on my blog.
    This post is fantastic...i will take some ideas for my 3 years old class...

    Their first day is going to be crazy... so little so scared!!!

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    1. I just love the honeymoon period at the beginning of the year when they're all newbies and quite! LOL

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  2. Great ideas! I am planning to work on my first week plans soon, and I may use some of your ideas. What do you do during the brain breaks?
    -Carol from. Mrs. Cobb's Kindersprouts

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    1. During brain breaks we dance or do simple exercises! I found a great post on Pinterest for brain break sticks....
      Keep Calm and Teach On blog
      http://keepcalmandteachon.blogspot.com/2011/04/acitivity-sticks.html

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  3. I'm exhausted just reading about your first day. I think it's bringing back memories of the first day. It looks good. I think planning too much is always way better than not planning enough. Downtime with 5 year olds is never good.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

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    1. I was exhausted after typing it! LOL Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your day with us!! It's hard to believe the first day of school is around the corner. I had to laugh at the ecard you posted on here. That is so true about eating lunch in record time lol! :)
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Lisa! It always amazes me how quickly the summer goes by! I'm getting nervous about the first day!! (I always do!)

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  5. Wow! You are well prepared! What great planning. And you're right better to have too much than not enough. Is lunch really at 10:15? Is it because the kids are really hungry by then cause they're so little, just wondering.. I am loving that dance video:)
    Leslie

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    1. My school has about 950 students and for the past 5 years my K team (8 teachers) have been split up during lunch. We love being with each other so we volunteered for the early lunch this year. Guess I won't have to eat breakfast!!! LOL

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  6. Wow! I am so jealous not only do you have your plans set but you get out at 2:15! I have my plans, but I am trying to tweak them before this week starts! I just wanted to say thanks for joining my giveaway! I will be emailing soon!
    Brigid
    Brigid's Daily Lesson Log

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    1. Let me know if you want different products. My math centers have been a big hit on Teacher's Notebook so I thought one would be great for your giveaway. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Thank you so much for this. This will be my 30th year teaching kindergarten, & reading this gives me comfort & inspiration. thank you for sharing!

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  8. Wow! I am so impressed with all that you are going to be doing with your kiddos on the first day. I am the same way with my first graders, I want to get started right away. What a great idea to use the book, NO DAVID! for 3 ways to read a book! I will definitely be doing that! I love your book baskets for the kids! I got mine from the dollar tree, also! You are so motivating...I am going to plan out my first day now!!!
    :)
    Blessings of Teaching

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    1. Make sure you share because I'm always changing my mind and looking for new ideas!!!!

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  9. OMG!! I wish I had such detailed ideas. I can't even remember how I handled it last year and I don't even have a TA! Love your book choices and I may also be stealing the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom letter idea. :) I am also trying math journals for the first time this year with K and I am so nervous and excited. I am also going to begin WW fromt he first day. Heaven help me. You are already pretty organized so I am sure yours will be as smooth as it can be when dealing with kinders!

    - Vicky
    http://themadnessthatiskindergarten.blogspot.com

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  10. Wow so many great ideas!!!! Thanks for sharing and for inspiring me!!!

    Greg
    Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Greg! I'm more than glad to help in any way I can...notice all the blogs that helped me in this post? Not my original ideas AT ALL!! LOL

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  11. Your day sound a LOT like my first day -- but I always forget what I did before and have to spend hours thinking about what to do. You have saved me SO MUCH TIME!! This is wonderful!

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    1. I'm glad my OCD plans have helped! I'll be posting my entire first week plans (I'll try not to be so wordy.) later this week! Make sure you stop back by! Thanks for visiting!

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    2. I gave your great blog an award -- come by and pick it up. I'll be watching for the rest of the week plans.

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  12. I think you just became my very best friend!!! Thank you so much for sharing these plans. I am going back to K for the first time in ten years and feel so lost about what to do on those first few days. I am pretty sure that I will be using this as a guide or I might just copy and paste this into my plan book;) LOL I just awarded you with the Leibster Blog Award! Come see me at teachingwithz.blogspot.com to accept it. I also hosting my very first giveaway and would love to have you join my group of followers:)

    ~Rachel

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    1. I'm your newest follower!!! Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment!

