It is now August and school is just around the corner. Do not feel terrified. Don't. I am here to help you. If you are new to this grade level I have some suggestions for you that might make your first few weeks go a little easier. How do I know that? I am a well seasoned teacher who has been at this grade level for over 25 years. Follow along with me as I show you the way.
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First: Have a plan for the first few weeks. Even if the plan does not work have one. Over plan since it can never hurt. The first thing you need are name tags. If you are like me with 31 students this is not an option. Students might not have a clue what their last name is. You need to know and keep a current list. I have a great product for this:
These packets are only five dollars each and can be customized with your student's name. They will provide you with name badges, cubby labels photo tags, desk tags, journal labels, award tags, awards, etc. This is a lot of bang for your buck and each one has an icon that goes with your student's name. If they can't read their name they will recognize the icon. Trust me these work!
Kindergarten kids love, love, love to help their teacher and this will show you how to implement a management system for this without wanting to shoot yourself. I am a big fan of classroom jobs and this packet will do all the work for you. Wowsa. You pick the jobs you want to start out with (just a few of them) and build on to this as the year goes by and the kids mature. There are 21 choices for you and badges for the helpers to wear. They adore badges and feeling important. Trust me.
You are going to want to set aside one bulletin board in your room for just writing. I use fancy clothespin and keep all their writing stacked together with the current one on top. Here is the perfect packet for that:
This will provide you with a systematic monthly writing form for each month of the year. Click on the picture to take you there. My teachers love this product. One features an image of a boy or girl and the other has that famous blue cat. Let's move on.
You will be introducing the alphabet using your reading program but your students will need lots of opportunities to see those letters and manipulate them in centers.
This is the perfect alphabet book for you to buy. Students trace each letter, color in a picture that begins with the sound of that letter, and cut and paste various fonts using that letter into a chart. Finally, it can be made into a student book or class books can be created. Take a deep breath... We have to give them scissors-right?
Here are some other possibilities for you to use: You will want to do letter sorts during small group instruction and this version is ideal for young children. It is simple with nice, clean graphics. Students get further exposure to upper and lowercase letters. This is one of my favorites.
Are you still reading? Take a break and a few deep breaths. You can do this I promise.
These packets will guide you through teaching sight words to young children. The first packet will be full of manipulatives to use such as headbands and necklaces. It will not overwhelm you with a million words. The second packet is full of activities for your students to do such as tracing the word, cutting and pasting the letters, etc. Students have to find and color the words in simple word searches, etc. These are my top sellers and I have used all of these activities forever. They work.
Have you discovered the Target Dollar Spot? If you have you will know about the mini pocket charts that are available. This is a packet filled with activities for students to do in literacy stations with those charts. It's all provided for you and will make life so much easier for you while you figure this job out. Right? There is alphabet work, sounds, color matching, patterning and even some simple sentence building work. Grab it for $5.00 and you won't be sorry. The kids will love this product and I even give you labels for keeping it super organized. Organization has become your middle name.
Can you tolerate just a little more? I am assuming your have grabbed coffee and you have calmed down just a bit. Stay with me on this ride since I am almost done.
This is the first in an entire series of readers that provide you with support when teaching your students how to read. They are perfect for additional sources to use during guided reading. This is what my district loves the most that I create for them. I put dots under individual words for the children to touch. In addition, you get the text for your pocket chart to practice with the kids over and over again to build their confidence.
What about teaching the sounds of letters? You can start with this very simple packet and do these letters in the order that is provided in your reading program.
Here is another simple packet of cut and paste work for your students to do when practicing the sounds of the letters. In addition, they trace the upper and lowercase letter. Simple, clean, and easy.
These all align to the Common Core. In math for the first few weeks they need to explore the manipulatives you have in your tubs. Remember to click on the picture if you want to purchase something. If not, you can use the materials you have and integrate your own things.
I have tons of freebies on this blog. Follow me on Bloglovin' and my stores so you know when they become available. Everyone loves free!
Advice: Read to them often. Have snacks for the first few days. Do not let the parents in the room... you will have trouble getting them out. I am just being real with you! Hehe.
Keep in touch. You can do this. Get help from your grade level and read teacher blogs at this grade level. You can learn so much from them.
Who has other suggestions?
So I am ending here and I am sending you a virtual hug for teaching our youngest learners. Your work is important and I hope you love it as much as I do. It continues to be the best grade in the world to teach. Be extraordinary.