Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet and Greet

It's that time...the clock is ticking...we are inching closer and closer to the day they return! For us in Elmbrook, that day is "Meet and Greet!"

What is "Meet and Greet"? For us, it is a day the week before school starts where the kiddos come in and meet their teachers. They also have the opportunity to drop off their school supplies and have their class pictures taken. It is usually a whirlwind, fast, HOT, and fun! This year will be a refreshing change of pace, as we are looping with our kiddos, so it will be more of a "reunion" versus "introduction." We can't wait to see our friends again as that evening will mark the beginning of another wonderful year together in T.E.A.M. Togetherness!

"Meet and Greet" does take some preparation, though. Kate and I are what some like to call "Type-A" (What?! ME?! Well...her, too :) Our program has really helped us let go of some of that, because we are no longer "in control" 100% of the time (the kids are). But for evenings like "Meet and Greet," some structure is beneficial.

A Checklist. One of the tools we use to help the time flow more smoothly (and it really helps save time on Day 1) is a checklist for where to put everything! Because we work in a community space, our students do not have their own desk or "seat." We share many of our supplies, but students do have blue bins (the ones we use are out of stock, but they give alternative suggestions) that they house their personal belongings in, a locker, as well as a mailbox. This checklist is inside each students mailbox for them to grab upon arrival:
Link to full PDF of the entire list
Get to Know You Survey. Another great tool that we use is Google Forms. At "Meet and Greet", we have some of our Chromebooks set out with a link to a Google Form up on the screen.
Last year before "Meet & Greet" started. We had 15 total computers set up throughout the space.
Google Forms can be used for ANYTHING...surveys...formative assessments...exit tickets...the possibilities are endless! For "Meet and Greet", we use Google Forms for a "get to know you" survey (or in our case this year..."help us update your info" survey). Every time someone fills out the form, their responses are automatically sent to a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet now houses ALL of that great information in one place for you to access! Here is a screenshot of the survey we used last year along with a link. This form was much more descriptive, as it was the first time we were meeting our families.
This year, we modified our form to be more specific and to separate each parent's e-mail. We found that the results will be clearer and easier to navigate. Here is a link to this year's form.

The second week of school, we host a PIN night (Parent Information Night). It is then that we cover specific curriculum items. We'll post more about that fun evening as we get closer.

What do you do for "Meet and Greet"? Do you have any fun tips and tricks to share?


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