|Kindergarten Back-to-School Resources|
Out of all of the resources that I have made for my classroom over the years, these resources are my absolute favorite for back-to-school. They have all come out of years of classroom experience, routines, and student needs. I hope you find them all useful as well!
Following the success and enthusiasm I received for my Kindergarten Readiness Handbook, I decided I needed to make a condensed version that focused only on essential literacy skills. Ideally, I hand out my Kindergarten Readiness Handbook in the spring when I meet next year’s crew. This gives them between six and three months to work through the handbook and practice all of the skills to help ensure kindergarten success. However, not all of my incoming students come to our Spring Visits, and I have a large number of students who move to the area during the summer. So I created this book for those students and give it to them the first week of school. If I feel necessary, I will also quickly conference with their parents to review the goals and standards.
The Kindergarten Back-to-School Handbook focuses on essential beginning of kindergarten literacy skills: letter recognition, pencil grip, handwriting, name practice, concepts of print, letter sounds, beginning sounds, rhyming sounds, and syllable counting.
Since I began student teaching in kindergarten over a decade ago, I loved creating pages for our yearly memory book. And for the better part of that decade, my pages were all mismatched and poorly put together. So this summer a big goal of mine was to complete a uniform yearly memory book for the upcoming year.
I could not be happier with the result: my Kindergarten Memory Book. When I shared it with my partner teacher, her enthusiasm was all I needed to know it was exactly what we were looking for. What makes this memory book different is that it spans the ENTIRE year. All together, it has over 80 pages with specific pages for all 12 months. For each month, we have one self-portrait and writing page. Those end up being my favorite pages, as it so clearly showcases how much my students have grown over the year.
Over the years, I have gone through more number posters than I’d like to admit. And last spring, I created two sets that my students use more than I’ve ever seen before. They are large, stand out, and easily accessible to all students no matter where they are in the classroom.
My Number Poster Cut-Outs are a set of zero through 20 posters that have the number word and corresponding stars to count.
My Number Handwriting Posters are a set of zero through nine posters that have the number word, corresponding stars, and path-of-motion numbers and arrows for students just learning how to write their numbers.
Both sets are large and come in both English and Spanish.
Proper pencil and scissor grips are always at the top of mind when using these skills in the beginning of kindergarten. And it never ceases to amaze me the horrible (or worse–nonexistent) habits kindergarteners can get before stepping foot into my classroom.
My Pencil Grip resource was created last fall when I realized that parents could not help their student’s grip at home if they didn’t know how it was being taught in class. And we all know how incapable a five-year-old is at clearly communicating what their teacher actually said in the classroom.
My Scissor Grip resource was created after some great parent feedback for my Pencil Grip resource. And lets be honest–scissor grips are even harder than pencil grips. And as of this summer, both resources come in both English and Spanish and also include tabloid-sized classroom posters!
It seems like every fall I end up creating different handwriting practice pages. And this fall is no different. But in my defense, I have a brand new phonics curriculum and wanted my handwriting pages to correspond. So enter my Phonics Set Handwriting pages. I love them because they are quick-and-easy with lots of tracing practice, the path of motion, and can be cut in half or we can get through two letters at once.
For math, a few years ago I created these Number Handwriting Pages that have numbers one through 20, are differentiated for different levels, and also come in Spanish. I still use them throughout the year in kindergarten.
A pet peeve of mine was students off-task and disengaged during word work. I attributed this to the inability to write, and the white boards that were so enticing to draw on. So I created my Rainbow Word Work Mats to eliminate both problems. With the magnetic letters, students do not need to have the fine motor handwriting skills necessary to write. And without a white board and marker, students are unable to draw on the boards. And as an added bonus, they can use them to create their own words, to spell sight words, to practice ABC order, and more! I love using them during word work, small groups, and even during my English Language Development block.