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  added 9.18.10


Nathan's First Day of School
The Berenstain Bears Go to School ~ Jan and Stan Berenstain
School Bus ~ Donald Crews
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for  Kindergarten ~ Joseph Slate
The Kissing Hand ~ Audrey Penn
Mary Wore Her Red Dress and Henry Wore His Green Sneakers ~ Merle Peek
My Teacher's My Friend ~ P.K. Hallinan
The First Day of School ~ P.K. Hallinan
Curious George Goes to School ~ Margaret and H.A. Reys
Never Spit on Your Shoes ~ Denys Cazet
My Teacher is a Vampire ~ Mercer Mayers
Off to School ~ Ann Schweninger
Pooh's First Day of School ~ Kathleen W. Zoehfeld
A Monster Followed Me to School ~ Mercer Mayers
A Bug, A Bear, and A Boy Go to School ~ David McPhail
My Pet Monster Goes to School ~ Dennis Fertig
They Gym Teacher From the Black Lagoon ~ Mike Thaler
The Teacher From the Black Lagoon ~ Mike Thaler
The Principal From the Black Lagoon ~ Mike Thaler
The Librarian From the Black Lagoon ~ Mike Thaler
The School Nurse From the Black Lagoon ~ Mike Thaler
Little Critter's This is My School ~ Mercer Mayer
Chrysanthemum ~ Kevin Henkes
My Teacher Sleeps in School ~ Leatie Weiss
This is the Way We Go to School ~ Edith Baer
Little Kids at School ~ Jeffie Ross Gordon
Will I Have a Friend? ~ Miriam Cohen
The Wheels on the Bus 
Monster’s First Day at School
The Blanket That Had to Go!
My Brown Bear Barney
Froggy Goes to School
Franklin Goes to School
Morris the Moose Goes to School ~ B. Wiseman

llama llama misses mama ~ Anna Dewdney


Bulletin Boards

Bulletin Board: This is a permanent bulletin board beside my classroom door.  I put it up at the beginning of the year and it stays until the end.

 When you

 Enter this

 Little room

 Consider yourself

 One of the special

 Members of a group who

 Enjoys working and learning

 This is the same bulletin board from the year before when we were doing a Bee motif in our classroom.


The hive says:
Sometimes looking into a classroom
is a bit like looking into a beehive:
the uninformed visitor might see lots of bees
moving in many directions
with no apparent logic,
but the beekeeper knows what each bee is doing
and how an activity fits
within the overall pattern.

“We Are Quite A Flock” Bulletin Board: Make sheep with the kids’ pictures on the face of the sheep, arrange them in a group with a grassy background.

To make the sheep:  Use a small paper plate. Cut out two long rectangle ears and two rectangle legs from black construction paper. Cut an upside down V at the bottom of the leg strips-so they look like the bottom of a first place award ribbon would look. Round off the bottom of the two ear strips to look like ears.  Then cut out an almost round face shape from gray construction paper; cut it so that it looks more oblong at the bottom of the face. Glue the ears on the side of the blank face, then glue the face at the center bottom of the paper plate hanging down over the edge of the plate. Then glue the two legs hanging down at the bottom of the plate hanging lower than the ears.  Have each child glue white cotton balls over the top 3/4 of the paper plate.  Take a picture of each child the first day and glue the child's photocopied picture over the gray construction paper face.

Bulletin Boards:
Kindergarten is the place to "bee" ( tree with a hive, a pickett fence and bees with the kids' names on them)

There's no place like kindergarten! (large trees, yellow brick road with the kids' names on the bricks, lots of colorful flowers)

"Welcome to the Club" (Club Kinder - club house, trees, kids' faces poking out of the clubhouse window)

Bulletin Board: “Welcome to Kinder-garden”  Provide the students with large size flower “heads”copied onto different colored construction paper, stems, and leaves.  Have them cut them out, then add their picture to the center of the flower.  Display these on the bulletin board in “garden” style.  You can a fence, trees, birds, a rabbit, etc.  If you save the flowers from the board, they can be sent home at the end of the school year with one of the poems from the May/Summer page.

Bulletin Board: This bulletin board accomplishes a lot of tasks with one project!  This is a student created bulletin board, plus it lets you see how well your students can color and cut. Provide each student with a BIG sneaker and let them color/decorate it as they please.  Then have them cut them out.  If appropriate, you can add real shoe laces.  Display these on a bulletin board with “We’re Off and Running!”  (If you use the shoe laces, you can also do a quick assessment of who can tie their shoes)

We “Face” the New Year: Provide your students with a white paper plate.  Either provide them with facial features to cut out and glue on, or have them draw their own face on the plate.  Then they add yarn for hair, along with a big construction paper bow.  The boys use the bow as a bowtie, and the girls use it as a hair bow.  Display these on a bulletin board.  Have the students write their names on a half sheet of paper cut vertically, or use pre-printed names.  The names are displayed under each students’ face.  This idea came from the September Bulletin Board book and it comes with patterns for the facial features and a collar for each.

Guess Who?: Cut a light colored piece of construction paper in half horizontally.  Holding the piece of paper vertically, write “Guess Who?” at the top with a black Sharpie marker.  Cut a piece of construction paper in a coordinating color to a smaller size (maybe about 4 x 5).  This smaller piece is stapled onto the larger piece under the title (center it).  Only staple the left hand side; this will form a door or flap.  On the flap, have your students write or dictate words or short phrases that describe themselves.  When that’s completed, they open the flap and draw their picture underneath the flap.  Or, you could add their photos here instead. .  Collect them when they’re finished, read the “clues” and let the class try to guess who they are.  These can be displayed as a “get to know you” bulletin board.

Welcome Back to School! Bulletin Board: I did this bulletin board eons ago! (still have it though, from when we use to “laminate” everything with clear Contact paper).  The pattern can be found in the September Teacher’s Friend.  Make a large “old-time” schoolhouse with your room number on it and a HUGE handbell.  On the bell write “Welcome Back to School!”  All the students’ names go on individual name plates scattered around the board.  The bell is placed in one of the top corners with the handle sticking out over the edge of the board.

“Lettuce Introduce Ourselves” Bulletin Board: Someone posted this on the ‘net and I thought it was tooo cute!  Cover the top section of your bulletin board in light blue paper, the bottom section in brown.  Use strips of green corrugated bulletin board board down the middle of the brown to form rows in the garden.  Photocopy large heads of lettuce onto green construction paper and cut out. Put a picture of each child’s face on each head of lettuce and laminate.  Place the heads of lettuce behind the strips of border to make rows of lettuce.  You could even add a white picket fence behind the garden with some flowers and a bunny along the bottom.  Bunny’s love lettuce!  This would even be a cute bulletin board to go along with Peter Rabbit.

Pooh Bulletin Board: Make a large Winnie the Pooh saying, “P is Pooh who welcomes you to ____ grade.”  Add the students’ names on honey pots or bees.

“Putting Your Best Foot Forward” Bulletin Board: Trace the students’ feet and add their name, their picture, or something about them.

“Pencil Us In For a Great Year!” Bulletin Board: Use white bulletin board paper and add lines with a black/blue Sharpie marker to look like a sheet of notebook paper.  You also need to add the holes if appropriate.  Buy a pencil shape notepad and laminate enough pages for each student in your class.  Add each student’s name to a pencil with a Vis-a-Via pen.  Display on the bulletin board.

“A Colorful Class” Bulletin Board: The same idea as above could be used, but instead of using notebook paper for the background it could be a page of a coloring book.  Not as easy as the paper, but you could draw off a simple blackline picture and even color part of it in to look as if it were incomplete.  Add the students’ names to crayons instead of pencils.

“Welcome to Kinder-Garden (or Mrs. ___’s Garden) and Watch Us Grow!” Bulletin Board: Just add this caption to a flower garden or a patch of sunflowers.

“Welcome to the Kingdom of ______” Bulletin Board: Use with a castle motif.  Students’ names can be added to crowns or take each student’s picture with a crown on and add their pictures.  Both king and queen crowns can be purchased at party stores fairly cheap.

