Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How Will You Welcome Them Back? Plus, a New Year's Freebie!

Happy New Year, Teaching Friends!

Many of you and your students will be heading back to school this week. Having a break is a wonderful thing, of course, but we all know how tough it is to get going again. But you also know that, for some of our little ones, your welcoming smile and kind words have been sorely missed during vacation. Your love and attention may mean the world to a child who isn't feeling that security at home.

How do you plan to greet your students?

I 'd like to share something simple that I used to do with my first grade students... and I guess that it must have been memorable, because I've had students in fifth grade say to me, "Remember when you used to say, 'An h, an h, or an h?' "

I think that many of us greet our students at the classroom door. After a holiday break or long weekend, I liked to add something special. I'd ask each child individually, "Would you like an h (hug), an h (handshake), or an h (high five)?"   It took off the pressure for anyone who wasn't comfortable with too much contact, it let the child make the choice, and allowed dignity for anyone who needed to be "cool".

But most of the time, there were lots of hugs! Despite all that we've been told about not having physical contact with our students, we all know the power of a hug. It's a reassurance, an affirmation,and a comfort - and if a child wants that, I want them to know that I'm there to give one whenever asked. It just might be the only hug they get all day.

Just one more thing for you today... and of course, it's a freebie! Hopefully it will be one more way to make your first day back at school a great day! It's a cut-and-paste word sort that uses Dolch sight words from the first grade list - enjoy!

Happy Teaching!


  1. You're welcome, Rachel - Happy 2013!


  2. My kids choose which of the 3 Hs they want too. One little cutie shakes my hand every morning. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. How totally sweet - I'm still smiling just thinking about that!
      Nice of you to leave a comment. Have a wonderful new year!


  3. I always do the 3 H's every afternoon when we dismiss. They love it, and if I forget, they let me know!

  4. The little guys do love routines, don't they? That's one reason why, back when behavior mod charts on desktops were the thing to do, I was always reluctant. I learned to never start a procedure with 6 year olds that I wasn't positive I'd be able to follow through with.

    My kiddos were always great about reminding me when I'd forget to do things, Jennifer... for example, forgetting to respond to this comment! Oops! :)



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