Sunday, July 11, 2021

Ideas for Welcoming Students Back to School

In Hawai'i, teachers go back to work on July 28 and students return on August 3. July has always signaled Back to School Mode for me as setting up a classroom is NO JOKE. Since I'm not in the classroom this year, I figured I'd get you started with some ideas (that you can save for later) for Welcoming Students Back to School!

Send a Personalized Postcard Introducing Yourself

I wrote a post about Building Relationships with Students Before the Year Starts and shared about sending postcards to students to introduce yourself.

When I first began, I just used to handwrite each postcard. However, technology has enhanced the possibilities. Here are variations on how to personalize your welcome/introductions.

For each of the ideas listed below, you will need to create a QR code with a link for students to scan with a smart device. 

  1. Simply introduce yourself via video and let them know how excited you are to meet them.
  2. Record a classroom tour and attach it to the postcard that you mail out to students.
  3. Read a book to help ease those first-day jitters. Another variation could be to read half of the book and let students know that you’ll finish the rest on day 1. 
  4. Ask students to bring something special to them and be ready to share about it on the first day.
Here's a tutorial on how to add a Voice Recording to a QR Code. The steps for creating the QR code will be similar for video as it was for audio. 

Assign Seats Ahead of Time

This is something that I always did so that no student felt left out. I work at a school that has about a 50% military population so we have new students all the time. You never want a student to be told that they can't sit somewhere because the seat is being saved for a friend. To avoid this (and unnecessary chattering between students) I would pre-assign seats. 

Send Students Home with a Little Welcome Gift

Giving gifts to your students are totally unnecessary, but it’s something extra that I always loved doing. I LOVE a good pun and can’t help myself from sharing them with my students. I always gave a little treat to those students who showed up for our Meet and Greet! 

For gift ideas and already made tags, I've got you covered!

Share Advice From Your Former Students

This idea will take advanced planning from the previous school year, but I like to have my former students create brochures or Google Slides presentations giving my new students advice on how to be successful in the 3rd Grade. During the year of COVID- I needed to adjust and turn my brochures into Google Slides presentation. I decided to then add a QR code link to a bookmark which would then be shared with incoming students. 

Here are some photos of what the student bookmarks look like. You can hand these out to kids on the first day or Meet the Teacher Night!

What other ideas do you have for Welcoming Students Back to School?! I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Until next time. Aloha,

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