Monday, July 1, 2019

Growing to First Grade: An End of the Year Activity for Kindergarten


Hello friends! I just finished up my first year working as a kindergarten intervention specialist. In the past, I've been split between kindergarten, first, and second grade and then kindergarten and first grade. Last year we combined buildings so I get to work with only kindergarten! Yay!

I love being able to work with one grade but it is difficult to see them go after one year! Luckily, our first grade intervention specialist is amazing and we collaborate well together!

Since my students would be moving on to first grade we decided to do a transition activity together. There is so much excitement around the end of the year and definitely some anxiety, too! The kids have a lot of questions and they don't know what to expect since, as kindergartners, they are new to this whole school thing! 😉


We thought it would be fun to do a little, "Growing to First Grade" activity.

Please note, this blog post may contain affiliate links. That means I can receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase from one of the items linked. Affiliate links allow me to keep blogging and providing free resources! You can read more about this at the end of my post. 

We used this activity for a pretty unique situation but it could be easily adapted for any kindergarten classroom. I'll add in some suggestions on how you can adapt this to your kindergarten classroom!

I love this activity because:
  • It reduces anxiety
  • It helps students transition 
  • It helps prevent the "summer slide"
  • It's fun! It's a great way to wrap up the year too!
So I meant to blog about this activity during the end of the year, but ya know... better late than never!

To begin the growing to first activity, we went to the first grade intervention specialist's room. If you are a kindergarten teacher you can always just do this activity in your own room or you could travel to a first grade room if you have a teacher you work well with!




One thing you could do prior to this activity would be to fill out or have students complete the question/worry pages. You could always just answer these questions as a discussion too! This allows students to ask any questions or to discuss any worries they may have. You can answer their questions yourself or travel to a first grade room and have teachers/students answer these questions for students. If you have students who feel nervous when they are "put on the spot" the writing option may be best so you can read off the questions.

Our schedule for the activity! 
First, the students got to meet the first grade intervention specialist. Then she read them a story. We choose the story, Little Seed's Journey. This story is adorable and fit perfectly with what we were doing! It's about a little seed that learns about its strength, and gains the confidence it needs to blossom into a sturdy, independent and powerful tree. The seed experiences the excitement of growth as well as the joys of feeling connected, secure, and strong! 
We started off by reading Little Seed's Journey
You could read this story to students or you could partner up with a first grade teacher to read it!

As the story was read, our first grade intervention specialist had some awesome questions and discussion topics for students.

Some questions to ask as you read: 
  • What a place where you feel safe?
  • Who is a person you feel safe with?
  • How have you grown in kindergarten?
  • Who helps you grow?
  • What have you learned in kindergarten? 
Students also discussed how kindergarten has been a safe place for them, but we reiterated that first grade will be too! They have grown this year and will continue to grow!

Finally, we end with the discussion about, "What can you do to keep learning over the summer so you are ready to 'grow' to first grade?" This leads us into our next activity.

We talked about all of the things students can do continue growing! Some of the ideas they came up with were: to practicing counting, read each day, write in a journal, and so much more! Of course we remind them to enjoy themselves and to play! After this, students filled out their own "seeds."

"Count to 100."

"Read"
After we completed the writing, we planted some seeds together! We used seed paper but you could always plant some seeds in a cup with soil. I liked using the paper because all of the students got a turn to add some water and it wasn't too messy.

Seed paper made this activity so much less messy!

Since we completed this activity so late in the year, students didn't have a chance to watch their seeds grow. To solve this, our first grade intervention specialist said she would take it home and plant it in her garden.  That way, students could see it after it had grown all summer. This also allowed us to give students a small gift so they could watch their own seeds grow! After all of the students had a turn to add some water to the seed paper, we gave them a special gift. Each student received a baggie with seeds and a special poem taped on!

A poem I wrote about growing to first grade! Get it free below!



We encouraged students to plant their seeds too. You can grab the printable poem (two different sizes),  seed writing, and the questions/worry student response pages!

If you have a green thumb (I don't...) you can bring your plant back to school to show students! Or (what I would most likely do) buy a new plant to show students how it has grown...that's OK, right??

Check out the free printables below as well as the links to complete your shopping for the activity!



Happy teaching,




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SHOP THIS ACTIVITY :)
The story we read

This plantable heart seed paper would also be adorable to put in students' baggies! Need to order this for next year! 😍 

Similar seed paper that we used for the whole group activity.

A great deal on some seeds!
Washi tape to add your poem!


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