Open House Without Kids
Posted by: Lynn
Last year was my first Open House with 3rd grade and we don't have the children come either. I had a booklet on each child's desk for the parent highlighting all that I briefly mentioned verbally. The curriculum, topics covered in all subject areas, state testing, class room procedures and discipline policy, grading system, a schedule of our weekly specials, a list of recommended school supplies, a list of supplies I'd like to collect throughout the year for projects and donations are welcome (shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, toilet tissue roles, scraps of wrapping paper, etc), info about our class pet, info about scholastic books and how we'll be using Lucky, and lastly, I encourage them to contact me at the school should any problems or concerns arise and I provide my email address and the school telephone number. This booklet worked out well so I was able to send it home with any student the following day if their parent didn't attend and they'd have all the necessary information.
Before open house I had my class make an Apple Glyph about themselves. Color eyes, hair, right handed or left handed, fav subject. etc. And hung them in the hall. I used the lesson as an intro to reading a Key for map skills. I then provided a Key for the Parents for Open house and it was "Things I liked When I was in Third Grade" and I had the parents make a Face Glyph on a photocopied oval on a piece of white paper. The features on the face depicted the facts about them when they were in 3rd grade. (fav. color, fav subj, fav. special, how they got to school, brought lunch or hot lunch, etc) On the back I encouraged the parents to write a note to their son/daughter.
The next morning the class had to use the Key, look at the Face Glyph their parents made and interpret in their journals what their parent had to say about themselves when they were in 3rd grade. If some student's parents didn't come, I asked another teacher and the principal to fill one out for the child to interpret. It was a hit! Those who had the principal's felt really special to learn more about them! ha ha ha.
I love the apple idea posted above. I think I will cut out leaf shapes from construction paper and paste the saying on one side and on the other put Welcome to the 2004-2005 school year! The with a string, tie the "leaf" to a real apple. Looking forward to reading what other teachers have done for back to school night.
Posted by: KT
At our school open house is for students to show off their work and friends and families to socialize. We do not hand anything out. If you have saved any work, now would be the time to put out writing folders, projects, etc. If not (which I didn't think to save when I was a new teacher), simply have the kids create a simple art project for one board (spring flowers?), a writing sample on another board, and maybe a board to show off other work they are proud of. Sometimes I put up a working graph on chart paper (favorite kind of pizza) and let students and guests record their favorite for a little audience participation. I let the kids be tour guides showing their folks around the room and telling about their day. Sometimes we role play this the day of open house. I am usually just the official greeter. For next year, you may want to make an art portfolio. I take the largest sheet of manila tag and fold it in half, stapling the sides. Each student labels and decorates it as their art portfolio. As we go through the year we file all art work, related writing projects, and some holiday things in the folder stored on a shelf. When open house arrives, just set it out for an instant display. It has made open house much easier and you'll be surprised how much accumulates in there. I feel Open House is mostly and opportunity for students to take pride in their classroom and some of their work.
Posted by: LLK
We have had a variety of things and I think the latest idea seems to be working the best. We now have open house at all elementaries and the middle school in our district the EARLY evening before school starts. The time is a bit early in the k-1 school, with a little later in the elementary, something like 4-5:30. The Middle School has a hot dog grill out around 5-6:30. Then the high school open house is the week of homecoming, later on into Sept or early Oct. When I taught at the Middle School last year the grill out was fun, but I found it sort of tiring to be cooking hotdogs, or passing out pop the night before school starts, even if it ended early. The parents and kids love it, and I did enjoy the atmosphere and meeting the parents very informally. We did it out front of our school, so we didn't even need to have the rooms open, just the commons area.
We used to have open house about the 2nd or 3rd week into school, and it got to be more of a show and tell and let's have a conference. There is far less work now with it before school, because you have your room ready anyway and don't have to put up student projects, etc. Then that can be saved for conference time.
Open House in Grade 3
Posted by: Joy
Open Houses have always been fun for me and my students. Unfortunately, I think they are being replaced by parent curriculum nights this school year. I'm really disappointed about this!
Here are some things that I have done at open house:
A Scavenger Hunt - when completed is worth a pass for NO Homework. I write a few things on the list and the children add a few ideas of their own to have ready before the families arive.
