On the first day of school I write my kids a letter telling about myself, and then their task is to write a letter back to me. It gives the kids something simple to do while I deal with parents, school supplies and any other first day hiccups. The letters are really fun to read, and I save to look at again at the end of the year, it’s amazing to see their growth.
Bind and send home the pages/pictures of work your students did at the end of the year. There are so many ways to assess children beyond pen/paper, and it would be neat to put them together and send them home at the end of the year to show parents how their children grew in the classroom.