Category Archives: Welcome

FRESH Bulletin Boards for Back-to-School!

by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed. and Diane Burdick, M.S. Ed.

Back-to-school time is upon us! Just look around any grocery store and you’ll be reminded that school will be starting up any day. So, we’re here to help you come up with a few new ways to welcome your students into your classroom–and into the new school year–with style and, well, class.

Bulletin Board #1: Getting to Know YOU

As the teacher, you’re interested in getting to know your students, but your students (and their parents) are equally as interested in getting to know all about you. So why not help them learn more about you with a YOU-themed bulletin board?

Title the board “Mrs. Smith welcomes you!” Include a brief biographical paragraph, pictures of yourself and your family, and pictures of you at the age of the students you teach. Create a list of your likes and dislikes, a list of the fun things that you did this summer, a list of your favorite things about school (it’s okay to put recess on there :).

Doing a YOU-themed bulletin board helps the students feel less intimidated by you as the new authority figure in their lives and sets the tone for a cheery new school year.

Bulletin Board #2: Look Whooo’s In Our Nest!

Owls are all the rage currently, and given their tie-in with knowledge and learning, why not incorporate them into a “Look Whooo’s In Our Nest” bulletin board?

Use strips of brown paper to create a large nest at the bottom of the bulletin board, and then fill it with owls. {Download printable owls here or here or here. Or create your own using this printable template from} Write each child’s name on an owl.

To vary this idea with photographs, ask parents to bring a fairly recent picture of their child with them to meet-and-greet or orientation (or the first day of school). Glue a child’s head over each owl face. Can’t you just picture a big brown nest filled with your new lil’ owlets?

Check out some of the great downloadable and purchasable owl items from Teacher Pay Teachers {an online marketplace for educational ideas}, too.

Bulletin Board #3: Heroes of the Class

Since hero-themed movies were so big this year in the box office, consider creating a bulletin board celebrating the different heroes in your classroom: your classroom helpers! Assign fun names and pictures to your different classroom jobs to help invoke a spirit of helpfulness, and post them to the bulletin board for all your students to see.

For example, students might not want to be on trash duty for the week, but they probably wouldn’t mind being called the Royal Rubbish Remover.

Other fun classroom helper names: 

• Inspector Desk Inspector (for the student who inspects desks for cleanliness)

• King/Queen of Calendars (for the student who helps mark things off the calendar)

• Mr. /Mrs. Clean (for the student who helps others at the sink to wash their hands)

• Professor Paper Passer (for the student who helps distribute papers)

• Agua Man/Woman (for the student who waters the classroom plants)

• “Bat” Man (for the student who helps collect sports gear)

The possibilities are almost endless! And if you have the time (and creativity), consider allowing students to wear a special pin or badge that denotes their assignments for the week. For more creative ways to display classroom jobs, check out the free resources at

Have fun planning out your inaugural bulletin boards!


Filed under Academic Success, Bulletin Boards, Classroom Decor, New School Year, Welcome

Are You Prepared for a School-Time Emergency? {3 ways to know}

Comment on this post and be entered to win a $20 School Box gift card.

“Do you think a school emergency card is enough to protect your kids if something happens to you during school hours?” asks attorney Steve Worrall to a crowd of parents attending his popular Protect My Kids! seminar last month in Marietta, Georgia.

The majority of the room raises their hands yes. A few parents are undecided. Yet from a legal standpoint, all of them are wrong.

“Contrary to popular belief, a school emergency card will not protect your children from spending time in the hands of social services if something tragic happens to you,” says Worrall. “The emergency card only gives named contacts permission to pick your kid up if they are sick, not take short-term custody of them if one or both parents are killed or incapacitated in an accident.”

For this reason, experts such as Worrall recommend parents create an emergency plan so there is no confusion or legal headaches should tragedy strike. According to Worrall, this plan can be created in three easy steps:

1. Legally name short-term guardians for your kids.

Short-term guardians are the people who have legal permission to care for your child until the surviving parent or long-term guardian can arrive. This should ultimately be someone who lives close by and one who will comfort your children in an emergency.

2. Make sure your short-term guardians match those named on the school emergency card.

In addition to listing friends and neighbors who can pick your child up from school if he or she gets sick, it’s equally important to list the full contact information of your short-term guardians for true emergencies. Without this information, your children could be placed temporarily in the custody of social services until the surviving parent or legal guardian can arrive.

3. Make sure the babysitter knows what to do if you don’t return home.

It’s extremely important that parents give their a.m. or p.m. babysitters detailed instructions on what to do and who to call if they don’t return home. In most cases, a babysitter will panic and turn to the police for help, again opening the door for social services to temporarily take custody of your kids until a long-term care provider can arrive.

“Creating a back-to-school and babysitter emergency plan is so easy–and something that will greatly pay off if a parent is injured or, God forbid, killed during school hours,” Worrall says. “The first few hours after an emergency are the most painful for a child, so it’s important for parents to make sure their kids spend that time with people they love and trust, rather than in the arms of the state,” he concludes. Good advice for parents and teachers, alike.

For more information on Marietta family attorney, Steve Worrall, please visit or call 770-425-6060. You can also sign up for an upcoming Protect My Kids! Plan Workshop at to gain detailed guidance on how to guarantee that your kids are legally protected…no matter what.

