Kindergarten Lesson Plans: Week One!

Kindergarten Lesson Plans, Week 1
 

Hello, everyone!  This week I am going to tell you what my lesson plans were for the first week of Kindergarten.  Each week, my lesson plans will be aligned with the free Pacing Guide that I posted a few years ago and have been updating yearly.  I hope that will find this post useful, particularly those of you that are new to Kindergarten!

This is just the first two weeks of my Pacing Guide, but if you check it against my lesson plans, you can see that I am teaching the same concepts this week that are on it.
This is just the first two weeks of my Pacing Guide, but if you check it against my lesson plans, you can see that I am teaching the same concepts this week that are on it.
 

When you look at my lesson plans, keep in mind that we are on a half day kindergarten schedule for the first four weeks, from 8:15 – 11:35.  After that, we teach from 8:15 – 1:20 until the end of the second trimester at the end of March.  Then, during the last trimester, the children stay for a full day, from 8:15 – 2:15.

So here we go!  I’ll include links to other blog posts or my web page if there is more information  available by clicking on the link.

Monday:  First Day of Kindergarten!
1.  Attendance and Flag Salute
2.  Calendar
This daily activity includes: identify the month, sing the Days of the Week Song, count how many days we have been in school.  Later, once they know the days of the week, we sing the Months of the Year Song instead.
3.  Concept Board
Next to the calendar, I have stapled some flash cards for the letters, numbers, and words that we are focusing on this week.  I drill the class on them by pointing at them and asking them to identify each card.
4.  Read Wiggles Learns the Rules at School

We read one of these Wiggles books nearly every day as a way of teaching and reviewing the procedures and rules.
We read one of these Wiggles books nearly every day as a way of teaching and reviewing the procedures and rules.
 

I read this book and had my little doggy puppet help me act out the story.  The children LOVED it!  In fact, they have been begging to hear it each day, which is great because it serves as a way to teach the class rules.
5.  Introduce the Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin Shapes cards and movements. 
When we review them every day, it REALLY helps them learn to recognize the numbers and shapes quickly. Plus, the review only takes as long as the video below (One minute & 16 seconds.)  There is more information on how to use it on my blog post here.

 

 

6.  Sing the Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes Songs.

 

My Pacing Guide indicated that I only needed to get through the songs for numbers 0 – 5, but my class has a very decent attention span this year, and the DVD held their attention easily all the way from 0 – 10!  After that, we took a quick break to let everyone get a drink and then started again.  (Be sure to check that link to find out how to manage letting kids get drinks in a quick and easy way!)
7.  Art project:  Self Portrait
I explained how to do the project and then sent them off to the tables to do it as a whole group.  I also designated four different toys that they could play with when they were finished, such as unifix cubes, pattern blocks, alphabet magnets, and books to read.  Below you can see the self portrait that my own daughter made on her first day of Kindergarten, so many years ago!  She is now 22 years old, but I keep it in my files as an example to show the children each year.  She is now an art education major; can you tell?????

This is the Self Portrait that my 24 year old daughter Katie made on her first day of Kindergarten!
 

Then after school I put all of the self portraits on a bulletin board.

The children cut out the face and glue it on the white paper.  An adult “frames it” on the colored paper later.
 

8.  Read a Book
Then, after they finished their projects, we all sat down on the carpet again and read The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing, which is one of my favorite books for the beginning of school!  The children had just about had it, so we (my new job share partner and I!) sent the children outside for recess.
9.  Shape Copying Portfolio Paper
After recess, we had the children do a visual perception shape copying “test.”  It’s really just a way to find out what their little eyes can perceive and what their little hands can draw.  You can find out more about that here, all of these pages are free downloads.  I again designated a few toys and some books for them to play with and look at when they were done.

The children try to copy the shapes as best they can.  This gives us an idea of their fine motor and visual perception abilities.
 

10.  Playtime!!!!
Need I say more?  And BOY, were they ready!  My wonderful job share partner Remie took pictures of the children holding the “My First Day of Kinder” frame, and then we posted the pictures on the wall later to make a bulletin board out of them.

