Transitioning to Kindergarten

The end of the year is filled with so many emotions for me. Thinking of my kinder babies leaving me is so bittersweet. I am sad to see them leave me although I am looking forward to my summer. At the same time I am enjoying those last few weeks with my class, my mind is also on my incoming kindergartners. Our school has always been great at doing transition activities to make it easier on our new kindergarten kids. We want them to feel comfortable with us so that 1st day of school is happy and very few tears are shed. We also want to get to know the kiddos so we can make class lists that are a good mix of all kiddos.
Each year we hold an ABC/123 Night for our kindergartners who just registered at our school. We hold it after school for 3 hours and ask parents to bring their child in for a few games with the kindergarten teachers and get a few fun prizes! We have 3 different stations set up where they play "games" with us as we assess what they know. Here is the assessment we use: (click on the image to grab the freebie)
The first station is the ABC station. 

I have alphabet bean bags in which I hold up one at a time and ask if they know the letter and sound. After each letter they toss it into the bucket. I also have them sing their ABCs and note this on the form. 

When they are finished at my station, they get a prize (cookie sheet and magnetic letters).

Then they move to the next station...colors and shapes. 

Once finished at this station we give them a book and our first set of sight words we learn in kindergarten.

The last station is the 123 station in which they hop on numbers as they name them for us and then count to 20. 

At this station they get 123 flashcards to add to their loot.

They finish up with a cookie as our principal goes over their assessment with the parent and shows them the PATT mat and what they can work on over the summer.

We try to make sure parents stay back (you do better without them right there saying "You know that. Yes you do!") We have a slideshow on the large screen for parents giving them information they may need such as a daily schedule, what their child will learn, lunch prices, upcoming dates, etc.

It only take about 20 minutes per child. We usually have about an 85-95% turnout..which is great! We will also see the kiddos again at our Home Visit Blitz and at the Back to School Ice Cream Social we have right before school starts. I really enjoy making these connections early. I truly feel it helps make the transition to kindergarten easier and more exciting. Do you do anything like a Jumpstart or any transition activities? I would love to hear your ideas!!


  1. Where did you get those big cardboard letters?

  2. what do they do in the color and shape station? I'm trying to put something similar together for my school.