Browsing Category

Back To School

Alphabet Palooza!!

I am so very excited that SEPTEMBER is finally here!!

That means that I have made it through 4 long (and I’m sorry to be like this, but honey, I mean L-O-N-G) weeks!!

However, I really can’t complain….

So far, there are only 15 students in my class. I really like that and I’m just counting my blessings over that number everyday!

 I started the very first week of school with Deanna Jump’s and Deedee Wills’ Guiding Readers resource using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. If you have read any of my past posts, I am a big fan of their monthly Guiding Readers resource!! It is a great way to teach reading comprehension without worrying about who can decode and who cannot. It is based off of popular read alouds and each month, I can ALWAYS find a book in this resource to match my theme for that week. But it doesn’t stop there……THEN, these 2 kinder teacher geniuses created a resource to go along with the Guiding Readers series called “Science, Math, and More”. It is a supplement resource to integrate math and science and other things using the same read alouds.

Science, Math, & More August/September

Using both resources really got my first week off to a great start!!

Coconut Shake Down

Here’s one of my new kinder cubs having a coconut SHAKE down while she listens to what the inside of a coconut sounds like. Then, we wrote words on an anchor chart to describe how it sounds, along with how it looked and smelled. We also tasted coconut. In the Science, Math and More resource, there are some great printables and pictures to help a teacher work through the coconut exploration and a graph to use to see if you like or don’t like the taste of coconut. My kinders also got out their science journals and drew a picture of the coconut and wrote the words that described the coconut beside the picture they drew.

We also did a sink and float experiment using the coconut. Total FUN!! They loved it!!

Then, to celebrate the last day of our study using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the kinders made a cute healthy snack that looked like the coconut tree and the letters. I found that in a post from DeeDee Wills blog.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Snack

Ok….Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a great way to start some fun and engaging learning in my classroom. But the learning I was most excited about was a study of the ALPHABET!! I listened to other bloggers and researched myself about how good it is to teach the alphabet using a letter a day, so that got me to thinking about trying it out this year. I wanted to start with A and end with Z, but my only problem with this was that I knew I needed to make sure it worked within our district’s scope and sequence in ELA. The scope and sequence begins with M, R, S, T, N, P, C and short vowel A. What worked in my favor was the fact that the focus on those letters begins the 5th week of our scope and sequence.

YAY!! I was thrilled! I would be able to pull this off and still stay within our the guidelines of our county scope and sequence.

So we have been on an adventure since day ONE!!…..

an Alphabet Adventure!!

And it has been majorly FUN and very engaging for all of my kinder cubs!!

During my Literacy Station time, I have introduced the Letter of the Day by reading a book from the Alpha Tales collection (We happen to have these at our school.)

Then, we create an Anchor Chart of the letter of the day. This is when I can incorporate some kinders who know the letters already but they still love to think of words that begin with that letter. They have loved watching me draw pictures to illustrate the words!

After the anchor chart is completed, the kinders go to a Letter Station and rotate within 4 of them:

I didn’t have time to create my own resources, so after some quick researching, I mainly used a couple of different resources to create the centers.

My station was Alphabet Brochures by Simply Kinder! This resource has printable trifold brochures where the kinders complete little activities in in it for each letter. Just click the picture below to find this resource. It gives them handwriting practice as well. I especially love the home link section on the back.

Alphabet Brochures

For station number 2, the kinders work on an independent center using a resource from A Teeny Tiny Teacher called:

Just Fold! Mini Books {All About the ABC's}

Click the pic of her resource above to get it! These mini books are so very simple to print and fold ready to use. The students trace letters on the books. LOVE IT!! Then, the kinders can take them home and read them to a parent.

Alphabet mini books

Station number 3 has been the kinders absolute favorite! I knew I wanted some type of ABC craftivity to use in a center, so creating a hat for each letter was a  no brainer. So after I looked around, I found that Simply Kinder’s Alphabet Hats met my needs. You can click the pic and see them for yourself if you are interested.

