My kids started back to school on Thursday. I actually really like starting towards the end of the week because it’s only a few days until the weekend. There is no tired like the first day of school tired! I wanted to share some first day of school lesson plans and activities with you. I took previous years plans and tweaked a few things on them. These can be used as a sample to help give you some ideas for your first day or use them as is! There is also an editable version included so that you can create your very own. I so wish I had a guide of some sort my first few years. I hope these are helpful to you!
Through the years, I learned that the main goal for the first day of school is making sure students are parents are comfortable, know they are welcomed, students have fun, know how everyone is eating lunch, and how everyone is going home at dismissal time.
Alright, let’s look at an example of the first day of school!
As students and parents are arriving, students can create themselves on ME Mats at their desks. Greet students and parents. Help students hang their backpacks, find cubbies, put up lunch boxes, etc.
Put several different color play dough out on students desks for them to use as they create themselves on their ME Mats. Amazon has multicultural play dough colors. (post contains affiliate links)
I always confirmed two things with parents on the first day: how their child was eating lunch and how their child was going home!
This form is super helpful for that! Sit it out at Meet the Teacher for parents to complete! There are also a few other versions of dismissal forms included in the free download.
Our Class is a Family is one of my very favorite back to school read alouds. It’s perfect for the first day of school.
Create a Class Promise Poster/Contract as a class. Write how you all want to be treated on the poster, rules, etc. Students sign their names on the poster/contract. Hang the poster on a wall in the classroom for students to see all year long. I always referred back to the poster anytime our class needed a reminder about how to treat one another.
Afterwards, students can create their self portraits to add to the Classroom Promise poster.
I just came across this book this year and fell in love with it. As a mama to one who always has her name mispronounced, this book hits home for us! I think it is another perfect read aloud for the first day of school to discuss our names, how to pronounce them, and what we love about our names! You can find the book here!
While students are completing their name page, practice voice level expectations for working time and any other procedures that you have in place for working time.
You can see more on these editable name worksheets here!
Ok, let’s talk dismissal time for the first day of school! This can be overwhelming for both the students and teacher. To *hopefully* alleviate that overwhelming feeling, I created some activities to make it a breeze!
As a class, create a graph of how everyone is going home. This is a visual to help students see that others in their class may be going how the same way they are, or that their friend will be waiting with them for the bus, too!
Students can color in the picture of how they go home and add it to the graph.
Another option could be for students to use a piece of construction paper rather than the picture pieces. You can color code the graph. For example, yellow is bus riders, blue is car, red is walker, etc.
These colors can correspond with the dismissal wristlets that students can wear home on the first day.
I would STILL tag their backpacks so that they are labeled and ready to go for the school year. Plastic folders cut into squares with a zip tie work great for backpack labels! These wristlets are a quick visual for the first day of school. You can easily scan with your eyes for the colored wristlets to see if students are in the right place at dismissal time.
If time, follow up with a graphing activity. There are 3 different versions included for grade level differentiation. You can find all the First Day Dismissal activities HERE.
And because the first day of school is a piece of cake, students create their very own hats to wear home and share all about their first day with their families! You can find the hats HERE.
Read more about these hats and all the different activities included HERE.
You can find ALL the activities above by downloading the FREE First Day of School Lesson Plans! You can also use the edible version to create your own first day plans!
I hope these first day of school lesson plans and activities are helpful!
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