“Quack, Quack … We’re back!” Bulletin Board: I LOVE this idea!  If I have a bulletin board this year I think I’ll use it.  Make a big white duck with your name on it.  Make enough little yellow ducklings to put each student’s name on one.  Add "wiggly eyes" to all ducks. This would look precious in a pond scene with cattails, lily pads, a frog, etc.  Our May door last year was similar to this but only had the mother duck and a couple of little ones.    The door turned out cute. 

This is the picture of the "Quack, Quack" bulletin board.  I did use it last year and it stayed up for quite a while!  Kerry said that when she used it last year, she added cows and a pasture and the cows said something like, "Moo, Moo, We Are, Too!"

“A New Batch of Smart Cookies” Bulletin Board: Make large cookie sheets by covering cardboard with aluminum foil, then add huge chocolate chip cookies.  Put each child’s name on a cookie.  Oven mitts optional.

"We're a SHARP bunch!" Bulletin Board:  Photocopy your own pencil patterns and color them, or use pencil shaped notepad pages.  Write each student's name on a pencil and add the title.  If you laminate the pencils before adding the names, you can reuse the pencils again.

"Mrs. ____'s Bunch" Bulletin Board: A bunch of grapes that is. :)  To form the grapes, either use inverted small purple plates or cut circles from purple paper.  Overlap the plates or circles to form the cluster of grapes.  Program each grape with a student's name.  Add a stem and a grape leaf using green paper.  This also makes a good door decoration.

"First Grade Is a Picnic!" Bulletin Board:  Use a plastic red & white checked tablecloth for the background.  Add a large picnic basket.  Add paper plates each programmed with a subject area.  Add ants programmed with each students' name or have them complete the TLC Ant and add those to the board.

"Look Who Followed Me To School!"  Bulletin Board:  I really like this bulletin board and it would be great for someone starting out the year with Nursery Rhymes.  Enlarge Little Bo Peep on the board and have enough little lambs following her that each could be programmed with a student's name.  If you cut Little Bo Peep's clothes from cloth and the lambs from something "wooly" it would be tooo cute! :)

"On the Road to Success" Bulletin Board:  Use maps for the background.  Make a street using black/gray construction paper with white/yellow lines.  Have each student's name on a car.

"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" Bulletin Board:  This is another cute board and perfect for the Nursery Rhyme unit as well!  Cover your board with dark blue or black paper.  Add a star for each child made from yellow construction paper, aluminum foil, or holographic wrapping paper.  Program each star with a child's name and add the caption: " Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, I Wished For You and Here You Are!"  If you're using the plain yellow stars, you might want to add some glitter around the edges or on the tips.  You could also use stuffed stars.

"We're Seeing Stars in ____ !" Bulletin Board:  This board can be set up similar to the one above or the ideas mixed/matched.  Splatter paint dark background with gold paint.  Add stars with students' pictures in sunglasses.  You could also use that shiny gold garland with the stars as a border.

"A "Berry" Special Class" Bulletin Board:  Use strawberries and add the students' names.

"Kindergarten Is a Hands-On Experience" Bulletin Board:  Either use die-cut hands programmed with each child's name or let them add their handprint (using paint or stamp pad) with their name underneath.

"Have You Heard the Scoop?" Bulletin Board:  Take a picture of each student eating an ice cream cone.  Staple them to the board and add  the caption: "Have you heard the scoop?  This is one cool group!"  What a fun way to start out the year, and everyone will want to help you do the board! :)

“I Couldn't Have Picked A Better Bunch!” Bulletin Board: This is my Back to School board for 2003/2004.  Bit and pieces of this bulletin board idea were shared on the web and I took the parts I liked and put them together.  I thought the bulletin board turned out very cute.  And if it hadn't for been having to weave the basket, this would have been a very simple bulletin board to do.  I didn't even draw off the tree, I just started cutting.  The apples were cut using the Ellison.  Each apple of the tree has one of the words for the title.  The students' names are on the apples in the basket.  I wrinkled the paper for a textured look, and loosely stapled all the tree parts.  I stuffed a little of the left over paper behind the top for more definition.  The "hay" in the basket is a little raffia that I had on top of extra paper for stuffing.  *Note- someone emailed me that their friend had created this same board using this idea, but to make it easier had cut a basket in half instead of the weaving.  I don't know that I thought about that, but I did think about looking for one of those baskets that was flat on one side to use.

"Kindergarten Treasures": This hall bulletin board belongs to the K teacher next door.  It's a take-off from "Pirates of the Caribbean".   Very cute!!!  The kids' names are on the gold coins.


Who Do You See? Bulletin Board: This is a board I have used each year.  After I take it down, I make a book for the class to read during the year.  End of year I send each child's home with them.

Allow each child to pick a toy (I have Clifford, Beanie baby monkey, spider man, dolls, etc) to hold.  I take a digital picture of them.  Print and then glue to center of 8 1/2 x 11 paper which has this printed on it.  At the top   "Mr. Buchman, Mr. Buchman, who do you see?"    At the bottom of the page is printed "I see (child's name), looking at me?."    Then I have my picture up with  "Children, children, who do you see?"     "I see Mr. Buchman looking at us"  Mount sheets on construction paper to frame and do a title for the board  "Who do you see?" or something.  It sets up "Brown Bear " for reading.  Great way to get all pictures up quickly.
submitted by: Bill  Kindergarten Guy

* thanks Bill for sharing! ;)













Here In The Classroom
(tune: Up On the Housetop)

Here in the classroom where we play,
We work hard right here each day.
Working together happily,
Come and see us and you'll see.
We have fun, we all play,
Work and learn right here each day.
Here in the classroom we all play,
Working together every day.
~ Mary Flynn
From the Songs 4 Teachers Theme Unit "All About School"

Our Classroom
(tune: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean)

Our classroom is where we will learn and ~
Our classroom is the place to be.
Our classroom has friends and a teacher,
This classroom is perfect for me!

I'm at school now,
To play and to learn things each day, each day.
I'm at school now,
To hear what the teacher will say.
I bought all my pencils and crayons ~
And markers I got at the store.
I got some new clothes and a backpack,
And I know what all this is for!

'Cause I'm at school now,
The summer time went by so fast, so fast.
I'm at school now,
I'm glad that it's school time at last!
~ Mary Flynn

Time For School
(tune: Sing a Song of Sixpence)

When the summer's over, 
It's time to come to school.
I will sit right down 
And listen to the rules.
I am happy being in my brand new class.
With my teacher and my friends, 
it's time for school at last!
~ Mary Flynn
From the Songs 4 Teachers Theme Unit "All About School"




Expo Caddy: This is one of my favorite finds!  I saw something similar on a teacher's website and of course couldn't find anything exactly like she had.  But I found this at WalMart and it works even better!  I think it's actually a letter sorter/desk organizer.  It has three sections and comes with the magnet already attached to the back.  So all I had to do was attach it to my white board and fill it with my Expo markers and erasers.  It holds two rows of markers and two erasers.  And it's high enough to keep little hands away from it! :)


click to enlarge

Time Capsules: On the first or second day of school, help your students to make a time capsule.  Have them decorate an envelope or some other container that will hold their mementoes.  Include in the container a digital photo of them, a tracing of their hand and shoe print, and a measurement of their height using string, yarn or calculator tape. Then using either dictation, writing, or recording have them complete a questionnaire about personal info such as friends, favorite color, foods, favorite subject, favorite thing about school, what they think the year will be like, etc.  Include the questionnaire in the capsule, making sure to include a place on the container for name and date.  Then store these away inside a closet or tub and before taking them out on the last day of school, have the students complete the same questionnaire again.  Then have them open their time capsule; explore the contents and analyze and discuss the differences.

