Sunday, August 2, 2015

No More Tears- First Day of School

I am linking up with the Undercover Classroom and lots of other great teachers about Tried and True First Day of School Activities.  The linky party will be available starting Sunday, August 2. 

When I started teaching I was ready to get right to work and get those Kindergarten students tracing their names.  They walked in and on their table were neatly printed papers with everyone's name on them.  I thought it was brilliant starting the year off with them already working.  What I didn't take into account was how overwhelming the first day of school was for these little ones...  A new situation, a new person in charge, new classmates, no more parents.  (Enough to make a grown-up nervous.) And on top of that I told these unfortunate kids to do something academic. 

So as you can assume year after year I had at least one crier on the first day of school.  (Now people, I teach Kindergarten, tears don't bother me.  But the boo hoo crying so loud that people from outside the classroom walk in to check if everything was okay- that child has an amazing pair of lungs crying was just too much for me.)

I was talking to a veteran teacher a few years ago and she said something to the effect of, there will be plenty of time for academics, in fact the less nervous they are the quicker you truly have their full attention for learning.  So do something fun when they walk in.

/This teacher suggested play-doh.  If you don't care for play-doh have them do something else, independently.  You can verify dismissal plans with parents, take attendance and all that other first day stuff while the kids are playing.

I started doing play-doh the first day of school 3 years ago.  And on the first day of school my classroom for 3 years has been tear free!


  1. Ah yes, Play-Doh! Even I feel more relaxed squishing that stuff around in my hands. You know, I can actually remember the very first activity that my kindergarten teacher had out for me when I arrived on my first day of school. It was an apple tree to color. I bet your students will always remember that Play-Doh and the way it made them feel. :-)
    Undercover Classroom

  2. What a great idea! I will have to tell my kindergarten teacher friends about this tip. Thanks for sharing!
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