First Day of School- 4 tips to help!

Today I am here to share with you what I will be doing on the first day of school looks like and some ideas to help you with yours. This year will be my 22nd first day! I try and jot down some notes after each beginning just so I can try and prepare and remember certain things for the following year. Looking back I came up with 4 tips that can help make the day run smoothly for any teacher!

                                                                            First tip:

 First Day of School Flip Book
At my school students have 30 minutes to arrive in my classroom. Some will be there first thing, while others come in at different times. I didn't want my students ( and parents) just hanging out with nothing to do. Last year I made this flip book. I had it on my students desks so, once they arrived they could work on it while others students arrive. You can grab it for free from my TPT shop just by clicking on the picture.

I also made this version that is printed on colored paper for those students who can write more that draw pictures.  I really like this activity and some years I have saved it and shared it with my students on their last day of school. They are amazed at the growth they had!

Second tip:

Right after everyone arrives and our calendar routine is introduced I have my students participate in a sorting activity. I call it Making Good Choices. Students get a card with a picture on it. Then as a class we talk about the actions that are shown and if it is something that is a good choice to make or a bad choice. As we discuss we sort the pictures in a pocket chart.

I then pass out a variety of extension activities for them to work on. I have 2 reasons behind this. One it shows me the work and how they do and two it is another good way to keep them busy and break out those new supplies they want to use! ;)

You can find this resource by click the cover below.

Third Tip:

Another activity I always work on the first day is creating our classroom rules and expectations. Now that students know what is correct and acceptable school behavior we create our rules together. I start off my showing these posters and having the students then dictate to me what our class rule should be.

I have  13 posters I show them and rules are created. In past years I had words that I created to be displayed under the poster. It worked fine but, I just really like having the students be apart of the decision making process. I feel like it gives them more ownership of the rules since they helped create them.

You can check out the posters here

                                           Fourth Tip:

This is probably the MOST important one! I have each parent fill out this form on either meet the teacher night or at drop off on the first day.

Then after I make sure I have a sheet for each students I write the names down on these sheets I have hanging right by my door.

Dismissal time at the end of the day can be super stressful but, with these sheets at least you can make sure you KNOW how your students are getting home that day. If you would like the sheets you can click on the pictures above to download them.

Now I know that is a LOT to cover in one day. I have found that I need to be SUPER flexible that first week! So I tend to over plan and if I do not get to an activity one day I could always work on it the following day.
I would love to hear about anything else you do on that first day or first week of school too! Leave me a comment below and share with my what works in your classroom.

I hope some of these ideas will be useful to you on your first day.  Wishing you all a very successful school year!


   Feel free to use the image below to pin to your Pinterest boards.


  1. Great tips! I love the sort of good and bad choices.

    Luv My Kinders

  2. Thanks for stopping by! Some kids need those visual reminders about what we should and should not do. Hope you have a great first day! :)

  3. Thanks for the great tips! I love the good/bad choices and the first/ rest of day transportation! So much easier than the way I've been doing it!

    1. The good/ bad choice activity has been a huge success in my classroom. I even pull it back out after winter break as a refresher of what is expected. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great first day:)

  4. Is there a way to edit the First Day Transportation letter you use at open house and the dismissal sheets? We do not have extended day and call our parent pick up car riders.

  5. Hi Erin, If you would like to email me I can make the transportation letter better meet your needs. Just let me know.


  6. Thank you, Carrie! I find these ideas super helpful and great ideas. One thing that I have done during the first day/ week is take the kids on a scavenger hunt to show them to all the important places in the school and even the adults that work in those rooms (e.g. the clinic, the lunchroom, the gym, etc.).