Planning Guide for
Elementary School Assemblies
Planning, choosing, finding assembly ideas, and presenting elementary school assemblies can be a little daunting for parents and teachers that have been given this as a new task. Where do I go to get assembly ideas? How do I find quality, dependable, and engaging programs? How do I put it all together to provide students with enriching assemblies? This planning guide, compiled by Dream Shapers, will provide you with everything you will need to know ensuring that your assembly choices and presentations will meet the requirements and expectations of your school and students.
The Top Six Tips for successful elementary school assemblies.
Let’s start with general elementary school assembly information:
- Primary school assembly assemblies fit into two categories:
- Standards based educational assemblies that are clearly connected to California Education Standards and provide connections that support k-5 curriculum.
- Fun rewards assemblies that can feature non-standards based programs and are most often fun and entertainment.
- The length of a elementary school assembly is usually 1 period long or up to 60 minutes. This varies depending on the presenter and the program so if you have a specific length of time you want you will need to verify this with any performer or presenter you choose.
- There are different types of elementary school assemblies you can choose from:
- All school assembly programs – kindergarten through-5th grade.
- Grade range specific assemblies – for example Kindergarten through 2nd grade or 3rd grad through 5th grade.
- Grade level specific assemblies - all second graders or all kindergarteners
- Classroom visits – generally 1 classroom only.
- Cost for elementary school assembly programs will vary from provider to provider and will depend on the number of assemblies you choose to bring to your school.
- Single assemblies – one program for one period.
The numbers of students attending a elementary school assembly can vary depending on the type of program you book. If there are restrictions to the number of students who can participate the presenters will explain that to you at the time you contact them for assemblies.
- Double assemblies – two programs generally completed performed back to back. Variations and modifications are often made to accommodate student schedules and you will need to discuss variations with the performer or presenter when you are booking or determining the fees for assembly programs.
- Triple assemblies – 3 assemblies performed at your school.
- Additional assemblies can be discussed with performers and presenters.
Tip One: Choose standards based or rewards assemblies.
This decision will enable you to find the assembly that will best fit your purpose.
- Decide if you want standards based educational enrichment assemblies?
- Or do you want a fun rewards assembly?
Tip Two: Choose the presentation category or theme for your assembly program. For example, performing arts, science, anti-bully, magic, balloons, etc.
Planning the type of assembly program can range from easy to difficult.
- Plan on the educational content area to be supported and find programs to fit this need. For example, you may want to bring in performing arts enrichment assemblies (dance, music, or theater), or you may want visual arts programs, or you may want anti-bully, character or red ribbon week assemblies, or you may want science or animal assemblies or language arts programs. These decisions will help you as you search out ideas for performers and presentations that meet your needs.
- Plan on the type of rewards assembly you want to reward your students with. For example, you can bring in a fun standards based program or you to choose to bring in a non-standards based assembly like magic, juggling, or balloons.
- If you are not sure about what assembly program you want, tip FOUR will help you with this.
Tip Three: Address these primary assembly fundamentals.
- What dates and times are available assembly programs (check school calendar)?
- Will assemblies take place inside (a classroom, multipurpose room, or theater) or will the presentation be outside (you will need a plan for bad weather).
- How many assemblies do you need for your student population – one, two, or more?
- What will be the grade level mix per assembly or program – K-2 and 3-5?
- What is the length of the assembly needed – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes?
- Understand some basic staging. Is the program on the floor or on a stage? Is there a PA system and microphone, table, chair, and if needed a dressing area (dance programs often need this) available?
- Do you need to deal with school district purchase orders?
- Do you need PTA contracts?
- Are there insurance requirements?
- For animal programs, does your district allow petting of animals at the end of the program?
Tip Four: Find assembly ideas and choose performers
There are a variety of resources for finding and choosing elementary school assemblies.
- There are directories available.
- There are showcases available to attend:
- Program Preview Day Showcases and Expos The largest collection of independent performers and presenters of primary school assemblies available to see live on stage and at Expo tables available in Southern California.
- The Center in Orange County and the Music Center in Los Angeles each have their own showcase. You will need to contact them for dates and times.
- Online demonstrations and showcases like:
Performers Video Showcase.com
These organizations all pre-qualify assembly programs for standards connections, quality of performance, and entertainment.
Tip Five: Ordering your elementary school assembly program.
When contacting the artist, presenter, or performer you will need:
- Your school information: address and phone number, dates and times, number of presentations, and the program you are interested in.
- To get a confirmation on their current pricing including mileage fees and deposits.
- To provide them with information about any contract or insurance requirements.
- To go over any of their requirements – tables, chairs, PA system, etc.
- Provide your contact information for confirmations, contracts, and follow up information.
Tip Six: Presenting your elementary school assembly program.
- Be sure you receive an invoice, contract, or written confirmation within 2 weeks of booking your program.
- Always CONTACT the presenter at least one week prior to the assembly.
- Confirm the date and times for the program you have requested.
- Find out when they will arrive, do they need any special parking for loading or unloading, and get a cell phone number in case of an emergency (late arrival or weather).
- Let the presenter know who will be meeting them or where they should check in.
- Check to see if there are any special requirements that the presenter will need – table, chairs, PA system, or set up time.
- Be sure and let the school office know that there is a program or presentation on the date at the school.
Who we are!
Dream Shapers, a 501 C3 has been providing school assemblies, workshops, family fun nights, summer camps, and other programming for schools throughout Southern California for over 20 years. Along with its roster of performers, Dream Shapers supports all independent elementary school assembly presenters by producing The School Resource Directory, presenting Program Preview Day Showcases, and hosting Performers Video Showcase an online showcase of video demonstrations from over 50 different artists and presenters. Learn more at www.dreamshapers.org.
For more information or assistance please contact us.
Email: Info@dreamshapers.org or call: (888) 499-1270
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