My Summer Vacation Books- Kids write about their summer vacations ,but they are encouraged to stretch the truth a little. They are lots of fun!
A graph station can be available for families to visit.
We have made life size kids that sit in our school desks. All you have to do is make the head and neck and dress the "kid" up with some clothing brought in from home. They look great!!The kids and their families get a real charge out of it!!!
You can set up a math station - complete with a guessing jar and a pumpkin. Families can guess the number of items in the jar and the weight and circumference of the pumpkin. The families with the closest guesses win the contents of the jar and the pumpkin.
If you have access to Powerpoint in the classroom, you can have the kids make an open house presentation.
I hope that these ideas give you a jump start!
I sure hope that all goes well for you!
Posted by: SusanTeach
We don't have a "meeting" so much as just an Open House event.
1. It's normally held about 4 weeks after school starts. I think the hours were 4-6.
2. Yes, it's school wide. The only exception is K, because they have a big night 2 days before school starts. Because it's an Open House, it doesn't matter how many kids you have. You just go into your child's classroom anytime between those 2 hours, meet the teacher, look around, and then move onto the other child's classroom.
3. It's fairly well attended. I think out of 23 students last year, I had 20 show up. We have the student's work displayed, and that normally entices them some. I also gave the kids a goody bag if they showed up (I told them ahead of time), so they normally talked their parents into coming. ;)
I've heard of some schools offering door prizes to get parents there. It's sad that we have to do that, but I guess it takes that sometimes.
I think the Open House makes it easier for everyone because it's very informal, it doesn't matter what time you get there (which makes it nice for working parents), and you can visit all your kids' classrooms without missing anything.
Posted by: Stefanie
At the very beginning of the year, our journal entries involve some copying from the overhead. Then we finish sentences I have written on the board, then we ease into writing on our own.
For open house, I put the following on the board:
Dear Mom and Dad,
This is my little desk,
My home away from home.
It is where I do my best
to do my work with zest.
I hope you've enjoyed your visit
to my learning place.
Neat, isn't it?
After the parents read their child's journal, I asked them to write a note back to their child, and the note was on their desks the next morning. They were thrilled.
I know in most places, children attend open house. Ours is parents only, so this was a good activity. I hope it helps -- good luck in your first year! Be creative, dream big, and give those babies their best year ever. You can get organized later. I am on my third year. I have done great things with my classes, but I have a principal who has a different teaching style than I. She values organization and efficiency. I do too, but researching lesson plans and activities will always be more important to me. This year, since I have a good store of things I do, I am working on organization (extreme organization). My principal is very pleased with it, not that she wasn't pleased with me before. But I do not regret putting all my energy into the children rather than into shuffling files.
Posted by: ddd
Here's a fun and EASY project for Open House! I take pictures (shoulders and up) of each of my students. On white construction paper, I have the students draw a large picture of the front of their own houses paying close attention to the details such as their yard, trees, swingset, etc. The pictures are outlined with a black crayon and then painted with watercolors. The front door of their house needs to be big enough for their picture. The door is cut open on 3 sides and the picture is put behind it. They are so cute! On Open House, the parents have to come into the room and find their own house on the students' desks. The kids love it and it's a great keepsake for the parents. I do this in 4th grade but I think it could be done in all grade levels. Have a great year!
CUTE OPEN HOUSE IDEA
Posted by: 4th grade teacher
I have my 4th graders draw a picture of their own house on white construction paper. They must include details so someone could recognize their house - flower garden, swing set, bike in the driveway, etc. The front door of their house needs to be big enough to put a picture of the student behind it. They then go over their pencil marks with a black crayon. We paint the houses with watercolors. When dry, I use an exacto-knife to cut open the door and tape their picture behine it. On Open House night, the houses are on their desks covering their nametags. Parents' first job at Open House is to find their own house picture so they can find their child's desk! It's lots of fun. Parents really like it, and many keep the drawings for a great keepsake. Hope this helps!
Open House Art
Posted by: ddd
Here's a fun one...
