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  #1  
Old 07-04-2008, 12:42 AM
mcjklj's Avatar
mcjklj mcjklj is offline
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California
Kindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten Orientation

Hi,
I was wondering if anyone does a kindergarten orientation, and if so, what you cover with the parents. We are going to have one a week before school starts...and then we have Back-to-School night a week after school starts. I'm just looking for ideas about what to cover at the orientation and what to save until Back-to-School night.

Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2008, 07:46 AM
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vannapk vannapk is offline
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Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcjklj View Post
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone does a kindergarten orientation, and if so, what you cover with the parents. We are going to have one a week before school starts...and then we have Back-to-School night a week after school starts. I'm just looking for ideas about what to cover at the orientation and what to save until Back-to-School night.
Yes, we have a big orientation. I have turned our orientation into a movie because I found I was always forgetting one very important thing or parents would always come in late and I would repeat myself and it just got out of hand. Here is a link to the video.

We also give the parents a packet at orientation with all the info inside. From my website:
"Have enough packets prepared for every student on your class list, but make sure to have several extras for late additions to your class and for those students who might move to the area during the school year. I use the .01 cent folders with brads from the back to school sales at Office Depot/Max to create my orientation packets. On the inside front pocket I place my "Welcome to Our Class" letter along with my business card. I three hole punch the class handbook and insert it in the middle using the brads. In the inside back pocket I put other important information such as uniform order forms, a note from the nurse, PTA membership information etc. To see a copy of my "Welcome to School" letter go here and scroll down to the resources section"
Inside the packets I also put several things I made at Vista Print like a "Back to School Checklist" and "How Can I Help My Child..." brochure- you can see them here in addition to my business cards.

At Back-to-School Night we have the room decorated with the children's artwork and we're available to answer questions about how little Johnny and Suzy are doing etc. It's just a smile, meet and greet w/out a big presentation.
Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2008, 07:08 AM
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Lindzee82 Lindzee82 is offline
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Maine
2nd Grade Teacher
We do a kindergarten spaghetti supper the night before the first day of kindergarten. The kids and parents come down and see the room, the kids find their desks, I introduce myself, etc. Then, we head down to the cafeteria where the students and parents get their food - the kids practice going through the lunch line with their parents, and practice punching in their lunch codes. After dinner, the kids get to ride on a school bus and the teachers meet with the parents in the gym. We go over the home-school folders and the paperwork in them (emergency cards, lunch forms, etc.) then we answer any questions that they may have. Last year was my first one and I really liked it. I am hoping I get to teach kindergarten again, so I will get to do the dinner again!
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2008, 07:45 AM
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sevenplus sevenplus is offline
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Ohio
At orientation I cover all of the nuts and bolts of how our classroom operates. My expectations for the year and what I need parents to do, homework, what to do if your child will be going home a different way (picked up vs. bus) one day, how dismissal works, field trips, supply lists, applying for free/reduced lunch, my behavior plan, how to contact me, the home/school folder... Just real basic "this is what we need to know/do to get the school year started."

I start my orientation by reading The Night Before Kindergarten to the class. I used to read The Kissing Hand but I like this new one better. Then the students do a small activity with my assistant while I talk to the parents. When the students finish the activity, they go on a tour of the school and also get to play on the playground. And I'm still talking to the parents. I use any extra time at the end for them to complete paperwork.

For a Back to School night I'd focus more on academic/curriculum stuff. I don't get into that much at all during orientation.
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2008, 08:10 AM
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kimrandy1 kimrandy1 is offline
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We do a big, parents-only, orientation for both Pre-K and K families in the evening on the last day of teacher workdays. There are four teachers, total, and we divide up the things we need to discuss that are relevant to both K and PreK families (transportation, inclement weather, school anxiety, etc.) and we stay in the auditorium. Then, the Pre-K families (because there are less of them) come to the PreK classroom and we discuss the things that they need to know about PreK. The K families stay in the auditorium and continue with more K focused discussions. We cover routine, rules, contact info., curriculum, teacher background, field trips schedules, etc. This meeting replaces our back to school night 2 weeks later. After finishing with the bigger meeting in the auditorium, the K parents also get to tour the classrooms.

Our district has an individual parent/teacher/child interview appointment for 20 minutes each during the first days of school (the little kids don't have school then). By covering all of the "housekeeping" tasks before that point, we have more time to discuss each kid individually during our interview. The kids come and get to see the room and meet the teachers one on one.

I have a lot of handouts that we give out, some from the district, and my own class handbook, as well as that essay called "Thoughts from the Bottom of the Beanstalk."

Kim
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2008, 11:13 AM
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jlj jlj is offline
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Florida
combo K/1st
kimrandy1- would you share the "Thoughts from the bottom of the beanstalk" essay? Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2008, 01:12 PM
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mcjklj mcjklj is offline
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California
Kindergarten Teacher
Thanks for all of the great suggestions! They've been a great help!

kimrandy1...I would love to see the essay too! Thanks!
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2008, 06:11 PM
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kimrandy1 kimrandy1 is offline
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http://www.cceschool.org/hayes/Thoug...0Beanstalk.htm

Go to this website and you'll find the essay. I originally got it from someone here, as a matter of fact.
Kim
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