Friday, August 24, 2012

Back to School Night: Scavenger Hunt Fun!

This is an idea from pinterest... I LOVE how it turned out! It is such an empowering message!

I LOVE Back to School Night.  I love that the kids and families come in SO excited to see their new classrooms.  I love that every parent (whether consciously or subconsciously) asks their child “Are you excited?” and most kids either nod their little heads or say “yes!”.  It is just so nice to have the halls filled with so many happy people! 
My school has tried out many different formats for Back to School Night.  This year, we went with an “open house” format.  Parents went to an opening/welcome session run by the PTA and then were welcome to visit the classrooms to pick up disclosures, scope out the room and ask questions. 
My Kindergarten friend Jen (isn’t it funny how we become the grade we teach?) had a genius idea a few years ago to have the kids do a “scavenger hunt”- that way they could have a reason and a structured opportunity to look around, find things in the classroom (and other important things like the bathroom).
We’ve done this several times since our school opened 4 years ago.  The students (and parents) come in, we hand them the Scavenger Hunt paper and away they go!  It frees you (as the teacher) up to answer questions and just chat casually with the kids and parents.  It also allows the parents and the children to explore together. 

The first year we were at our new school, I included more places around the building-- this is what it looked like:

When they complete it, they bring it back to you for some kind of a treat.  Usually I give out “homework pencils”.  This year, thanks to pinterest, I was feeling a little fancier.  So I made these adorable treat bags!
There are a few Swedish Fish in a bag, with a note that says: “Congratulations! You’re “o-fish-ally” in First Grade!” 

I made one with gold fish crackers for my diabetic student.  I think it's just as fun!

 Their desks are ready with a “Back to School” packet. 

Included in the packet:
       ·         My disclosure
       ·         An “All About Me” form
       ·         A Volunteer Preferences Form
       ·         A confidentiality agreement for volunteers (we have a school policy that 
         everyone that comes in to help out must sign)
       ·         A welcome letter from me
       ·         First Grade Reminders
       ·         A donation envelope
       ·         A pamphlet about why reading to and with your child is CRITICAL.

(I label their packet with their name. First, it allows me to see really fast how many people came.  Second, it helps me make sure everyone gets one (I send them home the first day of school if they did not come to Back to School Night.)

 On the back table, I have a few different signs and pages.
First, I have a form for parents to sign in.  Sometimes you don’t get to talk to everyone, so having that list to reference is handy.
Second, I put a volunteer signup sheet.  (I give parents MANY different ways to let me know they are interested in volunteering!)
Third, I put a bus list.  If they know what bus their child rides on, they are encouraged to list it. If they don’t know, we figure it out on the first day of school.
 School starts Monday! Are you excited? I sure am!

No comments:

Post a Comment