Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Open House Ideas Linky Party...

This is my first attempt at a Linky Party so I hope it works!

With August right around the corner, it is almost time to head back to work and get the classroom ready for our little ones! We all love this, but there is also another night we have to get ready for... Open House! This is when we get to meet our students and their families. I always try to have a treat of some kind for my new students (and this year the parents too)! There is also some important info that the parents need to fill out before they leave and some info to take home with them. I got these organizational ideas from a former teacher two years ago, and Open House goes so much smoother this way! Check out some of my pictures below for more info on my classroom at open House!

In these pictures you will see little signs, and these are just clear plastic picture frames. I simply make stations that will help both the parents and myself out during, and after, Open House. Next year I plan on tying balloons to each station so that they stop by them all. I think I only have four stations, I try not to overwhelm them.

This green table is what my students and their parents see upon arrival to the classroom. It has two signs, one for the students prompting them to find their seats and their treat, and the other for the parents letting them know there is important info for them at their child's seat.

This is what the students' desks look like. The papers that the parents need to fill out prior to leaving are laying on the desk itself (Emergency Info sheet, Volunteer Interest sheet, How do I get Home). Classroom info that they can take home to read over is in the Ziploc bag. The bag you see is the treat bag for the student. I make each student his or her own bookmark aligned to our classroom theme of Wild West! Inside the bag I give them a sheriff badge, a pencil, eraser and some kind of sweet treat. In years past I've used Hugs and Kisses or lollipops. 

How do I get home from school? The parents must let me know how their child will be going home on the first day of school and how they will usually go home throughout the school year.

This is the spot where the parents turn in the information that I've requested before they leave. All trays clearly marked so they know where to put each paper they've filled out.

This sign leads the parents to take a peek at our classroom wish list. We now call it a "Donation Station" because it is all about the wording. This is great for schools like mine where there is a lot of parent involvement and they ask you what you need for the classroom.

Here is the "Donation Station" I created for Open House. I simply write on Post-it's the things that we are hoping to get for our classroom that are not on the general supply list (dry erase markers, sharpies, clipboards, etc.). If they are interested in purchasing something, they simply take the Post-It for that item and carry it with them to the store. A change I plan on making this year is having them jot down their name and the item they are planning on donating to the class. That way I know who to expect it from and thank for it later.
 I also ask the parents to bring their child's supplies to Open House to help with First Day chaos. I read on a blog (I wish I remembered which one) about putting plastic containers out clearly marked by what goes into them (tissues, plastic bags, pencils, etc.). The parents and children can place their supplies in the correct container. They do the work for you! The best part, at the end of the night, you just put the lids on the containers and go home. When you arrive the next day, everything is already organized for you. Genius!

Holly Kaczmarek

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