5 Steps to Creating a Kindergarten Kick-Off Plan

Sunday, 15 July 2018


First Day Back to School Beginning of Year Kindergarten Plan


When back-to-school time rolls around, I always have at least one teacher dream that reveals the anxiety I'm having about my new class and new year.

In my dream, I'm not a teacher, but a lone waitress (former occupation!), with a full restaurant to serve. And if you know how those dreams go, I wake up exhausted, from some magical dreamlike force that keeps pulling me back and making it impossible for me to take orders, serve food, and clear tables.

So if you are like me and your anxiety levels begin to rise at the sight of school supplies in Target's dollar spot, you might just need a solid kick-off plan that will leave you feeling confident, prepared, and well-rested to enjoy the last weeks of summer.

Step 1: Breakdown Your Program

Start by thinking about the different building blocks that make up your kindergarten program and create a list.

You might include: 

Materials   

These are school tools your children need to know how to use, care for, and clean up.

Routines/Procedures 

This includes step-by-step tasks such as unpacking, washing hands, lining up etc. 

Class Rules 

Often called rules, agreements, or promises, these form the foundation of your behavior management program.

First Day Back to School Beginning of Year Kindergarten Plan

Centers 

Any centers children will use including physical spaces as well as bins of materials.

Learning Blocks 

This is your daily schedule and the different blocks of time that make up that schedule.

Getting to Know You 

Activities that help you get to know your children and build strong relationships from the beginning.

Step 2: Create Notecard Decks

For each building block you have identified, create note cards for that category.  For example, with materials, you will make one card each for scissors, crayons, pencils, etc. and with learning blocks, you will make a card for math, reading, writing, etc.

On each card, record important information that you want to communicate to children.  Include clear, consistent language that includes step-by-step directions and systems/structures used.  Leave some blank space so you can add notes and reflections as you carry out your plan. 


First Day Back to School Beginning of Year Kindergarten Plan

Consider using a consistent launch routine so the children look forward to each new material, center, etc. Include songs, books, games, and activities that will keep children engaged as they learn about each new part of your program.

Color-code the cards for each element using different colored index cards, stickers, or markers.  This will help you put the decks back together, once you have used them to build your first day and beyond. 

Step 3: Build Your First Day

Choose cards from each deck to build your first day of school.  Go light on the first few days and keep your focus on creating an enjoyable first experience for your kiddos!  I use a grid to tentatively plan out what I will launch each day for the first two weeks. 

First Day Back to School Beginning of Year Kindergarten Plan

Step 4: Review and Reflect

At the end of the first day, reflect on how things went.  Remove cards that are no longer needed and add new ones to build your second day of school.  Continue in this manner until all systems are up and running! Take good notes as you go along of things you will want to remember next year!

Step 5: Reorder the Decks 

At the end of the kick-off period, sort the cards back into their original categories (i.e. materials, routines, etc.) and store them until next year! 

Creating these cards will take some time in the beginning, but you will find them invaluable in years to come. 

Not sure where to start, limited on time, or looking for a plan to work from? You can find my complete Kick-Off Plan HERE:


First Day Back to School Beginning of Year Kindergarten Plan

Wishing you a great start to your school year!

Thanks for stopping by!


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