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 they felt once they knew what I looked like.)
Since our school district asks guardians to bring the children in for a short visit on the first day of school, I place a scavenger hunt on the back of my August letter and tell the children to bring it with them. They are so excited about finding the "big, black, stuffed kitten pillow" and the "weather bear" that they don't remember how nervous they once were. The children learn where the important things are in the room; like the bathroom, their seats, and their cubbies. They also finish the hunt by "saying hello to the teacher and a new friend." I have been doing this for years and I've never had anyone cry on me on that day OR the following day when their guardians don't come with them!