Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ten ideas for student participation during Open House

Hey Y'all! It's Erin from The Elementary Darling! Summer has been flying and I go back to work tomorrow! so today I am going to chat about what your new students can do during Open House.

I have enjoyed my summer full of Target trips, dollar store hunts, and family time but as the school year rolls around, I get equal parts excited and anxious. Back to school time is fun but also stressful and this year I am moving to a new school and a new grade level.  Many of you are doing the same or even just one of those things, and while it is an exciting time, it is also a stressful time.

To help with the stress of coming back to school and having Open House (or meet the teacher, or sneak a peek) I also started doing stations in my classroom. Yesterday, Theresa shared her station idea with you all. If you didn't read it, head here.  I did something similar and you can read about those stations here on my blog.

The only difference is that I found that my parents were doing the stations, and my students weren't always participating. OR one parent was taking the student to do the stations (LOVE) and the other was filling out the paperwork. {This is the ideal situation for my classroom.} My school was a Title One school and we had a ton of information and surveys for the parents to fill out.

***Insert big idea here*** I decided that I needed some things that students could do while the parents filled out all of the paperwork! You can make these a station OR you can just have them set out in the room and let the students do them. {Side note: if you teach Kinder babies you may want to make it a station, so their parents can help them.}

Here are 10 ideas for student participation during Open House!

1.) Organize Supplies
I love Theresa from True Life I'm a Teacher's idea of having the students take a scrapbook page to create a scrapbook. The students pick the color of their paper and they take it home to work on. I also love that she organizes her materials THAT NIGHT. This is a great activity for the kids to do! Everything is labeled and even if they can't read the words, you can put one of each item in the box and the students will know where to put the item.

2.) Selfie Wall
Almost every kid knows how to take a selfie. This selfie wall or photo booth is a great and easy way for the students to snap a picture with a saying. I just put second grade on mine, but you can do anything! I also had to use a selfie stick because no one was at school to take my picture so excuse the terrible pose :)

3.) Photo Booth
Another version of this is Chandra, from Teaching with Crayons and Curls, photo booth where she took a sparkly table cloth and the students used signs and got a picture. She did a  Party theme and it was precious!

4.) Meet the Teacher Chart
Kristin from School in the City created this cute chart to learn about the teacher. This would be cute for the kids to look at during open house. It is also easy to make for all grade levels!

5.) Estimation Station
The students grab a post it note and write how many skittles they think are in the jar with their name. I check them all when Open House is over and I put all of the post its on an anchor chart for our math focus board. The student who gets the closest answer wins the jar on the first day of school! It makes an awesome first math lesson and gets the students excited.

6.) Post it Note Anchor Chart
This is an easy and fun way for students to answer a question. They love choosing their post it note, and most grade levels can answer the question on their own. K-1 babies will need some help on this one, but even pictures are cute.  My first graders did pretty well with this, the year that I did it!

7.) Choose your back to school gift!
Sometimes I have my students' gifts on each desk as they walk in, but I think this year I am going to let them choose their own gift. They are either going to pick based on marker color or based on paper color, but who doesn't love a choice?!?! You can find these editable marker papers here in my TPT shop for FREE!

8.) Scavenger Hunt
I have seen so many different scavenger hunts for students. I love the ones with the pictures, especially for the K-1 babies. There are too many to choose from, so my suggestion is to get on TPT or Pinterest and find the perfect one for you and your classroom!

9.) Find your seat or choose your seat.
This may seem like an easy one, but many students, like us, are anxious. They may want to sit closer to the teacher, or the board and choosing his/her desk is an easy way for them to get excited for the year. My suggestion is to write the names on the name tags, have the students choose their name, and then place it on the desk they choose. If you need a more controlled environment, I understand! The students could just find their desk. Make sure to leave them something fun like ready confetti,  jitter glitter, or a present to make them feel comfortable.

10.) Meet the Teacher
Wait, they need to actually talk to you? YES! And this is the cheapest and easiest suggestion of them all! It is so important to take the time to talk to the student. Many times, the parents take over, and the kids just sit there. Have some "go to" questions to ask the students that are easy to answer.
*What did you love about First Grade? (their previous grade)
* What are you excited to learn about?
* Do you love science? We are going to do some fun science experiments!
*Did you get anything special to start the year off with?
*or my Favorite- Do you think your mom and dad are ready for you to Second Grade?

Just remember, these are suggestions. I don't think all of this is possible during one open house. It's like Target, just pick the one or two you need. {Who am I kidding, I need everything at Target.}

Good Luck!