While you may spend your summer planning out the perfect classroom layout and back to school activities, you will probably spend the first few days/weeks with your students teaching and practicing classroom rules and procedures. One important beginning of the year procedures to teach young students is how to line up and walk in a line.
Before the students arrive on the first day, I make a straight line out of craft tape on the classroom floor. This will be their line up line. I first introduce "lining up" to my kiddo's by explaining what a straight line is and showing them the line on the floor. I demonstrate making a line with stuffed animals and discuss the terms front and behind.
I have found that the tape line works fine with some classes, but if you students are younger or like/need A LOT of structure, you may want to add something extra to your line. Last year I added circles with each students name in ABC order to my line. This minimized the arguing that can occur during line up procedures, "I was here first!"
To make the circles, I cut out sticky back vinyl I found in the scrapbook paper section of Jo-Ann Fabrics. They stuck great to the floor, survived daily mopping, and were even easy to peel off to add new students!
By using the same line every time we left the class, I found that it actually helped the transition back to the classroom. The students began to remember where they stood in line and who they stood by and began lining up without needing their circles or fighting for a certain spot in line.
My friend, Ms. Liz, added an educational element to her line by taping flash cards with different colors and shapes onto her tape line. You could also use letters or numbers. Show the students a flash card with whatever is on your line and have your kids find the matching shape, color, etc.. You could make it more challenging by using upper case letters on your line and showing them a lower case letter to find the match.