Alphabet Hats

Everyday since the first day of school we have made these hats! I have gotten messages and emails from parents telling me about how much fun it has been for them to guess what might possibly be on the hat for a certain letter.

I just HAVE to show you some of the pictures of our hats.

Alphabet Hats

On Mm day the hat was moose ears. So…..

I just HAD to let them wear their hats and we did Moose-Ta-Cha from GoNoodle!!

Moose Hats

Then for the last station, I have alternated between uppercase and lowercase puzzles  and playdough letter mats. Well….again these resources are from TpT. The way I used the puzzles worksheets, was quite simple. I printed the letter puzzle and the pieces. Next, I colored the pieces and colored the borders and then I laminated all of it and I cut the pieces apart. And…VOILA! I had reusable puzzles.  Click the pics to find them.

Alphabet Puzzles for Lowercase Letters   Alphabet Puzzles for Uppercase Letters

Alphabet Puzzle

Alphabet Play Dough Mats

The alphabet play dough work mats are fun and easy to laminate. The kinders have had a blast with them!!

Alphabet Playdough

We have only 6 more letters to go and when we are done, we are going to have an Alphabet Palooza Party!!

I’m calling it that, because well….I just love that word Palooza!!

I have found lots of ideas on Pinterest. My plans right now are to make alphabet necklaces, and an alphabet trail mix. Then we will play Alphabet Stack Up using sliced up pool noodles with letters on the front. We will play some sort of ABC Relay Race. I will end it with an Alphabet cookie walk. I just completed a resource to use for the cookie walk. As I developed it, I realized that the small cards can also be used for a matching game. I am really excited this celebration. I will post about it, after it happens!!

The Alphabet Cookie Walk resource is on sale in my store $1 for a week. I hope that you will walk on over to it and check it out!

Just click the pic below to look it over!!

Alphabet Cookie Walk

I really want to end this blog post with a giveaway to honor those of you who have been in the classroom for a few weeks now and for those who are just starting back this week!! Please check out my Rafflecopter below to enter to win a $10 gift card from Teachers Pay Teachers. I’ll be giving away 2!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have a great week!! Thanks for checking in!!

Back To School Teacher Giveaway

It is absolutely amazing y’all at what a whirlwind it was around the Groce household in July!!

So this is how it all went down…..

First of all……

We left on July 3rd to go on our mission trip to Wales and spent almost 10 days there!

Wales School Team

This is my awesome school team that I worked with during the day in Wales. Our theme for our school assembly was the Olympics. We performed a skit called, “Animal Olympics” using these cutie patootie masks!! I’ll be posting more on that this next week. Stay tuned!!

Choir

Here’s our Wales gospel choir during a practice time towards the end of the trip. I pulled a little prank on our choir director, by having some of the choir members hold up the masks while we were singing our first number. Trust me!! This happened during our practice time……NOT the actual performance!!

The trip was awesome! We were able to bring honor and glory to the Lord while we were able to minister to the communities in different ways.

London With Dan

We went to London for 1 day before we headed back to Georgia!!

Then NEXT…..

We flew home on Tuesday. As SOON as I landed from being in London, I got right back on another plane and made it to this:

TpT Conference

Talk about  being a jet setter!! But it was so worth it!! I had a great time! I learned so much and was able to meet some great people! And yes, I was star struck when I met people like Deedee Wills, Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard, and Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher! And seeing the founder of TpT, Paul Edelman was so cool!! There were many others but it would take a whole page to mention them!

Go Noodle

This pic was taken at the HUGE teacher meet up that was held at night!

I got to get a picture taken with one of the GoNoodle characters. Lots of fun….!!

Dan and Jaden flew down on Wednesday and while I was attending this awesome conference they were having a great time at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World!!

Dan and Jaden DW

We all flew back home early Friday morning so we could get some clothes washed and get ready for our family vacation to the west side of Panama City Beach, Florida! Our plan was to leave on Saturday around noon……..