Kindergarten School Count Down Calendars: A couple of weeks before school starts, you can send out Learn About School Count Down Calendars. It is a cardboard picture of a bus, with windows and doors that open to provide information about starting kindergarten; similar to an  advent calendar. There are 14 spots to open for the two weeks prior to school. They also have a page translated to Spanish if needed.  If you just order  one the cost is $5.99, but for 12 or more it is $2.59. These can be ordered from:
Gumdrops for Breakfast
10 Strathmore Road
Wakefield, MA 01880
Phone (781) 245-2143

It is a small home based operation. The buses can also be personalized for $0.15 each. 

“At School We Learn About …” book:
Page  1--At school we learn about colors. (pictures of crayons on this page)
         2--At school we learn about letters. (letters scattered about on the 
         3--At school we learn about numbers. (numbers scattered about on 
             the page)
         4--At school we learn about shapes. (shapes on the page)
         5--At school we learn about animals. (animals on the page, a bear, 
             dinosaur, frog, etc.)
         6--At school we learn about plants. (tree, flower, vine on page)
         7--At school we learn about people. (Santa Claus, Pilgrims, Indians, 
              etc. on the page)
         8--At school we learn about places. (farm, circus, zoo, rainforest)

You can make your book as long or as short as you’d like, changing the pages to fit your needs.

"The First Days of School" book: Modeled after “The 12 Days of Christmas”. You do a new page each day.  Have the text already typed on the pages for them, and they add the “stuff” ….

On the first day of school, my teacher gave to me, a hug and a pat on the back. (add an appropriate picture or have them draw one)

2  candy kisses (Give them two Kisses shapes cut from aluminum foil and  a small strip of paper 
    to glue on and of course 2 Kisses to eat while they work!  :)  )
3  Fruit Loops (give them 3 Fruit Loops to glue on and some extras to eat while working)
4  silver paperclips
5  yummy M&Ms
6  new friends (provide the students with a list of typed names of their classmates, have them 
    choose 6 names to cut out and add to their page)
7   smiling faces (cut from the Ellison machine or smiley face stickers)
8   little flowers (cut from the Ellison machine)
9   beautiful buttons
10 shiny stars (stickers)
11 colorful crayons (Provide them with a page of crayon shapes with color words on them.  Have them color them the correct color, cut them out, and glue them into their book.)
12 tiny apples (cut from the Ellison machine)

Welcome To My Class!: Send the following items and messages home in a decorated bag with each student the first day of school.

You're a star in my class! (attach a Starburst)

You're going to learn so much in school this year! (attach Smarties)

We all need hugs now and then, 
If you need one, let me know! (attach Hershey's Hug)

Remember, it's OK to make mistakes
That's how we learn! (attach an eraser)

I'm nuts about you! (attach a peanut)

Welcome Bags: Place the items described below in a brown lunch bag and include this handout: 
The items in this bag have special meaning: 
The cotton ball is to remind you that this room is full of kind words and warm feelings. 
The chocolate kiss is to comfort you when you are feeling sad. 
The tissue is to remind you to help dry someone's tears. 
The sticker is to remind you that we all stick together and help each other. 
The star is to remind you to shine and always try your best. 
The gold thread is to remind you that friendship ties our hearts together. 
The rubber band is to remind you to hug someone. 
The penny is to remind you that you are valuable and special. 
The toothpick is to remind you to "pick out" the good qualities in your classmates. 
The bandage is to heal hurt feelings in your friends and in yourself. 
The eraser is to remind you that we all make mistakes, and that is O.K. 
The life saver is to remind you that you can come to me if you need someone to talk to. 

Getting to Know You!: A sackful of fun! Give each child a paper sack to take home. Tell the children to fill their sacks with objects that tell something about themselves. For example, crayons might say, "I like to draw and do other types of art," and a tennis ball says, "I'm a good tennis player."  On the day the children bring their filled sacks to school, give them a chance to share their sacks' contents with the class. Students love knowing about their teachers, too, so go ahead and take your own turn. It might be a good idea to prepare your sack so you may share it with the children on the day you pass out their empty sacks.  This will help in getting the idea across to the kids. 

I don’t know where this idea came from, but I did it a couple of years ago.  I fixed my sack first and included things about my daughter, my pet, etc.  The last thing out of my sack was a bottle of red fingernail polish.  I pulled off one of my shoes and told them that I loved to paint my toenails red and showed them my toes!  This was definitely an icebreaker, and it helped to give the kids ideas of what they could put in their sacks.

Beginning of the Year Addition: This activity was posted on the ‘net and can also be used for taking attendance.  You’ll need a tree large enough to hold an apple cutout for each student and some way to attach the apple to the tree (such as velcro).  Put each boy’s name on one color apple (red, yellow, green) and the girls’ names go on another color apple.  (You’re only going to use two colors) When each student arrives to school, it is their 'job' to get their apple and place it on a chart.  The chart is in a horizontal line with boy apples on top and girl apples on the bottom. (If the apples are small enough, you could use a pocketchart for this)

Example R= red apples (boys)     Y= yellow apples (girls)

   10  R R R R R R R R R R
+  7  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

During the morning meetings/circle time/group time, a student counts the row of red and yellow apples and writes the numeral in front of each row. (If you’re using a pocketchart, they can choose the correct number card to put in the chart.)  Then count how many in all?  By starting this the first day of school, of course the teacher will have to model this until the students begin to catch on.

Another Just for fun! activity: Have your students tell you how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Follow their directions Amelia Bedelia style!  What a lot of laughs!  Afterwards, everyone can fix their own peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  They could even do this with a partner and see if they do any better giving directions the second time around.  Warning!  Be sure to check for peanut allergies before you try this with your students.

First Day of School Activity: Make giant monster footprints from construction paper and have them leading around your room to the different Centers.  Then mess the centers up.  When the students arrive read the book:  Monster’s First Day at School  Afterwards, tell them that a pretend monster must have visited their classroom!  This is a good way to introduce to them how the Centers are NOT to look!  Then you can show them how they’re supposed to look.

Read The Blanket That Had to Go! on the first day of school and provide each student a small scrap of blue flannel to keep in their pocket.  This can be a reminder for them to use when retelling the story to their parents.

I Can Make a Book: Reproducible in Worksheet Magazine Grade 1 Sept/Oct 1990

Activity Sheets: School Days Long Ago reproducibles from  SCHOOLDAYS, Sept/Oct 1986 (In case you happen to have access to an archives of teacher reproducibles like we do at our school.)

School Supply List: In the past, I’ve sent a copy of the next year’s supply list home with the students’ end of the year report cards.  My justification was that I was giving the parents the whole summer to pick up their school supplies, therefore not causing a money crunch at the beginning of the school year.  However, it seemed that the parents never kept up with the supply lists, and I had to supply them again at the beginning of the year.  This year, I intend on sending a welcome letter to each student, and in with the letter will be the supply list.  I’ve finally come to realize, that the beginning of the year is THE time to get whatever is needed, including parent conferences.  It seems as the year wears on, the interest of some of the parents tends to wear out.

Welcome Letter/Postcard: For the last several years, I’ve sent a postcard to my students a few days before school started to welcome them to, or back to, my class.  (I teach SPED K-2 so I have my students several years.)  The first or second year I did this, I had a little girl’s aunt come up to me the first day of school.   She asked me if I was “the one” that sent her niece the postcard.  I told her that I did, and she told me that the little girl had slept with the postcard every night since she got it.  It was probably the first thing the little girl had ever gotten in the mail.  Ever since then, I’ve made it mandatory that I send some form of welcoming letter to my students. 

The next year after that story happened, I had a case worker tell me that one of her clients received one of my postcards and that his family was so proud of it that they put it up on the mantel.  Their son had some behavior issues, and she said that the postcard made his family feel that it was OK that school was starting back again because someone was looking forward to having their son in their class.  If we only knew how some of the little things we do affect others in a major way.

Anyway, this year I’m sending a welcome letter instead of a postcard along with the school supply list.  Another year, about middle of the summer, I sent a letter along with the shoe tying poems to all my future students.  I told them that we were going to have a shoe tying contest on the first day of school.  Every one that could tie their shoe got their name put on a laminated sneaker (made from a notepad) and then the sneakers were added as the shoes on a huge caterpillar on our wall.  Then as students learned how to tie their shoes, their names were added to a shoe.  Makes a cute caterpillar!