I have my 4th graders draw a picture of their own house on white construction paper. They are encouraged to add lots of details - tramp in the back yard, trees, bushes, garden, flowers, etc. Take a picture of each student. I use a digital camera. Be sure the front door of their house is drawn big enough to put a picture of their face behind it. They then go over their drawings with a black crayon. We paint the picture with our watercolors. I cut the door open on 3 sides with an exacto knife and tape their picture behind it. I close the door. Their drawings are put on their desks over their nametags for Open House. Parents need to "find" their own house in order to find their child's desk. Parents love this and many say it's a great keepsake! I've even heard of people framing the drawings! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Open House-kind of long!
Posted by: myers1st
We've done Open House a couple different ways. We have had it as a Parent Meeting before school started. I just usually go over my handbook and any questions they may have. They also fill out an information sheet about their child (hobbies, interests, fun facts, concerns, etc.). We've also had it as a come and go, which is what I prefer since I'm not nearly as comfortable talking in front of 20 pairs of parents as I am 20 6-year olds! I've also made magnets that say "First Grade Stuff" so they can use it to hand work on the fridge throughout the year. I've also done a Reading Survival Kit for them to take home.
Reading Survival Kit
With busy schedules and life getting in the way, it can be hard for many parents to find time to read with their child every night. Still, reading with your child every night should be a priority. Here is a little reading survival kit to remind you of all the wonderful things opening a book will do!
Rubber band-Reading stretches your imagination.
Mint-Reading can open a “mint’ of information.
Band Aid-Reading can mend the soul.
Sweet Tarts-Reading gives the sweet satisfaction of learning something new.
Q-Tip-Reading helps open your ears to the meaning of words.
Gum-Reading is something you should stick with.
*Remember to spend time reading with your child. It’s a gift that will last a lifetime!
Posted by: Maggie
At our open house, it is difficult to get all the parents in the classroom at one time to give a presentation. So I have little displays around the classroom. For example one will say "Sample Assignment Notebook", and I will have one laying there so the parents can see how it is supposed to be filled out.
To encourage the parents to attend, I will ask the parents to sign in and put their name into the drawing. The next day I will draw out two names of students to receive a homework pass or even just a pencil. They love that.
The other 3rd grade teacher and I at my school put together a 3rd grade handbook. This explains our procedures. It tells how we give the students conduct grades etc. Then when report cards come out there really isn't a question.
One more idea is to assign the parents homework. The students LOVE this. I usually ask the parents to write in their childs journal why they gave their child their name. The students love it when their parents write about them!
My last word of advice is to stay calm. Just be friendly and don't try to plan to much for this one evening. You'll find that it will be over before you know it. I many times have a very hard time just saying hi and introducing myself to each of the different families, but this is very important. This is your one chance to put a face with a name. I try to tell each family one nice thing I've already observed about their child. The parents seem to appreciate that. Good Luck and enjoy!
Open House Night
Posted by: Crystal
My schools open house is very similar. Ours is called Curriculum Night. The parents meet in the Gym and our Principal speaks to them and introduces the staff.
Then we go to our rooms. We have 2-20minute intervals. The parents come in and I briefly go through the curriculum/textbooks. I also review my class procedures and the various ways we can communicate.
On each student's desk, their is:
*a district core curriculum booklet
*a packet of info. from me-- I put together a little packet of info. about each academic subject, and various things about my classroom. Such as: class expectations, class behavior policy, homework policy, parent-teacher communication, etc.
*a letter from the students: Earlier that day, the students write a letter to the parents explaining the "high points" of our room, what they should look at, and thank them for coming.
*there is also a blank form for the parents to write back to their child. I have a generic letter made up for the students whose parents don't attend. That way in the morning, every student has a letter to read.
*there is also a little business card that I made up with the school phone number, my e-mail address and any other import. info. I laminate it and put a magnet on the back so the parents can stick it on their fridge.
Also, I have a field trip sign up and a parent volunteer sign up sheet.
Lastly, I have a tree drawn on the whiteboard, with paper apples taped to it. On each apple, I wrote something that I would like donated to our classroom, such as film, postage stamps, zip-lock baggies, paper plates, etc. It is called the Giving Tree.
I hope this helps.
