August 19, 2015

Week 4-Back to School Bash!

Well ya'll, I have survived 2 days of first grade.  That definitely called for a pizza and cat nap kinda evening last night at my house.  What was supposed to be a 30 minute siesta turned into an hour-ish nap.  I just couldn't help myself!  Back to school time is ROUGH! 
For the past several weeks I have helping host a fabulous linky series with some blogging friends.
It's our fourth and final week for this series.  And this week, we are sharing ideas about Parent Night and Open House.
Now I'll have to be honest with you.  My grade level doesn't host a Parent Night or an Open House. We have a Meet the Teacher night prior to the first day.   We have the option of hosting one after school starts, but in the past we have chosen not to.  At the beginning of the year we hold Fall conferences.  We use that conference time to go over any and everything with our parents.  We can be more detailed and specific with what we share with regards to individual children AND most parents are more comfortable asking certain questions during that time.  Yes, it obviously takes more time to conduct those conferences.  But, the payoff is far greater.  I feel like I can really talk with my parents about what is important about being a first grader.  Those individual conferences are also huge in building that parent-teacher relationship that we all know is key to the success of our students!
I would love to know your thoughts and ideas on hosting an Open House/Parent Night (just in case!).  What do you do to get ready?  What do you share with parents?  Do your students play a big role in getting ready for this special night?  Link up with us and share!  Then, check out some of the other posts in our linkup and share the love.  You know that some of the best PD we receive is from other teachers just like you!

Don't forget to enter our giveaway! Who wouldn't love a TpT gift card?!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 5, 2015

Back to School Bash-Meet the Teacher

Hey ya'll! 
 It's week number 2 for our Back to School Bash. 
This week we are all about Meet the Teacher.
With little over a week left before Meet the Teacher night, I've started to think about what needs to be done to get ready.  I like to keep things as simple as possible.  No speeches for me!  Tried that and nobody paid attention to anything I said.  They were all to busy filling out all of those dreaded forms we give to them.  So now, I mingle and chat.  Most of the time that gives me all the information I need!   It also gives me a chance to talk to parents who have major concerns or issues that will directly impact their child in my classroom. 
So to start, I typically put all of the necessary paperwork that I have for parents in pocket folders.  On one side I put a label that says Please Sign and Return and on the other I put a label that says Please Keep at Home.  I have found this to be the best way to get back what I need. It also keeps everything organized and in its place, especially when you are handed another stack of papers 20 minutes before Meet the Teacher starts!
I typically place those packets on a desk right by the door with a container of pens.  I also place a welcome sign along with those things.  When parents come in, I guide them straight to this spot.  I don't put packets out on desks for parents to find simply because I don't have nametags on desks yet.  I have been burned to many times doing it this way.  Students don't show up or I've unknowingly written the wrong name on the tag.  After the first few days I go back and create nametags.  That gives me time to see who shows up, to check names, and to see who can sit next to each other (or not!).
One of the things I personally include in the packet is a student information card.  Our school requires that students have one on file in the office, but I also like to have one on hand in my class.  I run them on cardstock, punch a hole in the corner, and place them on metal ring.  I then hang it on a hook next to the phone in my room.  Easy access!
You can download the student information sheet here.
As my students leave, I like to surprise them with a little gift.  Each year I try to do something different.  This year on Pinterest I saw the cutest bubble gift and knew that was what I was going to do.  I found a 24 pack of bubbles at The Dollar General Store for $3.50.  I recreated the tag and hit print.  I had my daughter put it all together for me and now that's one more thing I can knock off my long list of things to do!

You can download the bubble tag here.
If you haven't registered for our giveaway yet, do that now! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that I've shared some ideas for Meet the Teacher, why don't you link up and share yours.  Once you have linked up, please remember to visit 3 other posts to share some love! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

August 1, 2015


Well August has arrived.  Can't do anything to change that.  So now I must embrace it and get my rear in gear for this new school year!  Here's a little bit of what I'm doing Currently!
I'm so hoping that I can get into my classroom to work this week.  This is my last week off.  I don't really want to spend every minute of it working at school, but it's the only way to get myself ready before the madness starts.  I have list after list of things to buy, make, and do.  I take one and crumple it up to only rewrite it again on a bigger piece of paper. I have stack of "things" to look at and read.  I have professional books I "need" to finish.  Hmm, a little bit more summertime would be nice right about now.  But in all honesty, I don't think it would all get down even if I had more time!
My baby girl is back from music camp.  So my little family is all back together again.  Both my girls have had a busy summer going here and there.  I've been nothing but a glorified cab driver and personal ATM.  Wouldn't trade it though! It's been a good summer with my family.  So blessed.
This year I want to really work hard at sharing words of encouragement.  It's free and doesn't cost anything.  But the impact of those words have the potential to be huge.  This year my first grade team will really need to rely on each other and be supportive for several big reasons.  Those words of encouragement will be NECESSARY.  I also want to try and just surprise my teammates with fun treats every now and then.  Again, just little things that could be so meaningful at any given time.
What are you Currently doing?  Head on over to Farley's and link up!
Happy August!