The first day of kindergarten has come and gone… and man, was it fun! I had such mixed feelings going into this week. It’s still hard to grasp that she’s not a toddler anymore, let alone a kindergartener! I feel like each stage is my new “favorite”. I wonder if I’ll ever outgrow that!
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About Our First Day of Kindergarten
We kicked off our first day of kindergarten with a portrait, of course! I know that some homeschool families forego this tradition, but I couldn’t pass up documenting such a momentous occasion!
Lu got in on the fun too, once she woke up. She’s 100% convinced that she’s also started kindergarten. But not just any kindergarten – Ru’s kindergarten! I’ve given up trying to explain that she’s in preschool, so we’re just embracing it, along with her many almost 3 year old quirks!
All About Ru & ELA
Our first activity was some “All About Me” printables (free here on Teachers Pay Teachers!). Of course, I already know all about Ru, but she had a ton of fun filling them out. I quickly learned that I’ve been way underestimating how capable she is with writing, so I’m working some more writing activities into the coming weeks’ plans now!
Her likes, dislikes, and interests are so distinct right now and I love how much she loves to tell people about them. I also love that I went into this activity not expecting to learn anything new, but yet I did! It turns out that we both had something to learn on the first day of kindergarten!
I plan to save all of these activities year after year, as a kind of autobiographical collection for the girls to look back on. They may throw them away afterwards, but that’s okay!
Later, we reviewed identifying and writing letters, along with beginning sounds using our felt chart from Target. It was another reminder of just how capable she is, as she breezed through her letter work!
When Lu graced us with her presence, we sat down to do calendar activities. I love this calendar because it includes so many things outside of the date and days of the week. My favorite part may be the mood area. I want my girls to be comfortable talking about their emotions, so it’s nice to include it as part of our morning routine!
I’ve gotten so many comments asking where we got our calendar, but it’s out of stock and may not be restocked again, per Amazon. Our second choice was this Melissa & Doug calendar, which is very similar!
I was ready to give her a brain break, but she was too excited to stop. We charged on and continued the “All About Me” theme with a fun little ten frame printable using her name (free here on TPT). It was a fun and easy little activity to segue into the rest of our math for the day!
I printed and laminated some ten frames earlier this summer that finally got put to use. If you don’t have a laminator, go get one, like, right now! And grab a pack of dry erase markers while you’re there. We started by writing 1-10 out on the ten frame. This was good number writing practice, but also helped her better visualize the 10 spaces in the frame. Then, we practiced reading and writing math problems on a dry erase manuscript paper from Dollar Tree, while using pom poms and the ten frame to help solve them. We also learned that pom pom balls make great erasers for dry erase markers!
When we’d tired of the ten frame, I introduced her to her math journal. We haven’t fully hashed out how we’ll be using her journals this year, so it’s trial and error. She had a blast writing out math problems for me to solve. Then, she double checked my work with her ten frame. We also secured another ten frame into her journal, for her to reference. It was only then I discovered her ten frame boxes are the same size as the small Post-It notes! We added some to her journal also and look forward to using those as manipulatives too!
We took a nice long break for lunch and free play, which we all needed. The girls ended up spending the whole break hanging out in the homeschool room, playing with all of their dress up clothes. We just unburied them from the closet last week. I had a chance to get some work done for my travel business too!
For those that know me, they know that science is my wheelhouse. It is, by far, my most favorite subject to teach and also learn about. My girls have been exposed to a lot of science already, so I knew they’d be excited about our science work for the day.
We started on our learning rug. I pulled out all of their science tools and read “I Use Science Tools” aloud. They had a ton of fun exploring these tools, since I’ve been keeping them hidden away and ready for the year to start!
After we read, we talked about safety rules and both girls signed a Lab Safety Contract. This small extension activity created a bridge between science and our current social studies unit on citizenship and rules. We had a chance to talk about rules being specific to a setting, making promises about our behavior, and how some rules keep us safe. I love organic cross-curricular moments like that!
We displayed lab contracts on the bulletin board, so they can remember their promise to be safe during science time. We continued to talk about science tools and safety using worksheets that also came in the same bundle from Teachers Pay Teachers. The first was a cut & paste activity, where we sorted items as either a science tool or a toy. The second was also a cut & paste activity, where we read different statements and decided if they reflected a good scientist or not.
We continued the “All About Me” theme with an “All About My Family” page (free here on TPT). Ru drew her family, listed some of our favorite things, and listed people she spends a lot of time with.
While our family is quite “typical”, many of our friends have beautifully unique families that look different than ours (one parent, grandparents, same-sex parents, other family members, etc). When I was teaching, I became aware of how often families are narrowly represented in textbooks, worksheets, and other prepackaged projects. I liked that this worksheet only referred to “my family” and “people”, not specific titles that don’t always fit!
This is about the time that a nasty thunderstorm blew through and knocked out our power for two hours. Whomp whomp – so much for our social studies art project! The girls were really nervous because of the storm’s intensity, so we called it a day and pulled out their iPads with headphones to tune out the noise.
Have you started your school year yet? I’d love to hear about your first day of kindergarten (or any other grade/level) in the comments!