10 February 2014

Management Monday - New Student Packets

Button Credits: KG Fonts, Hello Fonts, Melonheadz, Creative Clips
Wow! Today has been a really crazy day! I don't know about you, but I really dislike getting new students. I don't actually dislike the new students, I just dislike the process of getting the newbie caught up to speed on all the little routines and procedures that we spent so much time practicing at the beginning of the year. Go ahead, judge away. But at the heart of it, you're not a fan either!

Anyway, right after morning meeting in walks my principal for an unannounced formal observation  which honestly, doesn't phase me. However, in the middle of it, I was given a 10-minute warning that I'd be getting a new student. Fast forward a few minutes, and in walks my new student, her mom, and I stop the lesson, try to get her settled in as quickly as possible, and get back to the lesson.

Fortunately, my extremely talkative class, was very quiet, and I was able to do introductions (could her name have been any more complicated for me to say?) and we were able to get back on track rather quickly. Overall, the observation was perfectly fine from my perspective.

Then, we come back from lunch, and there are three men removing the falling-off-the-wall cabinets, which means that there was stuff EVERYWHERE. I had already taken most of stuff out of the cabinets, but hadn't gotten to a few things. Talk about a mess. Makes my OCD brain just go crazy. What can I do though? Just deal, I guess.

Here's how they looked on Friday...
If you look at the top left, you can see how they're sagging.

Looking at these pictures, I'm embarrassed to even post them, but seriously, this is what happens when you're told to empty the cabinets.

Oy, that mess!

Literally coming apart at the seams.

Yes, I know paper is heavy. You'd think the cabinets would be able to handle it.

Oh, look at that table!

Not good. 

Here's how they looked as we walked in from lunch.
It's a good thing there's not an exit near this area. The fire marshall would go CRAZY!

Well, I suppose the cabinets aren't falling anymore.

This is disgusting. Like stomach hurts, can't.even.deal.

Anyway, I managed to get my kiddos inside, and to the carpet without being run over by men with cabinets. We got through our math lesson in one piece, albeit, with some yelling very loud teaching over drills and hammers.

I feel completely exhausted. That brings me to today's management strategy: New Student packets.

I saw on Pinterest some time ago, ziploc bags that have everything you might need for a new student. This has seriously been a life-saver so many times. I know everything that a new student and/or I might need to get us started quickly without too much of a disruption.

Instead of using a ziploc bag though, I use a folder that will end up becoming the new student's Take Home Folder. Here's what's included:

  • Take Home Folder
  • Take Home Folder Cover Sheet
  • Student Info Sheet
  • Class Blog Permission Form
  • Letter from the Room Parent
  • Transportation Information
  • Text Notification Sign-Up (See my post about Remind 101)
  • ABCs of Our Classroom
  • Parent Roadmap
  • Meet the Teacher
  • 3 Popsicle Sticks (2 for bathroom, 1 for my name jar)
  • 2 clothes pins (1 for lunch choice, 1 for behavior clip chart)
Smattering of papers included.

Here's how it looks when I have them stored. I simply take out the clothespins and popsicles sticks, write the student's name on them, and I'm good to go!

To this list of "always" items, I add in things that are appropriate depending on the time of the year. For example, I'm not included anything about supplies, wish list, or the scrapbook page, as those things really only apply for the beginning of the year. You say, "what? no school supplies?" Nope...we use community supplies, and I was given a little background on the student, and I know her mom wouldn't be able to afford them, so I don't want to make an already stressful situation worse.

I will send home a current monthly calendar (I always have a few extras), and our weekly homework packet since it's only Monday.

Well, crazy Monday...dunzo! Bright note? School was canceled from tomorrow, and Wednesday, and we already had furlough days on Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. That's right, I don't have school until February 19th! 

If you don't have new student packets, make them. NOW.  I promise the time you spend to prepare and have things ready to go, will make your life so much easier later. You know, when your principal is observing Writer's Workshop, and a new student arrives!

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