kindergarten orientation…

Well, the day is almost here!! I can’t believe that my year off from work, enjoying time at home with my beautiful babies is coming to an end. Lulu will be 1 on Monday (and I’ll be 30 on Wednesday!). Although I’m sad to not be at home as much with Jude and Lulu, I am looking forward to getting back to teaching. And of course, as we teachers know far too well, the busy-ness of school has already begun!


This weekend, I was working with my job-share partner to set up the classroom. We are getting excited about what it will look like and what we will do with the space. This is my old classroom, so I’m familiar with the space, but I’m not one for keeping things the same year after year, so we will be re-vamping!! This is my favourite thing to do before the kids come to school. I really love setting up the space and decorating. I’ll make sure to post some pics of the progress.

This week, I will be starting in my classroom with the students on Tuesday. I haven’t quite got to planning what our week will look like because, we have been busy getting together Kindergarten Orientation, which will also happen next week! Whew!! It’s going to be crazy!

Jen and I have compiled all of our notes and ideas that we did in the past for Kindergarten Orientation, Open House, and Sneak Peek. We created an itinery and a slideshow to show parents and hopefully engage and excite them for next year!

Kindergarten Orientation can be a difficult thing to think about and organize. The next group of students that you will be teaching seems so far away, and I find it difficult to create something that will show parents my love for teaching, my passion for Reggio Emilia, and explain what this philosophy entails. Let’s face it, for those of us who practice Reggio Emilia, we could talk about it for hours!

So here’s what we have planned! Because of the growing number of families at the school, we will be hosting this event in the gym (I know, not the greatest! Especially for portraying an inviting, calming, and personal space). However, this will work, and I’m determined to make it spectacular! At the entrance, we will be setting up a table with a basket of envelopes. At this space, there will be a sign that will be inviting parents to write their mailing address on an envelope. We will hold onto these, and use them as a way to invite families to our sneak peek at the end of the school year.

 Once families are seated in the auditorium, we will be using a slideshow with photos to show parents not only who we are as teachers, and the values that we hold, but our philosophy of teaching. We will also be using this time to inform parents about busing options, snack and lunch, as well as before and after childcare that they may want to utilize if their child will be attending the half-day program.

Once our slideshow is over, parents will be invited to join the three of us (Jen, myself, and the third Kindergarten teacher at our school), in our classrooms. I think it’s so important to take the time to walk them through the classroom, allow them to be able to ask questions more personally, or relay any concerns they may have.

Our Orientation is only 1 hour so this will be short and sweet! I’m so looking forward to meeting these excited parents and sharing with them all the joy that I have for education.

I would love to hear about what you have done for Kindergarten Orientation! What have you done in the past? How have you worked to engage families in your passion for teaching? Share your thoughts with us.

In the meantime check out the Pinterest board Jen and I created to support our brainstorming!



  1. Eleanor Kalfin-Royte

    I set up learning centers in my classroom with open-ended activities. Ex. In my science center I had soil sample with sample dug from the woods & my garden, magnifying glasses, “beg boxes”, etc & adult field guides for plant matter, worms, insects, etc. & paper with pencils for drawing what they found.
    In water table I had pond water & similar materials & books & documentation materials. Invitaions to use cell phone cameras to document their findings.
    Library center a variety of prizewinning children’s literature w/ stories about families around the world, information books, big books, nursery tales, etc. Dramatic ply area set up with costume materials; art center set up w/ new types of sculpture materials, Cray-pas, & easle with primary colors. A table with all kinds of pasta & oak tag & cardboard & various types of glues & adhesives. Writing / computer center set up with kdgn appropriate recommended computer games. Music center with instruments, etc.


      That’s amazing, Eleanor! Thanks for sharing. We will have some invitations and documentation for projects displayed too. Children are not in attendance for this. Do the prospective students come to yours?

  2. Eleanor Kalfin-Royte, M.Ed.

    My first 20 minutes of this open house intro was having the parents play freely for 20 minutes so we could then discuss process of learning through meaningful responsive play.
    More on request.

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