Stephen M. Worrall is an experienced family law and wills, trusts, estate planning, probate and elder law attorney in Marietta and Atlanta, Georgia. He concentrates his practice in all areas of family law, including divorce, adoption and prenuptial agreements, and family estate planning, including estate planning, including wills, trusts, guardians for minor children and incapacitated adults, probate and trust administration. He also helps families plan to protect their assets and their children in the event of their death or incapacity, and to transfer their whole wealth: their financial, intellectual, and spiritual assets, to their loved ones.


Filed under Parenting, School Readiness, Welcome

Kindergarten Round Up

by Rachel Stepp

Comment on this post to enter to win a $20 School Box gift card! Winners are drawn monthly!

It’s that time of year again when 4-year-olds are starting to register for kindergarten for the fall. Many schools host events for collecting information about these rising wee ones, and it can all become very businesslike and formal. Blech.

And while parents are completing forms and answering questionnaires, their little darlings have to do…something. Why not give them something fun to do, while building their excitement about school at the same time? One way to make the registration process more exciting for students and parents is to give it a theme, and my personal favorite theme is Kindergarten Round Up!

Here’s how to add a little “yee-haw!” to your kindergarten registration process.

Involve Your Current Kindergarteners

Your current kindergarten students can be role models for the younger students. The kindergarteners can create decorations that will allow future students to see some of the work they will eventually be doing. These work samples/decorations also let parents know what to expect from their students during the following year. Here are some decor ideas:


Kindergarteners can color or draw cowboys and cowgirls and then attach their pictures to the faces.

Writing Samples:

Have students write about their favorite farm/ranch animals, experiences with horses or cows or other farm/ranch animals, or what they think being a cowboy or cowgirl would be like. Affix rope in a curvy lasso pattern around bulletin boards displaying these items for instant cowboy-mania!

Provide a Simple Project

In addition to looking at the kindergarteners’ work, the rising elementary schoolers can work on their own projects. They can make farm animals to either add to the kindergarteners’ bulletin boards or to take home–they can decide which they’d rather do.

To make a pig:

For pigs, use basic shapes such as circles and triangles to allow children to make pig faces. Circles of different sizes can be faces, eyes and noses. Triangles can be used for ears.

To make a chick:

Use a paper plate that has been folded in half. First, the children can color it yellow, and then they can attach a yellow circle for the head, an orange triangle for a beak, and orange feet.

These activities will help involve the 4-year-olds in the registration process, and, even better, they’ll get a glimpse of all the yippee-ki-yay fun they’ll experience next year!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia.

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Filed under Classroom Decor, Welcome

Write for Us

daytimerWrite on something you feel passionate about! We are looking for good articles about education to publish on our website and newsletter. Although we will consider any topic, the following themes are of special interest:

  • Test taking skills
  • Useful tips and tricks
  • Product reviews from real world experience
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Hands-on activities
  • Classroom management
  • Classroom decoration
  • Community news and projects
  • Educational parenting tips
  • Touching classroom stories/teacher inspiration

The article should be geared towards parents and/or educators of children anywhere from early childhood through high school. All articles should be approximately 500 words. It is best to avoid using slang or idioms that might not be understood by all readers. Be careful when referring to dates or events in the future, as there could be elapsed time between submission and publishing.

Please send all article submissions to The e-mail should also contain a brief description of your background, as well as your complete contact information. If your article is chosen, we will contact you before going to print. Besides being published and the almost certain personal fame that will most likely result, all writers will receive a School Box Gift Card for any article published.

This is going to be an on-going opportunity—so submit something whenever inspiration strikes (or whenever you need a new bulletin board set and don’t want to shell out the cash for it).

The tremendously fascinating legal-speak: Submission does not obligate The School Box to use or publish any submitted entry. All articles are subject to editorial changes. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Entrant certifies that any submitted writing is an original, unpublished work that will not infringe on the privacy or intellectual property rights of any third party. Entrant grants to The School Box worldwide, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to edit, publish and republish at any time Entrant’s submitted writing, in any and all media for any lawful purpose without further permission, notice or compensation.

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Welcome to our Newsletter!

Are you suffering from info overload? In today’s world of e-mail, Twitter, texts and Google, you can practically drown in the amount of information flooding cyberspace. So, how do you– in the midst of your crazy, busy, too-much-to-do life– sort through it all?

Enter: The School Box’s new online newsletter and blog. Our goal is to present relevant, pithy information on all things related to education. We want to be a source you can trust for innovative learning ideas, fresh classroom tips and parenting inspiration. In essence, we want to throw you a life preserver in the tide of cyberspace!

Even better, we want to give you a voice. You have good ideas, and we want to hear them. And then we want to publish them. And then we want to reward you for sharing. If you submit an article on parenting or education that ends up being published on one of our sites or in our print publications, we’ll give you a School Box giftcard: just a small pat on the back for your great thoughts. All you have to do is click “Write for us!” at the top of this page to learn more. (Please pass this along to anyone you know who may be interested, as well!)

Check back often! We’ll be adding fresh content weekly.

Elizabeth Cossick, M.Ed.
Managing Editor

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Filed under Uncategorized, Welcome