First Day of Kindergarten and Preschool

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Video Demonstration

The video below demonstrates how the emergent readers can be used as a powerful teaching tool for the first weeks of school. Click on the video to view it.

 View on Youtube - Kissing Hand Activities


Days 1 and 2 - Connection to Literature

"The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn is a wonderful book to read to the children for the first day of classes. Chester the Raccoon is nervous about going to school.  This book would be used as a means to help support children and their transition into the school environment.

Related Emergent Reader  - "A Retelling of the Kissing Hand"

This little reader is a great follow-up to reading the book.  It is predictable enough that the children could read it to their parents (or pretend read) after the first week, if it is used each day as a shared reading experience.  Reader is found in the FREE sample Friendship Theme.

Shared Reading the Reader

The reader "A Retelling of the Kissing Hand" would be used for a shared reading experience.  It would be made into a big book using the enlarged pictures, a predictable chart (pictures at the end of the reader) or viewed on a smartboard for all the children to see.

 Sample Page from the Reader - Color Version

Sample Page from the Reader - Black and White Version

 Shared Reading - Modeling the Reading Process - Over 100 Emergent Readers Available to Members

These little readers are great to use for teaching beginning reading skills such as the alphabet and sight words.  There are over 100 similar readers available for members (paid subscription).  In the link below you will find more information on shared reading.

Shared Reading

 Assembly of the Readers

Quick Assembly - No Cutting Involved                                     

The readers have been designed for quick assembly.  Run the full page through the copier and have it stapled (2X.)

 Smaller Booklets - Require cutting
These booklets would be cut in half and stapled manually.  This would be done on days when you are not  in a hurry.

Racoon Craft

First Day Kindergarten - Preschool- Week 1 Crafts

Raccoon Craft

The children would paint the raccoon template, cut and assemble as displayed in the photograph. 

Template on pages 17 and 18 in Week 1 Plans in the FREE Sample Friendship Theme Unit

 Raccoon Puppet Craft

The mask was colored black, and the mouth colored pink and red.  The outline of the raccoon face was painted gray.  After, it was cut and assembled to a paper bag as shown in the photograph.  This could be used to act out their favorite part of the story "The Kissing Hand."

Template found on page 19 in Week 1 Plans in the FREE sample Friendship Theme.Racoon Puppet Craft

 Raccoon Photograph

 This can be used in conjunction with the "Science Center" for information about raccoons.

Raccoon Photograph

 Owl CraftWeek 1 - Days 3-5 

After reading recommended books from the theme, the children would complete the following craft suggestions.

 Shared Writing and Craft Project - "Something to Hoot About" or "Being Wise About Friends"

After reading books about being a good friend (recommended in the theme unit), the children could tell in their own words what a good friend is.  The teacher would write what the children say on chart paper, modeling the writing process.  After, the children would complete the owl craft displayed.  The owl would be painted and the wings could be made from hand outlines or using the ones supplied in the theme book.  After, what was generated from shared writing would be printed on the speech balloon (if they are not able to print it themselves, it would be printed by an adult assistant).  If this is going to be a bulletin board display it might say "Something to Hoot About" or "Being Wise About Friends".

 Flower Garden CraftFriendship Garden

After reading another recommended book about friendship, the children could make a "Friendship Garden".  Each child would make their own flower for the garden like the one displayed in the photograph.  The flower and stem templates were traced on colored construction paper, cut and assembled.  After, a photograph of the child was cropped, cut and glued in the middle.

First Day Kindergarten-Preschool-Learning Games - Week 1

The video below demonstrates how learning games can be incorporated into your lesson plans.  Click on the video to view it.

 View on YouTube First Day Activities

Matching School Game Cards

In the free sample unit you will find sorting cards.  The children sort the pictures of items they find in school and ones they would not.  They can also be sorted according to initial same sounds.

School Lotto Game

This is a simple game for the beginning of the school year.  The children will be matching pictures. 

Rolling Dice Counting Game

The children will move their player according to the amount shown on the die.  If they land on a black circle, they must return to the starting point.  The first person to complete the game is the winner.  This is a great counting, directional and probability game.  Other games found in the member's area require this skill, so this would be a great time for them to learn this.

Math Bonus Readers for Week 1 

The focus this week is simple counting of manipulatives. 

