Open house & first day of school tips.

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by storyh, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Jul 4, 2007

    Hi all. I will be teaching 3rd grade at charter school in the fall. This is my first year in the classroom and have never done open house or the typical 1st day of school. Any suggestions? :thanks:
     
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  3. Sterlingrio

    Sterlingrio Rookie

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    Jul 4, 2007

    One year, as I realized that parents of children with special needs (severe) and Hispanic/Latino parents like to feel a more personal connection with the teacher (parents tend to open up more) I created a digital story about my family and life and on open house, when invitations were sent out, the parents were invited to come by and watch the story on the computer (our open house was during school hours), this way the parents didn't "have to feel like they were interrupting" the class activities and could actually watch me interact with their child out of the corner of their eye as they watched "my" digital story. At then end of the year I made a digital story for each student.

    You can make a digital story about anything-- i.e what you expect students to learn, what your philosophy is about education-- the cool thing is you can burn your story to dvd or cd and send it home with students whose parents did not attend open house (if it's on dvd they can pop it in their dvd player and find out what they missed). You can make digital stories for free using PhotoStory 3 software from Microsoft.- free download from their website.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 4, 2007

    PhotoStory is a wonderful program!

    For our open house, I provided refreshments because our admins told us that many parents wouldn't come unless we did so. I spent most of my time just chatting it up with parents and talking to them about the club I sponsor. I think many of them were initially taken aback by how young I am, but they got over it when they saw that I was competent, polite, and enthusiastic about the success of their kids.
     
  5. Intervention

    Intervention Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2007

    Try to have at least one piece of work from each student on the bulletin board for Back to School Night. I found that out the hard way.
     
  6. hoku625

    hoku625 Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2007

    I'm wondering about Open House, too. This will be my first Open House and first time setting up my classroom. (I took over a 3rd grade classroom in January so it was kind of set up) Our Open House is the day before school starts so I need to figure out what to say to the parents. I won't have any student work posted. Any suggestions?
     
  7. Intervention

    Intervention Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2007

    You can explain the importance of the school, parents, and students working together for academic success. You should have the text books out where the parents can look through them. You should explain your discipline plan and homework policy as well. Also, encourage parent participation in the classroom.
     
  8. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    Jul 8, 2007

    On my third grade open house the parents came with some supplies and just wanted to meet me and see the classroom. I didn't do a whole lot of explaining anything because I had lots of parents. They just want to meet you and when they did have a question I would answer them. Nothing really formal. Back to school night is where I explain procedures and pass out things for parents to see. That is later in the month.
     
  9. new2FL

    new2FL Companion

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    Jul 8, 2007

    A fun and easy thing to do is put the parents in the students shoes, or "A day in the life". You can set up a few centers, have a read aloud, do an art or cooking project. The parents get a huge kick out of it, and if the kids come with them, they have something to do. I always include some fun stuff with my traditional handouts, such as a playdough recipe (sp?), a song or fingerplay typed out, a science experiment to try at home. This is you chance to show what kind of teacher you are (or hope to be;) )!
     
  10. Daisyd

    Daisyd Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2007

    Open house Scavenger Hunt

    I have taught several grade in both private and public schools and have found a sure-fire strategy for an Open House before school starts: I create a "Scavenger Hunt."

    I give parents a packet of information and a family information card to fill out and give the student a scavenger hunt to help them explore the room as I circulate and talk with parents. It helps students to get over the first day of school jitters and gives them a purposeful way to spend their time while adults are talking. It also gives them hints of what to look forward to in their new class!

    Items I've included in the past:

    The bathroom (no more worries!);)
    Their cubby/ desk/ etc
    Marble Jar (or other reward system) with an explanation for parents
    Daily Schedule
    Specific items to find on bulletin boards, posters, etc.
    Class Library
    Centers
    Their completed family information card that the parent has
    been filling out during the hunt
    Me!:) I sign their paper. This also helps them to learn my name.

    They can take the "Scavenger Hunt" home with them when they are done. The last item in the parent pack is a "Who Am I?" sheet for the student to fill out and bring to school within the first 2 days. We use it as a getting-to-know-you activity and I post it on a bulletin board.

    Happy planning!
    DaisyD
     
  11. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jul 8, 2007

    Great idea Daisy. I will save that one and try it out. Thank you!
     
  12. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Jul 9, 2007

    Thanks! Great ideas from all. I will definate try to incorporate some of them. I am new to the school, so I have to do some sort of parent letter to introduce myself and I got an idea from The First Days of School about doing a bulletin board about myself. So anyone else looking for ideas might try that. Again thanks to all for the tips.
     
  13. hoku625

    hoku625 Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Those are great ideas! Thank you!
     
  14. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Aug 2, 2007

    Well, Open house is Monday, and I have procrastanated. I also found out that I can't get in my room to get it ready until Friday or Monday. They are doing the floors and rearranging. Open house will not be as great as I wanted it to be. Thanks for all the tips, though.
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 2, 2007

    Be prepared for the bags of supplies that the kids will bring in the first day of school. You will have to deal with them somehow in order to get their attention.
     
  16. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Aug 3, 2007

    Thanks for that tip.
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Aug 3, 2007

    I do a power point or a brochure for open house.

    as for the first day of school, I have a packet of activities to do that I put together for a workshop I ran. You can PM me with your email address and I can send it to you.
     
  18. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Aug 4, 2007

    Thanks silverspoon. I sent you a pm, but I was thinking about what you said about the brochure, so that's what I put as the title. I definately will appreciate the first day activities.
     
  19. Bear5

    Bear5 Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2007

    I would love to get a copy of both the brochure and activity pack.
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Aug 7, 2007

    Update: I made it through my first open house. It wasn't that bad. All the parents were really nice and encouraging, and the time flew by. Thanks to all who gave advice!
     
  21. hopefulteacher

    hopefulteacher Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2007

    story-what did u do? I am wondering how I am going to structure my open house next week...thanks!
     
  22. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Aug 12, 2007

    hopeful- I wasn't able to do all that I had wanted due to time and financial restarints. Anyway, I wrote a letter introducuing my self. I stood in my doorway and greeted the parents and students. The ones that were to be in my class, I invited in to look around the room, gave them a letter, and answered questions. I didn't do any big presentation or anything just talked and showed them around. No big deal. Hope this helps!
     

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