Three SUPER IMPORTANT things to do on the first day of kindergarten for a successful year

classroom expectations classroom management first day of school kindergarten

Starting a new school year is an exciting time. Students and teachers come in not knowing what the year will look like but eager to start. The important thing to remember as a kindergarten teacher is that the first day of the year greatly impacts the days that follow. So, I recommend doing three super important things on the first day of kindergarten to have a successful year

What is the first day in kindergarten like?

Teachers spend lots of time planning and preparing for the first day of kindergarten. In addition to those plans, schools and school leaders have a long list of tasks that need to be completed. Mix all those things and the day goes by in a blur. 

Kindergarten can be a year of major transition for students. Some students have never been in a classroom or around people outside their families. There will be a variety of emotions and new experiences on the first day of school and throughout the school year. So, it is even more important to be intentional about the focus for the day and your first impression as their teacher. 


Here are three super important things that will help set you up for a year of success in kindergarten:

  • Welcome students to the classroom on the first day of school. 

Individually welcome students (and likely their families) into the classroom. Most teachers think that this goes without saying. But, it must be said. How a student is welcomed and invited into the classroom on the first day is very important. It is their first impression of you, and first impressions matter. 

Most likely, you’ve met some of your students during a meet-the-teacher or open house event before the first day of school. But, with schedule changes and shifts every day in a school community, there are always those you have not met. So, it is important to greet students just as you would if you’ve never met them. (You should try to use the names of students you have met)

By welcoming students individually and introducing yourself to them, they are less likely to feel overwhelmed. It also gives them a direct connection to you, which will help them know who to approach if they need help. 

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  • Get to know your students and let them know you on the first day of kindergarten. 

Give students a chance to share something about themselves on the first day of school. Also, It is just as important for you to share information about yourself with them. Making connections helps to build a classroom community because the best way to connect is through shared information and experiences.

A great way to do this in the kindergarten classroom is to have students share their favorite color, animal, or activity. Start small and then find other opportunities to share as you’re going through the day. Just be sure that you allow everyone a chance to contribute something about themselves. 

As the year continues, you will notice how much students remember from their first days of sharing with each other. Taking time for this on the first day leads to positive community building. 

  • Teach Routines and Expectations

Having a great start to the year means teaching students expectations and procedures. Because students arrive in kindergarten with various school experiences, it is a good idea not to assume they know what is expected of them. 

The first day of school is a time to set the tone for how students should engage with each other, the teacher, and the materials in the room. Even though you may have several procedures and routines to teach, use the first day to provide the essential ones. 

This mini-guide for teachers includes a detailed explanation of several procedures and expectations, as well as a step-by-step process for introducing some of them all to your students on the first day of school! It is a great guide for new teachers or teachers that want to focus on the most important things on the first day of school.


Most important information about the first day of Kindergarten...

Don't worry if things don't go as planned. The first day is an opportunity for students to learn about a new teacher, classroom, and school. It is also your opportunity to learn more about your students and help them feel at ease about the year ahead. Just remember to keep cool and calm because the students are looking to your leadership at the start. You've got this!


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Click here for more information on Heart-Centered Classroom Management. A simple three step system for implementing classroom management in the elementary classroom by teaching a lifelong foundation in social and emotional strategies. 

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