The First Day of School is such an exciting time! Students are coming into the classroom for the first time, they get to meet new faces and build brand new relationships.
I had no idea how much of this I would miss when they announced that we would start the school year 100% virtual.
After I got my classroom ready to go with all of my decorations, I was puzzled how I was going to start the school year. For the past couple of years, I had always started the School Year with “The Kissing Hand.”
However, when I searched Teachers Pay Teachers for resources, I was dismayed to find little digital resources for the 1st day of school. I didn’t want to miss out on an amazing First Day with my Kindergartners, yet I didn’t have the resources I needed to be successful.
That’s when I decided to create my own “The Kissing Hand” First Day of School Activities. If you’re having a hard time finding resources for “The Kissing Hand,” I created a list of activities to do while Distance Learning.
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The first thing I did to start the day was I read aloud “The Kissing Hand” by Ruth Harper. (You can find it on Amazon here.)
I used Google Meets and had all of my students mute while I read the story out loud. I would occasionally pause and ask comprehension questions to check for understanding. My students loved this book and felt more welcomed with the new classroom environment after I read the story.
“The Kissing Hand” Coloring Sheet
Before School started we were allowed to send out packets to accompany whole group instruction through Google Meets. In those packets, I had placed a coloring sheet for my students to complete.
After the read-aloud, we took out our Kissing Hand Coloring Sheets and worked on them while we talked about our First Day and how it was going so far. I love these coloring worksheets that I found on TPT because they were FREE and my Students really seemed to enjoy them!
“The Kissing Hand” Scavenger Hunt
After the Coloring Sheet, I would traditionally do a Scavenger Hunt where students would look for Chester. However, since we started the school year through Distance Learning, I decided to change it up.
For this, you will need a picture of a raccoon or “Chester.” You are welcome to make your own, or you can get my Free one by clicking here or down below!
I still hid Chester throughout the room, but I hid him in places they would use while Distance Learning. For instance, I hid Chester above my desk because I knew that at the beginning of the day we would start Distance Learning from there.
Next, I hid him in our “Calendar” area because I knew that is where we would go next.
Here are some other areas I hid Chester in the Room:
- The Daily Schedule
- The Library Area
- The SmartBoard
- Our Writing Center
I also hid Chester in ClassDojo!
To do this, I had made a post with all the rules of Distance Learning and Hid Chester at the beginning of the post!
My students loved looking for Chester because they were able to see their classroom and learn the rules and routines while being competitive!
I knew that this year’s First Day of School was not going to be what the students were used to. That’s why I decided to add a final spin to our “Kissing Hand” lesson.
After the Scavenger Hunt, I decided to do a science demonstration.
I had seen videos of people doing an “Elephant Toothpaste” experiment. Hence, decided to adapt it and make it “Chester’s Toothpaste” instead.
I told my students that Chester had gotten home and was getting ready for bed. He went to go brush his teeth but was out of toothpaste! So Mrs. Racoon and Chester decided to make their own.
This experiment was super easy to use and didn’t require a lot of materials. You can find the directions I used here.
My students absolutely loved it! I just had them watch through Google Meets as we picked out what color Chester’s toothpaste should be together. A lot of them later told me it was their favorite part of their day!
First Day of School Reflection
After we ended the day I wanted to get feedback from the people it means the most. My students!
So I searched on TPT and started looking for “The Kissing Hand” resources that could be done digitally. I wanted my students to complete their first Google Classroom Worksheet with their families.
However, I could not find what I was looking for! So I created these:
I was able to make different versions because I knew that my students would be at different points in their learning. I wanted them to be ready to go so I could assign them and not worry about them.
My students were able to type their names with the help of their families, and even draw on them with the scribbling tool!
After looking at the Feedback from my Kiddos, and asking my Families, I think the First Day of School went amazing! My students absolutely loved “Chester’s Toothpaste” and a lot of them were excited to come back!
It really meant a lot to my students and me that even though they couldn’t be at school, we were still able to have an amazing first day!
What are you doing on the First Day of School? What are some other great ideas that I missed?
Thank you so much for your support!
The Present Teacher
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