However, a pretty important and I mean IMPORTANT event took place………

And it was……DRUMROLL please……

Aubrey

The birth of our 3rd granddaughter!! She wasn’t due until July 22nd, but she decided to arrive on July 16th around 3:45 in the afternoon.

Well……before we went to the hospital, we packed up our things, so we could go on to the beach.

My daughter and son in love were good with it! They knew all along that we had this trip planned, before they got pregnant……

I hope you don’t think I’m bad to have gone on to the beach, but trust me…. they were good with it!!

My son and daughter in love went with us along with Jaden and a friend of hers.

We stayed for a week!!

Carolina and Jaden Beach

Beach

So…..

We got back on the 23rd….

I got to get some lovin’ in with my new grandbaby….

and it was time to think about…..

BACK TO SCHOOL!!

YIKES!!

BACK TO SCHOOL!?!?

I know!! It is that time, y’all!!

Here is a link to my FREEBIE that I have on my TpT store for Meet the Teacher Day. Click HERE to get to it.

Also…..

To make it easier on you, I want to offer a giveaway. TpT was so gracious to give me a $10 gift card code to use for a promotion! To make it even better, I’m going to give away 2 MORE….count them!!…. 2 MORE $10 gift cards to TpT!!

That means there will be 3 LUCKY DUCK winners in this giveaway!!

So go below to the Rafflecopter and enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This will be a super duper QUICK turnaround on this giveaway, so don’t delay in entering!!
Thanks so much!!
Enjoy your weekend!!
Save

Five For Friday: {Linky Party August 21, 2015}

fiveforfriday2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. For me, this has been my 3rd Friday back at school!! It is hard to believe!!

Divider-1_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]IMG_1848[1]12 days! Wow! We have been in school for 12 days already!! We started on August 6th. This is my 3rd year teaching kindergarten and I truly forgot how difficult the first 2 weeks with 21 kinder cubs can be! I mean jelly bean, by the time I got home today….

I.Was.Exhausted!!

I even have a wonderful paraprofessional, and we both come home totally pooped!

However, even during the 2nd week, we saw how these sweet kiddos were trying to follow procedures and do their best.

I’m even noticing how certain ones are making new friends as they get to know each other.

I’ve just really tried my best this time to take things really S-L-O-W and can see how it is helping us all!

Divider-2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]IMG_1846[1]Read alouds and lots of them! That’s been such an important part of these past 12 days! Today, I heard one of my girls read aloud one of the math books I read the other day called, Ten In The Bed. It did my teacher’s heart good to hear her. I knew she couldn’t read, but she remembered that one well enough to “read” it to herself.

Divider-3_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumbIMG_1850[1]This week I was determined to make sure and begin 2 very important things! My literacy centers and my guiding readers time.

Last January I began purchasing Deanna Jump’s and DeeDee Wills’ Guiding Readers Monthly Units.  I absolutely loved them, and I was able to adapt them to fit my needs for my sweet kinder cubs. I saw such awesome results with their critical thinking and their opinion writing, that I knew these were a keeper!  I wanted to start using them as SOON as the new school year began.

In the August/September packet, Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom is one of the focus books.

Here are some examples of what the kiddos did as responses to the story.

IMG_1823[1]I actually got this idea from Deanna’s name unit. Click HERE to find it. Aren’t these coconut trees too cute!!

I have a literacy center called, Art Smart. During that time, the students created the coconut tree. Then, on Friday we helped them put the sticky foam letters on the tree to spell their names. The strip of paper under the trees were done the first full week back during our math time. It’s hard to see, but it is My name is ________. I have _____ letters in my name.

IMG_1830[1]These guiding reader lessons incorporate so many comprehension skills. Here is their first official writing. They were making connections by drawing pictures of the hurt letters and then drawing a picture of a time when they got hurt. My awesome parapro and I went around and dictated sentences. I think they did a great job for their first response writing.

Click HERE to view Deanna and DeeDee’s Guiding Readers Packets. They are worth the money for sure!!

