Read To Your Class Before The First Day Of School

Hi everyone!

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Last year, I posted a photo on Instagram that got a lot of attention and I said I would do a blog post to explain how I did it. Well, I was pregnant and forgot #realtalk. So, I'm here to explain it all today!

I found this book at Target and decided I wanted to record myself reading it, assign it to a QR code, and then the kids could watch it the night before first grade. I didn't put my face on the video, but you totally could if that's your thing. It's just not my style. 

Anyway, I wanted to do this because it made me feel like I was building relationships with my kids before school even started. They weren't seeing my face, but they were hearing me read a book to them to get them ready for the day. It was my way of saying, "Hey, I'm excited for tomorrow and I hope you are too." It was my hope that by doing this it would ease some first day jitters and make them excited (or more excited) to come to my our classroom the next day.

I've read this book, The Night Before First Grade. You can click the title or the picture for the link.

And here's the one I'm reading this year, First Grade Here I Come! I decided to switch it up a bit. There's a 2nd grade version of this book that you can find here.

Let me tell you first and foremost, the kids absolutely loved it. It took me probably 30 minutes tops to do everything I'm about to explain... Maybe a little longer since I had never done anything like this before.

Bare with me. I really hope I can explain this well.

1. Record yourself. I recorded it on my phone. Now, I highly recommend having a tripod set up (thank goodness I bought one on Prime Day this year!) because I had to record this nearly 5 million times because I kept dropping my phone #facepalm. 

2. Send your video to yourself. I just emailed it to myself. I'm sure you can upload it straight to YouTube from your phone, but I feel more comfortable doing things on a computer. 

3. Download your video from your email or however you sent it to yourself. 

4. Go to YouTube. Make sure you have an account set up. If you don't, then create one! I have this set up under my school account. I highly recommend setting up one that is just for school, if you don't have one. 

5. Click on the little arrow to upload. If you hover over this arrow, it will say "upload". Click on the dropdown to change how you want your privacy. I have mine as "Unlisted". I believe that means you can share the URL, but people can't find it (but I could be wrong?! Am I? I don't think I am....?!) and I don't want a bunch of randos' (that's my fancy term for random people) finding my video. 

6. Create your QR code! Click here for a free qr code generator. Copy and paste the youtube link into the QR code generator. Then, a QR code will appear that you can download!

7. Once you have your QR code downloaded, you can add it to a tag for you kids! I have my example below. I created it in powerpoint (because that's what easiest for me) and inserted the QR code as a picture. 

8. Print your tags! I left them on each student's desk with all the back to school paperwork. 

I have these tags available for you to make it a little easier! All you have to do is add your QR code to the tag! Click the picture below to see them ;)

It seems like a lot of steps, but it's really not that bad! What took me the longest was recording myself reading the book! Good luck and I hope your kids love it!

Looking for more back to school ideas?

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