I think orientation week for teachers is somewhat like the week before Christmas. Everyone is excited. There are so many things you need to do before the big day comes. You purchase new items. You decorate your classroom. You sit in what seems like endless meetings thinking of events to come. You want everything to be just right.
You think you will never get everything done—but somehow you do. The week finally culminates with one of my favorite nights of the year—Back to School Night. This is when those names on a list finally become reality.
This year, I had some different things ready for my kids—like a welcome sign on my door where I asked them to sign their names. I simply hung markers from the door knob for them to use.
Since I have a few iPads® in my classroom—and I am so excited about that!—I wanted to use them. My husband and I took a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary trip to the Bahamas this year, and I brought back a shell for each of my students. So I created a video about that trip using Animoto.
I shared some of my photos and told the kids in a message at the end that they could keep one of the shells. I had the video playing on two of the iPads. (See the video of my trip to Long Island, Bahamas.)
We also have a MimioBoard™ interactive whiteboard in our classroom. Using the Tellagami™ app, I made a message to the students explaining how they could use the whiteboard. That was displayed on a third iPad.
I always try to have something the kids can take home with them. This year my classroom theme is popcorn. So I popped some popcorn and put it in cute popcorn bags I found at the local dollar store. All of my students had one waiting in their cubby.
I had a great time meeting all my students, and I think, from all the smiles, that they were pretty happy too.
What special things do you do for Back to School Night?