Divider-4_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[1]IMG_1849[1]One of our goals for our school this year is to improve our science scores. So everyone has to have a SACRED time to teach science. I LOVE to teach science and social studies. Most of the time I try to integrate science and social studies into my literacy centers and I also have a time to explicitly teach science and social studies. This year I’ve started the 5 senses. I have to say the book shown above is the most awesome read aloud about the 5 senses. I only read a little at a time each day and my dream was to do an activity right after. However, due to continuing teaching routines and what not…

I haven’t gotten to activities

but…….soon and very soon……next week to be exact….

I’m beginning my

Slide1I created the unit this summer and now I’m ready to use in my classroom along with some other surprise activities.

Click HERE to find it!

I.Can’t.Wait.

Divider-5_thumb3_thumb2_thumb7_thumbIMG_1851[1]I ALWAYS want to end my day with a few laughs so what better way than to read Junie B. Jones!

She is my favorite and its the only time of day that I can say stupid and dumb…..

however…..

I have to preface those times, “Boys and girls should we ever say those words in class?”, “HEAVENS NO!” and they have to repeat

HEAVENS NO! with me.

In the first book as many of you know, Junie B. hides in the classroom so she doesn’t have to ride the bus on the first afternoon of kindergarten.

So…

even though I have sweet and absolutely precious……not to mention ADORABLE kinders this year,

You better believe that at dismissal…

I made sure that I had every one of my littles with me.

You just never know what their little brains (with BIG ideas) might be thinking!!

And I SURE don’t want to be looking for a kid after school!

Would you??

Have a great week!!

Oh!! And be sure to link up HERE with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday!! It is ALWAYS a fun read!!

First Week Back at School!! I Made It!!

Pajama DayHere I am…..

In my sunroom….

with my favorite outfit on!!

My pajamas and sandals!! YIPPEE! I would show the rest of me, but it’s not a pretty sight! So I’ll refrain from that!

I thought I would keep this on all day, but I’m meeting my room mom from last year for a quick lunch with her and her kids because they are attending a different school this year and we wanted to get together and catch up!

HOWEVER….

I will put them right back on when I get back home because I am CELEBRATING!

I made it through the first full week of school with new kinder cubs to teach the ins and outs of a FULL school day and week!

Not to mention trying to help parents understand the procedures as well!

I mean…

what better way to celebrate THAT then to put on your pajamas and wear them all day.

That is my kind of PARTAY!

I have to say my first week back was quite tiring and absolutely exhausting! I forget how difficult it can be and then realize what it’s like when I’m right in the middle of it. But it is exhilirating when you get through it and realize, “Hey!! I made it!! Now, there are only 173 more days to go!!

Wednesday was probably my most tiring day of all! Nothing out of the ordinary happened. I mean the usual first week things had already happened….

a child didn’t make it to the restroom in time and wet his pants.

another child brought in cough drops and that is considered medicine and is not allowed in class. So the child cried when I had to take the cough drops to the clinic.

a parent complained to me about throwing away her child’s food and the child was not finished eating…..but we HAD to go. We can’t just sit there and wait until they are all finished eating.

a couple of my new kinder cubs cried when they couldn’t get their way and a couple of them cried for no reason at all….I mean they are children….they have the right to cry at this stage of their lives!!

a parent called and complained that I didn’t allow her child to go to breakfast and I let all the other children go (I didn’t have a note about it from the parent, so therefore I didn’t know), and it was only about 5 other children who did have a note so I let them go to breakfast….it wasn’t ALL of the children!

Well…..

I could go on and on, but I won’t…

You get the picture!!

Being a kindergarten teacher is EXHAUSTING!!

Wednesday,  I worked late and when I got done, I realized I needed to go by the store. So, when I got to the store, I dragged my tired and weary body out of the car and did my shopping.

When I got to the check out, there was a lady in front of me who looked familiar….

