My first Open House

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Aimee, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Aimee

    Aimee Rookie

    Apr 20, 2005
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    Sep 11, 2005

    I started my new job last week as a first grade teacher. I got my students on Thursday and Open House is on Tuesday!! Help! I am a first year teacher so I've never had to do this before. And all of my students are brand new to me. What do I talk about? I have two 20 minute sessions. All of my students came from other first grade classes at the school. Some parents volunteered their kids to go, others did not. What do I say to make the parents feel comfortable about having their child in my class? What if they are unhappy? Especially since I'm just starting out. Any advice???
  3. RitaFirstGrade

    RitaFirstGrade Companion

    Aug 14, 2005
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    Sep 11, 2005

    First, congrats! You are going to LOVE first grade! I have found that most parents are supportive and I bet they will be for you as well. I have open house on Tuesday as well. At my school, we are not expected to give a "speech" at open house. We just have student-made work out and ready for parents to look at. I am going to also post a to-do list of things they should do while they are there and will include meeting me on that list. I walk around and mingle while they look around. Have out an information packet that explains some things about you and your classroom procedures. You may also want to include a class schedule and a volunteer chart. Go to my website and click on "newsletters and forms" for some examples. I would ask how open house works at your school. Good luck to you! Just smile and be yourself!
  4. teacher62604

    teacher62604 Companion

    Jul 25, 2005
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    Sep 11, 2005

    First of all, relax. I know it can be scary, but you will do fine. What I always do is talk about my expectations, rules, guidlines, and I tell the parents what we are going to be learning about. At our school, we only have 15 minute sessions, so it works out well. Good luck! :D
  5. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

    Aug 29, 2005
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    Sep 11, 2005

    We have 30 minutes. It is more of a curriculum night than an Open House. We, the teachers, prefer it this way. Like the previous poster we talk about our goals and my expectations for the children. I give each one of them a handout with includes school supply list, a page with my voice mail numbers, e-mail address, and web page. I also include a letter telling the parents how they can help their child at home. They also get a curriculum brochure put out by our district that lets the parent know exactly what will be covered so there are no surprises. This year we are using a new report card so I made a copy of that and gave it to the parents so they knew exactly what is expected from their child. I felt this was good because on the report card is a space that says something like "homework completed and turned in on time." I want them to know up front there will be homework in first grade, not a lot, but some and I do hold the children accountable for it. I leave plenty of time for questions.
  6. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

    Jan 11, 2004
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    Sep 11, 2005

    Love to share this poem with information they will take home in their packet.
    I dreamed I stood in a studio
    And watched two sculptors there.
    The clay they used was a child’s mind
    And they fashioned it with care.
    One was the teacher; the tools used
    Were books and music and art
    One, a parent with guiding hands,
    A gentle and loving heart.
    Day after day the teacher toiled
    With a touch both deft and skilled.
    The parent labored side by side
    And all the values filled.
    And when at last their task was done
    They looked at what they’d wrought
    The beautiful shape of the precious child
    Could neither be sold or bought.
    And each agreed it would have failed
    If one had worked alone.
    For behind the parent stood the school,
    And behind the teacher, the home.
    ****We have open house one evening during the first week of school. Parents come, meet the teacher and look at the room.
    Have an apple for everyone and share this poem. We have several apple trees. I don’t have to buy the apples.
    An Apple for the teacher
    Is really nothing new
    Except when you remember
    Parents are teachers too!
    I put the apple in a popcorn sack with a bit of tissue paper and staple the poem to the sack.
    ******Thought for back to school night:
    1. Send letters home to encourage students to bring in their supplies that night. I have all their cubbies labeled and ask them to put their materials in there.
    2. Have a treasure hunt made up so that all the parents don't stand around waiting to talk to you at once. Some items might include: Select 2 books from the class library you want to look at the first day of school, find your name on the bulletin board outside, sharpen 2 pencils for the first time you'll write in your new journal, etc...
    3. Have a door prize, like who can estimate the closest on how many M&M's are in a plastic container.
    4. In your letter home to invite kids/parents to the open house, offer a free homework pass to every child that comes with a parent! Works like a charm!!
    5. Put up a wish list tree on the wall in your room. Get some apple post-its and write down things you'd really appreciate, but didn't ask for on the supply list. Make sure some of the items don't cost a lot so every parent can take something. Maybe old scraps of material and buttons or film and money to develop it! A successful open house can really get the year off to a good start!

    ******Make a file folder for each student, document lessons not turned in, Keep ALL notes from home and copy of your reply, copy of e-mails. When a student is punished for whatever reason (talking and misses 2 minutes of recess time ---have student write down why they were punished and how --put in the file folder. Also keep the original copy of spelling test --send a copy home. Can’t erase and change) This will save you problems. Have parents fill out an informational sheet for you. Keep in the students file folders. “Please help me get to know your child” Is a copy of a form. I would add child’s birthday. Who to call if parents can’t be reached.

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