Back to School Theme

The Kissing Hand

Kissing Hand Art: After reading The Kissing Hand, children will choose a piece of construction paper. They will paint their hand (with assistance from the teachers) and place their hand print to one side of the paper. While it dries, they will draw a picture of their families. A teacher will then have the child dictate what they have drawn. The teacher will write next to pictures what the child says the picture is. The teacher will glue the picture to the paper with the handprint. These will be laminated the next day and hung in the room!

School Tour: We will go on a "Chester Hunt." I saw this done in the school but a little differently than I will do it. Some time during the day, we will go throughout the school looking for Chester the raccoon from the story The Kissing Hand. The students have to look for his paw prints with hearts on them. Each set of paw prints we come across will lead to a different section of our school. We will ask the people/person if they have seen Chester Raccoon in their room. They will say no...then I will introduce the students to that person and tell them what we do in that particular room, etc...We will travel to the office, then the Principal's offices, then the library, then the nurses office, then end up in the cafeteria. At the cafeteria, we will ask the lunch staff if they have seen Chester?? A staff member will have our Raccoon puppet & cookies I have made and read:

Dear girls and boys,
Thanks so much for looking for me,
I know you've learned so much!
I left these wonderful cookies
For each of you to munch!

There of course is a lot of pre-planning for this activity:
Visit each person you plan to visit, let them know around what time you will come, and ask them if it is okay to come visit them and tell them what your plans are for the students.
Prepare the cookies the day before. You can make them as elaborate as you like: heart shaped cookies, round with heart sprinkles, round with a hershey kiss inside, etc...
Make the paw prints ahead of time and place them in their appropriate places the morning of the 1st day of school!!!
Send out a school wide email letting people know about your no one picks up your paws!!!
Have your Paraprofessional/assistant (or someone reliable) pick up the paws after you return to class.
Have a raccoon puppet or stuffed animal ready with the cafeteria staff and let them know all the plans (have the saying written out for them!) can purchase a raccoon at a thrift store!!

Learning Names: It is very important that everyone gets to know each others' names as soon as possible. Here are some things you can do:

Before students arrive the 1st day, have students' names all over the room: cubbies, seats, word wall, etc... We will make name cards the 2nd day of school with sentence strips and photos I have taken of the kids the 1st day. We will use those for a game the 2nd day of school. We will pass the bucket of names around with the photos attached, and students will try and remember their classmates' names!!
We will play pass the beanbag with some favorite music, whoever it lands on must tell us their name and their fav. color!
On day 2, we will make a class book. Each child will have a page that says... "This is me. My name is ________. I like ________." I will include a small photo of the child as well with their name in large print at the top of the paper. This way, they can read about the students in class to learn their names and learn what they like :)!
We will sing songs to get to know each other:

Stand Up Children

Tune: Where is Thumbkin?
Stand up (child's name),
Stand up (child's name),
Stand up (child's name),
Stand up (child's name).
Reach up very high now;
Reach up to the sky now
Then sit down, then sit down
(repeat to include all children)

Hello Song

(Tune: Frere Jacques)
Hello, _____, hello, _____
How are you? How are you?
We're so glad to have you,
We're so glad to have you,
Here at school, here at school.

Who's Here Today?

(tune: Twinkle, Twinkle)
__________ came to school today.
We're so glad we'll shout

People & Places in Our School - Booklet

We will make a book about the people within our school. This covers Content Standard: SS3, SS7, LA 31, and SS8

Day 1: Principal-we will draw a picture of our principal. Students will finish the sentence: "Mr. Stowe helps our school by ______________."

Day 2: Library/Librarian-we will draw a picture of the library. Students will finish this sentence: "In the library we ________________."

Day 3: Office/Secretary-we will draw a picture of the office. Students will finish this sentence: "We go to the office to __________________."

Day 4: School Counselor-we will draw a picture of the school counselor. Students will finish this sentence: "We go to the conselor to _________________."

Day 5: Nurse-we will draw a picture of the nurse. Students will finish this sentence: " We go to the nurse ______________."

Day 6: Teacher-we will draw a picture of the teacher. Students will finish this sentence: "Our teacher ______________."

Students will dicate to the teacher how they will finish their sentences.

Rules/Routines/Procedures & Centers

In Pre-Kindergarten there are certain things you must go over. Our students are really "BRAND NEW" to school. We have to go over all the little things such as, raising hands to speak, how to sit criss cross applesauce, how to walk in line, and the list goes on....

