One of our favorite things to do in preparation for the upcoming school year is help students get ready for their first day. As a rite of passage and transition to a new grade, students pick good-fit books and ready their book boxes for return in the fall. This works especially well for those who teach multiage or loop with their classes, but we know of many schools that do this when students move to a new teacher as well.
If students know which teacher they will go to for the following year, they take their book boxes or zip-lock bags of books to their new room.
If students don't know who their next teacher will be, we still have them load their book boxes in preparation for the fall. During an open house before the first day of school or on the first day of school itself, they stop by the previous classroom, say hello, grab their books, and then head to their new classrooms. As soon as students choose books from their new classroom library, they return the initial books to their former classroom teacher. It helps to have all books clearly labeled with a teacher's name or room number.
Another alternative is to have students come to school for orientation and begin shopping for books in their new classroom library.
For many children, this type of preparation can help alleviate some of the first-day jitters. They already have self-selected books to look forward to. For teachers, it can be a real timesaver and a way to bond with new students as they talk about the books chosen.