First Days of First Grade – Before the Kids Arrive (And a Freebie!)

No matter if it’s your first year teaching or your first time in first grade, the first day of school can be INTIMIDATING. In this series of blog posts, I wanted to share with you some things that have worked for me when preparing for my first days of school. If you missed last week’s post, you can check it out here. Today, let’s focus on what to do before the kids even arrive.

I know you’ve heard it said before, “Ain’t no tired like teacher tired.” That phrase is never more true than in those first few days when the kids get back from summer break. Not only are you getting adjusted to your 5AM alarm, but so are those kiddos. Some have been at home with Momma all summer and others just said bye to family who spent the past week with them. Coming back to school is hard. Don’t make it harder on yourself by leaving things undone!

New Student Bags

If I know anything about the beginning of the year, it’s that the class list you have in your hand right now is probably not going to be the same class list you’ll have on the first day of school. Kids always enroll on Day 1 and kids also unenroll on Day 1. Make your life easier by going ahead and setting up your New Student bags so that you are ready to go with any vital paperwork that needs to be sent home. The plus side is that you will also be ready for any student who enrolls later in the year, too! Picture3

Click the picture to be taken to Miss-Kindergarten’s post about her new student bags!


Get all of your copies ready for the first week of school. It’s that simple. While you’re at it, make a couple extras for the inevitable “Oops!” from the kids and the potential new students, too. Here are things I always go ahead and copy:

Do I get to all of this in the first days? In the first weeks? Let’s be honest – no. But anything I don’t get to, I always clip it up and put it in my files for use next year. As with most things, it is always easier to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. 🙂

Plan, Plan, Plan

My first couple of years, I read this book. It helped me really wrap my mind around my vision for the beginning of the year because it elaborated on how crucial the first weeks of school are. I plan EVERYTHING in those first days.

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This is actually a toned down version of what I had my first year! I had a legitimate SCRIPT written for myself. Luckily, I don’t need to do that anymore but writing that script helped me to really visualize what details needed to be given to my students in order to ensure their success. This schedule stays on my handy-dandy clipboard all day and I check it off as the day progresses – because I’m a compulsive list maker, too.

Download your editable copy of my first day plan!

Happy Planning!


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