We purchased the frame at a craft store, and then spray painted it yellow. The letters are just taped on, so that they could be changed out later if needed.
We purchased the frame at a craft store, and then spray painted it yellow. The letters are just taped on, so that they could be changed out later if needed.
 

11.  Zoo Phonics Cards
I introduced the Zoo Phonics letters and sounds to the class.  It was as quick and easy as it always is!  I meant to sing some songs from Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds to help them learn the alphabet, but we ran out of time.  I wanted to read “Wiggles First Day at School” today also, but we spent so much time establishing procedures that it simply wasn’t possible, so I saved it for Tuesday.
12.  Dismissal

 

Tuesday:  Second Day of Kindergarten!
To save space and make this go quicker, I am now going to give you the “condensed version.”   A lot of the things that we do for the rest of the week are reviews or repetition of what I introduced on the first day of school, anyway.
1.  Attendance and Flag Salute
2.  Calendar
3.  Concept Board  (See above.)
4.  Review rules with Wiggles Learns the Rules at School.
5.  Sing some songs from Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds to help them learn the alphabet.

 

6.  Review the Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin Shapes cards and movements. 
7.  Art Project:  School Bus (It’s free, just click to find it.)
We made a bulletin board out of it after school, too!  Then the children also graphed how they got to school today.

 

As you can see, there are varying levels of ability in my classroom!
 

I use the same top part of the graph every year (laminated), and tape a piece of construction paper onto the back for the names.  Then we use return address labels to print out the names of all of the students.  No bus riders this year!  One child was absent, and another was not yet enrolled.  There are 26 kids names on that graph!
 

8.  Shape Copying Portfolio Paper #2
This is similar to the first paper, but with slightly harder shapes and figures to copy.  You can find out more about it here.  All of the portfolio papers that we do are free downloads at the indicated link.

This second copying sheet is much harder!   But you know that the kids that can do it really have some skills.
 

9.   Recess!
10.  Read:  Wiggles First Day at School
I was so glad that we had time to read this book today!  Things went more quickly on Tuesday now that we had a few more procedures and routines established! The children liked it so much they cheered for it!  They now beg my job share partner and I to read a Wiggles book daily.  🙂
11.  Sing the Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes Songs.  
On Tuesday, we sang the rest of the shape songs and the Counting to 100 song.
12.  Playtime!
13.  Sing I Can Follow the Rules and When the Bell Rings, Freeze! from the new Classroom Management CD.
I’m so glad that we had time to sing these songs today!  The kids especially liked the When the Bell Rings, Freeze! song.  One of the kids asked for it by name on day three!  (PS.  The DVD for Classroom Management has been sent to the replicator/printer, and should be on the website during the first week in September!!!!)
14.  Dismissal

 

Wednesday:  Third Day of Kindergarten!
My job share partner and I decided to go ahead and start doing a group rotation with the children on our third day of school!  This is earlier than I usually do it, but since there was going to be two of us (plus our aide!) in the room all week long, it seemed like a good time to start it. 
1.  Attendance and Flag Salute
2.  Calendar
3.  Concept Board  (See above.)
4.  Review rules with Wiggles Learns to Pay Attention
5.  Zoo Phonics
6.  Sing some songs from Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds to help them learn the alphabet.  (A-D only)
7.  Explain and model how to do the group rotation.
8.  Begin group rotation  (We stopped for recess after two centers and then restarted the rotation again after.)

Language Arts Table:
Name writing test, (free download at the link) and then introduce rhyme with Rhyming Bingo Cards .

I used just the cards from the Rhyming Bingo set to introduce rhyme.  We’ll play the game next week
 

Math Table: 
Do number copy portfolio paper, (free download at the link) and then practice counting objects if extra time.

The children do this at the beginning of the year, and then again at the second and third trimester so we can compare them.
 

