Thursday, August 7, 2014

B2S Bag of Tricks (Newsletters & 1st Week)

Hey, everyone! This is Crystal from Once Upon a Classroom: The Tale of Two Teachers! I'm here with more tricks that I keep in my back to school bag! 

The first one is organizing classroom newsletters. My first couple of years teaching, I gave my families paper newsletters. I loved them, but I found that they took a lot of time and wasted a lot of paper. With the way technology has become such an important part of our everyday lives, I started using Shutterfly to post classroom news and features that I had created. If there was a family that didn't have internet, I would print a paper copy, but everyone knew they could find everything on our site. 

Within my newsletters, I always include what the students are learning, important dates, and a student feature. I found that these features added a boost of excitement and made the families eager to read! The features included are: mystery student, class reporter, "Hats Off to Careers," New Year's wish and resolution, critic's corner, mystery baby, and the end of the year hopes and memories.  The pack that you will win includes everything you will need to add a little bit of spunk to your newsletters! 

The next trick that I have for making back to school fun and exciting is my First Week Fun pack! It includes the following: 

 - Back to School Survival Kit (at the beginning of the year, I have these on their desks the first day of school or at "Meet the Teacher.") The kids love them! I have included 5 different templates to choose from. 

-RAFT writing for the beginning of the year.

-Posters for each grade level that say, "Kindergarten Bright Bunch" or "1st Grade Bright Bunch." Grades K-5 are provided. This poster hangs up and then the students write about why their future in whichever grade will be so bright. This could incorporate goal setting and having a plan for the year. Then, I take their pictures wearing bright sunglasses. Paper for the students to write on is also included. This is a great bulletin board for the first couple weeks!

I hope you have enjoyed these Back to School Tricks! Be sure to stop by tomorrow to Jess' post about literacy centers! 

Crystal :) 


  1. I LOVE this idea. Last school year I had my students write a newspaper article every week, and then we would go through all the editing and I would publish them in a classroom newspaper. Then I would email them home every week, but this was a ton of work, and I like your idea better.

  2. This looks great! We always go on a field trip to a zoo. We have a bear sleepover too.

  3. This looks fantastic!! We do a lot of special things during the year but my favorite is celebrating the 50th day of school with 50's day!! I have a 50's outfit that I wear and the kids are encouraged to dress the part and we do all kinds of fun learning activities.

  4. I'm a first year teacher so I'm learning as I go!

  5. My kiddos and myself love to do our bats unit!! Especially Stellaluna where I let them taste a Mango :-) I love it because I can incorporate all subjects into the unit :-)