Sunday, August 23, 2015

Meet the Teacher Recap and FREEBIE

The books are ready,
The pencils are too,
The cubbies are labeled,
We have plenty of glue.

The students are coming,
Their teacher to meet,
Who is smiling and waiting,
New students to greet!

So what time is it? It’s Meet the Teacher Day! (Well, it's not technically Meet the Teacher anymore, because school has already started. The first week and a half have been crazy, so I'm behind on the whole blogging front!! However, I'm determined to catch up!!)

Two weeks ago was our school's orientation event which includes Meet the Teacher. Our campus was aglow with the freshly tanned faces of students who had spent their days basking in the summer sun! Sweet hugs from former students and warm greetings from their parents energized me for a new year! We began our time with a school-wide assembly for welcomes, introductions, and some basic information, policy changes, etc. to get us prepared for the year. After our corporate time, we split up by individual classes for students to meet their teachers, organize the school supplies they had brought, and help get classrooms ready for the first day of school! 

My firsties have a a ton of supplies to bring...

While it is beyond wonderful to have parents who provide so many school supplies, the long list of materials make it so difficult to organize!! Years ago my students used to bring all their supplies on the first day of school. Can I just say that organizing supplies on the first day of school with a group of six year olds is perhaps the worst idea in the world (primary teachers, can I get an amen??). Then a few years ago, I began to ask parents to bring supplies to orientation. This allowed me to get organized before school started. However, that meant I was spending hours and hours sorting, labeling every individual folder, spiral notebook, set of dividers, binders, etc! Last year I decided to elicit the help of my students' idea ever!!! I created a scavenger hunt that the students completed with their parents to help sort and organize their supplies. I hid the necessary labels and instructions throughout the room so that the students had the opportunity to find their desk, their cubbies, their mailboxes, etc. It was a way to help them get to know and feel more comfortable in our classroom and helped me have everything ready for the first day of school!! Double win!!!

Here's how it worked. When students came in, the following was projected on the front board:

The students went to our kidney table to pick up their Scavenger Hunt form (step 1), drop off several supplies (step 2), label and turn in a folder (step 3), and grab their work bin to fill (step 4):

Steps 5-9 included finding their desks, cubbies, and mailboxes to get the supplies to label their folders and notebooks, label the dividers in their writing portfolios, and fill their pencil boxes. Once they completed all the tasks, they came to show me their completed scavenger hunt form (step 9) and then claim their prizes (step 10):

 Each student and their parent earned a special "Welcome to 1st Grade" water bottle. I have these for all grades K-6 in my TPT store here if you'd like them.

The students also got a "You're o-FISH-ally a 1st Grader" snack. This K-6th tag is also available in my TPT store here:

I also gave each student their "Sweet Dreams: Night Before K-6th Grade Poem." This is an adorable poem I found on Pinterest (if you wrote it, please let me know so I can give you credit!). I just reformatted it and added some backgrounds. Check out the FREEBIE HERE that you can use for any grades K-6th!! Hope you enjoy!! Here are pictures of the outside and inside:

Once students got all of their prizes, we said our goodbyes, and they left! All of the firsties and their parents did an awesome job organizing all their supplies! As I was watching them, I was so thankful that their parents were helping them and that I would not be trying to manage a handful of students and all their supplies on the first day by myself! 

Being able to meet all of the sweet firsties and spend time with them got me so excited for this year!! It's going to be awesome!!!! Happy back to school!


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