“Extra Center” Table
At our extra table, we usually have a parent doing something that reinforces either a math or a reading activity that we have already introduced.  Today, we had no parent, so we sent the children up into the loft to explore it, read books, and play with the doll house that’s up there.  The playhouse is underneath it, but we did not let the children go in it because I was teaching my rhyming lesson at a table right next to it, and it was hard enough to hear what was going on with all of the commotion in the loft!

This is our loft, and how we decorate it for the holidays.
 

Art Table
At our art table today, we made a stop sign!  If you would like to see it or download free the pattern, click here!

 

9.  Sing the Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes Songs and review the cards.
On Wednesday, we started the DVD back at the beginning again and played it all the way up to number 10.
10. Playtime!
11.  We were supposed to read this story, but ran out of time:  Signs On the Road.
12.  Dismissal!  (Hurry, it’s time to go home!!!!)

 

Thursday:  Fourth Day of Kindergarten!
My job share partner and I decided to try to get our class off to a great start by being there to support each other every day for the first week.  This really helped a great deal!  Next week, our volunteer parents will begin coming.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that they will be faithful!

1.  Attendance and Flag Salute
2.  Calendar
3.  Concept Board  (See above.)
4.  Read:  Wiggles First Day at School to review general procedures at school.
5.  Zoo Phonics
6.  Sing the Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes Songs and review the cards.
7.  Begin group rotation  (We stopped for recess after two centers and then restarted the rotation again after.)

Language Arts Table:
Sound Sort with T, P, M, and S.  I put the materials on a large lid so that it could be passed around the table from child to child, since there are seven students in each group.  (There are 28 students in our class!)  The objects to sort came from a very old Houghton-Mifflin reading series kit.  They sure don’t make them like they used to!  We use these manipulatives every year!

 

Math Table: 
Play Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes Bingo to practice shape and number recognition.  We played one round with the picture side of the cards, and then flipped them over and played it again using the back of the cards, which shows just the plain numbers and shapes (with no picture cues.)  It was very successful!

The kids like this game and tend to sing the number and shape songs as they play!
 

“Extra Center” Table
At our extra table, we usually have a parent doing something that reinforces either a math or a reading activity that we have already introduced.  Today, we DID have a parent volunteer that I knew could be trusted to come in and not have her child have a meltdown because mommy was in the room!  So I gave her one of the portfolio copying pages to do with the kids, (the lower case letter copying page,) and then had her do some Marcy Cook Dot Tiles with them.  (For more info on Marcy Cook’s tiles, click here and then scroll a LONG way down.   This set of tiles is named “Dot Tiles.”)

These number tiles are from Marcy Cook.
 

Art Table
At our art table today, we made an apple!  If you would like to download the pattern, click here.  We also tasted and graphed our favorite apple at the art table, because the apple project didn’t take very long.

This is how I set up my art project to demonstrate for the next day.  You can see my iPod and dock right there next to it!
 

I use the same top part of the graph every year (laminated), and tape a piece of construction paper onto the back for the names.  Then we use return address labels to print out the names of all of the students.  The children stick their names on under their favorite apple.
 

8.  Sing some songs from Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds to help them learn the alphabet.  (A-D only)
9. Playtime!  Yikes, I think they only got ten minutes to play today- maybe less!

10.  Stories:  Under the Apple Tree and Amazing Apples  (We picked out two but only had time for one.)
11.  Dismissal!  (OMG, is it 11:30 already????  Where did the time go?)

 

Friday:  Fifth Day of Kindergarten!
1.  Attendance and Flag Salute
2.  Calendar
3.  Concept Board  (See above.)
4.  Begin group rotation  (We had to start EARLY today because we had to be at the library at 9:55!!!!)

Language Arts Table:
Zoo Phonics and Alphabet Bingo
I made this Zoo Phonics bingo game myself using their Zoo Phonics Font.  I still prefer their “old style of letters!  They have made newer ones with cuter artwork, but I am kind of stuck on the old ones, I guess!  I’m a little bit afraid to try the new ones, because the old ones work so perfectly well.
The little Alphabet Bingo game is sold on my website with a lower case version and a sound matching version as a set.