There is a letter that the students
Posted by: JJ
Here's what I just did at our Open House. I prepared a checklist for parents and put it on each child's desk. It said things like: Look at math and writing journals on desk, fill out information sheet on your child, look at computer, math, and reading centers, check out the Giving Tree, meet Mrs....(me), visit also with (and I listed the other two teachers that have this child), go see the band teacher about your child playing an instrument this year, stop for snacks in the gym. Then on each desk I put a note explaining book order procedures, the handbook, and a sheet telling exactly what I expected from each child with his daily planner. I also prepared a business card with my school address, phone number, planning times available, and email address that I put on a magnet. When parents came up to me and started asking personal questions about their child, I said, "Did you pick up my magnet? I think this is something we should discuss privately, my number is on the card, so you can call me at my planning times and I would be more than happy to discuss this with you." It doesn't ALWAYS work, but most of the time it does.
My Giving Tree was drawn on the board. It is a tree with apples on it. Each apple can be plucked from the tree and has something specific that parents can contribute to your room. It is things like resealable plastic bags, kleenex, erasable pens, paper plates, room deodorizers, plastic silverware, cups, napkins, packs of pencils, a book of stamps, etc. Almost everyone took one and I received three things back in two days.
Hope this helps.
Posted by: Susan
I'm going to have their journals out where the kids have written their "favorite thing about being a child" - and then let the parents read it and answer the same question!....I'll also have a paper that I hand the parents to let them have specific things to do/look at in the classroom (the reading corner, their child's cubby, etc...). I'll have a sign-up sheet for them to volunteer to bring anything, help in any way, etc... Each desk will have the child's silouette (traced from the overhead) filled in with a collage about them. The parent has to find their child's desk based on the collages (I'll have the nametags covered)..... I'll have bulletin boards with kids' work on them .... and I'm thinking about doing a doorprize for the parent and child -to encourage them to come, but haven't decided if I want to or not. I would draw the name at the end of the night - and send the prizes home with the kids the next day (not sure of what to have yet - but something inexpensive)....... I'm also having the kids decorate some thank you notes with a piece of peppermint attached that says, "Thank you for coming to our Open House...It "mint" a lot to us!" - they'll get that when they're leaving.
Posted by: Julianne
You should have a copy of your daily schedule, homework policy and grading policy available. We usually print out these items and leave them out at each student desk for the parents to pick up. That way anyone who doesn't make the open house can have their copies sent home with their child later. We leave out copies of any texts we will be using in the classroom and examples of the reading books we use in class.
We've done a number of special activities for the parents and students. My favorite was having them decorate a homework folder with stickers, markers, etc. We took the finished folders and laminated them. The students were more careful with these "special" folders than with the regular ones we usually use. Another fun activity would be to have parents and students begin a response notebook where parent, student and teacher could jot notes about school when the need arises. Have the parents write a short note to their child describing what they hope their child will learn this year. Have the student write a note telling what they hope to learn. Then have them exchange notes and discuss what they read there. Pairs could then volunteer to share what they have written. I've not done this in a long time as I teach first grade and the little ones don't have the necessary skills for this activity at the beginning of the year. But it worked great when I had fourth grade.
Posted by: Danielle
just another open house idea...i too am new to grade 4.(gr. 2 previously)....
have your kids cut out letters from magazines and spell the sentence "Who am I?" on construction paper. Then they find things in magazines that show their interests, hobbies, etc. (i.e. picture of a basketball, picture of spaghetti,....) I also gave my students the choice of drawing things about themselves if they prefer. On Open House night they are going to leave these "who am I?" posters on their desks and their parents are going to walk around with them trying to guess where they sit, according to the poster!!!
we did these last week and the kids loved it!!!!
Posted by: Maggie
Each year for Open house, I will create a sillouette of each students head/face. Then the students will write clues underneath at to who the "shadow picture" is. My students love creating the clues, I love watching the parents guess which child is theirs. As I trace each student, I sometimes don't see the student in the outline, but then I take it home to cut them out and I will immediately see who it is.
I also create a giving tree. So many times throughout the year I have to buy "extra" items, I put those items on apple post-it notes and then draw the outline of a tree on the board and put the notes on the tree. I then ask the parents, if they want to help, take an apple off the tree and send in that item at their convenience. These items are usually small, like a pack of index cards, bag of candy, or even stickers. Parents usually want to help out any way they can.
