Okay, so I know we JUST got out of school for summer, and I know the last thing you, as teachers, want to do is think about open house. BUT, it will be here before you know it. If you don’t start thinking about how you want that night to be organized, planned, or designed soon it will creep up on you.
I always want Open House to be a night where students become excited about school, parents gain a sense of trust in you, and calm order is maintained in the classroom. I know many of you are probably thinking there is no way to possibly have a calm peaceful classroom during OpEn HoUsE and three years ago I would have agreed with you. My first two open houses were chaotic and disorderly and all around CRAZY! But then I saw a great idea on Pinterest which changed my whole perspective on OPEN HOUSE. Check out my blog post from last year to see the original idea.
Last year the stations at open house worked really well, BUT I needed to make some modifications to them. This year I have the same 6 stations, but I will change where they are in my classroom and what my expectations are for parents and students.
Parents are asked to fill out two forms from the school (information card and medical card) because these forms are typically needed on the first day of school. Last year I had 100% of these forms filled out at open house!
Parents write down how their student will be coming home on the first day of school. My second year teaching I carried a clip board around ALL of open house to record this information, but then I lost the paper. The first day of school was terrible. Last year I had a station (so people were not constantly coming to me with information) and made a copy of the paper (so that I had an extra copy in case I lost the first paper).
Now typically students skip stations 1 and 2 and go straight to station 3: FIND YOUR DESK! This is where students start to feel at home in the classroom and get excited about school. They look at the names of the students around them and look inside of the desk. I put student folders full of the rest of the papers parents need to read or fill out. I ask these to return on the first day of school.
I do a TON of communicating with parents through email and text messages. Remind 101 is the FREE app I use to text message and I greatly encourage parents to sign up for this text messaging system. I also get email address at this point to help with quick and easy emailing from day 1 of school.
This station includes snacks for students and request extra supplies from parents. Last year the snacks were a nightmare. I did gold fish crackers and water bottles. I let one sibling get a snack that was a mistake. This year I will not have drinks at all and I will only allow students of mine to have snacks. I haven’t decided what kind of snack I will have, but I am sure I will find something cute on pinterest.
Now to my favorite station…MEET THE TEACHER!!! I love to meet all of my students and parents. One question I ask every year is, “Do you like Math or Reading better?” I keep a running tally all night long and tell the kids on the first day of school the results of my poll.
Here is your Open House FREEBIE!!! Click here to snatch it up!