Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meet the Teacher

I'm very excited to participate in Teacher Week '13 brought to us by Blog Hoppin'.  A fun new post each day this week on various topics to celebrate back to school.

Today is all about "Meet the Teacher". I'm going to share some ideas for a Meet the Teacher or Back to School Night with your parents and students and then tell you a little about me.

My school has an open house the afternoon before the first day of school and then a back to school night after about one week of school.  During the open house, I usually have a way for students to become familiar with the classroom, a treat for greeting me, and any paperwork that parents need before school.  In first grade, I had a bit of a treasure hunt for students.  A note at the front door told them their class number and to find their desk, then on their desk was a clue or picture for them to find in the room and then another at that item and so on.  For fifth grade, I just wrote a letter to students and numbered their tasks of finding their number and desk, putting their name on all their materials, sharpening their pencils (with my new sharpener from classroom friendly supplies. See this post to grab a direction sheet for your students.)  And I did these fun little treats for them, an idea from my teammate.  The Pop Rocks were 3/$1 at my local dollar store. (This is also my Monday Made It.)

So, when students come on the morning of the first day, all of their supplies are ready and we can start the day right away.  Students are also familiar with the classroom and a few of the procedures as well.

For the parents, I give them homework this first night.  Yup, parents get the first homework of the school year.  The students think it's fun that parents have homework and enjoy that they don't.  Parents like the homework because it's all about setting up communication with me.  Here's a PDF version of the homework I give.  Feel free to re-write and adjust for your needs, this is just my example so you have an idea of what I ask of parents.  It works out so well and parents appreciate knowing that I value communication with them so much. With the homework, parents will receive a little treat too.  I'll post a picture when they're done, but they will be those apple caramel suckers with this little tag.  I'll explain why we went with suckers instead of apples when I have a picture and post about it.

I also give parents my disclosure document.  I loved the idea I saw a couple of years ago about doing it in the format of an ABC book.  If you know the origination of the idea, please share.  You can get the copy of what I did for my classroom here.  Again, feel free to re-work and do for yourself if you like the idea.

There's also a suggested supply list.  Utah provides all necessary supplies for students (no wonder we can't afford other things like salaries or smaller class sizes) so, I include a list of items that are useful to have around like tissues, lysol wipes and zip bags.  Here's my list if that's helpful to you.

Finally, I have parents fill out a quick information form and questionnaire.  I have access to their contact information in our district system, but I like having this on hand and I like the extra information it gives me. Again, here's my version, feel free to use it or do one similar that suites your needs.

P.S. If you find any typos in my documents, don't tell me, I already sent them off to the district printing, YIKES!  (If you do find one, I really would like to know before a parent points it out.)

I'll post about my back to school night in a week or so when I have that figured out myself. ;)

If you've been following me for a while, you probably know some about me and hopefully you'll learn some new things.  I'm a wife to a very supportive hubby.  We celebrated 13 years of marriage at the end of July. He has taken care of our children and home while I've worked for hours in my classroom.  He also helps me make the counting frames I sell.  He also does all the laundry and helps around the house in every other way too.  He's also a teacher.  He teaches students in Jr. High keyboarding and business skills.  He doesn't spend near the time I do prepping a room and planning curriculum. ;) We have three children who I think are just the most darling kids, both in looks and personalities.

It would be appreciated if you didn't pin or share this picture.

When I started blogging, I taught first grade.  Last year I was an instructional coach focused on K-3 literacy.  I'm coming back to the classroom this fall and will be teaching 5th grade.  I really am excited to go back to where I started.  I taught 5th grade my first year of teaching and from there went to 3rd grade then to 1st. Getting back into the classroom has also been inspirational for my blog, and I have loved sharing my classroom with you as I've been working on it. I'm more excited to begin sharing my lessons and learning from you as well.

One of my hobbies is sewing and crafting.  I sell fabric, and the items I make at Dilly Dabbles Designs and during the summer and one Saturday a month I work at a fabric shop. 

What do you have students or parents do on "Meet the Teacher" night? Let us know in the comments.

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