I also create a poster that says,"We're going to have a great year!". Have the parents sign the poster and write notes to the class. Parents love writing notes of encouragement! The poster can then be displayed the rest of the year!
I hope some of these suggestions help.
Open House Ideas
Posted by: Amy Lee
I like the previous ideas. My idea is similar to the other ideas. The magazine Really Good Stuff has a project called "Spotlight on Me." Students illustrate themselves on the front and on the second attached sheet fill in information such as favorite animal, book, movie, food, etc. I made my own forms and what I like to do for open house is to have parents try to figure which one is their child by their self portraits. They are surprise to read the bio. information and what their children like. Also before I post them I don't look at them while the students are working on them and I mix them up. Then I try to match the portraits with the biographical information. The students get a kick out how I struggle to make matches. I plan on this year having the students do the activity at the end of year. I am curious to see how their illustrations change and what they like change as well. A few students want to illustrate what they wish they look like. As long as it is not inappropriate I let them do it.
Posted by: Denise
I do a couple of cute things...
1) Last year we did a class quilt (on paper). Each student drew a self-portrait and wrote a few lines about themselves and what they learned that year. Then we strung them together like a quilt and hung it on the front board...looked very cute.
2) It's always fun to do a guess-the-student kind of thing. I cut out red schoolhouses with doors that opened, but could be folded shut. On a bulletin board, I put a schoolhouse for each student with their photo inside the school house door, but hidden from view. Each student wrote facts about themselves - favorite foods, TV show, color, singer, etc. Parents have to read the descriptions and try to guess which on is their child. Then they peek underneath to see if they are right! I've done this for years and parents love it.
3) We do an activity for Back to School night at the beginning of the year that you could adapt for O.House. Students write a paragraph on why they love their parents. I buy special paper from Michaels for them to write their good copy. Then I send home an assignment for the parents where I have them write what they love about their child. Responses are real tear-jerkers. Neither child nor parent sees the others' response until it is posted on a bulletin board at b.t. school night. It's always special.
Hope this helps a little!
Posted by: jjj
I have always done a charting activity at an open house. Ask a question and the parents/child put their answer on a chart --to be discussed the next day in class e.g.where was mom born? where was Dad born?
I also do a counting activity- put pumpkin seeds in a jar and have parents make an estimate
I have the student's portfolios out for the parents to look through. I have the parents write a note to their child in their journals.
One year I had the parent/child write a page for a transformation book. I used to be a circle , but now I am a ------. Have a precut circle,glue, markers, and paper at a table. The parent/child add to the circle and make it into something different. examples: I used to be a circle but now I am a snowman. I used to be a circle but now I am a car's wheel. The parents were creative and we had a wonderful new book to put together and read in our class library. We had done a similar book with a different shape so the children knew the drill.
open house idea
Posted by: Kim
I have had my students make stuffed dummies to put in their chairs for open house. They bring an old sweatsuit or shirt and pants and then we stuff them with newspaper. We make the heads from two paper plates and connect the heads to the bodies with metal clothes hangers.
The kids love to make their faces and add yarn for hair. Then when parents come in they need to find their children. The kids and parents love this!
When I do this I have always had my best open house attendance. The kids can't wait to get their parents in to see what they have done!
Open House Ideas
Posted by: FischerTeach
I usually create a powerpoint presentation every year that goes over my classroom rules and procedures, introduces some of the topics we will be learning that year, and lists suggestions for parents about helping their children become successful students.
