Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ten Tips for a Successful Kindergarten Round Up

In my school district Kindergarten Registration (or Kindergarten Round Up) starts at the end of January.  Our school holds a special evening event to give parents a chance to fill out all the required paperwork, meet the teachers, and tour the classrooms.  Our Kindergarten Registration Night was a huge success this year as we had more parents and children attend than ever before.  I would like to share with you ten ways to help run a successful Kindergarten Registration event. 


 1. Advertise
When we asked parents why they had not attended previous Kindergarten Registrations, the number one reason was they simply did not know about it.  Advertising is key to a great turnout.  We made a special postcard to mail out to every family in our school.  As you well know, notes teachers send with students don’t always make it home.  Mailing the postcards made sure every family was aware.  We also distributed these postcards to local daycares and preschools, in an attempt to invite families who were not already enrolled at our school.  In addition to the postcards, we posted the information on our marquee, in the school newsletter, and on a huge banner in the parent parking lot. 


Examples of the post cards we made.

2. Decorations
Starting Kindergarten is a really big deal!  For some families it’s their first child leaving the home and going to school.  For others, it’s their baby that they are sending off.  Either way, it is a very exciting event and simple decorations will help make it more fun and help everyone feel more welcome.  We put up balloons and welcome signs at the office and in the classrooms. 

3. Meet the Teachers
The most exciting part of Kindergarten Registration is giving the children and families a chance to meet the teachers and see their classrooms.  All three of the kindergarten teachers at our school were at the event, sporting matching Kinder DreamTeam tees from Lipstick and Littles.  While matching shirts are definitely not necessary, it made it a lot easier to find one of the teachers in the crowd of people.  We also made a simple “Meet the Kinder Team” slide to project in our classrooms, so the families could get to know us a little bit.  If you don’t have a projector or the ability to create a digital presentation, a simple poster board would do just fine! 

Example of our Meet the Teacher slide.


4. Photo Booth
At the entrance of the classrooms, we had a big bulletin board set up outside for families to take pictures of their future kindergartener.  It was a huge hit! 

This bulletin board set came from Simply Kinder and was so easy to put together.


5.  Treat
As the new student and family came into the rooms, we greeted the child first and handed them a treat, welcoming them to our school.  This helped us make a personal and positive connection with each student before they even began the tour. 



6.  Free Book
In addition to a treat, each child with a completed registration received a free book!  We used our Scholastic Book Club points to purchase the book, “If You Take a Mouse to School”.  (We ran out of books and plan to purchase more for next year.) 

7. Kindergarten Information
Parents were given a folder with basic kindergarten information inside.  Keep it simple, the whole experience can be overwhelming.  More information is given at Meet the Teacher and Curriculum Night at the beginning of the school year.  The folders included a sample schedule of a day in kindergarten, an alphabet chart, a page showing proper formation of letters, a list of skills children should be able to do before starting school, and a note with activities parents can do with their child to help prepare them for kindergarten.  Our district also provided parents with an informational booklet, scissors, glue, crayons, and additional ways to help at home. 

8.  Music
Playing music in the background is another simple way to create a positive environment where children feel more comfortable.  We had a CD of Toddler Tunes playing in the background.  Not only does music create a more positive atmosphere, but it also helps avoid any awkward silence. 

9.  Student Work
Display a variety of student work displayed around the room.  Parents and children loved seeing a sampling of activities they would be doing when they came to kindergarten.  We also had a few student scrapbooks on display.

10. Activities
The children needed something to keep them occupied while parents were completing the required registration paperwork.  We set out coloring pages and a few manipulatives (pattern blocks, linking cubes, legos) for them to play with.  Children are curious and will explore, so be sure to put away anything you don’t want them to play with.

Do you do a Kindergarten Round Up?
What have you found to be successful?

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