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4 Tips for a Super Smooth Prep Orientation Session {FREEBIE}

Orientation or Transitions days are just around the corner! This time of the year can be exciting and fun, as well as nerve-racking and sometimes a little stressful. However with these 4 tips your orientation sessions can be a huge success! Setting up your classroom, easy prep name tags, story books to entertain and a range of engaging activities will ensure a super smooth prep orientation session!

1. Set Up

Having your classroom set up before they day starts is so so so important! It is a difference between a smooth orientation session and a hot mess!

Set up your tables with activities that children can settle into without much help from you. When students enter the classroom at the start I usually introduce myself and ask them for their name. I then pop a name tag on them and invite them to find an activity they would like to start with!

As well as having the activities on the table ready for children to start with I also ensure that that I have the main activity ready to go – this could mean that I have pre-cut some of the activity, separated craft materials into small bowls or made an example to show the children what the completed piece could look like.

2. Name Tags

By printing name tags for each of the children attending the orientation has so many benefits! It gives you an opportunity at the start to introduce yourself to the child and their parents and it also allows you to know their name throughout the session!

You can make super cute name tags, print them out, cut them and attach a safety pin to each of them OR you can print name tags using Avery sticker templates! You can purchase the labels from Officeworks Australia.

You can also design really funky and pretty name tags using the Avery Design & Print online software.

3. Picture Story Books 

I love reading picture story books and I always have my favourite books within arms reach on orientation days! It is always wonderful to share a story and by having some mat time during your orientation session you can observe who in your group is a little bit wriggly! Below I have shared three on my favourite books to read for orientation sessions!

Feathers For Phoebe by Rob Clement

This beautiful story is about a little grey bird who just wants to stand out from the crowd! With help from the fabulous Zelda, Phoebe is transformed! However at the end she discovers she is perfect just the way she is! With fun sound effects this book will be a winner! Click here to purchase.

Charlie and Lola: I am absolutely too small for school! By Lauren Child

Oh, who does not love a a Carlie and Lola Book?! This cute story it takes us on the journey of Charlie convincing Lola that she will love school! Lola comes up with some valid reasons why she doesn’t need to go to school, however the book ends with Lola having a fab day and making a new friend! It is cute, funny and entertaining! Click here to purchase.

Wombat Goes to School by Jackie French 

This adorable story is perfect for bringing the group back together and engaging students in predicting what will happen next! The story goes through the adventures of a wombat that has made his way into a school. This book is guaranteed to end in giggles! Click here to purchase.

4. Activities

Last I would like to share some activities that you are absolute winners for orientation days!

Like I said at the start of this blog post, having a range of activities set up on the tables for when the children first come in helps with children separating from their parents and settling into the session.
Here are some examples of activities you may like to set up:

  • blocks
  • picture storybooks
  • puzzels
  • play dough
  • peg boards
  • connecting straws
  • colouring in
  • bugs table
  • dinosaurs 
  • puppets
  • home corner
Once all the students have arrived and they are all settled we pack up the activities and come down to the mat. This is where I will read a picture story book and explain the main activity that we are going to be doing. 
I have shared this schedule in a pervious blog post, however I have experienced so much success with it so I thought I would share it again! 

The first activity that we do is a simple about me – students draw a picture of themselves and write their name. This is a great sheet to keep as you can quickly see who needs to support with writing their name and the level of fine motor skills each child has.

You can print the sheet on white or coloured paper. Click below to download the template.

Click on the links below to read about the scissor crafts and crowns below!

I Can Cut and Paste! Cutting Practice
‘I am ready for school!’ Crown Template {FREEBIE}

I hope you have gained some new ideas and activities for your orientation sessions! Please comment below if you have any more tips for a smooth orientation session!

Teach big and change the world, 

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