Monday, July 6, 2015

Bring Your Welcome Letter from drab to FAB

How many of you get to send a welcome letter to your students before the start of the new year?  I was under the impression that this was a common practice, but maybe I am mistaken.  If this isn't something that your school does, I highly encourage you to suggest it!  It doesn't have to be letters that the school has to spend money on sending out, it could be an e-mail the teacher sends to the families.  Or if it's not a school-wide practice, maybe even ask if you could have your students addresses.  Seriously, I think it is one of the best ways to build students excitement before the year begins.  

I wrote last year about my welcome letter.  That post is {here}

Today, I'm going to give you a few suggestions to bring your letter from drab to FAB!  

 A drab welcome letter might look like this: (I'm going to go with a sort of "worst case" scenario with this letter here. For FABULIZING purposes - yes I just made up the word) This stuff is totally made up....

So, how do you take this letter from drab to FAB?

1. Instead of addressing the parents, address the student.  Not only will kids be excited when they hear "Johnny, you got a letter from your teacher!", it gives them the feeling of this is MY teacher, MY classroom and the anticipation and excitement begins to build for the new year. I imagine this is what my students look like when they get their letter from me.

Image result for student's excited face

2. Tell them a little bit about you.  What do you like to do in your free time? What about your family? Kids? Pets? Our students think we sleep at school! Let them know you are human and they'll be able to connect with you better.

3. Set up their expectations for the year.  Tell them what kind of year it will be.  What they'll learn. What they'll experience.  Your hopes for the year.  And I'm not just talking reading, writing, math, science, social studies.. I'm talking new friends, collaborating, how to use twitter, reading with classrooms around the world, skype - whatever will get them giddy about the upcoming year!

Image result for hopes for the year

4. Tell them that you've been thinking of them or a little bit about the classroom.  Something that will excite them. Last year I told them I knew a little secret about them - that I had heard they were all geniuses and that the year was going to be EPIC.  This year, I told them a little bit about what it means to be a PIRATE (based on Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz- which I HIGHLY recommend). 

You can click the picture below to purchase the book (just a sidenote: This is not an affiliate link) 

5. If you can, invite them to stop by the classroom during a set time to say "Hello", meet you, see their classroom, and get even more stoked for the year ahead.  This helps relieve some stress and anxiety the first day of school.  

Here are my letters from the past 2 years:

I hope I've given you some useful tips that you an apply to your welcome letter!  And if this is not something that your school does, please SUGGEST it! It's worth the excitement and anticipation this one little piece of paper builds for your new students.


  1. Great ideas! I'm going to start a letter now!

    1. Oh yay! It's one of my favorite things about the beginning of the year!

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