School Starts Today! Name Tag Reproducible: There’s a page with a bus, a car, and a sneaker on the page, with a place to write the student’s name on each.  This goes with a great idea that they gave on pinning one of these to each student according to how they would return home.  Bus riders got the bus, walkers got the sneaker, and pick-ups got the car.  They also suggested making a big poster of the 3 graphics as well.  Each student’s name would be added to one of the 3 posters according to how they would return home.  (The posters and the student’s name tag should match)  Then the teacher could tell at a glance who should be lining up where!  This idea and reproducible came from:  SCHOOLDAYS Sept/Oct 1987

Making New Friends: There’s a reproducible in the SCHOOLDAYS  Sept/Oct 1987 for this called “My Friends.”  However, you could easily make your own activity sheet for it.  Using a graphics program, make a page with 9 activities (or however many you can get on a page) that children like to do, with 2 lines under each picture.  Some of the graphics could be swimming, playing ball, a dog, a bike, a book, at the beach, flying a kite, a cat, mountains, etc.  Provide each student with a copy, then have them go around to their new friends and get them to sign their name under the pictures of the things that they like to do.  Instant ice-breaker and good for name practice as well.

Teaching Tools: Using a graphics program, design an activity sheet with a chalkboard at the bottom of the page.  On the chalkboard, write the words: eraser, pencil, scissors, chalk, grade book, ruler, pen, charts, maps, books, paper, computer.  Above the chalkboard, number the page to 12 (two columns).  Beside each number type a word from the list, but scramble the letters.  Next to the word, put a line for the students to write the unscrambled word on.  This would be a good first day of school activity for 2nd graders.  You can find a similar reproducible at May Monthly Activities, Teacher Created Materials 1989.

Writing Activity: Supply each student with half a sheet of writing paper with the sentence starter:  I like school because …  Before distributing them to the students, staple a red apple.  Ellison die-cuts are perfect for this.   These can be displayed as an instant bulletin board as well.

Student Questionaire: The reproducible can be found in the September, Teacher’s Friend.
1. What do you like most about school?
2. What do you like to do in your spare time?
3. What are some things you know a lot about?
4. What kinds of books do you like most?
5. What are some things about which you would like to know more?
6. What interesting places have you visited?
7. What are some places you would like to visit?
8. If you could be a famous person, who would you be?
9. Do you like music?  What kind?
10. What are you good at in school?
11. What do you think you might need extra help with in school?
12. What is your favorite:
food _________
color _________
TV show _________
sport _________
place _________
movie ________
13. Who is your favorite celebrity?
14. Who is your favorite friend?
15. Complete these sentences:
I am happiest when ____________.
I am saddiest when ____________.

Bry-back Manor:
Activity page 104   Fill the Bookbag

Activity page 160 Back to School Patterns

Activity Page 105    Which Way to School? (maze)

The First Day of School Class Book: This is a shape book and can be a school house, an apple, a bus, etc.  Each student will complete a page with the sentence starter:  Today is the first day of ___ Grade.  I want to learn all about ….  The pages are then compiled into a class book.

Who Am I? Class Book: Have each student write or dictate 3 clues about themselves onto a page.  The last line of everyone’s page should be: Who am I?  For example:
I have blonde hair.
I am a girl.
My favorite movie is The Little Mermaid.
Who am I? 

On the back of each page, place a photo of the student along with their name.  Compile all the pages together to form a class book.

Giving Tree: Have a wish list for your classroom a mile long and no funding to achieve it with?  You might consider creating a Giving Tree outside your classroom door or somewhere inside your classroom where parents frequent.  Make a large tree from bulletin board paper and tape it securely to the wall.  Write each item from your wish list on a separate apple cut-out.  Tape the apples to the tree.  Introduce the tree at Open House or in a newsletter.  Explain to the parents that if they’d like to donate items on the tree, to remove the apple, purchase the item, and return it to the classroom.  Be sure to send thank-you notes to all parents who donate.  If you do a newsletter, then you can thank them there, and hopefully it will spur more donations from other parents.  Everyone likes to see their name in lights!

Pocketchart Activity:
I’m here at school
And you are too!
My name is ______.
How old are you?

Write each sentence on a sentence strip and write each student’s name on an index to be placed in the blank.  Make a second set of sentence strips to cut up so that the students can match the words to the text.  If you alternate the sentence strip colors for each line, and then make your second set to match, it makes it a little easier for the students to match them up.  If you need a visual, you can look at the Chocolate Bunny poem picture on the Easter page.

Discipline Chart: I’m going to use this idea this year for my Discipline Chart if I can find the tree pocketchart.  You’ll need one of the new tree shaped pocketcharts.  Cut out enough apples using the Ellison machine so that you’ll have one per student.  Label each apple with a student’s name; laminate.  Each strip/row of the tree will be a different rung on the discipline ladder.  Each student will start out the day in the top row of the tree.  As their behavior deteriorates during the day, their apple will be moved down the tree.  Fall off the tree and you’re heading for the office!  I haven’t sat down and figured out yet exactly what my consequences will be or if I even need that many levels. Normally there are 10 rows on pocketchart.  I think this last year I only used 8 levels, so I could use the first two rows for the beginning of the day or Excellent Behavior.  Then my discipline chart went to: Warning, Warning, Lose ½ Recess, Lose Whole Recess, Parent Contact, Time Out, Possible Office Referral.  You’d probably also need a small card on row stating the consequence for being at that level.  You could use this same idea with a regular pocketchart.

This is the Discipline Chart I used last year.  The larger apples at the beginning of each row states the consequence. 


This past year I used this same format, but I used a huge ice cream cone.  Each scoop on the cone had a different consequence and each scoop was a different color.  The children’s names were each on a “cherry”.  Everyone started out on the top scoop and worked their way down.  I put the cone up on the side of a storage cabinet and the “cherries” were attached with magnets so they could be moved up and down easily.


Students can then write their own school poem using the following frame.
I Like School
I like school.
I ___________________________
I ___________________________
and play.

I like school.
    I learn
        new things
            each day.
I like school.
    I _______________________
and run.

I like school.
    It's great
        to have
            such fun!

Who’s Turn Is It?: A few years ago I read about this idea on the ‘net and it works like a charm.  You know you’re always going to have at least one student in your class who insists that they NEVER get a turn, although you know they have.  This little trick nips that in the bud!  Paint and/or decorate a soup can.  Write the name of each of your students on one end of a craft stick with a Sharpie marker.  Color the other end (both sides) with a permanent marker.  Put all the sticks with the name side up in the can.  When you need to call on a student, simply pick one of the sticks out of the can and call on the student who’s name is on the stick.  Then return the stick to the can, but put the name side down, with the colored end up.  By coloring that end of the stick, it will save you time when choosing a stick to pull out.  You’ll know NOT to choose a stick with the colored end up.  No more whining!  When everyone’s had a turn, simply reverse all the sticks and start again.

Math Pocketchart Activity: For my students who are working on number concepts to 10, I like to keep up a pocketchart activity for them to use.  Usually the activity coordinates with whatever theme /unit that we're working on .  You can easily make a Back to School numbers activity if you have access to an Ellison machine. Cut (5) 3x5 index cards in half and program with the numbers 1 - 10.  Using the Ellison machine die-cuts, cut out 55 dies.  I know they have a girl, a boy, a crayon, a crayon  box, an apple and a school house.

Line the numbers up in random order at the left edge of the pocketchart, vertically.  Have the students count out the correct number of dies and place them in the row beside the number.  An alternate activity would be to place the die-cuts in the rows and have the studens count them and place the correct numbers in the pocketchart.

