Whether you are a new teacher looking to start the year strong or a veteran teacher looking to shake up your routine, our five simple ways to rock Open House will definitely set you up for success!
1. Display student work with purpose. It’s pretty common knowledge (and often required by administrations) that having student work up during Open House is a must. But art projects and “about me” paragraphs aren’t exactly innovative displays of student learning. Instead, try displaying student goal setting or progress monitoring, which shows that your students are actively involved in their learning. Need a goal setting template? Click here to use ours!
2. Distribute ClassMax student reports. When you run reports with ClassMax, did you know you can run a complete report on all areas, including progress, accommodations, behavior, and hall passes? These reports make great handouts to go home with parents at Open House. To print these reports, follow these steps from your class dashboard:
- Go to Reporting in the sidebar.
- Select your date range.
- Select a student.
- Click the download button in the top menu bar.
3. Have a task or activity for kids who come with their parents. This means you, too, secondary teachers! Nothing is more distracting to parents than trying to pay attention to you speaking while their little ones are wiggling and squirming around. Most elementary teachers are used to putting out activities for kids, but secondary teachers might consider printing a few coloring pages, purchasing a few coloring books from the Dollar Store, or even just putting out scrap paper and crayons or markers. Not only will it help keep your room from being destroyed, but parents will appreciate that you went the extra mile!
4. Digitize your parent sign in with Google Forms. Create a simple Google Form like this. Crucial elements include collecting email addresses, phone numbers, and emergency contact information. Open your Google Form on any student computers, laptops, or tablets that you have in your classroom and be sure to turn off your screensaver so the form doesn’t time out!
5. Plan an exit strategy. We’ve all had those parents who are talkers and after a long day of teaching and then Open House, that’s no time to be stuck with a chatty parent. Before Open House, work out a plan with three or four of your teacher friends on your hallway. When Open House ends officially, the first teacher who successfully disengages from their parents should go to the next teacher’s classroom and very politely interrupt them if they are stuck with a parent, saying something like, “You ready to go, Amy?” Once that teacher friend has been relieved of parents, continue on to the next teachers on your list until everyone has been able to escape! What are teacher friends for, anyway?!