Another thing I do that the parents absolutely love is make magnets with my contact info on them and pass them out at open house. I go to Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics and get the little apple shaped wood cutouts (Michael's has them on sale 5 for $1 throughout the year) and I spray paint them all red. Then I use a thin paint pen to write my name, email address and school phone number on them. Next, I glue a clothes pin on the back and stick a magnet on the back of the clothes pin. This way parents can put it on the fridge AND use it to clip school papers to as well. It takes a bit of time to write on them all, but if you do a few a day, it's not so bad.
open house display
Posted by: CLF
An idea I borrowed that I used for Open House displays both writing and art. After much practice the students write a descriptive paragraph describing their favorite pizza. To display them I use a 12x18 sheet of white construction paper. Using a small square of sponge (1"x1"), sponge paint with red so the paper looks like a red-checked tablecloth.(Good parent helper job 1:1 while you are teaching). Later, give each student a 6-7" circle of tag board and have lots of paper ingredients available for them to paste on their favorite toppings. It takes quite a while to get them looking yummy. Cutting the toppings is a good parent helper job too. I made sliced olives using a black circle and a hole puncher. Glue the finished pizza on a paper plate and glue at the top of the 12x18 paper tablecloth turned vertically. On the lower half of the paper put the final copy of the descriptive paragraph mounted on a contrasting piece of construction paper. It makes an interesting, tasty display. You could also have a large bar graph chart available that evening listing several pizza flavors. Each visiting guest could color in a square to indicate their favorite pizza flavor too!
Posted by: MJ
I have each parent tell me something really neat about their child that it might take me a while to find out. You really get some good responses from them.
I also have a "Giving Tree" on the wall. It is a tree with leaves that list things I need throughout the year--like Ziploc bags, spiral notebooks, pencils, markers, envelopes, paper plates, paper cups, napkins, etc. I ask them to take as many as they wish and to remember that they can donate the same item again later in the year. This really saves me a lot of money and they are more than willing to help out.
I also usually hand out a magnet with my name, grade and subjects taught, school phone number, email address, planning time, or times I can be reached by phone, and I put my home phone although some do not. These can be taken home and put up on the fridge or at their computer for when they need to contact me.
I also hand out a survey sheet on each child. I can't remember everything that is on it, but pertinent information like: parents' names, who lives in the house with them, email address they can be reached if I need them, pets, allergies, do they wear glasses--just for reading or all the time--the child's weaknesses and strengths--a description of the child's personality--on the back I always say--Now tell me anything else you would like me to know about your child or your family. You will be AMAZED at what you learn about a child from this. Some tell all....
I found that by contacting parents by email I had a MUCH better response. I also could report daily if needed. It worked much better than phone or note.
Posted by: lin
For your Open House take pictures of your kids with a digital camera or a regular camera anytime this season. As a writing project have your class do a writing. Fourth Grade is . . . . The parents will enjoy the picture and what their child has to say about school. You've used an ice breaker and now you can give a mini lesson to your parents with the necessary information that parents need to know. Make a brochure for parents to take home or do the power point presentation as one other person suggested. If you need a model my presentation is done and ready to go on power point and I'll send it to you for viewing. I have 45 minutes to an hour to kill with parents. Don't forget to post a sign for parents to sign up for conferences that night too. It saves a lot of time. Best of all have the parents write back to their child that night and leave them a message.
open house ideas
Posted by: Kathie
Hi. I also teach 2nd grade. I always have the children do a self portrait. It is the shape of a head, neck and shoulders. They have to do the front and their back. They copy the clothing they have on that day. I have to remind them that the back doesn't have any eyes, etc. I don't have them put their names on it. I hang them up the afternoon of our open house and it's so much fun when the parents come and and try to figure out which on is their child. The kids enjoy this even more. Also I put up a writing piece that the children have written about themselves, likes, dislikes, favorites, etc. Again some of the parents are surprised. I also use the overhead to go over the expectations and benchmarks for the grade level. Need anymore e- mail me.
Posted by: Third Grade Teacher
I put a Survival Kit on each student's desk for the parents to take home at Open House. Feel free to adjust the contents to include items important to you.
Parent/Guardian Survival Kit
KISSES – symbolizes the hugs and kisses you will give your child for all the hard work he/she will be doing this year.
BOOKMARK – reading tips to aid you and your child while reading together.
MAGNET – to hang your child’s fabulous work on
SHARPENED PENCIL – a homework necessity.
NOTECARDS – for that rushed note to the teacher or a surprise message of encouragement in your child’s lunch box.
EXCUSE BLANKS – just in case.
BUTTERFINGER – symbolizes the errors we will
all most certainly make. Our goal is to learn from these mistakes and help each other be successful!