She looked at me and asked, “Are you Mrs. Groce?” and with a smile on my tired and probably old looking face, I said, “Yes, I am.” She went on to say, “You taught my daughter.” I carried on a general conversation to ask what was her child’s name and what grade is she now…..BTW…I taught this girl in 2nd grade 8 years ago!! ….etc, etc…..

Then, as the lady was checking out, she said, “You made such a difference in my daughter’s life ! She and I will never forget you!” She went on to mention things that I did that year, that I didn’t even remember until she talked about it.

Well…..I was so very tired, so by that point I was weepy anyway, so the tears welled up in my eyes….

and I said, “Thank you SO MUCH, for taking time to tell me this. The first week of school is always tough and I begin to question if I’m doing the right thing and then you stopped to tell me all of this. That is my confirmation to keep on keeping on!! You were my angel of encouragement just now!”

When she left, I told the cashier how much I needed to hear those words. I left the store with my body moving a little faster and my head held up a little higher with a smile on my face. I knew the Lord had sent that person my way to give me some much needed encouragement!! She was a true blessing!

Then, the rest of week was definitely better. My attitude was much better, too!! I even had a child tell me that I was the bestest teacher! I also had a parent who told me how much she loved Class Dojo (this is a terrific online behavior site I use) and how she appreciated it! I left the building Friday feeling good about my week!

So this morning, as I was having my own personal pajama party, I was reading another blog from Mrs. Prices Kindergators and she made this comment:

“We must remember that it is the small things that make the largest impact.”

Yep! That is so true! Those phone calls we make to tell a parent we are so glad to have their child in our class. The picture of their kid we send their way to show them what he/she is doing in school. The meal we prepare for a student’s family after we find out that the parent has been in the hospital, and the many notes we prepare and mail to parents and students just to show we care. Those are things students and parents remember!

So Cindy from Mrs. Price’s Kindergators encourages educators to #teachsmall on social media and tell everyone the small impact you make as an educator that creates a big impact for your students and parents.

One #teachsmall that I do is take a picture of each kinder cub’s first day. Then, I develop the pictures and glue a special poem on the back  and put each one in an inexpensive clear plastic frame. I gift bag each one and send them home after the first week of school.

Here is a pic of what the finished product looks like:

First day pic in frameback first day pic

Clear HERE to that post if you would like to get the freebie poem and see the pics of it.

Just remember, like this canvas in my classroom says:

Slide1So keep on teaching on…..I know that I will! Because as each week moves on they get better and better!! Have a great one!

Class Reunion

Well even though I’ve been moving forward to thinking about the new year, I just had to step back and visit with my kinder cubs from last year.

I know….

I just couldn’t make that last day of school to be my last with this little group.

I mean admit it…..

Don’t your kids become such a part of you during the school year that they seem like your own?

Just like my blood family…..there are good days and bad days…..but once the school year is over and you go through the lazy days of summer

( sidebar……my summer was not exactly lazy…..but you know what I mean…..)

You get a hankering (what my momma would say) to see your kiddos from the previous year.

Well here is what I do to help my homesickness for my kinders from the previous year.

We have a CLASS REUNION!!

So…

last night….

We had our class reunion at our local McDonalds. Fun and EASY PEASY!!

Here is what I do:

I send an email to all of the parents about 10 days ahead. I tell them that me and my paraprofessional are planning a class reunion for all of our 2015 students.

I tell them……

the date ……which is 2 days before I have to be back at work…..

the time is from 6-7……

an adult has to be with them the entire time…….

to please RSVP

THEN…….2 days before the “REUNION”, I send a reminder about it.

That’s it….so easy…..and so WORTH our time for being there.

They all come through the door with smiles on their faces, ready to play….most of them are ready to hug me….they almost act shy with me….but they warm back up to me very quickly.

Ive done this for several years, now!

This year, I had half of my kiddos come with their families. McDonalds love me for it! :)….I mean really….I helped keep the employees busy and help make McDonalds some money….It was a win-win!

This year, I got them all a little goody bag and sent them home with that. I brought extras and I’m so glad I did, because 1 little student came that had not RSVP’d and then I had a few things left over .

