A great way for the children and their parents to keep in touch is to send home the class phone numbers. I achieve this by taking their thumbprints and asking them what animal or bug they would like. I created ants, caterpillars, butterflies, beavers, and spiders out of their thumbprints, listed their phone number and titled the page, “Thumb-Buddies”.
I have each child decorate a plastic shoe box and we keep a change of clothes in it! Each child can identify their own box and they only cost about 99 cents.
I send a letter to the children before school starts and enclose a tag board cutout of a child. I ask them to color it and bring it in on the first day of school. When the children bring them in on the first day, I put it on a bulletin board entitled “Our Circle of Friends.”
For a quick way of checking roll which lets the children take responsibility for their environment, try this idea. Cut out a large school bus and have the children finger paint it the yellowish-orangish color. When it’s dry, draw windows on the bus and place a picture of each child on the windows using Velcro. Underneath, have a place for the children to move their picture to form a line or inside a school house. When the kids come to school each day, have them move their picture from the bus to the line/schoolhouse. When they leave to go home, move their pictures back to the school bus!
On the first day of school, have your children decorate tote bags that they can use all year. You can find inexpensive muslin or canvas bags on sale at a crafts store or hardware store. With a permanent marker or fabric paint, print the child’s name on a bag, then let him/her decorate it. You can use sponges cut out into various shapes, or dip cookie cutters into paint and let them “print” designs on.