Meet the Teacher Night in Sixth Grade

Yesterday we had Meet the Teacher Night at our School.  This was a new concept for me last year.  My students came in a few days before school started to bring in supplies, meet me, and get a feel for our classroom.  When I was teaching in a middle school our principal would do an orientation with our class for the afternoon, but we did not participate.  I wanted to share a few things that I did for Meet the Teacher in hopes that you can get an idea or two.

1)  Greet your families when they come through the door!  I stand near my door to greet families as they enter and start them off on a path around my room.  This also helps to prevent being cornered by a single family who feels they need to monopolize your time. On a table right near the door I have our sign-in list for Title One.  With our Title One list I have an email list to get parents emails, and a Remind101 sign up.  Of course, everyone needs a little something-something while they are signing all of those papers, so I had a bowl of mints with this sign:
You can grab it for FREE by going {HERE} if you need one 

I also had these "parent extras" hanging up on my dry erase board.  They are for supplies that I didn't ask for, or that we do not have enough of... extra items like ziplock bags, chlorox wipes, sharpie markers etc.  If parents are able to, they grab a hand (which I bought at the Dollar Store) and send the supply back to school with their child the following week.

2) My student desks are labeled with name tags.  After greeting my families I ask students to find their desks and then put away the supplies that they have brought.  Most of these go in their desks, but I keep a few things back.  I made signs that look like this:
These are placed around my room along with some empty milk crates.  When the night is over I put all of our extras away.

3) On my student desks I had a folder with items for students to take home with them.  These included our school calendar, permission forms for our quarterly field trip, school policies and a letter introducing myself.  Since I was new to the school last year, many of the parents don't know me.  I think it is really important for your families to see you as a person right away.  

This is really important if you are the first grade level in a middle school.  Parents and students alike are nervous about this big step. They may have heard gossip or other nonsense about teachers in the middle school not being as friendly or caring as an elementary teacher.  Prove them wrong!
My teammate and I would also post these types of pictures outside of our classroom doors when we were in the middle school.  It let the kids know a little about us, and showed our love of coffee!
4) This year I also created a Thinglink to display on my smartboard. Thinglink is an site that allows you to take a picture and make it interactive.  I read about my friend Sabra creating a Thinglink, and knew I have to give it a try.  

5) Lastly, I wanted my students to go home with a little something.  I used my Back to School Goody Pack to create labels for water bottles and microwave popcorn.  This way they could have a fun snack as they think about the great year they'll have in sixth grade!

What are some activities that you use to start your year?  I would love to hear about it.  Have a great day~ the weekend is almost here!

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