Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Tips for a Fabulous First Day - Linky Party

Hi all! Today I am linking up with Juile over at OzCurriculum HQ for a very special Linky Party. We are sharing tips and tricks to having a fabulous first day!

Setting the Scene

Before your kiddies walk in your front door there is so much to do! Aside from decorating, it is really all about organisation. Having somewhere for your kiddies to put their belongings when they arrive. A few things to think about might be:
- lunch boxes
- drink bottles
- books and stationary

If you are in Prep/Foundation like me and have communal resources, sometimes some large buckets or tubs can work well. Just add a label to each bucket so parents know where to place each item and viola!

Having a set place for little ones to put their lunch boxes (unless they stay in their bags) and drink bottles is also a must :) A spare table or a bookshelf is perfect!

It is also a good idea to have name tags ready for day 1 to help you with learning names and faces -Sticky labels, laminated cards with pins - anything that works.

When They Arrive

Be prepared - Have AT LEAST 2 water bottles ready because trust me, you will need them. The first 20 minutes of the day when you have parents and caregivers in the room along with your new cherubs can be very overwhelming the first time. Your room will be full and you will probably have some anxious parents asking lots of questions (especially first-timers). Remember, they are entrusting their baby to your care - someone they have only just met. That is a pretty scary thought!

Having something set up for your kiddies to work on when they walk in while Mum and Dad sort their belongings is a good idea. Jigsaw puzzles and colouring in pages are great  for this :)

In Prep I strongly recommend to have a poster outside the room for parents to read with your instructions laid out clearly. Don't be afraid to speak up after the bell goes and let parents know that it is time to start the day and for them to leave. Be prepared for tears!


After your parents have sorted all the kiddies equipment into your buckets or tubs, quite honestly I highly recommend to just leave it be! Move the tubs to the side of the room so they are out of the way and deal with it later (or you can enlist the help of your wonderful, fabulous, amazing aide!) Believe me - you will be way too busy during the day settling your kiddies to deal with it.

Activity Ideas

On the first day I would be suggesting to start off setting the expectations for your classroom for the year to come. Talk about what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and give reasons for both. E.g. We walk inside the classroom. If we run, we might trip over something and hurt ourselves.

Reading a picture book is a good way to settle your new kiddies into the day. This year I will be starting with 'The Kissing Hand'. We will talk about first day jitters, what makes us feel better, how we can make friends and map out our feelings. After we read the story the children will do a craft to go with the book. In my case, we will colour and make a crown with 'Chester' the baby raccoon and main character, to wear for the day and take home.

Another favourite text for me is 'The Rainbow Fish'. In week 2 we will read this story, discuss friendship, and complete a collage fish.

I like to get straight into work as usual on the first day, but opinions on this will vary from teacher to teacher. When I say 'work', my day will consist of:

Phonics - Look at a letter of the week. Brainstorm words starting with the letter 's'. Do a picture sort altogether on the carpet.

Reading Rotations x3 - Letter formation of the letter s, basic sight words (here, is, I), sound activities for the letter s, handwriting the letter s and Entrance checklist.

Fruit Break

English - Read 'The Kissing Hand', discuss first day feelings, complete Chester hat.

First Break

Maths - Work on numbers 1-3. Place Value warm up, Guided lesson looking at numbers 1-3, follow up pair activity - showing numbers 1-3

Maths Rotations - Fine motor (geoboards, threading etc.), visual (patterns, pattern block puzzles etc.), Number - building, reading, counting number 1-5, Entrance checklist.

Second Break

Gross Motor - Playground - discuss safe/unsafe behaviour. (Short session)

School Tour - Tuckshop, playground, office

Class Pet - Delivery, Predict, Story 'The Fearsome, Frightening, Ferocious Box'. Naming the pets.

Name Craft - Students paste small coloured squares to an A3 (cut lengthways) black card to form their name (written in white pencil).

Play Break


Obviously everyone's days will look different, but this is what mine looks like :) Throughout the day I also like to take a photo of each child for their Memory folder. This year it will be each child holding a photo frame with a first day message.

I hope this has given you a few ideas ready for your first day of Prep! Don't forget to click on the link below to check out more posts with tips and tricks for your first day :)

No comments:

Post a Comment