Each year I make treat bags for my students to give to them on the first day of school. This activity helps students understand that the classroom they have been assigned to for the next year is a warm and caring environment. I place the bags on desks before school, so as soon as my students walk in the room they see the bags tagged with their names and the words "Your Third Grade Survival Kit." Excitement builds throughout the day and they can hardly wait to find out what is inside. Shortly before going home, we take all of the items out of our bags one by one and discuss their meaning. The items I have chosen for the bag let the students know they are in an encouraging environment where we will all look out for each other and where effort is expected and rewarded.