The Beginning of  
School Unit
Sneak Peek at the Week:
Monday: new beginnings!
Tuesday: rules/routines
Wednesday: manners
Thursday: family
Friday: "class family"
Focus Poem
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little
Star"
Shared Reading
The Bus Ride by Anne McLean
Journal Topics
*Draw a self-portrait.
*What do you want to learn this year?
*How do you get to school?
*Draw your family.
*Draw your home.
*What do you like to do on the playground?
*What's your favorite thing to do at school?
Centers
*art center: flower





*fine motor center: Scribble Art apple,  perforate shapes

*writing center: Prewriting Guide, "school" stamp words, writing prompt: "At school I can see..."
Literature
On the Way To School by Kay Moberg
*
The students illustrate/write about what THEY saw on the way to school.  


The First Day Of School by Tony Johnston


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
*Click on the title for more info




Morris Goes To School by B. Wiseman





Who Goes To School by Margaret Hillert


School Bus by Donald Crews





Froggy Goes To School by Jonathan London
*We do a "book talk" on this story, listing students' likes and dislikes.





The First Day of School by Patricia Reid


Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
*The students illustrate/write about how they got ready for Kindergarten.





We Like Kindergarten by Clara Cassidy
*Students complete an "I Like Kindergarten Book,"  illustrating 3 of their favorite
activities at school.

Thingamajigs Book of Manners by Irene Keller
*Students illustrate Thingamajig manners on one one of the page and their own
Kindergarten manners on the opposite side.

How Have I Grown by Mary Reid
*We brainstormed the things we could do as "babies," "little kids," and as "big kids."  
Then each child created his/her own timeline as part of a family project.

All I Am by Eileen Roe
*We came up with lots of ways to describe ourselves (happy, smart, nice, funny, fast,
kind, etc.).  Students then completed an "I Am Special" book.  Students finished the "I am
____." sentence on each page.   

Rotten Ralph's First Day of School by Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel
*We love the Rotten Ralph books..... he's SO rotten!  We did a "book talk" on this story,
listing likes and dislikes.  Then each student got to illustrate/write about the time he/she
thought Ralph was MOST rotten.



Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambeault
*Everybody LOVES this story!
It's great for rhyme, rhythm, and letter recognition,
too!   For years we've retold it in the
Storytelling center using our homemade props.

Now, we also use this book to introduce a
beginning of the year assessment.  Using an
idea from the
KinderKorner website, we also
taught our students to make coconut trees on paper.
We assessed each student on letter recognition using
tiny alphabet stickers.  Using precut stickers made
the testing much faster.  (And the stickers are in the
same bright colors as the book!)
We have put many of our lessons and ideas for this unit into book form.   
You may download a sample pack from the book on our
Freebies page
or purchase the full version from our Bookstore.
More Beginning of School Unit Literature!
Click on the book covers to get reviews, summaries, and purchase info
from Amazon.com.
Math/Graphs:
We graph the "Way We Go to School," the color of our eyes, the number of letters in
our names, and our favorite colors.

We introduce math tubs (Math Their Way). Even though the beginning of the school
year is for "free exploration," we demonstrate sorting and simple patterning.

We also begin estimating (crayons).
Science/Social Studies:
One of the first concepts we study "scientifically" is colors.  The students search
through old magazines and catalogs to find things representing a certain color.  Then
they add it to that color's collage.

We also study "change".  After reading
How Have I Grown by Mary Reid, we discuss
how everybody changes as they grow up.  We brainstormed what we were like as
"babies," "little kids," and now as "big kids".  Then each family helped create a
timeline for their kindergarteners as a home project.
Our Beginning of the Year Newsletter
Links:
KinderKorner                                
Names Activities  
Mrs. Fischer's Kinder Themes