Making the personal connection before school even begins may relieve some anxiety for those little ones entering a formal school setting for the first time. Sending a hello note or a phone call to introduce yourself is a great way to break the ice.
Myself and my ECE partner work together to create a JK handbook that informs parents about things like lunch/snack, clothing, communicating with notes, bookbag routines etc. When they come for their first half day we discuss with parents all this information and answer any questions they may have. Our board gives every new student a bookbag when they start JK. In this bag we place notes and reading books (started after Christmas) to ensure safe, dry delivery to home. In the past I used very large ziplock bags with the child’s name on the cover or you can also purchase nylon bags from the dollar store that are more durable.
Regular communication is important for parents and students. The later part of this school year I changed how I prepared and presented my newsletters. Firstly, have always sent my letters home in the form of a book to encourage reading. The material in the letters no longer tell what we will be doing in the classroom over the month or so, but what we have done in our inquiry projects with authentic pictures and kid writing. I do however leave a very small space to inform parents of anything like fieldtrips, an important upcoming event, but the newsletter now reflects the students and what they find to be important learning in our classroom. It is more work, but the students just love it and it gives me an opportunity to sit with children and ask them what they want to include. It is a good time for me to reflect as an educator on what the children have enjoyed and remembered doing.