Open House: Have your students copy the text to make invitations to Open House.  The invitations can be in letter or card format.  After copying the information, they can decorate the invitation or complete an art project on it such as a torn paper apple.  (Torn paper apple: give them an apple outline and have them fill in the apple by glueing on small pieces of torn red paper.  Add a green stem and leaf.)  If you include in the invitation that refreshments will be served or door prizes will be given, you'll probably have a better response.  If you say you're going to give away LOTS of money, success is guaranteed. :)  And since the students made the invitation themselves, they're more apt to see that their parents receive it instead of just leaving it in their bookbag to be found weeks later.

Next, have the students create this life-size self portrait.  If you tell them they can take it home after Open House, then they'll want to come and hopefully bug their parents to come. :)  Have each student lay down on a piece of butcher paper.  Trace around their body with a pencil.  Have the students cut out the body shape and color it to look like themselves.  At the end of the day, sit each "paper person" in that student's chair at their desk/table.  If the heads don't want to stay up, you may have to use something such as a ruler or dowel taped to the chair, and then tape the head to the brace.  Push the chairs up to the table/desk and position the arms there.  When you're finished and all the children have gone, you'll still have a whole class of "students" there waiting for Open House!  This is really cute when finished and the students are excited about getting to take "themselves" home.

Classroom Rules: I can't remember, but I think someone posted this story as an introduction to making their classroom rules.  If not, then it can be used for that.

When Andy got on the bus on the first day of school, he saw a monster! Andy was very surprised. He did not know that monsters were allowed to go to school. But there the monster was. It was making all kinds of noise and would not sit down. It climbed on the seats and put its head out the window. It took up so much room that Andy had no place to sit.
  "Wow, that monster sure is noisy! I'll bet it isn't even supposed to be here," Andy whispered to Vivian.
  But Andy's teacher was not at al surprised to see the monster enter the classroom. It pushed ahead of everyone, grabbed a box of toys, and dumped them on the floor. When Andy and the other children sat at their places, the monster started to throw the toys.
  "Stop that!" said the teacher. "Even monsters are not allowed to throw toys."
  The monster dropped the toys and stared screaming. It screamed so loudly that no one could hear the teacher.
  "Be quiet!" the teacher finally said. The monster stopped screaming, and the teacher said, "It is time to play outside."
  Everyone stood up and walked to the door- everyone except the monster. It ran out the door without waiting for directions.
  Outside, the monster continued to behave like a monster. It pushed some children and took toys from others. It climbed up the slide the wrong way and sat at the top so no one else could slide down.
  When the students returned to the classroom, the teacher tried to read them a story. But the monster shouted and laughed, and no one could hear. Then it pulled the toys off the shelves again. It just would not listen!
  At lunchtime, the monster grabbed other people's sandwiches. It dropped food on the floor and spilled milk. Later, when it was time to paint, the monster ran around the room painting big, black lines on the children's paintings! When the children formed a circle and tried to sing, the monster jumped around and stepped on their toes. It pounded on the piano until the teacher had to close it. At rest time, the monster laughed and talked and poked the children.
  "Come here!" said the teacher, who was finally very angry. "You are a real monster! Monsters are not allowed in school. Go away and never come back."
  And do you know what happened? The monster burst into tears! Everyone was astonished.
  "I'm sorry!" cried the monster. "I've never been to school before. I did not know it was against the rules to shout and run and push, or to grab and throw things. Please don't tell me I can't come back! I will try to learn if you will help me."
  The teacher asked the children what they thought. The children decided to make a list of rules. They would let the monster stay-if it followed the rules. The monster worked hard to learn how to behave, and soon it knew all the rules, just the way all the children did.

1. What did the monster do wrong on the bus?
2. What did the monster do wrong outside?
3. What did the monster do wrong in the classroom?
4. What rules could the children make so that the monster would know how to
behave properly?

~ Author Unknown

Will I Have a Friend?: Read this book with the class, then have the children divide into pairs.  Photograph each pair of students and add it to a page with the sentence:  ____ and ____ are friends.  Add a cover and bind into a class book with the title "I Have a Friend".

See You Later Alligator!: I'm going to post these by my classroom door to use.  My kids will love them! :)  Don't know how far down the list we'll get though.

See you later, alligator.
In a while, crocodile.
Bye-bye, butterfly.
Give a hug, ladybug.

Take care, polar bear.
See you soon, raccoon.
Out the door, dinosaur.
To your house, little mouse.

Other possibilities:

Not too soon, you big baboon. (we'd probably skip this one :)  )
In a blizzard, little lizard.
In a shake, garter snake.
Time to scoot, warty newt.
Don't meander, salamander.
Hit the road, hoppy toad.
Bye-bye, butterfly.
Be sweet, parakeet.
Give a hug, ladybug.
See you soon, raccoon.
Out the door, dinosaur.
Stay well, gazelle
Not now brown cow
'Till then penguin
To your house, mouse
Manana Iguana
Take care, polar bear.
Give a kiss, jellyfish,
Take a bow, brown cow
So long, King Kong.
Toodle-oo, kangaroo.
Come back and play another day.

Bye bye butterfly.
See you soon raccoon.
In awhile crocodile .
Toodaloo kangaroo.
Out the door dinosaur.
In a line, porcupine.
To the bus octopus.
Finally at your house, mouse!

Guess Who?: Each day, put one student's name (mixed-up) on a magnetic surface using magnetic letters.  Have the students see if they can figure out who's name it is before Morning Meeting/Circle Time.  Once someone guesses the correct answer, have that student come up and put the letters in the correct order.  Then use their name to reinforce letter identification.

Daily Graphing Questions:  I'm incorporating into my Morning Meeting a daily graphing question in addition to daily graphing the weather.  I've found out that my students need to see these concepts very frequently, instead of monthly after "mastery".  So I'm creating lists of daily graphing questions to use for those units that I'll be teaching.  And someone just shared with me that they have a few of their students explain "why" they answered as they did because one of their objectives is to explain their opinion.  I know that in our 2nd grade benchmarks, they're also asked to explain their answers in writing in Math, so this would be a good introduction to meeting that benchmark.


1 - How did you get to school?  bus    car     walk    bicycle

2 - What do you like best, recess or lunch?

3 - Do you like to read, write, or do math the best?

4 - Which color crayon to you like the best?  red, yellow, blue, green, orange

5 - How many boys are in our class?  How many girls?

6 - How many letters in your first name?

7 - How many letters in your last name?

8 - Do you like your name?  yes   no

9 - Do you like school?  yes   no    sometimes

10 - Did you want school to start back?  yes  no

11 - Are you left handed or right handed?

12 - Can you read?  yes  no (this question should also give you some insight to the child)

13 - Do you like books?  yes  no

14 - Who's your favorite teacher?

15 - How many pencils are in your pencil box?

16 - Did you eat breakfast this morning?   yes   no

17 - Where did you eat breakfast this morning? home   school   didn't eat

18 - What is your favorite day of the week?  

19 - Do you like music?  yes  no (I meant the class, but it can be answered either way)

20 - Do you like PE?  yes  no

21 - Do you like to ride the school bus?

22 - Which book do you like best?   _____ or _____ (choose 2-3 books they're familiar with)

23 - What is your favorite school day?

24 - Which would you rather color with?  crayon   marker   colored pencil

25 - How did you feel on the first day of school?  happy   sad   scared   mad

26 - Would you rather swing or slide while on the playground?

27 - Do you like a loud class or a quiet class?

28 - Would you rather go to the Block Center, the Listening Center, or the Computers?

29 - Do you think math is easy? yes  no

30 - Have you ever been to another school?   yes  no

31 - Do you think reading is easy?    yes  no

32 - Can you write a sentence?  yes  no

33 - Can you draw a picture of a bus?   yes  no

34 - What color do you think buses should be painted?

35 - What is your favorite thing about school?

36 - Who would you like your teacher to be?

37 - Was your mom glad that school started back?  yes  no

38 - Did you go on vacation during the summer?  yes   no

39 - Where did you go on vacation?   

40 - Do you have a best friend?  yes  no

41 - Is your best friend a boy or a girl?   boy  girl

42 - Do you like morning or afternoon best?   morning   afternoon

43 - How many erasers do you have?

44 - How many crayons do you have?

