Open House Ideas for Teachers: Weekend Warriors

Are you getting ready for an end-of-the-year open house? Maybe your school, like mine, welcomes parents with a back to school night in the fall. No matter when your open house is, this linky is for YOU! The Weekend Warriors are joining together this month to bring you all sorts of helpful and creative ideas to make your parent night *SPECTACULAR*! 


 I am here to share lots of ideas that I hope you can use for either a fall OR end of the year parent night. Be sure to PIN these to your Pinterest board and SAVE these ideas for whenever you need them! You can find all of the links to the freebies and projects shown here at the end of the post!



You're having company! Of course, you want your classroom to be as tidy, organized, colorful and cheerful as possible. Create a welcoming environment and a great first impression! It sets the stage for a wonderful evening! Try turning on a few lamps for mood lighting or getting a fragrance plug-in to make your room feel more like a home. 



Before parents enter the classroom, the first thing they may see is a bulletin board in the hallway or outside of your room.
 Here are two cute and very easy to prep ideas! 

Students might write about a few favorite things they learned during the year! 



For a back to school bulletin board, have students write a recipe for a successful year! 



 Once visitors arrive at your classroom, invite them in with a welcome sign! 


On a table near the door, have handouts, sign up sheets and other important things like donation requests :) available. I copy these signs on bright cardstock and display them on an easel stand.


Avoid awkward moments for yourself and parents that arrive early by giving them something to do! Parents can write down their hopes for the year, complete a Thinking Map about their child, or make a happy note or bookmark to give them. 


On your table or at the student desks, you may want to have out some memory booklets from current students or former students. In the past, I have had a few students from the previous year make an extra copy to have out at open house in the fall. Parents will love to see the expectation for work quality by exiting students and it also gives them a peek at the fun times ahead!


Another way to give parents a peek at the year is to have a photo slide show running on the SMART Board as parents enter!


  I set out classroom photo albums of years past too so parents get a sense of my teaching style and the activities I like to plan. I even decorate one of these All About Me Tee posters from Really Good Stuff so they can get to know the teacher better too!


Open house is the time for kiddos to SHINE! Want a creative way to showcase student work at parent night? 



 Have your students make a pizza box portfolio!



 Inside these boxes are all of the special projects and work samples that my students are very proud of! The boxes are a super keepsake that parents just LOVE! 

 If you are one of the lucky teachers (HA!) that gets to give an informational presentation, you might like the help of a PowerPoint to display on your SMART Board. Sometimes the excitement of it all can cause an enormous mental block, so this is a nice way to summarize information in a very professional way. 



With a PowerPoint, it is also easy to print handouts for parents that were unable to attend the session. This file is EDITABLE, so you can type in what you need to include. I already typed in a bunch of ideas in the slides to get you started! 

 Even though you are organized and all set with super ideas, you might still get the open house jitters especially if you have to SPEAK (choke)!!! The SINGLE most important thing to remember during any kind of parent night is to just be wonderful YOU- knowlegeableenthusiasticgenuine and sincere.

Everyone loves a gift! At the end of your evening, send your visitors home with a small token of your appreciation. You can search my Pinterest board for some cute ideas for things like a bag of Pop Rocks or popcorn to thank them for "popping in". 



 But why not also send something along that will reinforce the learning in your classroom or for use over the summer??? Consider sending practice kits home with parents at open house. You can prep some game boards, flash cards, sight word lists and all sorts of goodies and just bag them up! Throw in a fun Smencil, a cute pencil sharpener, a book, a bookmark, some dice, game markers and you have a SUPER thank you gift!


Teachers Pay Teachers, Teachers Notebook and Educents are great places to find materials for your grade level. Check out places like Geddes or Oriental Trading Company for fun trinkets for your take home bags! I guarantee they will be a big hit!

I like to give my parents a little business card or fridge magnet with my classroom phone number and email so they can easily find my info when they need to contact me. 



I made these cute pencil shaped business cards from clipart by Creative Clips and just typed in my contact info. You can design your own cute cards at Vistaprint

  Wrap up the evening and leave your guests with something to think about like a special quote, a touching poem or... a bit of humor
 I'm sure you've seen this funny before...



SMILES!
 So when your parent night comes around, KEEP CALM and HAVE FUN! I always have to remind myself that parents don't really care so much about the fluff, or the specifics of the curriculum as much as they want to leave with the feeling that their child will be or has been lovedchallenged and excited about school! 

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by for this edition of the Weekend Warriors! I hope that you found some new ideas here to make your open house a *night to remember*! 

Links to Resources

 You can find all of the printables to make a Pizza Box Portfolio {here}.
You can find The Write Stuff pencil craftivity by A Cupcake for the Teacher {here}.
Download Cooking up a Great Year by Miss Kindergarten Love {here}.
The parent wishes signs and slips from Funky First Grade Fun can be found {here}.
Grab my free welcome sign {here}!
  Open House table signs freebies are {here}!
You can download the Back to School Night PowerPoint presentation {here}!
 Free photo DVD covers can be downloaded {here}.
My blank bookmark patterns are {here}.
Pop Rocks treat signs from Cupcake Cutiees Party can be purchased {here}.
All About Me posters are available {here}.

Now... be sure to stop by the rest of these blogs to see what all of the other Warriors and teacher friends are sharing!
 We'd love to have YOU link up too!
:)


6 comments:

  1. This is an AMAZING blog post filled with so many incredible ideas! Thank you so much for sharing them with all of us! I am pinning away! I love the "Cooking Up a Great Year" and the pizza box idea! You are SO creative!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my goodness, Jeannine! You are full of amazing ideas! I will definitely be pinning a few for next year! I love the idea of avoiding awkward silences. In the fall, we host a Back to School Night. This is the night where teachers have to present and it's always so awkward waiting for them to all trickle in. Thank you for sharing your great ideas with us!

    Aimee
    Primarily Speaking

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love those pizza boxes!! So stinkin' cute! So many other great ideas - off to pin now!

    Slainte,
    ☘ Molly
    Lucky to Be in First

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love all these ideas you shared! I am obsessed with those pizza boxes! What a special keepsake for parents!

    Maribel

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where do you get your pizza boxes?

    ReplyDelete
  6. LOVE all these ideas! Great post girl!

    Marcy
    Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

    ReplyDelete

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