It’s a brand new year and pretty much a given that students are experiencing some first-day-of-school stress. The challenge teachers face at the start of each academic calendar is figuring out how to make that annual “summer to school” transition a smooth one. While soft, motivational introductions are always a good idea, a little “housewarming gift” may be the icing on the cake for easing those jittery nerves.

Try handing out “Welcome Wagons” as your first order of business on morning one.  These “wagons,” which will actually be tote bags full of both teacher- and student-friendly goodies, can be helpful in getting the class off to an organized and entertained beginning.  

Some recommended contents include:

– Encourage good study habits by providing students with an instant tool for colorful note-taking.

Dry Erase Markers/Chalk – Students will need them for classroom presentations and group exercises up at the board.     

Sticky Note Pads – There’s no counting the ways that these gems come in handy; mark pages in textbooks, leave self-reminders, jot down a quick note — you name it!

A Desk or Mini Calendar – Organized planning of projects and school events is key to a student’s long-term success. Get them moving in the right direction by having your class mark down the important dates right away!

Koosh Ball – Stress relief that can lead to fun gatherings at recess time! This addition to the wagon is sure to deliver smiles.

Candy or Snack Mix – Another pleasant surprise — one that might not make it past first period, though!

Water Bottle
– Proper hydration might just boost academic production!