The First Week Activities

 It's officially almost the end of July and my teacher brain is starting to buzz with ideas and to-do lists.  I wanted to pop in and share some of my favorite activities for the first week of school now, so you could save them for later or have them on hand for your first week.  I love to try to establish a schedule the first week of school, but the lessons/activities are more team building, relationships, read-aloud discussions, and reviews. 

During the first week, we talk a lot about all the things they will learn in first grade and how they will grow their brains.  Things will be hard and a growth mindset is a big topic of discussion.  We do lots of read-aloud and even make a fun "I Can Grow My Brain" poster small version or a large poster version.  They always love sharing their posters with peers and parents. 

Check out some of my favorite books on this topic. 

I also love these videos:

We also love to do activities that help us learn each other's names.  We read the book The Name Jar and Alma and How She Got Her Name.  We love doing activities that allow for using glue and scissors because it is a great opportunity to remind them how we use those supplies in the classroom safely and responsibly. Check out this cute What's in You Name activity!  It even makes for a great display for the first couple of weeks. 

Snag this activity Free Activity Here.

Another activity that I love to do is create a class flag.  This hangs in our classroom or outside of the classroom all year long.  We read the story Our Class Flag on RAZ kids and then each child gets a 4 x 4 square to decorate with signs and symbols to represent them.  Some kids draw a number for their age, their favorite foods, pets, family members, etc. They get to share their square and add it to the flag. Simple but purposeful and it's always a great activity!

The first week is always full of lots of fun, but I also use this time to do some review activities and get a glimpse at what they can do prior to the start of week 2.  We usually do a fun sight word bingo activity with their list from kindergarten.  This is perfect for a quick observation to see which students are struggling with these and even which kids seem to be mastering them. My kids love the idea of a game and we use goldfish or cereal as markers, so it also serves as a snack because we all know they are STARVING.  

Customize your own bingo boards/sight words using this BINGO board generator!

or use these print-and-go kindergarten sight word boards here

My kids also love working as tabletop teams to complete the letter sound hunt!! This activity is always fun and gets a buzz going in the room.  I use old magazines (Highlights are great for this) and large sheets of paper from the paper roll.  I write the letters of the alphabet on each poster and each table works together to find pictures that match the sounds.  They cut them out and paste them under the letter that matches.  Their goal is to get 1 picture for each letter.  I usually give them around 20-30 minutes for this and they often times ask for more time. After the time is up we talk about how groups can work together successfully (taking turns, sharing, listening, etc).  

I hope you find some of these activities helpful as you think about the start of a new school year.  What do you love to do during the first week of school? Share in the comments below! I am always looking for new ideas.  

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