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  13. Very nice! I love the Chicka Tree project...so much easier than having them build their own trees and find letters for all of their names like I usually do. I will have a projector for the first time this year (just a little jealous of your Promethean by the way). I like the idea of being able to demonstrate math journal pages on the big screen before sending them to work independently. Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday...I am your newest follower!
    Angela Just Love Teaching!

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  14. Thank you sooooo much for sharing your plans! Even thorough this will be my 4th year teaching, it is my first in Pre-k. This has given me a direction in which to start planning my first day. I really love that you put in there the just dance kidz. I am always looking for ways for my kids to move between activities! :-) thanks again!

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  15. Nicole,

    You inspired me! I just created my very first linky party. It is a First Day of Kindergarten linky party. And I think this post would be an awesome kick-off!!! I would be so excited if you added this to the linky party...you would just have to add the image associated with the linky party at the top of this post and link it back to my linky party post. Wow I just used the word linky a lot. Sheez!!! Hope you join in Nicole, I know there are other teachers who would be just as excited to see this as I was!:)

    ~Rachel
    Teaching with Z

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    1. I'm all linked up!! Great idea Rachel!

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    2. Thanks Nicole! Let's hope we get a lot of great links:)

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  16. Thanks!!! This is my first full year teaching kindergarten-- I'm breaking out in hives thinking about the start up!!! I just may follow this to the T!
    ~Stephanie

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    1. Go for it!! I'm working on my Welcome to Kindergarten (first week plans) post so make sure you check back later this week! Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Very nice blog! I'm in my 7th year teaching and my 6th year in K. The kids make so much progress throughout the year that you always forget where they started at the beginning. It's always a tough change, but it's sooooooo worth it! I LOVE MY KINDERS!

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  17. New follower here. You're so organized! I wish I was this on top of things. I'm working on it though. Hopefully I'll get there within the next few weeks! Check out my blog if you have a minute. :)

    Kristin
    Teaching In A Nutshell

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    1. Hi Kristin! Thanks for stopping by! I love the title of your blog...yes teaching is a little nutty!! LOL I'm your newest follower!!!

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  18. Oh my goodness.....love the video of the kids dancing! Great idea!! Thanks for sharing. I have to do this in first grade.
    I found you on the newbie blog hop, and glad I did!
    Tarita
    Papers, Pencils and Books, Oh My!

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    1. WOW, FINLAND would be an awesome place to live or visit because I don't think my husband would ever leave Georgia! Thanks for posting! I'm your newest follower!!!

      Nicole

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  19. I love your blog, I love your ideas, I loved reading your first day plans and I love that I joined up with your blog - I am your 99th follower!!!! so close to the big 100! congrats!
    Mrs.Egley’sKindergarten

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    1. YAY...thanks #99!! I need to start organizing a giveaway!!!!! I love your dog's birthday pictures!! Thanks for following me! Now, I'm following you too!

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  20. Oh you're fantastic! I'll be teaching Kindergarten this upcoming year and had no idea where to start! I very much appreciate your first day plans posted here. You were very thorough! I hope to use some of your brilliant ideas on our first day too! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're so sweet! Thanks for stopping by and check back later because I'm going to post my first week soon!

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  21. This is awesome and very detailed! As a second year teacher it truly is helpful getting details and visuals. I love the ecard, I had a 10:25 lunch last year, and that just reminded me of feeling the need to be a competitive eater at breakfast basically LOL!

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  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea to use the Just Dance youtube videos - how fun!!!!
    jeannie
    Kindergarten Lifestyle

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    1. The kids became so good at learning motions quick that I had no problem teaching them our moves for our end of the year program!! Sometimes to shake things up a bit I would have dance offs between the girls and boys!

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  23. Just found your blog site through Pinterest and I'm so glad I did! I'm moving from third grade to kindergarten this year and your post has helped me get a great idea of a day in the life of kindergarten (day 1). I THINK I might survive! Your schedule/lessons might just find there way to my classroom exactly as you've described :) I'll be sure to follow for some other great insights.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and following my blog! I'll be posting my entire first week ideas soon so make sure you visit again!

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  24. This will be my first year in Kindergarten and teaching. I am so nervous! I have been planning since I knew I had the job! Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas I can incorporate! Just Dance is AWESOME!!!!

