Boo Hoo Breakfast, First Day Play Clay & Gingerbread Man on the Loose!

I am adding a little to the original blog post since I was invited to link up on the First Day of Kindergarten Linky Party at Teaching With Z. Click on the picture below to join!

On the day before school actually starts our school hosts a Boo Hoo Breakfast for our parents and kinders. Our cafeteria provides biscuits, fruit, juice and other breakfast foods that we set up on tables in the hallway outside of the kindergarten classes.

At 8:00, the parent and children get their breakfast and come into their own classroom to eat. During this time, the teachers are walking around greeting the parent and child and putting away the school supplies that they have been asked to bring with them that day. Parents can also use this time to begin filling out all of that crazy paperwork we have waiting on them.  At around 8:30 we begin a short parent meeting in which we go over the ABCs of Kindergarten.  See the Powerpoint version here or here or the ActivBoard version here or here.  After the meeting, the parents we have a time for questions and answers that we may not have covered and then the parent and child are free to look around the classroom and meet the teacher individually if they didn't have a chance before the meeting started. Any paperwork they didn't finish filling can be completed and we encourage them to leave as much of it with us before leaving so we can get it sorted and organized before the first day for students. 

We are also experienced enough to not put out all of the toys and manipulatives or else we will have blocks and housekeeping toys everywhere before we have a chance to teach cleaning up procedures but we do put out enough things for the kids to explore while they meet their new classmates without leaving us with a huge mess.   

I am fortunate that my county still "phases" kindergarten kids in small groups for the first three days of school. This gives the teachers a chance to get to know the students in a smaller group setting and help give those students that cry and cling to mommy that are more attached to mommythe attention they need to make a smooth transition into school. These days are spent going over rules and procedures for everything from learning to wash hands after using the restroom and only using 1 squirt of soap or hand sanitizer to learning how the discipline plan works. As a group we go to each center and talk about the proper way to play and clean up in each center and explore the classroom. We play a few music/movement songs, read some books, and have a time to learn about each other.  My favorite part of these staggerred enrollment days is when we cook Playdough. I have a small cooktop stove (1 burner) that I put on my reading table and the kids sit around the table. Each child gets a turn to pour one of the ingredients in and stir for just a few minutes before we actually put it on the stove.  We talk about other uses for the ingredients (salt on popcorn, flour in biscuits, etc). Their favorite part is when I show them the white mixture and then add the food coloring. They always go absolutely wild about this! The kids also love watching the ingredients become something they can play with! At the end of the day, students get to take their Play Clay home in a zip top baggie with this recipe attached. You can snag the recipe page for free right here  or click on the picture below.

On the day that all of the students return together (God help us all!), we read The Gingerbread Man and then I announce that we have gingerbread cookies waiting on us in the cafeteria oven. We all go to get them and of course, he has ran away. Surprisingly, he was kind enough to leave us clues as to his whereabouts and thus begins the Gingerbread Man Hunt and School tour! This is a great way to teach my little darlings about being quiet in the hallway and the correct way to walk in the hallway as we attempt to sneak up on Gingerbread boy. After an exciting tour, we finally catch up with him in our classroom where the little ones get to decorate and eat him up! If you would like the clue cards, visit my TPT store and grab them for $2.

At the end of the school year, a large majority still say Gingerbread Man day was their favorite kindergarten memory and so do many of my former students! The whole school gets involved pointing us in the right direction and showing us evidence that GBoy had been close by.

Stay tuned for first two weeks of school lesson plans in the next day or so!


Mrs. Ziegler said...

Hey Kelly! I would love for you to link this up to my First Day of Kindergarten Linky Party!!!:) It's perfect. Thanks for all the great ideas!!!

Teaching with Z

Mrs. Shelton said...

We do the same breakfast but call it a Yahoo/Boo Hoo breakfast. (You know...YAHOO!!! My kid is back and school and Boo Hoo! My kid is back at school!). I am so jealous of the transitioning! We don't get that...we all go at once! We also do the gingerbread man! :)

Kindergarten Korner

Miss Trayers said...

Making play-doh sounds so fun! I can definitely see how the staggered enrollment would be beneficial. I also think it's good you meet with parents before school starts-our Open House is always a week later.


Unknown said...

I love that we get to do the staggerred enrollment but we have gone from 5 days to only 3 this year and I expect they will do away with it altogether soon. It is great to be able to teach routines such as lunch and dismissal routines without total chaos.

Our parent meetings are really done on our "own" time but are so worth it to get the pick up/drop off routines and other basics in place before the first day because first time kinder parents have no clue! It really gets us off to a great start. We do not do an Open House.

Kimberlee Fulbright said...

never heard of the transitioning thing - have you done both? Which is easier? Does it feel as though you have to re-teach procedures each time? Interesting - will have to share with my team...

~ Kimberlee ~

Two Fulbright Hugs

L. Murray said...

What a lively, fun, and informative blog you have!! I too did the Gingerbread man school hunt and tour every year in Kindergarten and my students remembered it as one of their favorites as well! After several years, I stopped teaching to stay home with my children, and I started pursuing children's writing. My first book was based on the fun of this unit. THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE IN THE SCHOOL came out from GP Putnam's last summer, if you are interested, and I wanted to make sure my website has lots of activities and extension ideas for teachers to use -
I enjoyed reading your blog, thanks for passing along great teaching ideas!

Think, Wonder, and Teach said...

I love the idea of the gingerbread man! I saw the book when I was at Barnes and Noble today. I was so tempted!! But alas I went another way this year but next year... ahh! I will be on the gingerbread train then!

Think, Wonder, & Teach