Open House Idea
Posted by: Laurie
A neat thing to have displayed on the night of Open House is personal pizzas. Go to your local Dominoes or Pizza Hut and get a class set of pizza boxes and cardboard circles. Then have the children cut out magazine pictures, draw pictures, and write phrases that describe themselves onto the cardboard circles. Put their "pizzas" in the pizza boxes and have them on their desks the night of Open House. The parents will really love to read their child's personal pizza when they come to visit your classroom.
Open House Bulletin Board
Posted by: Brenda
One bulletin board I have done for open house is "Hand in Hand Together We Can". I put up a big globe in the middle of the board. The kids trace around their hand on colorful construction paper. They write their name in the middle of the hand, and then write one goal they want to accomplish during the year on each of the 5 fingers. I then place all of the hands next to each other and surround the globe so that it looks like we are all holding hands. I have used this twice, and both times had great reviews.
Open House Ideas
Posted by: Jennifer
I have the students make Bio-Poems of themselves. I keep the Bio-Poem format simple. They then write them onto t-shirt patterns. Hang them in the hallway with the title "Hanging Out In Third Grade." This year I had the students draw a head and arms. It came out nice, but next year I am just going to do the t-shirt.
A partner teacher of mine has the students write a couple of facts about themselves (ex. I have 3 sisters, etc.). The student doesn't write their name anywhere on the paper. The student then draws a picture of himself. The parents must guess which picutre is that of their child. You can even put an answer key up so the parents can check if thier guess is correct. This activity can be done on the computer in KidPix also.
Posted by: Lori
I take large white envelopes and cut the top off into a triangle. This becomes a house. The children design it to look like their house. Inside we choose our best pieces of work and write a letter to the parents, telling them a few things we definitely want them to see. Inside there is also parent homework. Each parent gets a piece of note paper with directions just to write a little note to their child. Then next day I put them out when the children are at special or lunch.
Posted by: Cheryl
I took pictures of each of my students out on the big toy. They wrote an acrostic poem (first word processing project) using their name. Example:
Always loves a good joke
Up for a header in soccer
Sam is his brother
Tries to be a good student
Ice cream is his favorite food
Nice to all his friends
They had to change the size of the font and color of the first letter in each line to make it stand out. The kids had a ball and the parents were really impressed. This could also be done without a word processor of course.
Re: Open House
Posted by: Steph
In the past when mine have been before school begins, I have a powerpoint running that highlights some of the things for second grade...nothing I have to present, it just loops. I have all the paperwork out for parents to fill out and I give the kids a sticker chart with "clues" to all the classroom areas. It's similar to an icebreaker activity, but involves them in finding parts of the classroom. At each spot I have stickers ready for the kids to put on their charts. They can take them home when parents are ready. I also do an estimation station. The winner is announced the end of the first week so that those that didn't get a chance to enter can and that person takes the contents and shares with classmates and refills the jar.
Just a couple of ideas. I'll try to post my classroom scavenger hunt. Oh-I just remembered, last year I thought it was too long so I'd make it more of a half sheet rather than a full sheet. Some parents were ready to go before the kids were done.
Also, if you haven't done one before school, some parents tend to want to tell you all about their child. Try not to get into a "conference" type conversation. I had one child who's mother called her beligerent and difficult and that poor child who came in smiling didn't smile again until November...and she was NOTHING like the mother had said. Grr!
Posted by: gaazed
You could have the kids draw a picture of themselves and put some clues of themselves under the picturer and the parents must guess which is their child. I do a bio-poem. Here is the format:
Line 1: First name
Line 2: 2 words to describe student
Line 3: Sibling of (or can use Son/Daughter of)
Line 4: Who loves (1-2 ideas, things, people)
Line 5: Who feels (1-2)
Line 6: Who needs (1-2 things, people, ideas)
Line 7: Who fears (1-2 things or ideas)
Line 8: Who gives (1-2 things or ideas)
Line 9: Who would like to see (1-2 things, people, ideas)
Line 10: Resident of
Line 11: Last name
You can have the students do more than 2 details (depending on grade level). For my third graders 1-2 details seems to be enough.
I have also done this in the past with character analysis.