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1st and 2nd Day of School

I officially have one more week of summer break.  Teachers meet next Monday for meetings all day, then we have our Open House/Meet the Teacher Night that evening.  Student’s first day is Tuesday.  Summer sure went fast!  I still have some work to do in my classroom, but as soon as it’s done I’ll post some pictures.  For now, I have finished my lesson plans for the first week and I’m sharing Day 1 and 2 with you along with many activities I will be doing.
One of the activities for the first day is Magic Playdoh.  I make this the weekend before by mixing 1 cup salt and 2 cups flour and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar into a saucepan.    Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 2 cups water and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly.  It will start to harden within a couple of minutes and will start to form a ball.  At this point, remove it onto a floured surface and kneed until nice and smooth.  Put it in a ziplock bag and place it in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day, roll this into individual balls.  Make an indention and put 1-2 drops of food coloring into the indention.  Close up the indention and place the ball into a Ziplock baggie.  Repeat for the number of students in your class, including extras for those that register on the first day of school. {This sounds time consuming, but it actually is pretty easy.}
Then I attach the following poem to each baggie. (I did not write this poem.)
Click on picture to download
You can read about the Gingerbread activity that I will be completing by clicking HERE.
The next activity is reading this book.
and completing this paper.






I use these to make our first class book.
You can find The First Day of School Book HERE.
The Find a Friend Activity and the Jitter Juice activity is from Abby’s Fun with Firsties unit that I purchased from TpT.
For the All About Me bags, I share mine first and explain each item. (I usually include a blue crayon, a picture of my family, a book, a picture of a runner, and maybe something from a summer vacation.)  Afterwards, I give everyone their own bag with this paper attached.

Click to download

The next thing we do is make a “How do I get home? Graph.”  I pass out the paper and have each student cut out the picture that shows how they get home.


Click on picture to download

 I call students to come up and place their picture on the graph that I make on the board with bulletin board paper.  We discuss which one is the most and which is the least. 
The first day is so hectic, but so much fun!  My students seem to remember the activities from the first day for the rest of the year.

Day 2

I love Diane deGroat books and this is one of my favorites for back to school.

After we read this, the students complete this page about their favorite school supply they brought to school.




  The “My School Book” and “Whooo’s Rule?” booklets are ones that I had gotten from Teacher’s Helper a couple of years ago.  The second day I do a lot of review of the rules.  Practice, practice, practice.  I try to spend a lot of time on rules and procedures during the first week of school.  It definitely saves time later in the school year.
Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to post pictures of our first days of school and I promise to post some classroom photos this week.

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32 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting!! I may have to try the Magic Playdough, I know our firsties will love that. Do you ever have any problems with the food coloring and getting it on the kids or their clothes??

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love the magic play-dough! WOW, I can't believe y'all only go back one day before school starts! We have several workdays before our kiddos come. Have a great start to the school year 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your first two days plans!! This will be my first year and although I know I need to go over procedures, I wasn't sure exactly how to do it… but your plans will guide me well. 🙂

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  4. Thanks for sharing your classroom pictures and lesson plan. I LOVE the friendship salad idea – it's the first time I have heard of it. I will be using that this year. It goes lovely with my monkey theme classroom. 😉

  5. @Trudy and Caitlin,
    Last year, I had them keep it in the baggie for the first couple of squeezes (until the color really started mixing.) Then when they took it out of the bag, I didn't have any problems with colored hands.

  6. Thank you for all of your amazing ideas. I have been teaching kinder for a long time and it has been years since I taught first. Your ideas helped me start off with lots of creative ideas. The kids really enjoyed doing the activities.

  7. @Emily,
    Yes. You can make it in advance. I made mine on Sunday and didn't use it until Tuesday. I just put them in their own plastic baggies and sealed them all in a plastic container in the refrigerator. They still worked perfectly on Tuesday.

  8. The whole time I was reading this, I was thinking, I wish I'd seen this before school started. We've had three days. During the three days, we've had some name calling incidences. I am planning to do playdough, fruit salad, and Chrysanthemum (crumpled heart) on Tuesday! thank you so much.

    Kimberly
    1st in Maine

  9. Wow! 2 days until I begin summer break and now I can't wait to get back to school in September! Thanks for sharing your wonderful plans and ideas! I will most definitely be using many of these ideas next year! =D

  10. Thank you so much for sharing these great first day ideas! I can't wait to do the Magic Playdough activity with my students – they're going to LOVE it! 🙂

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  12. Thank you so much!!! It's my first time teaching 1st grade, and the first day of school is coming!!! Your schedule helped me so much =) Thank you, thank you!!!

  13. Thank you very much! I'm new to 1st grade this year and this helped me see what it's like for firsties in the beginning of the year. I love your going home graph printable. Would you mind sharing where you got the graphics and fonts? I need to make one for daycare. Thanks!

  14. I know this post is older but I also just got moved to 1st grade after teaching 4th/5th grade for most of my career. I really appreciate the step-by-step instructions to help me get a feel for how to help my new friends transition into their first few days as first graders.

    Raye
    The Caffeinated Teacher

  15. Thank you so much for sharing these ideas. This next school year I will be teaching first grade for the first time and I'm coming from FIFTH. I feel clueless, completely lost, and a little scared. Thank you for easing these feelings for me. 🙂

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