45 - How many brothers and sisters do you have that go to school?

46 - Do you have any brothers or sisters in our school?   yes     no


Patterns:  I'm also incorporating a weekly pattern into my Morning Meet each day.  We'll add the next piece to the pattern each day and the pattern will change from week to week.  For the month of Aug. (when school starts back here) we'll work on AB patterns.

Week 1: apple, bus

Week 2: boy, girl

Week 3: crayon, school


Class Newsletter:  I use to do a newsletter a couple or so years ago. I made mine in Word using a 3 column format. It started out with what we were doing in the classroom (the theme) and asked for any donations needed or whatever, then I had a place for the Spelling Words for the week, the Sight Words for the week, then ways the parents could work with the kids at home. Mine wasn't specific homework, but more like suggestions. For instance, I'd put in something that I'd read about how children should be read to at last 20 mins. every night. This is a good way to share very small parts of educational research that you'd like the parents to be aware of.

You could set yours up however you needed. I also inserted colored clipart in the newsletter at the very beginning to match the theme we were working on (or the season or holiday) to give it some color and interest. Also, if you use this format, the beginning is also a good place to thank parents by name who've donated stuff that you needed. Everyone wants to see their name in print :), and this might help you get other stuff you need as well ... especially if they know they're going to be thanked publicly in your newsletter.


First Day of Class Guidelines:  Libby gave permission for this to be posted here.  I'm a resource teacher, so I don't have experience with a lot of this stuff.  Thanks Libby for sharing your list.  I'm sure it will be a help to some of the new teachers, and maybe a few of the "seasoned" ones as well. :)


First Day of Class

Mrs.  Rhoden's Kindergarten Class

Before they descend

·        Have name tags made.  Extra's for misspellings and students not on the list.

·        Prepare a table for construction paper sorting by color.  When teachers get the student's school supplies on the first day of school, the construction paper is in a multicolored package.  Most teachers like their  construction paper sorted according to color.  Right off I'll be able to tell which children can sort by color.

·        Put out small strips of construction paper for snipping paper on another table.  Again a very important kindergarten skill.  Does the child hold scissors properly?  I'll be able to tell right off on day one.

·        On my third table will be playdough.  All children love play dough.  This is a good first day activity.

·        On the floor, I will have 2 gallon size ziplock bags marked with each child's name in large bold letters.  The children will empty their school supplies into the bag.  Here again I can quickly determine if the children can recognize their names.  All tissues, fresh wipes, and pump soap will be put in large community bins.

·        Prepare a sign in sheet for the parents to give me necessary information for the day.  How will the child get home, what are their plans for lunch, and are there any vital health information I need to know for the day.  I also ask for a working telephone number.  Place classroom handbook beside the sign in sheet.  Request "received handbook" signature page be left with me.

·        Have first day paperwork in folders--make extra

·        Have book baskets ready.

·        Make sure camera is charged and have 2 clean discs.

·        Put up "Good Morning Children" poem

As they descend

·        On this day only, I allow the parents to bring them in the classroom because of the information I need and the weight of the school supplies.

·        Greet each child, put a name tag on each child, instruct each parent toward the sign in table.  Sit each child at a table and guide them as to what to do. 

·        When all the children are in (don't wait past 8:15--that's 30 minutes) go to each table and tell them how to clean up their table.

·        No parents past 8:15.

Welcome students

  • Show them the class schedule.  Using a clip, show them that we are now in group time and that in a few minutes we will be going to p.e./music.
  • Reassure them that I will always pick them up from pe./music/lunch.  I will stay with them for a week in these classes, but next week, after delivering them to their special class, I will stay in my room preparing for their lessons.
  • Read and discuss the story, Little Monster Goes to School.

Bathroom procedures

  • Instruct children how to use the soap and paper towels in the restroom. 

ü        Soap--one squirt,

ü        paper towels, 5 turns of the knob. 

ü        Show how to tear the towels off effectively. 

ü        Instruct how to properly wash hands to remove most germs.

  •  Remind them that boys lift the seat to stand and urinate and girls make sure the seat is down. 
  • Show them how to and why we flush. 
  • Show them how much toilet paper is necessary for effective wiping. 
  • Speak frankly.
  • Explain that sometimes the floor may be wet so they need to always walk carefully.
  • Show how to sit with a book out in the hall and to go into the restroom 3 at a time.

Go to p.e./music

  • show them where to stand and wait for the p.e./music teacher
  • remind them that I will not normally stay, but I want to today
  • on the way back from p.e./music go by the cafeteria and show them how to use the cafeteria

ü        how to hold tray

ü        where to select milk and show them the difference in the kinds of milks

ü        how to enter lunch number on the 10 key pad

ü        where we will sit

ü        how to walk with their tray to the clean up window

ü        where to line up after lunch

Introduce myself

  • Tell them my name and write it on the board.  Explain that we each have a name that we will all learn to write.
  • Tell them a little about my family
  • Write 3 sentences on the chart paper about myself.

ü        I teach kindergarten at Kruse Elementary.

ü        I am married to Mr. Rhoden.

ü        I have 3 grown children.

  • Read my story and tell them that each day we will learn a bit about each student in the room.  Each child will have the opportunity to have a story written about them just like this.

Lesson block

  • Introduce calendar/morning routines.
  • counting, begin number line, begin 10's and 1's chart, begin odd/even chart
  • patterning  (AAAAA..... pattern)
  • explain more will be added tomorrow
  • Play a game.  Children sitting in a circle on the floor.  Throw a nerf ball for each child to catch.  When they catch it, they say their name and we chant it right after them. 
  • Rehearse how/what they will do when they get there in the mornings.

ü         Come in the front door,

ü        go to the cafeteria

ü         eat breakfast

ü        walk to the room and sit in the hall with a book. 

ü        Introduce them to our safety patrol and let them know if they need something this is the person that they should ask.

Clean up and lunch

  • review cafeteria card numbers
  • Review restroom procedure
  • Review cafeteria procedure
  • Tell them that after lunch we will have some quiet time
  • Go to restroom
  • Go to lunch

After lunch

  • Pass out book baskets.  Explain proper procedure to get and return book baskets
  • Group children in 2's at each book basket
  • They can read only the books in their basket, or lie down on a mat with their eyes closed.
  • Take digital pictures of each child reading.
  • After 15 minutes of quiet time, gather them around for story time.  Mrs. Bindergarten's Kindergarten
  • Discuss what they expected when they first came to kindergarten
  • Tell them that I will be giving them some plain paper to draw our classroom so they can take it home and tell their families about classroom at school.
  • Put paper on shelf and show them how to pick up their paper when I call their name and go to the table where I instruct them to sit.
  • Use finger play "Whoop Johnny" as transition
  • While children are working, make sure I have all bus assignments
  • Mark on their name tags the appropriate bus number, whether a walker or a car rider.
  • Show them where to put finished papers.


