Back to School Ideas Compiled

Great ideas from teachers all over the world!

Kindergarteners always have a lot of stuff that they bring on the first day.  Inevitably, the majority of the stuff is not labeled with the student's name.  What I do on the first day is dump all the stuff from
the backpack into a paper grocery bag that I have written names on previously.  This allows time to write the student's name on the supplies after everyone is engaged in an activity. I hope this helps you with the construction of your Back To School idea site.
Rebecca De Shazo
Kindergarten Teacher, Ladysmith Primary School, VA

We Have Rules
We have rules.We have rules.
Rules to keep us safe at school.
We use inside voices and walking feet,
(point to mouth, then to feet).
We don't touch or bother the friends we meet.
(Hug self and shake head)
And when we're eating we stay in our seats,
(sit and pretend to eat)
'Cause we have rules
At our school.
Priscilla M.. Starrett
Warren Pa.

Two little hands go clap, clap, clap.
Two little feet go tap, tap, tap.
One little body turns round and round,
And then sits very quietly down.
Open, shut them.
Open, shut them.
     Now give a little clap.
Open, shut them.
Open, shut them.
     Now hide them behind your back.

This was on the T Net Primary Board thought someone might be able to use it. Pat
Re: Looking for beg yr. poem & kit
Posted by Dana,, on 7/13/99

This is one I got online last year.....I have another version, email me if you want me to send it too! Hope this helps....

The Kit is assembled by teachers or students, depending on the grade level, to welcome back students to an exciting, creative, and rewarding year.

1.Place all items in lunch bag, staple a welcome note and include the following meanings:
€cotton ball-this room is full of warm feelings and
kind words
€movable eyes-keep "an eye out" for each other
€toothpick-pick out the good qualities in yourself and others
€rubber band-to remind you give a little "hug" when needed
€button-to remind you to "button your lip" and don't tattletale
€star-always shine and try to do your best
€clothespin-"hang in there"; we are all here to help each other
€chocolate kiss-to comfort you when you are sad/for a special treat
€eraser-everyone makes mistakes and it is OK
€apple-you're the apple of my eye
€orange-orange you glad you're in this class
€bandaid-heal hurt feelings
€gold thread-friendship ties our hearts together
€happy face sticker-keep smiling ;wear a smile everyday
€tissue-dry the tears of friends
€Lifesaver-you can come to me if you need to talk
€pipecleaner-we all have to be flexible; bend a little
€penny-because you are special and valuable to this class
€small flower-our class will see you bloom and grow
€I Owe You Note-this year I owe you the opportunity to read, listen,and
speak in a creative, active room where books are valued as friends
(thanks to Donna of Grand Island, Nebraska) 2.Decorate with stickers and
names of students and place on desks the first or second day of school

Re: First Grade Welcome Bag

This one is called The First Grade Welcome Bag
Welcome to your new classroom community. The items in this bag have special meanings.
The cotton ball is to remind you that our room is full of kind words and warm feelings.
The chocolate kiss is to comfort you when you are feeling sad.
The sticker is to remind you that we will al stick together and help each other.
The gem is to remind you that you are valuable and special.
The star is to remind you to shine and always try your best.
The tissue is to remind you to help dry someone's tears.
The toothpick is to remind you to pick out the good qualities in your classmates and in yourself.
The bandage is to remind you to heal hurt feelings in your friends and yourself.
The gold thread is to remind you that friendship ties our
hearts together.
The eraser is to remind you that everybody makes mistakes and that it is okay.
The Life Saver is to remind you that you can come to any adult in our school community if you need someone to talk to.

I make a card from Print Shop with Mrs. ______First Grade Welcome Bag with the poem on the inside of the card, and I gather the items together and place them in a zip lock baggy with the card and pass them out to the parents on Back To School Night

Here are some of my activities that I do for the 1st week of school

Read the Little Engine that Could. Discuss how anything can be accomplished
with a little perserverance. We brainstorm things that the students can do
and the students create a ICan pattern book. Can will be one of our first
words that we learn to read.

Read Miss Nelson is Missing. Discuss the story. Discuss the difference
between good and bad behavior. As a class come up with the classroom rules.
We role play and act them out. The students either make posters or a book
illustrating our rules.

Read Chrysanthemum Students discuss why their name is absoultely perfect.
Write My name is ___________ and it is absoultely perfect
because_____________. I also take their picture and display it with their

I have many more but these are some of my favorite ideas.

Sharon Tibuni

I put this on a card from Print Shop and fill a ziploc baggy with a tea
bag, tissue and cotton ball and give to parents who can't seem to break
away. Pat

Dear Parent,
Thank you for entrusting your child to me. I promise to
do my best every day to be your child's companion in learning. After you have wiped your tears, make yourself a nice warm cup of tea. Put your feet up and relax. Then hold the cotton ball in your hand. The softness will help you to recall the gentle spirit of your child. I will work alongside you this year to help your child grow.  

