I have experienced two Open House nights and when thinking about my third I feel exhausted. Each year I end up worn out and dead tired by the end of the night. When I ask other teachers how they survive the night and still have energy the response is a resounding, “We are ALL exhausted.”
There has to be a better way to work through Open House. As I scanned Pinterest one night I found a pin which led me to Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits‘ post all about Open House. After reading her post I felt like
such an idiot I should have thought of that.
I have created six stations for Open House. At Station 1, parents will find the folder with their child’s name on it. This folder will hold the medical card and information card our office and nurse must have on file. The parents will need to fill these out in the classroom before leaving. There will be a basket for them to place the finished folders in afterwards.
At Station 2, parents will inform me how their student will get home on the first day of school. My school gives me a form for this and will simply be sitting with the station sign and some pens.
At Station 3, parents are asked to find their child’s desk in the room, watch a power point presentation which will be on loop on the SMARTboard, and take the folder on the desk home with them to read. I found a great power point presentation package at Ladybug’s Teacher Files for free. The link to the FREE presentation is here. I added all of my information to the presentation with my teaching partner and am sure it has more than enough detail for my parents.
At Station 4, parents are asked to sign up for text message updates and Twitter. I have a Twitter account to update parents on classroom activities, tests, etc. The text messages I send are through Remind 101. It is a free app which allows you to text a large group without giving the group your cell phone number.
At Station 5, parents are welcomed to take a refreshment and read about some additional classroom supplies we will need. I give parents a water bottle and flavor packet. The labels for the packet are FREE when you click here. I also give the students a small bag of goldfish with a tag found here attached. The additional supplies are written on a die cut apple. I got this idea from Lesson Plan SOS.
At Station 6, parents are asked to meet Mrs. Ruff and her teaching partners before they leave.
I have made these station signs in 7 different color options. They are also editable and can be changed to whatever you would like. I have printed mine in the blue and orange option, glued them to white construction paper to make them thicker, and laminated them. These station signs are FREE here.
I cannot wait to try this method to open house out. Pictures to come afterwards of course!