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    1. Good luck with your first year! The biggest challenge for me my first year was getting my daily schedule just right! I probably changed it at least 5 times during the year! Luckily I had an awesome mentor teacher to guide me!

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  25. Great Ideas!!! Love the lesson Pete the Cat. I tried to open your freebie for the school tour, but I couldn't. Can you please point me in the right direction? Thanks :)

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    1. Were you ever able to open the freebie? I think blogger was acting up a couple of days ago because I had trouble accessing some things too!

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  26. Just found your blog through the Linky party! I am a first-year teacher and this post has really sparked some ideas and most importantly, some relief! I am feeling a bit overwhelmed coming into this year. I couldn’t be more excited to get in my classroom (if our school will ever be open for us to come in and work!!) and meet my kinders!! I am your newest follower, I’m excited to explore your older posts and learn more from you!! The teacher blogging community is amazing, I am excited to become part of it!! Thank you again, this is the post is exactly what I have been needing!!

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    1. I agree, the blogging community of teachers is amazing! So many giving teachers out there! They are the reason I've never gotten into a rut! Good luck this year! Stop back by soon because I'm going to post more ideas for the first week of school.

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  27. I am a second year kindergarten teacher and my first day looks VERY similar to this! Makes me feel better! :)

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    1. Glad to help! Thanks for stopping by Beth!

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  28. Hey! Thank you for posting this it is great to hear what other people do and get some great ideas. Do you do your calendar on the promeathean board? If so would you share one of your calendars. I would love to get some new ideas for calendar time. Thank you!!

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    1. What a great idea...I will definitely share some of my flip-charts! I'm not exactly sure how to share the actual file but I'll do some research and figure it out! Make sure you stop back by or follow me by email so you'll know when the post is up!

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  29. Hey! Thank you for posting this it is great to hear what other people do and get some great ideas. Do you do your calendar on the promeathean board? If so would you share one of your calendars. I would love to get some new ideas for calendar time. Thank you!!

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  30. This was an INCREDIBLY helpful post, thank you! Even though I am a 'been there, done that' teacher, I too always forget what I did on the first day of school!

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    1. Glad to help! Thanks for stopping by!

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  31. Loved your first day plans! Can you further elaborate on the "Brain Breaks"? What do you do during these- music, movement- are these structured? Many thanks!

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    1. "Brain Breaks" are new to me but I have found a lot of cute ideas on Pinterest. Some examples include doing 20 jumping jacks, playing a quick game of Simon Says or playing follow the leader around the room. B.B. are just a quick way to get your kids moving so they don't loose focus in between activities. My movement time is every morning after calendar. It's another way to get the kids wiggles out before we begin our day. The kids have their own dancing spot in the room and I let my line leader, door holder and caboose pick our 3 songs for the day. I try to start the year with easy songs such as the freeze dance or Tooty Ta. I hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by!

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  32. I love your plans!! I am going into my second year in kindergarten and I already feel the need to revamp first week plans....thanks for giving me some fresh ideas as well as inspiration to enhance what I already do.

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    1. You're welcome! I love sharing and getting ideas from blogs to revamp what I do in my classroom! Who wants to be a boring teacher that does the exact same thing year after year...not this girl! Thanks for stopping by!

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  33. you were right - that is a lot for the first day, but you know what works best for you:) I do not present any standards until all procedures are in place first. love how you model ways to read a book - will do a variation of this - thanks so much for sharing your first day:):)

    ~ Kimberlee ~

    Two Fulbright Hugs

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    1. Hi Kimberlee, I would love to read about your first day of school! How long do you wait to introduce any CAFE strategies?

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  34. You have awesome ideas, thank you so much for sharing. As a first year this really helped me feel more confident about my first day plans. I would love to see how you continue to teach daily 5.

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    1. Thanks for visiting...I'll be posting my first week plans this weekend! Make sure you check back for more ideas! Good luck this year! Teaching is the BEST!!!

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  35. Love your first day plans! We have read Daily 5 and Cafe. We agree with most of it. We find that the thorn on our side is "read the picture". Long ago when Guided Reading was the "in" thing...students used the picture to get their mouth ready and "guess" ?!?!? the word. What we have found is that it trains the struggling readers to ignore phonics and just use the picture to read the text. Do you have any opinion on this topic?

