The first day of school can be very emotional for students & parents alike. On our first day, parents attend school with their children to complete a scavenger hunt with their child. Once the hunt is complete, students go home with parents.
The scavenger hunt sends children and parents to important places in our classroom and school. Each child is given a copy of the scavenger hunt to complete with their parent(s). I also attach a strip of 18 stickers to the scavenger hunt. As children complete a task, they place a sticker next to it. There are 18 tasks.
While students and parents are moving around the classroom and school, I stay within the classroom to make myself available for the many questions parents have, or to talk with my new students. I do not give any type of formal speech, as that is saved for curriculum night. I also have a camera with me to get a picture of each student as they complete the scavenger hunt.
Once children complete the scavenger hunt, I take their picture to use for classroom projects in the upcoming weeks. Parents usually like to take pictures too!
Children go home and come back ready for a full day the next morning! I believe the scavenger hunt is a nice transition into Kindergarten for everyone involved.