I have taught with a few teachers that do this, and I was going to do it, but we don't have a Meet the Teacher until a week after school starts, so I thought I'd call it a Welcome Bag, and give it to them the first day of school. Even older kids love it. I'm teaching 6th/7th grade this year, and I plan to do this with them also.
I'm going to go to my local teacher supply store and get "from your teacher" pencils. Other things I have put in them before have included:
post-card size note from me welcoming the kiddos with a few details about what we'll learn this year
small pencil sharpener
a few tickets (for the drawing)
fun markers/crayons/colored pencils
no homework coupon
pick a folder/poster coupon (i have a few that i give away every once in a while--when I see them on sale)
coupon for two free tickets (for the weekly drawing)
and any other little thing that I can think of that wouldn't break my bank.
Some teachers like to put in a little questionnairre that the kids fill out for "HOMEWORK". THey're supposed to bring it the first day of school. It's usually just a fill-in-the-blank interest inventory OR an "All about ME" worksheet where the kiddos can drawing a self-portrait, and write about their summer.
Here are a bunch that I keep on file. You could pick and choose which ones you want to use!
Student's Survival Kit
Contained in this kit are a few items to help you through the school year.
A lollipop - to help you lick your problems
Tissues - to wipe your eyes after sleeping during class
A sponge - to soak up knowledge
Tootsie Roll - to help you roll with the punches
An eraser - so each day you can start with a clean slate
paper clip - to hold everything together
pencil - to "write your wrongs"
candle - when you're up late studying
piece of string - to help you tie up loose ends
pack of gum - so your class can stick together
Mounds bar - for the information you'll learn
Cotton ball - for when you can't hear yourself think
band-aid - to heal your wounds
button - to remind you that sometimes you have to "button your lip" penny - so you have enough "cents" to realize what a valuable person you are
safety pin - for little emergencies
We also do the Homework Rock and add that:
Homework rock - to remind you to do your homework
Student Survival Kit
Bandaid heal your wounds
Candle when you are up late studying (2 wicks/ both ends)
Cottonball when you can't hear yourself think
Eraser start each day with a clean slate
Mounds Bar mounds of info you'll learn
Pack of Gum friends stick together
Paperclip hold everything together
Sponge soak up knowledge
String tie up loose ends
Tissue wipe the sleep out of your eyes
Tootsie Roll roll with the punches
Back to School Kits
Give each child the following in a ziplock bag with the listed items:
Tissue -to remind you to dry someone's tears (or perhaps your own, so you can see the tears of others)
Button -to remind you to "button your lips" to keep from saying mean things about others or talking when it's not appropriate
Toothpick - to remind you to "pick out" the good qualities of everyone including you
Band Aid -to remind you of healing hurt feelings, either yours or someone else's
Candy Kiss- to remind you that everyone needs a nice treat occasionally
Gold Thread- to remind you that friendship is the golden thread that ties together the hearts of everyone
Eraser- to remind you that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and that's all right
Lifesaver Candy- to remind you to think of me as YOUR "lifesaver". Whenever you need to talk, feel free to come see me!
Mint- To remind you that you are worth a MINT to me!
Peanut - To remind you that sometimes it's ok to act like a "nut!"
You are a star in my class (starburst)
Everyone makes mistakes...that's how you learn (eraser)
I'm nuts about you (peanut in a shell)
You will learn a lot this year (smarties)
Everyone needs a hug...let me know if you need one (Hersheys hug)
I'm doing a fish theme this year and putting candy (fish shape),fish bookmarks,fish crackers(Pepperidge),fish notepad with wiggle eyes,blow bubbles with fish design bottle,and putting in a paper bag with a fish design. I like to give them something that goes with my theme.
You can find those items at www.Orientaltrading.com They also have similar items on www.smilemakers.com. They can send you a catalogue if you prefer to order them that way. I've ordered from Oriental Trading and it only took about 10 days to get my order.
Here are a couple of my favorite things that I like to do for meet your teacher.
I buy the individual bags of Planters Peanuts at Sams Club. Punch a hole in the top and tie a yellow ribbon to the top. Then I make some labels that say "I am nuts about having you in my class!". I put the labels on the front of the bag of peanuts. The kids love them.
I have also bought inexpensive bottles of bubbles. I print a label that says "I am bubbling over with excitement, because you are in my class." I peel off the old label and put my label on the bottle. I also make sure they do not open the bottles until they get home.
On the first day of school, I have a goody bag with some basic supplies like a pencil, eraser, or anything they might need for that first day. Also in the bag is a wordsearch with all the students' names in it and a 1000 Grande (minitature) candy bar with a label on it saying "You are going to have a grand time in 4th Grade". I use white lunch bags with Welcome to 4th Grade printed on the outside for the goody bag.
Hope this helps.
Neat ideas about "being nuts to have you in my class". Our school is thinking of going peanut-free. MY daughter's preschool is. There are so many kids being diagnosed with nut allergies. Check with the nurse if you're "nut" sure about incoming students with allergies.
One of the above posters may have covered these ideas but I give these to my students on the first day of school.
Third Grade Kit Eraser- Because its OK to make mistakes
Smarties- Everyone is "smart" at something
Penny- Everyone is valued
Sticker- We stick together in third grade
Bookmark- We learn many things by reading in third grade
Great idea of putting in a word search with the student names. Another great way for kids to learn their classmates' names. Along with everyone else's ideas, I've done Rice Krispie treats.Easy to make and no worries about allergies...for the most part! And I think we already have a bandaid on the list, right?
I have done this with sixth graders and seventh graders. Instead of a baggie, I found very inexpensive three hole pencil bags that I write their names on in permanent marker. I expect them to use these throughout the year. I let them know this "twool" bag has two purposes. One to set them up with "tools of the trade" and the second is for the contents to be gentle reminders of the "tools of humanity." Together these "twools" can help them have a great year.
Examples: reinforcements to help us hang on to old and needed work, as well as to reinforce the Golden Rule, treat others with the respect you would like in return. A lifesaver: times when the world around you feels unkind and we need a bit of help to stay afloat. Reach out for a "lifesaver" when you feel that way. Human "lifesavers" are all around you.....