  • Help them identify their folders, make sure they all have their all the papers they need for the first day
  • Tell them that folders need to be returned each day even if there is nothing in their folders.
  • They should leave all papers at home, unless their parents tell them to bring them back to me.
  • Show them where parents are to sign each day

Rehearse/walk through dismissal procedures

  • Usually I get ready for dismissal at 2 but today, we will begin at 1:30
  • Show the children my list of children and where/how they will be getting home
  • Discuss how it's important to stay with your group so that the teachers know where you are and that they don't miss the bus and get parents all worried.
  • Tell each child how they are getting home.  Show how each group will line up.  Bus riders at the door, walkers by the tables, and car riders by the fish tank. 
  • Have bus duty person drop by early to introduce their face to the children and explain their duty.  Determine a gesture to indicate children may go with the bus duty person.
  • Discuss procedures for picking up folders and bookpacks.
  • rehearse, walk to the appropriate places and see the surroundings and pathway
  • Remind them at each location to wait for teachers to tell them it's ok to go
  • Return to room
  • Read, Dr. Suess ABC book.
  • 1 minute before bell rings remind students what to do when they come back in the morning and review dismissal procedures.
  • When bell rings tell students to go to their places


Get ready for tomorrow

  • Put up "Good Morning children" poem. 
  • Print pictures and add to "Good Morning Children" words
  • Put a picture on each child's cubby.
  • Put supplies in closet
  • Prepare name cards and name word board.  Put a face picture on name cards.
  • Get read aloud stories ready
  • Prepare table activities

ü        playdough

ü        name book

ü        prepare reading response journals

ü        crayon drawings on front of file folder (for portfolio)


Matching Activity for Capital and Lowercase Letters:  This is another activity inspired by Carol in MA.  She sent me the materials to do the activity (except for the index cards).  The materials came from The Learning Tree.  You'll need a package of Brite pockets, a pack of gingham capital letters, a pack of gingham lowercase letters, 3x5 index cards, and rubber cement.  Glue a letter card to one end of a vertical 3x5 index card and the matching letter to a pocket.  I didn't match up the colors of the letters, because I wanted the activity to be more difficult than that.  But if you wanted to make it easier, then choose to make the capital and lowercase letters the same color.   Laminate.  The students simply match the capital to lowercase letter by slipping the card into the correct pocket.  To make it easier to check, ask them not to slide the card all the way into the pocket.  To make it self-checking, simply write the appropriate letter on back of the card.


If You Take a Mouse to School:  Looking for an activity to go with this read-aloud book?  Well, Patti has a class book idea for you to make!

I did a follow-up class book "If you take a mouse to our school it might ___________". The kids wrote a sentence and drew a picture.  Some of the responses were: " hide in the principal's desk drawer," "play computer games," "fall in the boy's room toilet," "learn to sound out words."   The drawings are always too cute.  I've done that for the past 2 years and it turns out to be our first class book.  I also do a similar activity titled " If You Take A Mouse To Breakfast."

*Thanks Patti for sharing your idea! :)

Classroom Mailbox:  I am sooooo excited about adding this to my classroom.  Kerry has shared so many wonderful ways that she and her teaching partner have used their mailboxes, I just had to have my own.  So off I marched to Wal-Mart (where else?) to buy myself a white mailbox.  I already knew what I had in mind and I had to have a WHITE mailbox! :)  So I got the last white mailbox and it only cost $8.00.  Then I had to talk my husband into making me a stand for it.  Again, I knew what I had in mind.  A wooden stand with an "x" on the bottom for support.  Wellll... my husband had another idea!  He said he couldn't make the wooden one, but being a welder in a past life, he could build me one from some lightweight metal.  Well usually when my husband builds something like this for me, it takes a crane to move the darn thing so I was skeptical.  And when he got it finished, I still had my doubts.  Then he asked what color I wanted it painted.  I finally decided on white ... but while I was deciding, he decided on GOLD!!!  Well, you see who has the most clout in this instance.  So once he got it all fixed, I knew how I wanted it "decorated", but I couldn't find what I needed to do it.  Then TODAY, a box of surprises came in the mail to me from my cyberfriend Carol in MA.  And what was inside the box but a ton of neat stuff and one of the things was a package of school Stickety-Splits!!!  They were perfect!  Exactly what I needed.  So I used the Stickety-Splits (stickers) to decorate the mailbox.  This is how it all turned out and I'm pleased as punch!  We start school tomorrow (no kids) and I so want to have this in my classroom tomorrow, but I'm going to have to wait for my husband to take it down in the truck.  And yes, it's even lightweight enough that we won't need the crane this time! :)  So here it is ......





I'm going to use stick on letters to put "Mrs. Montgomery's Class" over the red crayon mark on the other side.  For those of you who'll want to know, my husband made the stand out of aluminum.  It has a piece of wood underneath the mailbox where he attached the mailbox to the stand.  The stand is "about" 42 inches high (may be a little high for small children) and the base is 2 feet wide.  He just painted it with cheap spray paint from Wal-Mart.  It's very sturdy, doesn't seem as if it will tip over easy, and is light enough to move around the room.  I wouldn't want to have to carry it very far though! :)  I will add what I end up putting into the mailbox and some of the details later.  Thanks Kerry for sharing your wonderful idea with us!  And thank you sooooo much Carol for being such a sweet cyberfriend.  You made my day!!!! :)  Everyone should have a friend such as you.

Carol works at a teachers resource store, The Learning Tree.  That's where the Stickety-Splits and other neat things she sent came from.  I haven't seen the Stickety-Splits anywhere around here yet.

The kids LOVE the mailbox and remind me that we've got mail.  It's so funny to hear them say, "You Have Mail!"  So far I've had no peekers. :)  We get the mail during Morning Meeting, usually towards the end.  Here's the list of things that I've put in the mailbox so far. 

* Apple tree behavior charts and stickers in the mail.  A great intro into the discipline plan.

*The book Mrs. Wishy Washy's Farm.  We did a Farm Unit last year and one of the books that we used was the Mrs. Wishy Washy books.  So this was a follow-up for some of them.  They loved the book.

*The new book The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School, as part of our Back to School unit.

*I forgot one day, so no mail. Even I was disappointed! :)

* New pointer to use in the classroom.  It's pretty cool and came in the box from Carol.

* Treats for the treat jar

I'm just putting in things that we can use in the classroom.  When we get the mail, I ask them what they think we can do with whatever it is we get.  For instance, on the day we got the treats, I ask them where they thought we could put the treats.  Some said in our desks, hide them, in the treasure box, etc.  No one could come up with putting them in the Treat Jar, although 3 of the 4 students have been in my classroom for more than a year and we've always had a treat jar.


Do We Go To Your School?: Use these characters to teach good and bad behaviors.


  Back to School Downloads!

Get ready for back to school with some crisp, new things to use ... calendar numbers with matching header and cubby/locker tags!  Print these on cardstock and laminate and you'll be surprised at how good they'll look!


August Calendar Header


September Calendar Header


Calendar Numbers


Cubby/locker tags


Kindergarten Kaddy:  In effort to spruce up my room, and because I was tired of the mini tubs that I'd been using taking up too much room on my table, I rethought my plan of classroom supplies for my Ks in my resource room.  Sometimes space at our table is at a premium and I don't want the tabletop cluttered with our 4 community supply mini tubs any longer (not to speak of the squabbling over who got which color and the sharing issues).  So after some thought, I came up with this Kindergarten Kaddy.  Now all I have to do is grab the kaddy and issue whatever supplies are needed.  For my one small group it won't take but a minute and will take up so much less space!  Glue is in a totally different kaddy.  This will also help in keeping them on task and not playing with unneeded supplies.


The kaddy is one that I've had in "storage" for years (the only one that I hadn't already gotten rid of), the cups are left over from my daughters wedding celebration (the kids won't mind the wedding bell! :) ), and the can is a tomato paste can that I've used for years that has been covered in white paper with "Kindergarten Pencils" written in kindergarten writing on it.


click on image to enlarge


Student of the Week: If I ever go back to a Resource Room setting, I'm going to tie Student of the Week in with helpers.  The Student of the Week (SOTW) will have a special desk set up with some special things, like a highlighter, Post-it notes, note cards, markers, etc.  The SOTW will be the helper for the week.  They'll do everything that needs to be done.  If additional helpers are needed each day, you can pull craft sticks from a can that are labeled with student names.  After the stick is pulled, it won't be replaced until the can is empty and all the pulled sticks will be put back in the can.


These things will really give more incentive for students to want to be chosen as SOTW.







For the Parent

For the Parent: Send home this message with a cotton ball and a tea bag. 

Dear Parent,
Thank you for entrusting your child to me. I promise to do my best every day to be your child's companion in learning.  After you have wiped your tears, make yourself a nice warm cup of tea.  Put your feet up and relax.  Then hold the cotton ball in your hand.  The softness will help you to recall the gentle spirit of your child.  I will work alongside you this year to help your child grow.

Parent Survival Kit:
RUBBER BAND: Help kids learn the possibilities and importance of having a flexible mind, heart and body. Stretch them, but not to the breaking point.