    So funny...one Goonie Gal is a Diet Coke freak and the other LOVES chocolate! Kindergarten teachers must also have some common DNA!!!
    The Kindergarten Goonies XOXO
    www.kindergartengoonies.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, I do believe K teachers are from the same mold! It's amazing how much alike we all are! Our grade level is so different from others and that makes us super special!!!

      To answer your question about "read the pictures", I agree with the book that it's a good strategy to help our students connect to the text. I like to do a picture walk in my guided reading groups just to get my kid's wheels turning. Reading the pictures is a great way to incorporate other strategies such as accessing prior knowledge, predicting outcome, characters,setting, etc... Since our K's are new little readers it's great to start with something they understand and I believe having a visual helps them make more connections to the story. Eventually, the students will use "reading the pictures" as a strategy to help them with their reading comprehension skills by gaining more information through the illustrations. I hope that made sense...my brain is overloaded right now with back to school stuff! LOL

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  36. Great ideas for 1st day ~ thanks for sharing!

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  37. Wonderful ideas for the 1st day!! Would love to see your first week!

    PS - The dancing made me smile! Totally adding that to my morning routine!!


    Kathleen
    Growing Kinders

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  38. Thank you so much for this post and for the linky party. I had so many recommendations to come here to view your sites to help me with my "freak out moment." You made everything better!

    Misty
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

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    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment Misty. :-)

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  39. We use Lucy Caulkins for our writing curriculum. Love the program!!!! :)

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  40. Oh my goodness! I LOVE your ideas, super cute-- especially the "dance time", I am totally doing this with my kiddos. Thanks for sharing, Im a new follower! =) Come visit when you can!

    Lauren
    Miss Augustine's Kindergarten

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  41. I love your Just Dance Kidz video, but I can't find the video on you tube you used to teach your kids. Help! I want to teach my kids this dance!!! Thanks.

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    1. Just type in Just Dance Kidz2 on the search bar...I hit like on all our favorites so I won't have to search every time.

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  42. Thank you for sharing your wonderful first day plans. My first day is this Monday and I'll be adding some of your great ideas.

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  43. Hi Nicole! This is Rachel from Teaching with Z:) I am hopping around to some of my favorite kindergarten blogs to ask a question. I am teaching with three other teachers and we will all be new to K this year (excluding the one year I taught K a decade ago!) I am working on my parent brochure/newsletter and got to the part about homework and froze. I have no idea. So...what do you do for homework in K? I would really appreciate anything you or anyone following here might have to share:) Feel free to email me...rdziegler@wsfcs.k12.nc Thanks so much!

    ~Rachel
    Teaching with Z

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  44. Mrs. Ziegler,
    This is my third year doing kindergarten. I do homework packets. That way they only have to be checked once a week. My homework packets the first week of school are very focused on them writing their name. If you go on Microsoft word there is a font that is dotted lines. I write each of their names in dotted lines for them to trace. Then I give blank lined paper and have them write their name independently and draw a picture of themselves. Also including letter tracing, number tracing, shape recognition and color recognition pages are good for the first week! Hope that was a little helpful.

    Erin

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  45. Thank you so much! Loved the books and the activities you chose to correlate with them. PS the Just Dance Kidz video was priceless! Definitely use this strategy also! I have taught before and did an internship in K but reading this has calmed my nerves and helped me better prepare for my first day of little ones. Thanks!

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  46. Hi, I was searching for the rest of your first week plans. This is my first year and I'm trying to get ideas. I love your first day lesson! Can you post the link? Thanks!

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  47. Thank you for sharing. I am a new Kindy teacher and have only had 2 days to get myself ready. I start on Monday. The beginning of our school year here in Australia. I am so looking forward to it but am also feeling very unprepared. Your blog has given me some really good ideas and loads of inspiration. Thank you again.

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  48. *** Seriously, we asked you a million times how your kid was getting home on the first day!!!!

    - I dread the end of the day during the first week just because of that! But it's all part of teaching the new school Moms and Dads as much as their kids.

    I am starting my first week of lesson plans today also. I want to mix in a lot more songs, rhymes, ect. than we did last year. Last year we rotated classes like middle school so I taught Math - repeating the lesson 6 times every day. But this year I get to keep my own group of students and teach them extension lessons that reinforce all the writing, reading, adn mat. It's going to be so great!

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