So, during the 1st days of school it is our job to go over every little detail. We will spend the first 2 weeks getting to know our school...AND...getting to know rules, procedures, and routines for everything we have in our classroom.


We allow students to make the classroom rules. We will of course direct them by asking certain questions. These are some of our typical rules:

-Rasie your hand to speak
-Keep your hands and feet to yourself
-Sit criss cross applesauce
-Stay in at your spot

Based upon our classroom rules, we will make a rule booklet the 2nd day of school. If there is ever a problem, we will refer or that certain student will refer to the Rule Booklet! (photos & book pages coming in August!!)

I have a signal I give my students. I have to 1st teach this to them. We will practice it over and over again the 1st days of school. All I say is "Feet"-if I see students not sitting properly. If they are totally out of control I will say all 5-eyes, ears, feet, lips, hands. I say it in a frim voice! Whenever we are doing calendar or story time...I will have to just say one word and all students know exactly what to do!!! takes practice!
(Ears-listening; Eyes-watching; Hands-still; Feet quiet; Lips-closed)

Procedures & Routines

Entering the classroom: You should have a specific way you want your students to enter the classroom! Every teacher is different and every class is different. What worked this year might not work next year. For my students: They come into the classroom, put their take-home folder in the top of their cubby, hang their bookbag in the middle of their cubby, wash their hands, then get started on their Journals!

Journal Writing: This is something I am starting this year (2005). I will demonstrate all the steps to this process...then I will allow the students to practice the same thing. I will show them how we write on only one page of our Journal. You must show them everything! Students will go to the Journal stack (pictures coming soon), find their name/photo, get their journal and go to their seat and begin writing on that one page. At this age, scribbles, pictures, etc...can be a form of writing. Students will write until the 8:00 bell rings. Once the bell rings, they will stick their Journals in the finished pile. (teachers will -at the end of the day- place a new clean sheet of paper on top for the next day with the date --photo coming soon). Students will then sit on their carpet spot and listen for the announcements!

Lining Up & walking down the hall: Students will learn the 1st day of school how to line up to go into the hallway. First, show them by lining them up yourself. Practice this chant:

When our hands are at our sides
We're lined up straight and tall
Mouths are closed, Eyes look ahead
Then we're ready for the hall!

After you show them, have them sit back down...and tell them to line up on their own. Remind them there does not have to be any touching! Keep practicing it until it becomes a routine! After they get it, then practice walking down the hall this way. Remind students they should always look ahead! Remind them that our hands stay at our sides...not on the walls or other people!

Rest room: We use the restroom in the hallway restroom. We do not have restrooms in our classroom! I watch the boys, my assistant watches the girls. Students are to go in, use the potty, wash their hands, come back out in the hallway, line up and begin the quiet game. The Quiet Game is a game we use during trasistions. I pick the first quiet person I see. They go out from the group and look for another quiet person. It works wonders!!! If students are playing around in the restroom, I say..."1..2...3..." and they will learn that by 3 the need to be out!!!

Classroom Library Handling: We will go over how to handle a book the 1st day of school. I will demonstrate with the 1st book we read. I will show them how to hold the book, and turn pages gently. We will talk about thing we should NOT do to our books: bending pages, tearing pages, eating/drinking with a book, writing in a book. I will then show them how to neatly place it where it belongs! There will always be 20 books on one of our book displays for children to grab and read. I will also have tubs of books by categories that will be color coded. I will show the students how to place them back ...we will practice this as well:)

Getting ready for nap & waking up: Nap time has always been rather disturbing to begin with because our cots are so big and heavy, that the teachers must get them out for the students. We will have a new routine for nap time procedures! The teacher will be reading a story while the assistant calls on students to get their blanket/pillow. This is a good idea, so that everyone isn't at their cubbies at the same time!! The students will learn that they get their blanket & pillow and immediately lay on their cot. We will again practice this! When it is time to wake up, students are to get their own blanket & pillow and return them to the bottom of their cubbies. They will then sit at their spot on the tables and get ready for a restroom break!


Day by Day: We will slowly introduce centers. This is important so students will: learn how to play/use materials, learn how to place materials back in their appropriate places, learn how to clean up after themselves, learn about how to change from one center to another, etc...

It is ALWAYS important to show the students something, then have them repeat it and practice it! The only way they will learn the proper ways is to do it themselves after you show them. We will learn 1-2 centers each day.

Creative Ladies Ministry