In the plastic bag is the above letter, a kleenex, a cotton ball, and a tea bag.

Dear Missy,

One thing I do on the first day of school is provide each student with a Homework Folder.  We do not have allot of homework but this folder helps with notes and papers to take home.  I buy Yellow 2-pocket folders.  On the
outside I write Elizabeth's Homework Folder.  On the inside I write on the left Papers to keep at home and on the right Papers to return to school.  We practice reading these 2 sentences all day. Their home work that first day for
school is to go home and read the sentences to their parents.  The first day of school the parents always have many papers to fill out and return.  This folder has really helped me over the years.  I make sure to stress that each
student bring the folder to school every day.  This year I'm gong to purchase a few extra folders for the ones that get lost.  It is nice to say get out your homework folder and see all the yellow folders and spot the one who do
not have their folders.  I have been teaching 1st grade for 16 years and I still get the jitters

by Prince Redcloud

Close the barbecue
Close the sun
Close the home-run games we won

Close the picnic
Close the pool

Close the summer

Open school

First Day of School
by Aileen Fisher
I wonder
if my drawing
will be as good as theirs
I wonder
if they'll like me
or just be full of stares
I wonder
if my teacher
will look like Mom or Gram
I wonder
if my puppy
will wonder
where I am!

here are some bulletin board ideas I posted on the Primary Teachers Chatboard last week.

Using pencils: "Pencil us in for a great year!" or "Welcoming
a sharp bunch of students".

Using award ribbons: "Award-winning Students"

Using stars: "Reach for the Stars in 2nd Grade", "2G
Starring . . .", "Mrs. Gallipoli's All-Stars"

Using feet or shoes: "We're starting off on the right foot" or "Step into 2nd Grade"

Using T-shirts on a clothesline: "2nd grade suits us to a tee" or Mrs. Gallipoli's line-up"

Using apples: "Bushels of fun in 2nd grade" or "The apples of my eye"

Using frogs: "Leap into 2nd grade" or "Toad-ally awesome students"

Using monkeys & bananas: "Bananas about 2nd grade"

Using dinosaurs: "Welcome to a dino-mite year"

Using jeans: "2nd grade jean-iuses"

Using fish: "Welcome to our school" or "Oceans of fun in 2nd grade"

Using backpacks: "Welcome to our pack!"

Using footballs: "Kicking off a great year!"

I hope some of these help! 

Thoughts at the Bottom of a Beanstalk

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jack who
was about to climb his very first beanstalk. He had a
fresh haircut and a brand-new book bag.   Even though
his friends in the neighborhood had climbed this same
beanstalk almost every day last year, this was Jack's
first day and he was a little nervous.  So was his
Early in the morning she brought him to the foot of
the beanstalk. She talked encouragingly to Jack about
all the fun he would have that day and how nice his
giant would be. She reassured him that she would be
back to pick him up at the end of the day. For a
moment they stood together, silently holding hands,
gazing up at the beanstalk. To Jack it seemed much
bigger than it had when his mother had pointed it out
on the way to the store last week. His mother thought
it looked big, too. She swallowed. Maybe
she should have held Jack out a year...    Jack's
mother straightened his shirt one last time, patted
his shoulder and smiled down at him. She promised to
stay and wave while he started climbing. Jack didn't
say a word.
He walked forward, grabbed a low-growing stem and
slowly pulled himself up to the first leaf.  He
balanced there for a moment and then climbed more
eagerly to the second leaf, then to the third and soon
he had vanished into a high tangle of leaves and stems
with never a backward glance at his mother.   She
stood alone at the bottom of the beanstalk, gazing up
at the spot where Jack had disappeared. There was no
rustle, no movement, no sound to indicate that he was
anywhere inside.   "Sometimes," she thought,
"it's harder to be the one who waves good-bye than it
is to be the one who climbs the beanstalk."
She wondered how Jack would do. Would he miss her?
How would
he behave?  Did his giant understand that little boys
   acted silly when they felt unsure?  She fought down
an urge to
   spring up the stalk after Jack and maybe duck
behind a bean to
take a peek at how he was doing.   "I'd better not.
What if he saw
me?" She knew Jack was really old enough to handle
this on his own.
She reminded herself that, after all this was thought
to be an excellent beanstalk
and that everyone said his giant was not only kind but
had  outstanding qualifications.
"It's not so much that I'm worried about him," she
thought, rubbing the back of her neck. "It's just that
he's growing up and I'm going to miss him."
Jack's mother turned to leave.   "Jack's going to have
lots of bigger beanstalks to climb in his life," she
told herself. "Today's the day he starts practicing
for them... And today's the day I start practicing
something too: cheering him on and waving good-bye."