This is the Zoo Phonics Bingo game that I made with their font.
This is one of the ABC bingo games sold on Heidisongs.com.
 

Math Table: 
Sorting by color activity!  I taught the group to sort and sang them the Sorting Song from Musical Math acapella.  Then I passed out a bunch of different manipulatives to sort with and let them each try it.

We have a bunch of bags of “junk” to sort!
 

“Extra Center” Table
At our extra table, we usually have a parent doing something that reinforces either a math or a reading activity that we have already introduced.  Today, we DID NOT have a parent volunteer, so we gave the kids the last alphabet copying portfolio page.

Art Table
At our art table today, we made an traffic light!  If you would like to download the directions, click here.

 

5.  Go to the library.
Someone threw up on the way.  And a child was afraid of a dog that was barking nearby in the neighborhood and basically climbed up my aide, and then had to be carried to the library, and back to class again later (by me.)  Oh well.  At least there were three of us!
6.  Recess!  (Thank God!)
7.  Sing the Jumpin’ Numbers and Shakin’ Shapes Songs and review the cards.
On Wednesday, we started the DVD back at the beginning again and played it all the way up to number 10.
8.  NOW we finally read:  Signs On the Road.
9.  Playtime!
10.  Dismissal!  (TGIF!)

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Heidi Butkus

About Heidi Butkus

Heidi Butkus has been teaching in California public schools since 1985. She has somehow managed to stay in Kindergarten all of those years, with the exception of five years in first grade, and also taught a parent participation preschool for a short while! Combining a strong knowledge of brain research with practical experience, Heidi has created a wealth of fun and engaging teaching techniques that work well with diverse populations. She has presented at conferences nationwide, and is the owner and founder of HeidiSongs.com. Heidi has also created fourteen original CD's and DVD's for teaching beginning reading and math skills, three musical plays designed especially for young performers, and has written some picture books and many other teaching resources. Heidi's multimedia workshops are filled with fun and motivational educational activities that have been classroom tested and revised for effectiveness with all types of learners.
  1. Wow! Sounds like a great first week. So many great ideas here! I did have to laugh about the kid who was afraid of the dog :). I can't imagine having 26 kiddos. I am still at 20 (only 2 schools in my district still have small classes). Rest up this weekend.

  2. Heidi,

    I used to have a set of the yellow plastic sorting pieces and they were lost in a big school expansion move. Have ever seen anything like them for sale. I loved them and would like to get another set.

    Charlotte

  3. Thank you so much for giving such detailed plans. You'd think i was a newbie how I read so avidly. This is my 42nd year! You're doing something right, Heidi, and I appreciate all that you do to inspire teachers. You really try to get the best from your children in an exciting, yet systematic way! Keep it up! You do have your hands full!

  4. To Charlotte,
    I have never seen those yellow sorting pieces anywhere! They are nice because they just don't have a lot of color. They are real looking enough to let the kids know what they are, but not so attractive that they just want to sit and play with them. At least not FOREVER, anyway!
    Heidi

  5. I have 27 students this year. Last year I had 18, and I got really spoiled. The main problem I am having is the noise level. The large small groups are challenging, too, especially since I have 8 tier 3 students. Thank you for sharing your ideas and materials.

  6. I have those yellow sorting manipulatives…..the kids love them even tho they are all the same color!!! Man, I thought I was an oldie teaching K for 30 years! Congrats, Teresa, on 42!! And, Heidi, remember you are a ROCK STAR to so many of us. Generous with such a loving heart. Talented & devoted. We love you & thanks for sharing! We LOVE your blog posts. Keep up the great work. Job share partner…totally awesome.! : )

  7. Love all your ideas. We start a week from Tuesday. So far I have 30 kinders on my list. I would love to do more small group this year but all by myself it seems impossible. 🙂

  8. To Beth, the last poster:
    I know- I have always done small group activities, and the year that I did not have an aide, it was very tricky!
    The kids at the art table were usually on their own, and we usually had a volunteer helping them with the math activity. Then we did "mini-centers" at the last center (the extra one.) That means that the group itself split into small groups and each went to an independent center from there, two at a time. Those mini-centers were rotated around during the week, so they got a different one each day.

