With the coming of Open House, as teachers, we can smell the scent of SUMMER. We had our Open House last night and it was fun! I love having time to hang out with my kids and actually hear their excitement! How often I don’t have the time for their great stories (and some not so easy to follow stories…), talk to their parents, and just be relaxed.
Here are a few of my favorite features that have made it in to ALL my Open Houses.
I always start with a scavenger hunt. First graders just wander around and never know what to tell their parents about, so I give it to them! They have a job and they LOVE jobs. They get a clipboard and a pencil and feel so extra special and important.
There are things we worked really hard on that I don’t want to be missed, so it’s on the scavenger hunt list! This year our must shows were our insect research projects and crafts! They were a beast to do, but they did the WHOLE THING themselves in groups (see how we do our group research HERE), and yet somehow all they could tell their parents were, “ants have antennae”. These kids make me laugh.
The Compliment Bucket
We strive for kindness in my class. Each year I work harder than the last to create a classroom culture of kindness (and each year it seems to get harder to teach…). I love to show off whatever acts of kindness we have posted around the room (this year it was our 100 Acts of Kindness poster from our 100th day of school-we filled up 100 ways to be kind throughout our week leading up to the 100th day of school).
I like to bring it back on the parents at Open House and ask them to drop in a kind word for all our hard work in the school year (please excuse my anchor chart skills, this is not my area of expertise). And what parent wouldn’t want to compliment something about their child’s classroom?? It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, I went basic-sign, paper, bucket, pens! I have some kindness cards that would be perfect for this, check them out HERE.
The next day, in the morning, I pull them out of the bucket and read each compliment to the students. We cheer, high-five, and pat each other on the backs as we get our compliments. It puts quite the pep in our step all day long!
How fun is this? Honestly, I didn’t spend a lot of money here and found most of it lying around my classroom from one thing or another. I’m sure, being teachers, you can find odds and ends around the classroom and make this whole thing for free!
I threw up some butcher paper and bought some banners from Target (no banners necessary if you just want a border you can use…borders!). I grabbed a basket and filled it with random items from my room and from the Dollar Tree (spend about $5 there). It was quite the hit. I loved that the kids wanted pictures with me (celeb status in first grade) or the whole fam would squish in there. Such a fun and happy moment for families to enjoy their kids!
Let’s be honest, all the kids EVER want to do is write on the whiteboard!! Am I right? My OCD self disapproves of this on SO MANY LEVELS. But on Open House night, I let the students write me a note on a small rolling whiteboard I have. This is one of their favorite things. It’s so fun to see the things they write. Of course every year I’m “the best teacher” (pat on the back to me ha). My favorite message on the board this year was “I love you mom”-don’t think that one is meant for me.
Those are some of my tried and true favorite things to do during Open House. What are your MUST DOS for Open House?