So far I've been keeping myself busy with the usual setting up stuff - rearranging furniture, changing displays, putting name labels on everything - as well as staff meetings and catch up chats with friends. I still have tonnes to do, but am hopeful that it will all be done by the time I leave on Friday. (Yeah, right!). I thought I'd stop in and share 2 very quick ideas that might be helpful for you if you're in the same boat as me, getting ready for a new batch of kidlets!
In the past, we have wrapped birthday presents for each of the children to give to them on their special day. To be honest, that was something that I did purely because it had been done forever before I joined the Prep team - but I had been really feeling that it was a waste of money and time. Obviously, buying 25+ decent birthday gifts is expensive, so the bits and bobs they would get were from dollar stores and were less than impressive for kids whose birthday wishlists these days seem to be more and more extravagant. Once the few minutes of excitement (all eyes on them as they opened their gift) were over I'm pretty sure our little gifts were forgotten about. I still want my kidlets to feel special and excited on their birthday, so I put together a class set of 'Party Packs' ready to give out during the year. We can still sing to them and celebrate their day - and the balloon, crazy straw, party blower, patterned pencil and glow stick bracelet can be taken home to help with birthday festivities! Everything I needed cost less than $20 (for the whole class) and there's one ready for every kidlet - no early morning present wrapping for me this year!
Right before I left this afternoon I whipped up some desk group labels. Last year I named my groups after Dr. Seuss characters (Cats in Hats, Brown Barbaloots, Foxes in Socks and Horton's Whos) and was horrified to discover that many kids had no idea who those marvellous characters were! To begin this year, my groups will be colours instead (represented by a cute monster thanks to My Clip Art Store) so I have time for them to get to know Dr. Seuss and his friends. Each desk group will have their little monster in an Ikea frame ($1.99 each). These frames are also handy to grab and move around the room to show kidlets where they need to be for group rotations until they get used to the routines. It's also super easy to print another label if group names change and slide it into the frame.
I'll be back hopefully very soon to share some some more ideas from my classroom... these two simple ditties were an easy way to ease back into the blogging world after my accidental hiatus. :) I'm off to have a hot shower (this old teacher's shoulders and knees are sore after a day of moving desks!) and blob in front of the TV. :)