Plan your first day of kindergarten activities with these fun and hands-on centers. Get your students excited about learning, and create a sense of belonging with a free bulletin board printable.
This past week was the first week back with my students. I am exhausted! I always forget just how tiring the first month of school is, and I am definitely feeling it this weekend.
Take a look at the literacy center activities we did during our first day back. Read to the end to get a free download of the letters I used for our Back to School bulletin board. You can also take a look at my free download of weekly idea lists for the whole school year!
I used these road letter mats to practice letter formation. Our students loved using the cards to drive over the letters, and they were able to practice letter formations at the same time!
I started out by just putting a few letters out (S, I, T, A) so that my students wouldn’t get overwhelmed with choice. I add more choices as we progress through the year.
Alphabet Cover-Up Work Mats
I continued to practice letter formations with these work mats. They can be used with any materials that your students like (play dough, gems, Wiki Stix). They form the letters and then cover up the pictures that begin with that sound.
I like to have a variety of different ways to practice the alphabet, it makes learning more engaging for my students. They can find a way that interests them, and that they enjoy doing.
Alphabet Play Dough Mats
Another activity that we used to practice letter formations this week was these play dough mats. Students rolled out the play dough to make the letters, then used a whiteboard marker to trace the letters.
Like the road letter mats, I only put out a few letters, to begin with. For the beginning of the year, I want to set my students up for success- and that means not overwhelming them with a lot of materials.
Letter Bulletin Board
We made our first Back to School Bulletin Board as a class. I wanted to make it inviting to all our students and families, so I had each student decorate the first letter of their name. It is going to be great for families to see their child’s decorated letter when they come for Meet the Teacher night in a few weeks.
I love how each letter is unique and that students were able to make it their own. I want them to feel welcome and involved in their classroom, and I think this was a great place to start!
If you would like to use these letters in your classroom, I have added them to my Resource Library as a free download!
Memory Books and Journals
We start our school year off by making the first pages of my students’ memory books and journals. These are keepsakes that we add a page to every month, and at the end of the school year, I give it to families so they can look back on their child’s school year.
First day of Kindergarten Advice
Start slow with everything- your students are not going to know what to do, where to go, or how to do anything. Limiting the amount of materials that are available and modelling how to use the activities is going to be so important.
Name writing practice can also be a great place to start- a lot of my students do now know how to write their names when they begin school. Their name is something familiar to them though, so giving them Name Tracers can be a great start for them.
For more information on how my classroom, you can check out My Ultimate Guide to Kindergarten Centers. I also have other blog posts that can help you with Back to School time:
- Kindergarten Centers you need for Back to School
- How I do Free Choice Centers in Kindergarten
- Kindergarten Classroom Tour
- How to Prep your Kindergarten Centers
- Get Centers Ready for Back to School