Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Meet the Teacher

Well, it's official! We've met our new students and school starts Monday!
Even on my 18th year I still get so excited and nervous!
 I like to make Meet the Teacher an exciting event for my new students and teachers. It's their first impression and I know their nervous about coming to their new classroom.
I had a great turnout, 20/21 students came to meet their new teacher!
The first thing I do is set up a welcome board outside my classroom to make them excited and feel welcomed! 
 Yes, those are twinkling lights! :) (They're battery-operated poster lights). I glued large rhinestones to make push pins for my board and glued rhinestones on their names too. The corner accent pieces (LOVE) are actually candle rings from the wedding section of Hobby Lobby...aren't they fantastic??!!
I had a little Welcome Back display when they entered the room to make everyone who entered excited about our new school year next to the sign in table.
 The favorites were definitely the waxed paper wrapped erasers and welcome back water bottles!
I'll save the pencil cake and other glassware to use each year. I think it would make a perfect display for open house too!
 Each desk had a scan to win ticket too! Have to get them excited before we start! (Each scan to win ticket was the same, a homework pass). I like to give them a "get out of jail free card" before we start in case they forget their homework. I know it takes time to get back in the routine.
 Editable name tags found here.
 I give parents my business card with contact information. I want there to be open lines of communication all year long. It takes everyone to make a successful year!
I also have parents complete a student information sheet with everything I need to know at my fingertips!  (Email, allergies, work place, siblings, etc.) Grab it here free!
I also have my parents fill out a simple parent questionnaire about their child: what would you like me to know about your child, how does your child spend their free time, and what are your goals/expectations for your child this year. This form is invaluable, it gives me so much information about my new students and parents.
 My nametags aren't taped down to the desk, after I meet everyone I'll make my final decision. I've blogged before about my sticky note seating arrangement. I write all my students' name on post-its (pink and blue for a quick visual) one time and I can use this template all year! I don't have to rewrite them each time I want to change desks. I like not taping my nametags down to the desks until after meeting my new students because I learn a lot in that few minutes: if they wear glasses, if they're shy, if they're talkative, strengths, weaknesses, etc. I try to group my students so we can have a successful start! (I may have to change them again after day one, we'll see how Monday goes!)

 I hope you can use some of these tips to get your students and parents motivated for back to school!

I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.



  1. I love the twinkling lights on the bulletin board! I am glad you had such a successful turnout at Meet the Teacher. It's great for early rapport building. Have a great year!

    Fit to be Fourth

  2. Your open house looks so fun and inviting!! I love the post-it note idea for seating arrangements. Thanks!

    My Carolina Classroom

  3. Very inspiring. Where did you get your desk name tags?

  4. Did you make your welcome back banner? I have been looking for something like that. I LOVE the colors. :)

  5. I love it! I especially love the pencil cake. Cute idea! Where did you get your desk tags? Love those too!

  6. Love all of your open house décor - love the sparkle. Hope you have a great first week back!!

  7. I love all the SPARKLE! It's definitely shouts, "Joanne!". I want to have some of those lights. I don't know where I'd put them, but I want them! You are always so creative. Makes me jealous. XO
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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