Open House Parent Gift…FREEBIE!

Students can’t be the only ones to get a treat at Open House! Use this simple gift for parents.

Grab this FREEBIE here.

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Mine doesn’t look like this, BUT this was my inspiration from Pinterest!

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Open House Student Gift Tags…FREEBIE!

Open House can be a long night for everyone but a snack can make everything better. I love goldfish, so if there are any leftovers they won’t last long. 

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Mine does not look just like this, but it is similar. This was my pinterest inspiration!

Grab my freebie here.

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New Open House Step-by-Step Centers…FREEBIE!

Yes, I have recreated my Open House Stations again! I needed them to match my new classroom theme, but then I did some reflecting on Open House last year and wanted to change some of my stations.

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You can have my new Open House Step-by-Step signs for FREE! Grab this freebie here. The signs come in many different polka dot colors. As you can see I added a little die-cut elephant to the bottom of mine and mounted them to construction paper to make them a little more sturdy. Be looking for my post on how I use these at Open House in the future!

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Back to School Night No More

We have had a Back to School Night at my school in previous years, on the 10th day of school to inform parents of how each teacher’s class worked and what and how their student would be learning that year. Because of poor parent attendance we no longer have Back to School Night. At first I thought this was great because it was one less night I had to be a school late (not like I go home at a reasonable hour anyway). This past year, without a Back to School Night, it was October (parent teacher conferences) before parents were truly informed of why their students were struggling and what they could do at home to help.

This year I saw a great idea on pinterest for sharing information with parents. I decided to create my own.

Flip Book Back to School

A flip book of information about my teaching team, how we teach, homework expectations, how to help at home, behavior expectations, and so much more.

I found a FREE template here. This template was created by First Grade is a HOOT and it is EDITABLE!

I simply edited the document and printed it on white paper.

Then the fun began. I had to figure out (because I was too stubborn to read the directions provided by First Grade is a HOOT) how to print the document front and back, fold, and staple it. Here is a short cut for you:

  1. Get to a copy machine which can print front and back. If you don’t have access to one of these then it may be a little tougher, but not impossible.
  2. Select seven different colors of paper to use. You want to match your shortest amount of information with your longest amount of information per page.
  3. Then place one page right side up, and the second page upside down but with the text facing you on both pages.
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  5. Print the number you will need for your class.
  6. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all seven pages are printed front and back

The key is to make sure one side of the page you can read when the text is facing you and the other side of the page is upside down. When you fold the pages they will all be read right side up.

After all of the pages are printed you simply stack the pages like stair steps, most text on the bottom and least text on the top, and fold close to the text on the top page.

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After the pages are folded you will notice your flip book is doubled as you flip through it! Staple the top twice (make sure you get all of the pages stapled in) and you are finished!

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Our plan is to send this home in the students’ weekly folder on the second week of school. Parents are too overwhelmed at Open House and need time to process everything.

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Open House has Come and Gone

Today is a big blur. I got to work at 7:32 am and left at 7:19 pm. Needless to say I am tired, but so excited for tomorrow!

My open house stations turned out great and with some slight modifications for next year I think I have found my go to open house procedures!!!

FINALLY!

I guess its true, third try is the charm.

Station One worked well. Parents were able to come in and find their student’s folder, grab a pen, and fill out the most important school information cards.

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Station 2 was a partial success. I think next year I will place this station with the school sign in sheets at the front of the classroom. I managed to keep an eye on the clipboard and catch all of the parents, but the location needs to change next year.

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Station three was simple because it was to find their students desk. The students do that naturally and the parents eventually follow. I noticed that one parent would fill out the paper work while the other parent watched the power point on the SMARTboard. I think this center was a success!

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Station four was a slight disaster. It was snack and addition supplies. I did see a few moms pick up additional supplies, but most students did not get a snack (next year I will leave the snack on their desk). Even few parents got their treat. Instead what seemed to happen was the siblings of the my students played in the ice the waters were in and mixed up some lemonade (really they dropped powder on the floor and got water everywhere). This station will have to be changed and may even be deleted next year.

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Station five was almost ignored. Most parents didn’t even notice it, but I also put the Remind 101 and Twitter information in my open house packets.

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Station six is always successful. Meet the teachers! I had the best turn out of all of my years, 21 for 21!!! I didn’t meet all of my partner’s students, but I did meet some of them!

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I was even given gifts by two of my sweet girls!

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Now I must make sure my clothes are ready for tomorrow, shower, and get some sleep. I have duty at 7 am and need to get to my room before that to clean up and get everything passed out.

I can’t wait!

 

Parents Hate the Forms, but Teachers Need the Forms

I received a great question on teacherspayteachers about my open house forms. I know I have shared the stations (which I hope make open house less hectic-fingers crossed), but I suppose an idea of what my forms look like would help.

I have created a packet of forms to assist with open house. You can get it for FREE here.

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Before I dive into the forms in the packet I must remind you that these forms do not replace the forms your school requires each student to have on file. You must still complete school required forms.

I use a student information sheet which will give me medical and contact information for the student. This form I print on card stock and after it is completed I laminate it. I then put one hole in the top left corner so that I can put it on a ring. Then hang the cards on a hook by the door in my room. This is to allow me to quickly grab them and go in case of an emergency. I also take these on all field trips. Another reason for hanging them in the room is so my teaching partner always knows where to find them in case she needs to call one of my student’s parents (she is kind enough to do the same for me). This allows us to save paper and time finding the information cards.

I also use a parent volunteer form. This form is not required for the parents to return but does give me information about which parents to contact throughout the year when I need assistance. I typically create a log of who volunteered for each part after the forms are returned and keep it in my teaching binder. I also track who I have asked to do things for me so that I do not always call the same parent. I try to spread the love around!

My favorite sheet is probably the Parent 3-2-1. This form allows parents to quickly tell me about their child and their wishes for the child. I have an English and Spanish version of this form and have read the sweetest things about each student on these forms. I like to use the knowledge I gain from these to remind students how much they are loved by their parents throughout the year.

I have put a sample of a welcome pamphlet and packet in this set of papers also. I would not use both of them, but have used each at separate times. The pamphlet is a great way to give quick information, especially if you are going to have a back to school night later in the year where more details can be given. The packet is an incredible way to give a ton of information and details for the parents who want to know everything and may not have the opportunity to come back to school before fall parent teacher conferences.

If I use the pamphlet, I try to include a separate sheet for the supply list. I have put a sample supply list in the folder (which remember you can download for FREE!!!). Also when using the pamphlet I send home a grading policy (a sample is included in the FREE folder).

I have also included a simple Remind 101 and Twitter sign up document. I normally hang these on the wall during open house (I believe they are at station 4 in my open house packet). I have also created cuter ones for my personal classroom using some of the free boarders on teacherspayteachers. It is simple to do that on your own, but you will want to make sure to edit these to include your number and twitter name (sorry if that is not the correct twitter terminology—I am not great at tweeting).

I think you will now be ready for open house, maybe…who knows though!?! I invite you to share ideas and resources with me. Maybe I can improve my experience with open house with some of your ideas!!!