We had a marvelous gathering of friends, old and new, last night at the school playground.
I thought it a splendid idea to invite my new class and the recently graduated class to a get-together on the school playground. It was a great success! The older kids and siblings interacted like long lost friends, even if they just saw each other at the library last week. And the new students played with future classmates and older kids, all the while learning that we have a fun community. The parents chatted with each other and began to get a picture of what our class is like and how I interact with the children. Since a HUGE part of the early days in K is about developing and transferring trust, we made some good inroads there.
I highly recommend this activity to other teachers who wonder how to get more healthy interactions in your classroom dynamic. Next year, I would like to hold a play date early in the summer so parents can make connections ASAP, and another play date late in the summer. Keeping it to 1 hour helped everyone keep schedules intact. Good Times!