The Building Blocks of Back-To-School - Meet the Teacher!

Welcome to the four week long link up to help you get ready for back-to-school! A special THANK YOU to our host Mrs. D's Corner for organizing and getting it all ready for you to read!

Each week we will be chatting about one new element you will NEED to know about before you head back to school - and hopefully we will have a few tips and tricks that will make life a little easier during those first few weeks!!

Here is the schedule...

SO this week we begin with some meet the teacher info...

I teach first grade and in my district we DO NOT have a step up day in June where the kids meet their new teacher.  In fact families only receive the teacher assignments about 2 weeks before the first day.  So, as a team we decided a number of years ago to host a Meet-and-Greet on one of our teacher prep days the week before school starts.  

This has worked well for a number of reasons...
-  Kids get acclimated to the room.
-  Parents meet you and are more comfortable dropping off on the first day (and not staying too long).
-  We can collect dismissal information - especially the changes that will be happening for dismissal on the first day!
-  We can collect supplies and have time to organize them before the first day. 
-  We can distribute some of the first day paperwork early so moms and dads have some time to complete it before the influx of school papers come home.
-  We can share our wish list with families.
-  We can hand out READY CONFETTI in person to get everyone ready for the first day!!

This Meet-and-Greet has been a work in progress, but last year I used this editable set from Reagan Tunstall to help me organize the families as they walked through.  There is no set agenda for them, but I do expect them to follow the numbered signs, so they can at least check out these 4 or 5 things...

Theses are editable, but I always use this one first to make sure the families get that NEED to KNOW BTS info right away - and with any luck they will fill out some of the paperwork in your room!!

We used to ask kids to bring in their school supplies on the first day, but then we spent tons of after school time organizing them, when really who has time for that on the first day!  Now we have the kids bring them in to the meet-and-greet and they do the sorting.  We have labeled bins out on the Guided Reading kidney shaped table and the kids sort away.  All we have to do at the end is put the bins on our supply shelf!!

As a part of their BTS folder, I send home a dismissal form for the majority of the school year, but if your school is anything like mine, the kiddos have different ways of heading home on their first day (a lot of working moms and dads take the day off!).  So this is a way to get that first day info before the first day chaos!

These two are my favorite!  I made these cupcakes (HERE) to ask families to send in special items (wipes, tissues, legos, etc).  Then I set up my cupcake stand and let them choose.  I used this for the Meet-and-Greet, but I also put it up for our Curriculum Night in a few weeks.  

Finally, I give kids some Ready Confetti to open the night before the first day to help them get rid of their jitters.  You can find the freebie poem HERE - just copy onto cute paper and the freebie labels I used HERE - use Avery or Staples label that have 6 to a sheet.  

I hope you got some good ideas about BTS and meeting your new families!  I would LOVE to hear your ideas about meet-and-greets - I am always up for trying something new!

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