BROKEN PENCIL: Learning (that's the pencil) isn't just a sit-at-the-desk, paper and pencil chore (that's why it's broken).  Change the pace, garden, cook, fish, ice skate, build a birdhouse, play a creative.

CANDLE: Celebrate life with your child.  We usually celebrate birthdays and other special occasions, but overlook a life's daily triumphs.  Everyday miracles and extraordinary effort are reason enough to celebrate.

MAP: Life is not a television program. Instead of always watching somebody else do things, explore the world together. Go to a sporting event, a zoo, a museum, a concert, read, travel. Remember as they begin to chart their own course, kids need a guiding light and a safe harbor, not an anchor.

STRING: Think of it as kite string -- and remember to let your kids soar, but don't let go of the string.

PENNY: For your child's thoughts. Have a conversation, lots of conversations. Don't just tell your child what you think or what they should think. Find out what they think. Encourage them to think for themselves. Then listen very, very carefully!

PAPER SACK: Write down your hurt, disappointment, anger and stuff it in the sack. Then stomp on it, or pop it, or throw the whole thing out. Don't hang on to any of it, hang on to your child.

ROPE: Before you get to the end of your rope, remember: Children function better if they know what is expected of them. Be sure your child knows the boundaries of behavior and the consequences of it.

PLAYING CARD: We never know what life will deal us. Teach your child that with every card we have a choice. The responsibility of how it is  played is entirely theirs. Remind them to never blame, play fair, win humbly, and lose graciously.


For Teachers

Teacher Business Cards: Before school starts, use your computer to print up your own teacher business cards.  Include your name, room number, the school phone number, and your conference time.  If you have an e-mail address, you might consider adding it as well.  I’ve considered creating a separate “teacher” screenname just for corresponding with parents.  When the parents descend on the first day of school, start handing out those business cards!




Teacher's Survival Kit:
Mounds: For the mounds of stuff you teach.
Crayon: To color your day.
Peanuts: To get a little nutty.
Band-Aid: For when things get a little rough.
Marbles: To replace those you might lose from time to time.
Sponge: To soak up the overflow, when your brain is too full.
Puzzle Piece: Without you, things wouldn't be complete.
Lifesaver: For when you've had one of those days.
Hugs & Kisses: To make everything all worthwhile.
Bath Salts: "To take you away." You deserve a quiet break.
Cup: For when yours is overflowing.


Teacher Survival Kit: Place all items in a brown lunch bag along with this handout: 
1. When it spills, wipe it (paper towel) 
2. When it cries or sneezes, dry it (tissue) 
3. When it bleeds bandage it (Band-Aid) 
4. When it needs a hug and a kiss, give it (candy kiss) 
5. When it rips, pin it (safety pin) 
6. When it's sour, sweeten it (pack of sugar) 
7. When it's wrong, erase it (eraser) 
8. When it pounds, soothe it (aspirin) 
9. When it hurts, grin and "bear" it (bear sticker) 
10. When it's important, write it down (note pad sheet) 
11. When it's a good day, chalk it up (piece of chalk) 
12. When it's a bad day, ask God for strength and hope for a better day 
tomorrow (nothing is found in the survival kit for this need - it comes only 
from the heart and soul of the teacher). 
13. When it's gossip, cut it out and dispose of it (word gossip on a sheet of 
paper with cutting dashes around it) 

Teacher Vitamins:
To temporally calm your craving for chocolate, eat the BROWN one.
At first sign of "Meeting overload" eat the RED one. 
The ORANGE one minimizes "Mental Block" during long range planning.
The GREEN one calms your frustrations while arranging furniture.
If you feel a headache coming while doing your lesson plans, eat the YELLOW one.
The BLUE one reduces Bulletin Board fatigue.

Directions: take as needed. If all symptoms occur at the same time, eat the whole bag.
WARNING: May cause weight gain!


Welcome Back to School Snack for Teachers:  Back to School doesn't just have to be for students!  Why not treat your teacher friends to a Welcome Back to School Snack as well.  The day before the children were to arrive, I put out food on a table in my classroom that would hold up relatively well to not having to be refrigerated all day (some refrigeration throughout the day was needed for some things).  Then I created an invitation on the computer and copied it onto colored paper and taped it to each of the doors in my building.  The invitation was simply a message to drop by my classroom anytime throughout the day for a Back to School Snack!  I made sure to mention that for those who were dieting or were diabetics that there were fruit and veggies and low cal snacks.  Oh, and don't forget to tell them ... Welcome Back to School! :)


click on image to enlarge

We had Wheat Thin chips, Baked Tostitos, and salsa.  In the other basket we had Peanut Butter Crackers, Cheese Crackers, string cheese, raisins, and 4 different kinds of 100 calorie snack cookies.  On the fruit tray I put seedless grapes, bananas, peaches, orange, 2 different kinds of apples, strawberries and fruit dip.  There were 2 kinds of muffins: banana nut and blueberry.  For later I had veggies and veggie dip in the frig.  I had cherry tomatoes, celery, carrots, and broccoli.  And for those not dieting ... double stuffed Oreos! :)  In the frig were mini Cokes, Diet Coke, and water to be pumped up with Crystal Lite individual packs.

The teachers were in and out all day snacking and seemed to really enjoy it.  And we even had some left over so I can share it all over again tomorrow after the kids are gone! :)

Back To School Kit: This Back To School Kit includes necessary items to guarantee you a terrific school year.

Pipe Cleaner ~ Flexibility is important for a successful school year.

Rick Rack ~ This year will be full of ups and downs, but eventually everything will smooth out.

Matches ~ For those days when you feel you need to light a fire under someone.

Wiggly Eye ~ Keep an eye on our students to discover how best to help them. Or, for when you
                       wish you had eyes in the back of your head.

Battery ~ Like the Energizer Bunny, to help you keep going, and going, and going.

Animal Crackers ~ Eat these when you think your class is a zoo.

Jingle Bell ~ Ring for help if you need it, we're here to help each other.

Present ~ Remember our students are a gift to us.

Candy Bar ~ Use this whenever you need a "Sweet Escape".

Smiley Sticker ~ Try hard to wear a happy face.

Snowflake ~ When all else fails, pray for a snow day.

Flower Pot ~ We are here to  plant the seeds of knowledge.

Clothespin ~ Hang in there!!

Hole Reinforcers ~ Don't forget to reinforce the efforts of each other.

Pen ~ You are a priceless part of (PLACE YOUR SCHOOL NAME HERE) School.

Orange ~ "Orange" you glad you are a part of the best school in YOUR TOWN OR CITY GOES HERE!!




Emergent Readers at The Teacher's Bookbag


School Days Bingo


Crayon Colors book (too cute!)


Shapes At School (printable)


Time To Eat (printable)


Who's In School? (printable)


How I Go to School printable


How Kids Go to School graph (printable)


Welcome Back Bingo (printable) 

September Back to School Links

Introducing Young Children To The School Setting

A to Z Teacher Stuff

Sam and Gram and the First Day of School

Back to School

Back to School page 2

Can Teach:  School, Welcome, Back to School

Tips For Teachers:  Back to School

Bulletin Boards:

Fall Bulletin Boards/ Classroom Decor

Can Teach - Good Morning

First-Day-of-School Ice Breakers:

Advice For First Year Teachers:

It’s Time For Back to School

Getting to Know You Beginning of the Year Activity using The Rainbow Fish

Back To School Time

Back To School Bears!

Back To School

Ultimate Back to School Site for Teachers

Some More Great Books to Read the First Day of School

Classroom Management

Beginning Teacher Tips

Bulletin Boards Across the World

Fourteen MORE Activities For the First Day of  School

Beginning of Year Assessment

First Day Checklist

Back to School Kit - Teachers/Staff

First Day Activities

A Warm Welcome Activity

Tips for Teachers: Back to School

First of Year Letter to Parent

Letter to Parents

Back to School

Back to School Coloring Pages

Welcome Back to School Coloring Pages

Back to School Books

The K-Crew's School Unit Page

Back to School




updated 9.18.10


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