    So I was able to manage it with just one other person, but it wasn't easy. 🙁
    Heidi

  9. Thank you so much for posting your lesson plans!!! I am new to kindergarten and could use as much guidance as possible! I love your materials and plan to continue using them throughout the year to keep my class happy and learning!

  10. Thanks a bunch! Having never taught this level before your seasoned wisdom is greatly appreciated! We don't start for another week so this is is timely advice as I prepare my lesson plans! Thanks again.

  11. You inspire me!!! And, once again, we have something in common: My daughter, who is 25, is also an art major.
    I am teaching TK this year so I'm looking for new ideas to start the year with. Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

  12. Thanks for the great ideas! I’ll be using some of them. Just got hired as a K/1 teacher for my first year so I’ve been scrambling to get the room together and make some plans for the beginning of the year!

  13. Pingback: Kindergarten Lesson Plans: Week Two! | Heidi Songs

  14. Thank you very much for showing me the way. I have a pla to establish my own kindergaten next year. Though Im planing to employ few teachers but I also wanted to know the ABC of the kindergaten lessons.Thanks very much.

  15. Thank you so much. I love your page. I started teaching kindergarten in January of this year and I was so overwhelmed because it was so different for me. I wanted to teach 4th grade, but I had a change of heart while I was student teaching because I had a student who couldn’t read even on a kindergarten level. I’m still learning and your page has helped me so much. Keep up the good work

    • Hi,
      Thank you! Kindergarten here in the United States is generally for children age five. So children that are preparing for kindergarten would be about four years old. I think that many of the activities would also work for three year old children as well, though.
      🙂
      Heidi

  16. Hey Heidi!

    I love everything you’ve posted. I’m about to start teaching Kinder this year, it will be my first time working with kids so young!

    I really want to do the Self Portrait. I’m wondering what kinds of directions you gave them. And did you have cut outs for them to just glue on, or did they draw their own pictures? How did you break it down for them?

    Thanks so much!!

  17. Pingback: “Know Thyself”: Elementary Self-Portrait Ideas | TheCoasterCottage

  18. Hi Heidi, I love your ideas. I just started teaching kids. I hope you can send me emails about your weekly lesson plan. Thank you very much. Please send me updates. Thank you so much and more power.

    • Hi, Janice!
      I only have lesson plans written up and posted for the first four weeks of school, I’m afraid! The reason that I stopped posting them was that it was TERRIBLY time consuming! Each post was taking me nearly three days to complete! So I am very sorry, I cannot keep posting my lesson plans. Also, next year, they have moved me to a first/second grade combination class, so it won’t be kindergarten anyway.
      Thanks,
      Heidi

  19. Heidi, I understand that you’re in a different grade level, but I just found this site of yours, love it, and would love to see your pacing guide past the first two weeks. Do you happen to have last years saved and could send them? Do you also have the lesson plans you did send last year since I didn’t know about your blog?

  20. Hello Dear Heidi;
    I’m an Iranian English kindergarten teacher. I really enjoy of your work and your website. It’s amazing.
    I stated a new English kindergarten in Iran for ESL children, it’s a really hard job especially when they don’t understand English. I’m trying teach the English as their native language with an undirected way like doing these: reading English story with act, playing English theater, playing English game, and etc. I have knowledge about children and my job but i cannot put them together. I have some sources but they are not enough. I don’t have as experiences as you have. It would be great and I would appreciate you if you could help me and tell me what to do. I know it’s a lot and I know I’m totally a stranger but may be we could be friend just for a reason : “children”!

    Thank you
    Zhino

  21. I really love your class room management songs and want to appreciate you.I want to learn other teaching techniques.Could you please help me?

    Qudsia

  22. Hello Dear Heidi,

    My kindergarten started this morning, today. It was great. I used some of your methods and they were so good. children and their parents loved them.

    Thank you a lot

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