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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Welcome


Do you have something in your classroom that says 'welcome'?

I think it is so important to do so, especially at the beginning of the school year. Classrooms are so varied and reflective of the huge range of teachers we have, but having even a small 'welcome' in the classroom makes a huge impact.

Let's face it, everyone wants to feel welcome. A classroom is no different, and if anything, is a place where feeling welcome can change lives.

I just revised a very old resource, my schoolhouse 'welcome' packet. 


It includes lots of bits and pieces to make your own 'welcome display'. You can use these bits to decorate a window, a bulletin board, a corner of the wall, or even just make a relocatable chart/poster. When I teach Kinder, I like to have an easel at the front of my classroom for the first 2 weeks, with a 'welcome' poster attached. I also make sure all the children's names are displayed on it.

In Australia, most of our classrooms have the front door leading outside into the yard and having the easel outside everyday, gives new students something to look for each day as they arrive. They enjoy coming up to it each morning to find their name, and after a few days, they are finding the names of all their new friends. Adding photos is always fun too! With those back-to-school nerves running high, the familiarity of seeing the same easel and poster marking the front of their classroom can make a huge difference. 

Another essential thing to do with Kindergarten at this time (there are so many!) is to sit them down and talk to them about your 'welcome'. I am always very conscious of the fact, that just about everything at school is so new to our little ones, that it makes a HUGE difference if you sit down and tell them about things. 

Things that are very obvious to you and the 'grown ups'. Tell your students that you have made a display/sign/bulletin board/poster/arrangement to make them feel welcome. To make them feel happy. To make our classroom special. Tell them that you have done it especially for them, and taken time out at home to prepare it ready for them. Tell them you want 'our' classroom to be very special so we are happy are can work hard every day. Point to all the letters and spell out the word. Point to the different shapes and pictures and why you have chosen them and what they mean. 

This helps your students to not only start to feel that they are a special part of a 'class' but they will also begin the journey to being much more aware of their surroundings and what you put up on the wall! 

The most ideal situation is if you can get your students to be involved in your display somehow. They will begin to feel ownership in the class community.

With the pieces in this set, you can ask them to draw features to complete a picture card and also write their name neatly. These will look adorable added to the 'WELCOME' letters. 


They can write their name on one of the pencils. 



Arrange the pieces in any way that suits you and your space!


Write your class name on the schoolhouse window!


I have included 3 different patterned letter sets.

If you have my 'Stick Kid Cuties' Ultimate bundle, it is already in there waiting for you! 


Of course, if you don't have the time or space to make a fancy display, a very simple page with 'welcome' written on it can be just enough to get you started! 


I have a 'Classroom Stuff' category in my TpT store, where you can find more printables to help get your classroom ready!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!