In the spirit of our "back to school mode" I'd like to share what it is that I do with my students before we even start school. Like many of you might do, we have a "Meet the Teacher" day for our incoming kinder students. We call it our Ice Cream Social. It is short and sweet but helps to alleviate the fears and anxieties of the students, and let's face it, our anxieties as well. Basically we....
1. Send out invitations to all families weeks before so they can make plans to attend.
2. On the day of the social we welcome families and introduce the teachers.
3. Each teacher calls out the students on her list and provides them with ice cream.
4. Families come to their new teacher's classroom to look around and ask any questions. Basically .... meet the teacher!
5. Families go home!
I love this structure because it only takes about an hour total. That's the shortest first day ever! It really helps lower anxiety levels on the first day of school which is usually after the weekend. I also get to meet the parents and start to associate names with faces. I can also start to see who might need that extra special attention on the first day because they are already writing all over the board or throwing things even while their parents are there. You know ..... those students.
In order to give families something to do while waiting to speak to me (otherwise they just stand in a really long line) I give them a Scavenger Hunt to complete. It is just a list of items that I want students to familiarize themselves with. Its a win-win for everyone. I might also be known to give students a treat if they complete the sheet. I know everyone's classroom is different so the link above is just to give you an idea.
Have a great first day of school!!!