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Before School Starts
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Teacher-Tested Tips:

A Warm Welcome
Submitted by: Lori, Pre-K
A great way to help preschoolers feel comfortable about school is to send them a personal note in the mail. You can get pretty notecards witha school theme and then write inside how "tickled" you are to have them in your class and enclose a colorful feather in the envelope!! They love it!!
Grade Level(s): Preschool, K

Back-to-School Postcards!
Submitted by: Love To Teach, Grade 5
Going from fifth grade to Middle School is a big transition. I like to send postcards to last year's students wishing them well and reassuring them that they are ready for the challenges ahead. I let them know that they will be missed and invite them to stop by for visits. I also send "Welcome" postcards to each of my incoming fifth graders. All kids love to get mail and this has been an easy way to show kids (and parents) that I care about them.
Grade Level(s): 3-5, 6-8

Center Director
Submitted by: Lisa
I have idea of activity to do before class begins. I work at a head start and we have open house before school begins. Something that helps the children become familiar of their classroom is to have a scavenger hunt. I make a list of things to search for, "Look for your name on the desk or cubby." "What is your symbol?" "Check out the toy and puzzle area, count the puzzles." "Did you find the book area?" "Did we have your favorite story, if so, what was it?" Continue with things to find in the classroom, once they have completed the scavenger hunt, they bring it to the teacher and and introduce their parents and receive a prize. It is something for them to do and not just come and tour the classroom and never talk to the staff and get acquainted. They leave feeling important and ready for school to start. For 3 to 5 year olds, it make transition easier.
Grade Level(s): Preschool, K

Flowers
Submitted by: c.dania (curacao-island)
I will decorate my classroom with flowers this coming school year. How? I first make some cut outs of flowers and then write their names on it. When the parents arrive the first day of school I let them pick one "flower" from the basket with a letter attached to it.(my rules, welcome, who I am, etc) Then they have to give the flower to their child and he/she has to go in the classroom and pick a chair of his choice. So I get the parents also involved in their development. The rest of my classroom is decorated with other cut outs.
Grade Level(s): 1-2

Getting Excited
Submitted by: Jody Camp, 1st Grade
The night before school starts I call each of my students. I tell them about how excited I am to meet them and I ask them a couple of questions about how they are feeling and if they are ready for the first day of school. I end the conversation by asking them to go and find a special book, t-shirt, or picture that they would like to share the next day with me and all their new classmates. It amazes me how much a two minute phone call means to them and their parents.
Grade Level(s): K, 1-2, 3-5

Home Visit Activity
Submitted by: Lori, Pre-K
While doing home visits for 3 or 4 years olds who have never been in preschool, I take a blank cut out butterfly shape to the child's house. I tell them that they may decorate it with their family however they want and bring it to school the first day back. (It usually takes a couple of days to get them all back.) When they bring it in I take it to the bulletin board and hang it up with their help. They love telling me how they did it and who helped. Great way to get families involved. You can also do a theme on butterflies to tie it all together. You can watch them emerge from their crysallis and then let them free.
Grade Level(s): Preschool, K

Pleasing Postcards
Submitted by: Tracy G, 3rd
The week before school starts, I always send out a postcard greeting the students and giving 1st day information. Last year I added a picture of myself and a caption for the front of the postcard (using Inkjet postcards in my printer). The kids loved getting to see what I looked like before the 1st day!
Grade Level(s): K, 1-2, 3-5

Welcome Letter, Orientation Activity
Submitted by: Colleen Buck, Kindergarten
Around August, before the start of the new school year, I send each of my kindergarten students (around 50) a letter that tells about me, my memories of entering kindergarten, my family, and about our classroom and school year. (I also scanned my picture on there. It's amazing how may students told me how much better t... more>>
Grade Level(s): K, 1-2, 3-5

Welcome Notes
Submitted by: Denise Trimino, Special Needs 4th-6th grade
I send my students a personalized note card welcoming them back to school. I include in my note 1 or 2 things that we will be learning about in the upcoming year. They feel very special receiving mail from their teacher.
Grade Level(s): K, 1-2, 3-5

Welcome Postcards

Topic at the A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums about sending out welcome postcards before school starts. Find out how other teachers are using them.
Grade Level(s): Preschool, K, 1-2, 3-5

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