Kindergarteners: First Days of School

This theme of resource is a response to Lingzhi Chen’s suggestion. Thanks to her.
The resource articles were copy-pasted from the web pages in entirety in case the links won’t work in future. Links and authors are provided to give credits to their work.
First, we need be clear, who we are facing? The developmental characteristics, cognitively, socially, and emotionally, of kids at this stage can be traced in our textbooks. Here, it is not necessary to repeat those stuff. But it is very important to keep those characteristics in mind when we think about strategies as teachers, which we focus on below.
Second, we need be aware that, more than other stages of schooling, teaching at this stage involves more work dealing with parents. Therefore, you will see both strategies used in classrooms and strategies to get parents into prepareing their kids for school. Do think that preparing parents should be part of your work.
First Day of School Activities for Kindergarten
First Day of School Tips for Teachers: Successful Ideas for Kindergarten Teachers Dealing with Parents
Strategies for Starting School - Preparation, First Day of School and What to Expect
Best Tips for a Smooth First Day of School (Parents' View)
First Day of School Activities for Kindergarten
Video at
Summary: The first day of school activities for kindergarten students should include reading a book that makes the students feel comfortable, activities that introduce the students to their new surroundings and the setting of ground rules. Give kindergarten students a tour of the classroom, and introduce them to areas that they will need to know about with advice from a writing instructor and former classroom teacher in this free video on kindergarten.
First Day of School Tips for Teachers: Successful Ideas for Kindergarten Teachers Dealing with Parents
© Karri Weathers
Parents are very involved in a kindergarten student's education. The first meeting that a kindergarten teacher has with the parents is essential to a successful year.
The first day of kindergarten is typically difficult for three people involved, the child, the parent, and the teacher. How a teacher conducts him or herself on the first day of school creates a great impact on the outlook and attitude of the child and parent for the entire school year. There are several tips for kindergarten teachers that help make the first day of school a success with parents.
What New Parents Expect on the First Day of School
Most parents new to school expect the first day of school to be a very big deal. They take off from or go in late to work. They get up early to prepare for the day. They do not expect to simply drop off their child and be rushed out of the building. They expect to gain information and have personal interaction with the teacher. They want to see that their children are settled and adjusted before leaving. They expect to feel confident that the class is organized and that their children are in good hands.
How Parents Feel on the First Day of Kindergarten
On their child's first day of school, most parents are nervous, sad, and excited. They are as nervous as the children about meeting the other students, parents, and teachers. The parents are sad that the child is growing old enough to enter a new milestone in his or her life. They are excited about the new adventure.
Kindergarten Teachers Dealing with Parent Nervousness
Most teachers are quick to assure the children that the day will be fun and wonderful. As this is a good practice, parents also often need reassurance. As teachers talk with the parents, it is important that they assure him or her that the child will have a great day. It helps to explain to the parents of crying children that the reaction is normal. Reassure them that the child will calm as the day progresses and the parents are out of sight.

Teachers Dealing with Parent Sadness
In most cases, an understanding of sad emotions is enough to connect with parents. The display of this understanding is easily shown through written poems, sayings, phrases, and book readings that deal with the difficulty in leaving a child at school or watching a child grow.
Strategies for Starting School - Preparation, First Day of School and What to Expect