On a sheet of paper I have generated about 30 statements (see some examples below) about people.  The students are give about 20 minutes to quietly wonder around the class talking to me and the other students asking if anyone fits the profiles.  They can only use each child's name twice, so they have to talk to several children (and myself).  At the
end of the 20 minutes, we come together and discuss who fits in each blank (sharing people's names and giving those who didn't get finished a chance to fill in their sheet).  I have used this for the past few years and the kids love it.

Likes to fish ___________________
Is left handed __________________
Went camping this summer _________________
Had a brother or sister in this class __________________
Takes the bus _________________________
Plays the piano _____________________
Likes spinach ______________________
Is the oldest in their family ___________________


Re: First grade Back to School Ideas needed
Posted by kathyb1stia on 6/06/02

Vern,The first day of school I will be using the stick-em labelswith a decorative sticker for nametags. In fact I don't makepermanent nametags until after Labor Day. (One year I made 19as that was how many enrolled on Friday, but by Monday 29showed up and one of the 19 that had paid enrollment fees hadMOVED OUT OF TOWN! Well, I didn't have 29 of anything, so nowI just make it cute, but not permanent until after Labor Day.)

There will be a gallon size baggie with a similar label, whichwill later become the Art Supply Bag. For Art, they are tobring watercolor paints, 8 crayons, 8 water color markers andglue. That day there will be 2 sharpened pencils to use untilI get the ones that they bring sharpened. This is always a problem, so this is a natural short-cut.

I will have a camera, so I can take pictures that first day. Again, this is always a problem, as new kids are almost moving in every day. Last year I went from 17 on my enrollment to 19showing up the first day, which grew to 26 by the tenth day of school. It seems that as soon as you take that roll of film
in to be developed, that there is a new kid at the door. Youknow I really don't mind move-ins, but it pays to be prepared!

MARY WORE A RED DRESS by Merle Peeks is a great first classbook, as they illustrate themselves and can write theirown names on the blanks.

That first day I ususally send home a First Grade Welcome Bag. However, in the past I have made the mistake of sending home candy, which gets eaten up BEFORE they ever get the thing home. Also, I have included an pink eraser, pencil, etc. These are great meaningful items, but some of mine don't have
school supplies, but dont' bring back the pencil or eraserthat I sent home. So, then, I am supplying both school andhome. I read a great idea on the First Grade Mailring, whichI think I will do this year...

First Day of School Baby Food Jar Idea
for kids to make for parents:

When I am at school,
or when we are far apart,
You may get a little sad,
But you are always in my heart.
So here are some hugs and kisses
for when I am away,
To remember that I love you,
Each and every day.

The baby food jar can be decorated with address labels that the kids have decorated as stickers.

Or the baby food jars can be decorated with tissue paper and watered down glue.(This will take longer to dry, so I amgoing to use the sticker and address label idea.)

Perhaps, I can wrap them somehow, that all of the candy won't be gone BEFORE they get them home!

Each child is to bring a plastic pocket folder. I will have labels ready to stick to the outside,that identifies this as the homework folder. I don't send home regular homework, but this nextyear I would like to do monthly calendars, which parents can do with their child. For those that somehow indicate their top 10 favorite activities along with a parents' signature, then, we will have lunch in the classroom one day a month.

I will probably come up with something else for meto send home, but the cute school supplies welcome bag will stay at school.

Other great books to use at the first weeks of school are:


Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Gloria and Officer Buckle by Peggy Rathmann
Curious George goes to School by HA Rey
Franklin Goes to School by Paulette Bourgeious (sp)
Willowby Wallaby Woo by Raffi
Down by the Bay by Raffi

I have posted on chart paper a morning greeting poem (by KennNesbit), a good bye song (See you later, Alligator extended),Days of the Week (Dr. Jean), Don't forget the Day (unknownauthor), What's the weather like? (Creative Teaching Press)and Months of the Year (unknown author).

As soon as possible I start the First Grade Interviews assuggested in MONTH BY MONTH PHONICS for First Grade by Pat Cunningham.

I am sure that I have forgotten something, but I know that there are a great bunch of First Grade teachers that will helpme or others remember! LOL!!!


I will make the little jars! I make a clothespin magnet for each child. I buy little wooden pieces in star shapes ( at Michaels) and glue them to the top of the
clothespins. Then I glue a round magnet to the back. On the star I write "1st Grade Stuff". I tell them to hang it on the refrigerator or a metal door and put any important papers there. I send home a monthly calendar with a reading log on the back, so they need to keep that all month to return to me. I have had parents tell me they use the magnet.


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