Here are a couple of pics:

IMG_1502[1]

IMG_1508[1]

They had such a good time! I even had one kinder who didn’t want to leave and started crying a little.

Yep! I’m excited about my new school year, but I needed just ONE  last fix with my kinder cubs from last year.

This class reunion did just that!!

The kids think I do this mainly for them, but it’s really for me….shhh!….please don’t tell anybody. 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wonderful Idea Wednesday

Wonderful Idea WednesdayGood morning! I’m linking up with Freebielicious for Wonderful Idea Wednesday. I have read some great ideas so far. Today was the day I could go back to my classroom and get started organizing and setting it up! Looking at these ideas I’ve read about have inspired me to get over there and get to work!!

But first…..

My idea…..

I like to display student’s work outside my classroom in our pod. Yes…pod…..that’s what it’s always been called. It’s not really a hall, it’s like a little meeting area. We have tables and chairs set out there, so we can place small groups out there with an adult to do center work.

IMG_4292Here is a far off view of the wall beside my classroom door. My table and chairs are underneath this wall.

IMG_4447And here is the close up view.

1. I laminate 18″ x 24″  sheets of construction paper. I make sure I laminate a couple of extra in case I get any new kinder cubs.

2. Using Mavalous Tape and a stapler, I staple the paper along the cork strips that are outside my wall….making 2 rows.

3. Then I decorate clothespins using Washi Tape.  I LOVE Washi Tape!!  IMG_44454. Next, using a hot glue gun, I glue a clothespin to the top center of each paper. You can see that in the close up view of the wall.

5. Since we are the Tiger Cubs, I use paw prints (these were bought from Really Good Stuff)(…I buy from them about 3 times a year….I can’t help myself….this store has great quality items for teachers and students!!) and after I’ve taken their first day pictures and had them developed, I cut them to fit just right in the paw print. Then, I make and print off name labels….I know I could just write their names on them, but man the fonts on my computer look so much better and I just buy clear labels and POOF! I have nice name labels!! I put the names on the paw prints. Then, I get those laminated, and hot glue them right above where the clothespins are but not on the paper.

          Sidebar: At the end of the school year, I place these paw prints on the cover of their memory books:IMG_6871[1]6.. I place laminated die cut letters above the display to indicate who my kinder cubs belong to (you can see that in the top pic)  and VOILA!!

I have a display set up for the entire school year! IMG_5871IMG_0754IMG_6292I did get tired of the blue paper by the middle of the year and switched to orange.

That’s how I roll sometimes!

Anyway….hope this idea inspired you as the other ideas have inspired me! You can link up HERE and share it now!!

I guess it’s time that I get to my school and get BUSY!!

Fiftieth Day School: Celebrating Nifty 50’s Style

Slide1There are many reasons why I enjoy being a kindergarten teacher! One of the best reasons is that I get to do fun and engaging activities and celebrations to keep the little kiddos motivated. Since to them 100 days seem so far in the future….I can’t even remember when I used to think that way……I think it is important to celebrate the 50th day of school. I did a little celebrating last year, but this year, I tried to make a much bigger deal out of it!! I did my research on it, and then realized I could make up some of my own activities and therefore I was able to create my newest TPT product, Nifty Fifties. Click my cover page to the product above to get straight to the product!

Now, I have to say that I did all of this extremely last minute, because I had our days in school mixed up. I originally thought we were going to the farm on the 50th day. Therefore, we wouldn’t even be there and why have a 50’s Day if we weren’t even going to be there. Right!? So, then about 1 week before, I realized my mistake and began frantically planning for the day!! I emailed all of my families and asked if they would please have their child wear jeans and a white shirt that day, and that I would provide a scarf for the girls and sunglasses for the boys. I looked all over town to find some 50’s style decorations, but I didn’t come up with much. So for next year, I’ll order from Oriental Trading.