Several times this month, Fiona Brill and her five year old son have walked to the nearby Primary School. There they play on the monkey-bars, eat a picnic lunch and try out all the drinking taps to discover which ones work - and which ones spray water everywhere. Fiona points out the classroom Nicky will be in this year and the bench she will sit on, when it is time to collect him. In just a few weeks, Nicky will go to school for the first time. Fiona is already working to make the transition as easy and as happy as possible.
It need not be tears and traumas at the school gate at the start of the year. Given preparation and a positive attitude to school, the first day - and all the other days too - can be a time to look forward to and enjoy.
The Weeks Before
* Many schools arrange orientation days where children are shown around and perhaps have a story read to them by a 'real' teacher. These are a terrific introduction.
* Talk about school often, in casual conversation. ('Yes, you can read "cat". You'll learn to read lots of words at school.') Be positive and enthusiastic in your attitude, but on the other hand, don't build it up too much -school can't live up to the reputation of Circus Maximus.
Education Departments often have excellent booklets to offer ideas. Ask for them.
* Visit the school grounds several times so your child has a concrete picture of where they will be spending their time. Like Fiona, show them the classroom, the toilets, try out the drinking taps and play some chasey on the oval.
* Point out where you will sit and wait to meet your child after school. Knowing you will be at a set place at a set time makes them feel much more secure.
* Get kids involved in a fashion parade of trying on uniforms. They can write their names on painting smocks, lunch boxes and school bag in texta.
* Have picnics where you practice undoing drink lids and unravelling dried fruit and sandwiches from plastic wrap. (Or try using waxed paper instead, it's easier for small fingers.)
* Talk often about how long the school day will be in simple terms - 'After lunch, you'll have some more games and stories and then I'll be waiting to take you home.'
* Gather uniforms, art smocks and school bags well in advance. This avoids the terrible night before finding frenzy!
* Make sure everyone gets an early night!
The First Day.
* Help your child get ready in a calm and relaxed manner. Even if you have to get up earlier to avoid panics and last minute rush.
* Arrange to meet up with one of your children's friends and their parents. That way you can all walk together and support each other.
* Don't forget to leave extra time for a photo or two. It's something to really treasure later.
* Understand that there will be little time for the teacher to chat to you. This can happen later, on other days. Teachers need to concentrate just on the children during those first few chaotic days!
* In the classroom, get your child involved in an activity (just like at kinder), but don't stay too long.
* Always tell your child you are leaving, but keep it casual - five act farewells are a terrible strain on both parents and children. When you leave, do so quickly and firmly - even if tears start. Teachers are experts in comforting and distracting children - but they can only do so when parents (always the child's first choice!) are no longer there.
* Keep reminding yourself (often) that most children who cry on the first day when parents leave are happily involved in drawing elephants and making friends before the parent has even made it home.
* Be there waiting when school ends. Even two minutes late can feel like two hours to a Prep kid.
The First Few Weeks
* Expect some deterioration in behaviour in those early days, because of tiredness. Answering back, rudeness, fighting and even bed-wetting are all signs of tension. You don't have to accept it, but you don't have to go racing back to the child rearing manuals just yet either. Cuddles, kindness and quiet times should see the problem out.
* Have a small snack and some quiet activity ready for when you both get home. Unwind gently, chat about the day, even get some favourite videos to watch, until energy levels return. Don't ask five friends over to play - no matter how much they beg you!
* Don't talk much about what you did during the day, especially if it was exciting. Imply it was business as usual at home or at work. Children hate to miss out.
* However, do actually plan something special for yourself - especially on that first day alone. Even if you have two toddlers and a baby still underfoot, a child going to school for the first time leaves a huge gap in your life. Fill it with something special. It's a new beginning for all of you.
'No, you can't jump on those squares,' Nicky Brill is telling his mother. 'This is my school. I make the rules.' He has already made the transition. The first day of school is something to look forward to for both of them.
Best Tips for a Smooth First Day of School (Parents' View)
Starting early in the summer, before going back to school is even a thought about, can make the first day of school go smoother. These tips for the first day of school can help the parent and the child as well, so going back to school is a happy time for all.

Busy times in the summer seem to push the first day of school out of everyones minds until the day arrives and then many emotional feelings, of going back to school, surface for both child and adult. The family unity is broken with the one leaving to go back to school. Once at school the changed environment seems to be acceptable for the well adjusted school age sibling.

Some of my personal tips for a smooth first day of school come from learning from each of my children.

1. The things I experienced were from separation from my offspring. We had been together all summer so I knew where they were and what they were doing each day. Now the first day back to school took that child away to an unknown place for my emotional heart to be comfortable experiencing. The remedy for this separation symptom to be better; was to realize I taught them well enough for them to be on their own.

2. For the first day of school to go smoother for me, meant for me to plan on doing some beneficial activity outside the home soon after the child left for school. Cell phones keep a parent connected no matter where they travel. If the school needs to contact a parent for any reason, there are many ways that is done.

3. Another back to school tip for me was to keep busy throughout the day so time went by quickly and the child was again home.

4. The first day of school, I began thinking of all the good experiences they were building for their future. All that happens to us makes us who we become in the future.

My first day of school tips for children come from an experienced mother too.

1. The first day of school requires the child to be alert, so a good nights sleep many days before school actually starts is a solid way to get that routine in place.
2. A nourishing meal for the first day back to school is just as important as all the other healthy meals you plan for your child. Make it an easy one by planning what you will be serving your child as they go back to school. My recipe was

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 a fruit smoothie in the blender so it was accepted well by my child and easy for me too. I have added the out of the world fruit smoothie recipe I used at the end, so you can use that if you would like to for the first day of school.

3. My attitude of a joyful time when the child goes to school gives everyone a happy start. Quiet tone to my voice, pleasant words of encouragement will make the first day of school smoother.

4. Children can put out the clothes the night before school begins. There is no stress of what to wear and where it is located. If there are differences of opinions of what to wear, those can be compromised before the day arrives. This can eliminate any ill feelings for both the parent and child on the morning of the first day of school.

5. Talking about the education a child will be acquiring at school can be talked about with the child for many days before school actually starts. This conversation can set the first day of school in a very good light for the child.

Out of this world fruit smoothie given for a tip for a smooth first day of school.

You can use a blender or a mixer.

In a blender or glass bowl if no blender is available; place 1/2 cup of milk in the bottom. Use 1%, 2% or whole milk.

Wash or peel fruit that you will use.

Add berries, banana, apple, mango or any fruit your child likes. I use a 1/2 banana, 1/2 apple or a handful of berries. You can use less if you think it best for your child's taste.

Add 1/4 teaspoon honey

Add a pinch of cinnamon

Add less than a pinch of nutmeg

Add several tablespoons of crushed ice.

Mix well and serve with a straw.

This recipe can be made the night before( omit ice if this is done) and then just mixed in the morning of the first day of school.