Exciting lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and reproducibles in a daily blog by teachers

Alycia

I live in New York

I teach 3rd grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach 6th grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Beth

I live in Michigan

I teach 3rd grade

I am an enthusiastic teacher and techie, and a mom of three boys

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach 2nd grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

John

I live in New York

I teach writing for grades 5-8

I am a sharpener of minds who keeps students' thinking on point

Genia

I live in Michigan

I teach third grade

I am seriously addicted to all things technology in my teaching

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach 2nd and 3rd grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Meghan

I live in Alabama

I teach 3rd grade

I am an obsessive personality with a creative flair

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach 4th grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Shari

I live in Idaho

I teach kindergarten

I am a wife, mom, and home chef who loves cooking up ways to make learning fun in school

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5 technology

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Amanda

I live in Illinois

I teach 1st and 2nd grades

I am a jewelry-making, pet-loving, runner, crafter, and bilingual teacher

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach kindergerten

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Alycia

I live in New York

I teach 3rd grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach 6th grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Beth

I live in Michigan

I teach 3rd grade

I am an enthusiastic teacher and techie, and a mom of three boys

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach 2nd grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

John

I live in New York

I teach writing for grades 5-8

I am a sharpener of minds who keeps students' thinking on point

Genia

I live in Michigan

I teach third grade

I am seriously addicted to all things technology in my teaching

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach 2nd and 3rd grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Meghan

I live in Alabama

I teach 3rd grade

I am an obsessive personality with a creative flair

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach 4th grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Shari

I live in Idaho

I teach kindergarten

I am a wife, mom, and home chef who loves cooking up ways to make learning fun in school

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5 technology

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Amanda

I live in Illinois

I teach 1st and 2nd grades

I am a jewelry-making, pet-loving, runner, crafter, and bilingual teacher

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach kindergerten

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Welcoming Students Before the First Day of School

By Rhonda Stewart on June 24, 2014
  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

It’s really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that even though I just closed my classroom, I am already thinking about September. I pack up my classroom with the idea of making the unpacking as efficient as possible given the time allotted me by my district. The first few days back in September are filled with meetings and district professional development. There is some time given for setting up the classroom, but not much. But that’s another blog post! For my last post of this school year, I wanted to focus on setting the tone for the new school year by welcoming a new group of students.

 

Ways to Welcome Students

 

Welcome Letter or Postcard

This is one of the most common and effective ways to build rapport with students and parents. In previous years, as soon as I was given my roster, I would send out welcome letters to my students and their parents to welcome them to the new year. Here’s a sample letter that I sent out in 2006:

Microsoft Office also has a template that you can use as well:

Microsoft Office Template

Pearls of Wisdom — You don't need to send the same postcard to each student. They can be different. You can plan a "getting to know you" activity around the postcards. For example, those students who have “apple” postcard must be ready to show and talk about their favorite book. Or those students who have the “seascape” must be ready to describe their favorite vacation spot. The responses can be charted and shared with the rest of the class.

 

Phone Call

For September 2014, I think I am going to go old school. Back in the day, teachers would either call or stop by the homes of their students to introduce themselves. I will make an effort to call the homes of my students before they step into the classroom. These phone calls will not be long or drawn out, just a quick minute to introduce myself and remind the families to go to my teacher web page for information. And just to make sure that I keep to my “minute,” I plan to have a stopwatch on hand to help me manage my time.

 

Teacher Web Page

With the use of technology being all the rage, having a teacher web page with the current information of your classroom helps to guide your parents, not just for September, but for the remainder of the year. On my teacher page, I include:

 

Curriculum for the year
Homework assignments
Literacy supply list
Parent page (important dates)
Reading log (information and procedures)
New for this year: Sample entries for Reader’s and Writer’s Notebooks, scoring rubrics

  Pearls of Wisdom — Once you start a teacher web page, be sure to update it on a regular basis. Set a specific time of the day to upload your information. Once parents begin to rely on it, you want to make sure that the information is current.

Thank you for supporting me on the Top Teaching blog. It has been a pleasure sharing my teaching practices with you. Enjoy your summer and stay tuned for the next chapter coming in late August. As always, do you have any tips to welcome students? Please share!

Comments (2)

These are all great ideas to make student and parents comfortable with their new year. I like the idea of calling the household before of the school year as it shows the level of teacher dedication to their students and engaging the parents early.

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
Back to Top