Bonus Reader 1 - Overcoming Nervousness

School Shape BookThe emergent reader Jiggle Worms (found in the theme unit)  could also be used for shared reading the first day of kindergarten or preschool.  The children (cartoon characters) get rid of their nervousness (represented by the term jiggle worms) by doing certain movements

 Bonus Reader 2 - School Shape Book

The pictures would be used to make a predictable chart about what they learned at school.  After the pictures would be used to make a school shape book like the one displayed on the left This can be taken home so the children can read it to their parents.  If the chart has been read each day, the children should be able to read the text. 

 First Day Kindergarten-Preschool-Week 2  Plans

In Week 2 Plans

The focus in Week 1 Plans was for the children to be comfortable with the school environment and learning new names.  The focus for this will be continuing Names Predictable Chartto work with names but also an introduction to the alphabet.

Connection to Literature

In the next few days the children will be working with names.  The book "Chrysanthemum" is a good introduction to this.  This book is about a girl who loves her name until she attends kindergarten.  The children find her name amusing. 

Related Emergent Reader

The emergent reader "Family of Friends" would be used as a follow-up activity to reading this book.  The reader would be used as a shared reading experience using a predictable chart for all the children to view.  The pictures from the reader would be placed beside the text.  Each day new and different names would be added to the text (displayed in the photograph above).  The reader is found in the FREE Friendship Theme sample unit.

Interactive Component

The children would be printing, stamping or having their friend print their name on the pages that say "My friend's name is".

First Day Kindergarten-Preschool- Name Crafts -  Week 2

Joining Friends CraftName Crafts

Joining of Friends First Day Craft Activity

In the Friendship theme unit you will find the templates to make the "Joining of Friends" craft displayed on the left. The children could trace the body from the template. After, the body shape is cut and facial features are added.  The children could try and sort through a number of names on a table and identify their name.  Once the name is found, this could be glued on, stamped or printed on the body.

Templates found on pages 52 and 53 in Week 2 PlansName Tag in Free Sample Friendship Theme

 Name Badge

The badge template would be traced on colored construction paper.  The children would print their name on it and decorate it.  It would be tied around their neck or pinned to their shirt.

Rainbow Name TagTemplate on page 54 in Week 2 Plans in Free Sample Friendship Theme

Rainbow Name

The name could be printed or typed and the children color around it with a felt.  They should use at least three different colors.

Template page 57 in Week 2 Plans

Smart Board Activities

          View on YouTube First Day Games for Smart Board

The students will play games that would require them to identify activities and objects found in their school environment.  These are simple games that will allow them to become familiar with the Smart Board and notebook software.  These games can also be played on the computer that has notebook software downloaded onto it.  There is also a printable version of game two available.


First Day Kindergarten and Preschool - Learning Games -  Week 2

Name Recognition GameLiteracy Games - Name Recognition

Name Game

Names would be printed on the templates provided.  The children will be drawing names and matching.

Templates and directions on pages 55 and 56 in Week 2 Plans

Name Building

The children build names using letters printed on bingo chips.  

Directions for this game is found on page 42 in Week 2 Plans

Literacy and Alphabet Learning

Chicka Chicka Boom TreeOn day 3-5 the children will be introduced to the alphabet.  The book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" could be used for this purpose.

Follow-up Activities

The children could make their own alphabet coconut tree like the one displayed.  The children would trace the trunk on brown construction paper and cut it out. After, they would trace the palm leaves on green construction paper and cut them out.  These would be glued on the trunk. The alphabet coconuts would be colored, cut and glued to the tree.

Craft templates found on pages 48-51 in Week 2 Plans

 Literacy Center Games - Introduction to Upper-Case and Lower-Case Letters and Matching PartnersMatch Upper and Lower Case Letters

During circle time the children will be introduced the alphabet letters that look the same to their lower-case letters and those that look different.  Children will be playing the matching games displayed.  There is an answer key provided for those children that are not ready to match the letters on their game board. This will allow them to play the games and in the meantime learn the matching letters by using the answer key as a guide.

 Alphabet Cards

Alphabet cards can be used for the children to place in the correct order or for making their names.  The pictures on the cards represent the letter sounds introduced in the Kinderplans "Alphabet Program". 


The focus for this week will be on sorting manipulatives, suggestions are included in the theme unit.

Music Focus

"Jellyfish Jiggle" Introduces the Letter "Jj" - Used with the Ocean Theme

The song "Jellyfish Jiggle" song would be used in the Ocean theme but is a great movement song to use to get rid of the first day jitters. The accompanying music can be found on the Alpha Tunes CD.

Click Link Below to Watch Video

Listen to Song and View Actions on YouTube


+Elaine Engerdahl

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