Teacher Talk Tuesday–Advice

Today’s theme is advice for new teachers, but I think this tip might help others too!  

We have a lot of turnover at my school – the military base sees children come and go throughout the year.  Last spring, we gained 12 kindergarteners from January to May! CRAZY! 

As I label things I made 5 additional piles.   I continually add to the pile as I work: lucky duck sticks, birthday flower, apple for lunch choice, helper stick, clothespin – anything that I would need to label.  I did the same when I was putting together my open house folder.

I put all the papers inside a file folder (with a checklist for parents!) and all of the little pieces in a baggie. I tried to color code all of the papers to make it easier on parents.




I tucked everything inside of a poly folder.


When a new student walks through the door, I can grab a file and a baggie, and I’m good to go! 

*I also type up a WHOLE page of labels for each child – first name, first and last name, (small font and large font), name and lunch number, address, etc. – anything that I could possibly need!)

I hope this tip helps all of the newbies out there!  Doing a little extra work now will definitely save you time when that new student walks in your room!


  1. Brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing :)

    Grade ONEderful

  2. I sooooo needed to read this post. As I was reading everyone's wonderful posts about their first days and how over the moon everyone was with their class I got a little sad. I work in a school with high turn over and high and low numbers in Kindergarten each year. I am just wondering which kinder teacher and kinder assistant will not be at my school because they will be moved in several weeks. It all makes me sad. And having very small class sizes are not fun either. Maybe more will show up tomorrow but it sure is not likely. I guess I need to get busy preparing my baggies for the day I get seven new students! It's a great idea I just never thought of putting it all together in a baggie. I will get to it tomorrow. Thanks!

  3. Love it!! That's thinking with your head and not your feet! :) I was just telling my colleague about this system. Can't wait to implement it this year! Thanks for sharing. Have a fabulous school year.

    First Grade Factory

  4. Fantastic idea, girl! I love it!

  5. I do the same thing- with everything I do for the year (nametags, cubby labels, library cards, birthday goodies as well as the forms and beginning of the year information packets) Although I need to go through and make more because I went through almost all of the extras I made already. I had 5 kids added to my roster for the first day of school. Have a great year!

    Primary Connections

  6. That is such a great idea! Although, I have 28 kindergarteners right now, so I'm kind of hoping I don't get any more! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. GREAT idea!!! I start school in 2 weeks, and this suggestions has just been added to the TO DO LIST; especially since I "only" have 16 kiddos right now, and will likely get a couple more!

  8. Awesome idea- for a first year or a 10th year teacher!

  9. Can you share what you send to the parents regarding Donor's Choose? I would love to send a letter to parents about our project, but I'd like to see what someone else does.


  10. Is there any way I can talk you into sending me a copy of "How to enter your PIN" paper? We have been looking for something like this at my school.


  11. I love this idea... we have a lot of turn over too. Mostly it is due to parents losing their jobs and moving from one apartment to another. I see first hand the results of this economy has had on children.... so sad!

  12. That's a really good idea. I feel like I'm always running around in a panic when a new student shows up at my door instead of welcoming him/her like I should!

  13. I love this idea. I am never prepared for a new student. Gonna do this next week! Thanks!

    Kindergarten Korner

  14. I just started doing this this year and OMG! It makes such a huge difference...the year just started and I've already had a new student! His transition into my classroom was so smooth!

    Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots

  15. That is such a great idea! I teach on a military base & that would definitely make things easier as I have students come & go constantly. Thanks for the tip!!

  16. Kathleen thank you so much for sharing all of your wonderful ideas with us! I really adore all that you do! Your classroom is so welcoming! I love it!
    I was wondering if there is any possible way for me to get a copy of the lunch pad note that you have? We use the same EXACT system! If you wouldn't mind sharing it I would really truly appreciate it! It is so hard for these some students to memorize their lunch number when they first eat lunch.
    Thanks so much!