Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tricks of the Trade: Intro Letter and Supply List (Freebies Included)

Good morning all!


As all or at least most of you know, I went to India a few weeks ago and had a life-changing experience working with orphans there.  I have been sharing my journal entries on my posts for the last several weeks.  You can search for "Left My Heart in Hyderabad" to read about my experiences.

Anyways, what's the exciting news you ask?

There is an AWESOME, OPPORTUNITY coming up this October for the orphans in Hyderabad.

Here's the deal.  This coming October, World Orphans planned to sponsor a team of Americans to go to India to host a camp for the orphan children.  God, however, had other plans and as a result, the team has been canceled.

The exciting thing is that God is equipping local believers to run the camp!  So cool.

What's even cooler is that we can help them out in their ministry even from far away.

In order for 200 orphan children to attend this amazing camp, it will cost $35/child ($7000 total).  That cost covers transportation, lodging, food, supplies etc.

My team members and I have decided to band together to raise the necessary funds, but the 12 of us can't do it alone.  We need your help.  That is why I am asking you:

Would you be willing to sponsor a child or two so that they can attend this camp?

Would you at least give up one Starbucks, so you can help make this camp happen?

Every little bit helps.  

Click the below to donate.  The faces you see in the picture below are actual orphans that I met and now hold in my heart.  They are some of the many beautiful children who would be blessed by this camp.

Donate Now

So, now that I've shared that awesome opportunity, it's time for Tricks of the Trade Thursday with my best bud Jessica from Joy in the Journey.

Joy in the Journey

This week, Jessica and I are asking you to link up to share your introductory letter to parents and/or students and your supply list for the year.  Though today's theme may be a bit late for some of you who already started back to school, we hope it will be a good pinning opportunity for next year.

Before it's your turn, check out my tricks of the trade.  The following items are what I include in a packet that is mailed out to my students one week before school starts.

Parent Letter

To make a positive first impression on my future students' parents, I always include a letter to parents in my packet.  The letter introduces who I am, reminds parents of important first day information, and sets a positive tone for the year.  Also, I set up communication by offering my e-mail address.  Some teachers in my building give out their cell phone numbers, but I prefer not to.  I do not think it is necessary and I do not want to give parents that much access to me during my off time.  E-mail really is my preferred way to be in touch with parents.

Here is a copy of my letter.  I usually print it out on cute paper, but for blogging purposes I added a cute border from The 3AM Teacher. a template for you to modify.

Student Postcard

Along with introducing myself to the parents, I also send a postcard of greeting to the students.  I tell them my name and that I am excited to have them in class.  I encourage them that they are going to have a great year in first grade.  In the past, I have used cute postcards from Lakeshore, but it seems that they have been discontinued.  Thanksfully, I did find some cute free ones from A Rocky Top Teacher.


Letters from Past Students

Perhaps the coolest thing I include in my initial packet is a letter to the students from my previous students.  At the end of each year, I have my class write "Dear Future First Grader" letters.  They share about what they loved about first grade and offer advice to my upcoming students.  The new students LOVE these letters because they are super fun and written by their peers.  Plus, the letters get new firsties excited about the prospect of writing their own letters at the end of the year.  I had one girl who waited in anticipation all year to write to the kindergarteners! 

Although I probably should have made and shared this at the end of the year, I am still going to share a "Dear Future_____ Grader" letter freebie with you.  My hope is that you can pin it for the future.  Click the picture to download it.

Supply List

My grade level creates a master supply list and then each individual teacher adds his/her own additional supplies to the list.  I copy the list on the back of my parent intro letter.  Here is my list.  I know it's not cute, but it's functional.  Plus, it gets printed on the back of my cute parent letter paper.

Some of the key supplies on the list besides the normal pencils, crayons, tissues, hand sanitizer etc. are:
  • Ear buds for listening centers and Computer Lab
  • Thin dry erase markers (I can never have enough of those.)
  • Ziploc bags (sandwich and gallon size)

Over the past two years I've discovered that all of these supplies come in handy.  The students and I really need everything on the list.  

I'm curious though...

What do you include on your supply list?  

Link up or comment to share your ideas.


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