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Easing Kindergarten Jitters

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The first day of kindergarten is a huge milestone in a child’s life and often a pretty nerve-wracking one. Even the most confident kids may be a little hesitant to leave their parents’ side and venture into such a big and new world.

Here are some tips that can help make the transition a bit easier:

Get to Know Them – If possible, mail out information sheets to your new students a week or two before school starts. Ask them about their favorite things and tell them your favorites, too.

We are a Team! – Send each child an inexpensive yarn bracelet, backpack clip or special sticker to wear on the first day. Seeing other kids wearing the same items can help nervous kindergartners feel like they are all in this together.

Kiss and Good-Bye – Encourage parents to make good-byes short and sweet. Lingering parents often make the transition even tougher on the student.

Pick a Classroom Theme – Find a fun classroom theme and embrace it! Finding their name printed on a bright flower or sports ball is more fun for kids than a plain white notecard.

Set Up a Photo Booth – Have each child pose with their name tag and other themed accessories. Kids will enjoy seeing their silly poses and the pictures will help you remember names.

Time’s Up – From the first day, set expectations on how long it should take for cleanup, to line up for lunch and to get a drink from the water fountain. A short song is a good audio cue that lets students know to keep things moving.

Dismissal – Most schools require parents to provide a transportation plan before the school year begins. Provide each student with a lanyard at the end of the day that lists whether or not they are a pick up, bus number and name. It might be tough for a little one to remember something like a bus number on the first day, but the lanyard will allow other teachers and bus aides to point them in the right direction.

Have a great school year!

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