Member Cheri posted this question in the Teachers Lounge were a number of people responded to it. You are welcome to add your thoughts.
I'm interested in hearing about others handle the gathering or opening each week (if you have one).
We gather all our kids in our "Courtyard Square" right at the beginning. Shepherds are there to greet, take attendance, give out nametags. We have someone playing music CD's and sing with early arrivals. I usually do a brief overview of the current story, but sometimes by the end of our four-week cycle I'm really stretching to find a way to fill the 15 minutes at the beginning before the kids go off to workshops!
We are using PowerXpress off and on. They do provide openings...but often they are not too great or just plain silly.