Saturday, July 23, 2016

Back to School 2016 Part 2: Making Students Feel Welcome

I am so excited to meet my new class this year!  Meet the Teacher is a great opportunity to ease some of their nerves and begin to establish your classroom culture.  Here are some things that I do to help students feel welcome at Meet the Teacher.

Being prepared for your students at Meet the Teacher looks a little different than being prepared for parents!  If you didn't read Part 1 in this series be sure to check it out HERE.

In part 1 I talked about a lot of the forms that I have ready for parents.  So, what are the students doing while their parents are filling out paperwork?  Well, if you aren't prepared Meet the Teacher can turn into a mess!  

I like to have my students look around the classroom, get comfortable and start locating things!  I do that by giving them a half sheet of paper with things to find in the room, once they find everything they can bring me their paper for a little treat!

If you'd like to make one for your class you can download an editable version HERE!

One of the steps on the Get to Know Our Classroom paper is to find the boxes and sort their supplies.  Many of our students bring their supplies from their supply list to Meet the Teacher so they don't have to carry them in themselves on the first day.  I have big plastic containers ready with labels for them to sort their community supplies into.  Supplies like glue sticks, pencils, paper, and black dry erase markers are considered community supplies.  All of the other supplies are kept at their desks.  This also saves me a lot of time on the first day of school!  I also make sure to have extra supply lists handy for those parents who need one!

Nothing quite says welcome like seeing your name on things and ready for you!  Students love to walk into the room and see that you have taken the time to use their name and label their things!  I do get name tags ready for them ahead of time, but I do not tape them down until after Meet the Teacher.  I will have to change at least 1 to 2 of them because a student goes by a nickname or uses their middle name instead of the first name, etc...  It is a little extra work, but it's worth it to me to have it ready for them!  
I use the editable skinny name tags by Learning in Wonderland so it's a pretty easy fix...just retype the name and print!

Another thing that I do that is always a big hit is my Welcome to 3rd Grade slideshow.  I make a slide for each student and have the slideshow playing on a loop for the entire Meet the Teacher.  Students love to see their name come up and it makes for a great photo op for parents!

It's a little hard to see in this picture but the slideshow is playing on my SmartBoard at the front of my room.

If you'd like to do a welcome slideshow of your own, I've made one that is editable and includes slides for Kindergarten through sixth grade. 

 Directions for how to make it are included.  You can check it out HERE!

In Part 1 of this series I talked about the photo booth that we use at Meet the Teacher.  

We put it in the hallway for all of third grade and encourage our students to take pictures with friends.  I also have a sign hanging by my door with my email address and I ask parents to email me the pictures they take of their students.  I save them in a file to be used in our end of the year slideshow!  

I hope that you have found some of these tips useful.  Helping students and parents feel welcome is such an important part of starting the year off right!  

Stay tuned for my next series of posts about investing time at the beginning of the year so that your class runs smoothly all year long!

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to know what your sign by the photo booth says!