IMG_4611

As you can see, my decorations were very limited, so next year, I’m going to get my husband to make me a cardboard juke box, or even a 1950’s cardboard Chevy for a photo prop.

IMG_0695

Here, they are writing to 50 for a math center. I also created a hidden 50’s page that was used in another center. When you scroll further down, you’ll also see one of my precious kids creating pictures using 50 pattern blocks.

IMG_0707

I found this idea in another person’s blog. Click the pic to get to that blog. I also have images of the 1950’s and their counterparts in my product. I also have pages with past and present typed in a cute font. Next year, my comparison chart will look a lot better!

 

IMG_4687

Here is the response sheet for our Nifty 50’s snack. The kids love any activity associated with food! Yum!

I began the morning by taking a picture of each kiddo. I’ll be able to use these for their memory books. This dude and dudette are so stinkin’ cute!: IMG_4625 IMG_4626 IMG_0703 IMG_0711 IMG_0706 IMG_4683 IMG_4684 IMG_4691 IMG_4692

IMG_4694 Making the Coke Floats was our ending activity to finish out our busy celebration! They really loved them and I was shocked! In my packet, I also have labels for Root Beer Floats. Oh and by the way…..I used caffeine free cola!

This post only shows a little of a very fun-filled day! Hope you can use some of these ideas to use for your 50’s day at school!

See you soon!

 

 

The Night Before Kindergarten

I’m going to sound like most teachers here, but……I can’t believe school year 2014-15 has begun!! I came into summer knowing that it would be a whirlwind because I was involved in so many things during that break, but my busyness really made the time go by so very quickly. Well….. now that I have 2 days of school under my belt, I can breathe a little and tell about something I did   during this year’s Meet the Teacher and I loved it!! Let me preface this  to tell you that our Meet the Teacher may be different than other districts. For kindergarten, we meet at a different time than the other grade levels. All the parents are supposed to come at the same time….for us it was 8:00am. The students stay in the room for 10 minutes and then they go with the paraprofessional and a school staff person and take a tour of the school and also get to eat a snack in the lunchroom. The parents stay with me and I get their undivided attention for 50 minutes to discuss procedures and curriculum with them. It is very beneficial!! This year, I decided to finished the Meet the Teacher parent session with a read aloud. This is the book I read:

I loved reading this book to my parents! I would stop at certain parts like where it says, ” all their clothes were laid out for the first day of kindergarten with care.” and I asked, “How many of you already have your child’s first day outfit ready?” They all got a kick out of seeing who really did have their children’s clothing ready for the first day of school. The story ends with the parents crying as they stood at the door of the classroom and the students saying goodbye to their parents with smiles on their faces. After I read the story, I looked at the parents and yes, there were parents crying all around me. I have to say, it was truly a precious, “it’s pulling my heartstrings” sight. It reminded me that I always need to keep my heart in this profession and always make sure that these parents know that I care about their child. Then, I gave the parents a little goody bag which included tissues for tears, Hershey Hugs to remind them I would give their child a hug everyday, and my school business card on a magnet that they could put on their fridge for reference. Click on pic below if you’d like to get business card magnets for your school business cards:

The parents seemed to be happy with everything that morning, but the true confirmation I received was the next day. One set of parents came by during my last preplanning day (our last preplanning day was Wednesday and the kids started school on Thursday!!)  to change their child’s transportation schedule (by the way….that is so important to us!!….knowing how our kiddos are going home everyday…..) and while we were talking, they said, “You sealed the deal for us when you read that story and gave us the goody bag!” That made my heart take a leap and inside I said, “YES!” That was just what I needed to know! If we continue to have the same type of Meet the Teacher next year, I will definitely do this again. Here is a freebie that I just created that might help you with your Meet the Teacher day. It includes a poem for the parent goody bag, a “Getting to Know You” form, a Transportation form, and a Change of Transportation from. Hope you find it helpful!!

Night Before Kindergarten: Freebie Parent Resources for MeLet me know some cool ideas you have for “Meet the Teacher”