Monday, August 18, 2014

Open House 2014-2015

Each year we have an informal meet the teacher event a few days prior to the first day of school.  The parents and kids come and meet the teacher, see the classroom, and enjoy and ice-cream.  When I first started, we did a formal event, and it was always ridiculous because people would stagger in and miss parts of the presentation.  Babies would cry, kids would be all around the room, and there were never enough chairs.  Parents would miss important information.  We switched to the informal event about 4 years ago and it's been fantastic!  It's less stressful and less intimidating to parents.  In the past, I would have a million forms and papers laid out for the parents to take.  This year, I decided to make a few new things.  First was my open house 3-panel board where I placed all the forms I wanted the parents to take home and fill out/keep. Once I introduced myself to my guests as they came in the room, I directed them to the board.  Click HERE to check out this board on TpT.  I have many themes included!  You are not limited to a circus theme.

In front of the 3-panel board, I placed laminated transportation tags with safety pins attached.  I also laid out black Sharpies.  The parents could fill out the tags there {or at home} and attach them to their child's backpack on the first day of school.  This helps with the end of the day chaos.  If a child can't remember how they are going home, the adult can check their backpack.  *I have some extras laid out for the first day for those families who were unable to attend the open house.

Another tool I used this year for open house was my projector.  In years past, some people would bring supplies to open house, but most would send them with their children on the first day of school.  I have specials immediately after the kids arrive every day, so I would fly around the room during my 30 minute break frantically unwrapping supplies and trying to put them away.  I'd feel like I had just run a marathon and would be dripping with sweat when I went to pick my kids up.  This year, parents were encouraged to bring supplies to open house and I decided to have THEM unpack the supplies!  It was awesome.  On my projector, I put a PowerPoint slide showing them what items to place in their children's school boxes.  Let's not discuss the fact that I forgot the glue stick and had to draw it on.  That sent my OCD into full swing! Eek!

All of the extra supplies were put into labeled bins on the floor.  Most people opened the extra supplies but some did not.  That was ok with me because I had way less to unwrap!  *To grab the supply posters, click HERE.  There are all sorts of supplies included!

The parents and kids had as much time as they wanted to look around the room and check out their desks and data binders.

The students will start taking their data binders home each night starting on the first day of school! Remember last spring when I had help assembling all of the data binders?  It was awesome to open my cabinet and see them all shiny and ready! 

The students and parents LOVED their cards that I had on their desks for them!  I created this adorable cards on Treat, a site under Shutterfly's umbrella.  I was able to customize it with my photo on the front and a sweet message for my students inside.  I loved that the cards were more personal than the typical little certificate I leave on their desks.  I definitely recommend that you take a look around Treat's website!

Once everyone left I placed the supplies into my overflow cart where I keep them.  The cart was purchased at Ikea 2 years ago.

Needless to say, I was exhausted, sweaty and my feet were killing me!  I started the day looking cute but ended it a hot mess.  Literally!

Kids' first day is today!  Wish me luck!



Literacy Teacher said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Good luck on your first day!

Sarah Paul said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What an amazing post!I love your big board and your binder idea! Thanks for sharing these pictures and ideas Megan!

G-Iron Tutor said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What's the link to your post about the data binders? I would love to know what is in them! :)
G-Iron Tutor
G-iron Tutor

Cindy Calenti said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this post! You amaze me with your organization skills. I also continue to be impressed with how inviting a classroom atmosphere you create. I'm betting parents fall on their knees and that the good lord that their child was assigned to your classroom.
Granny Goes to School

Ms. Mathy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this idea! Is there any way you could share the display you put on your smartboard/screen?!

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