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Open House / Meet the Teacher

Everything you need to Organize and Impress!

I can’t believe how quickly this new school year is approaching. I remember the first day jitters, and nightmares that would quickly set in as each summer day came to an end. The majority of my anxieties seemed to stem from the fast-approaching Meet the Teacher Night / Open House. From my experience I was able to try a couple of different approaches: Give a presentation to everyone, Meet and Greet, and Stations. All of these methods have their pros and cons, given my experience I preferred stations.

Pros to Stations:

  • Briefly meet everyone
  • Parents complete Forms and Permission Slips (Less Tracking Down Signatures)
  • Structured (As a teacher do I need to say anything more…..)
  • Paced at an individual level
  • More relaxed
  • Lots of conversation starters… Less awkward moments

Cons to Stations:

  • You will still have to explain the procedure despite having clear instructions posted… #storyofyourlife
  • Multiple people may finish at the same time (Meet Mrs. Doxey is the last station)
    • Parents/Guardians may try to chat about sensitive information while others are waiting in line. (Thus the need for a conference sign up. Simply, say something to the effect that you would like to continue this conversation in a more private matter and direct them to the sign-up)

Another Reason I LOVE stations for an Open House is that they are extremely customizable. You can make a station fill whatever role you need it to. Below I will explain the 7 stations I used in my own classroom and how I organized the event. If you purchase the Open House / Meet the Teacher Bundle, you can duplicate and edit the slides to add as many as you need for your event.

First Stop: Welcome & Sign in 

I set this up on a table that you can’t miss as you enter the classroom. Here parents/guardians sign-in. It then briefly explains the stations and encourages them to find and start with station number 1.

Station 1: Check List and Folder

This Station is typically set up at the front of the room, near the sign-in. Here parents snag the manilla folder with their student’s name on the tab (You can write their names ahead of time or they can when they get there.) Inside the folder are all of the permission slips, forms, and field trip notes that need their signature. I also glue a checklist to the folder, that way we both know if they were able to complete all of the requirements. **On the checklist, label the color of the form for a quick reference ie. Field Trip Form-Green, Computer Usage-Blue…etc) I also include instructions to set up accounts we will use in the classroom like Remind or Class Dojo. If there is one thing you take away with how I organize for Meet the Teacher, I hope it’s the folder tip. Parents take the folder around with them then once each station is completed it is turned into you at the last station. I’ll explain more with what I do with this folder at Station 7.

Station 2: Move-In 

Parents and students are then directed to move into their desks, write the student’s names on all of their books, and make sure they have all of the items in their pencil pouch. This may be overdoing it, but when I have students move into their desks I ask that they put books, and notebooks on the left, with their whiteboard and pencil pouch on the right, starting with the largest items on the bottom. Setting this expectation from the beginning sets a tone for the rest of the year. **Unrelated, but completely related advice that I will give often: Expectations are everything, and you can’t hold someone to an expectation if they don’t know what it is. On the student’s desk, besides the books and supplies, I always place my Meet The Teacher and Classroom Information sheet. I print this beautiful infographic on a double-sided single piece of paper. I love the flip-books so many teachers make, I just couldn’t justify the time >I had procrastinated away the entire summer> to take the time to make them. Thus the need for this beauty came. It’s simple, impactful, and parents/guardians leave with one page that contains all the information they will need for the school year. I also include a fun treat on the student’s desk to welcome them to their new home.

Station 3: Technology

At this station, I ask parents to create accounts for the technology we will be using in the classroom. If you have an extra Chromebook, or iPad laying around this is a great place to utilize them. Most accounts can be completed through a smartphone so always encourage that so those without access don’t have to wait around. The two accounts I have parents sign up for is Remind and Class Dojo. However, I am always on the lookout for a new or better option. I’ve come across two that may just fit that bill. Has anyone tried or heard of Bloomz or Class Tag? If you haven’t it might be worth checking out. If you have, I would LOVE to hear from you!

Station 4: Permission Slips

This station I make sure that parents/ guardians have taken the time to fill out, date, and sign permission slips for field trips, computer usage, photography release, social media usage…etc. I also include an example of the actual forms highlighting any areas that require initials or multiple signatures.  I also ask that they make sure to check these items off of the checklist in the folder. Remember to color code the forms on the checklist this simplifies things for everyone!

Station 5: Parent Survey / Scavenger Hunt

At this point, I ask parents/Guardians to take the time to fill out a survey. This survey is sensitive to the student, (strengths, weakness, attitude, medical…etc) so while parents complete this form I ask the students to complete a Classroom Scavenger Hunt. Items on the scavenger hunt include tasks like:

  • Finding the classroom library and picking out a book.
  • Read the Meet the Teacher and Classroom Information sheet, try to find something in common with me.
  • Find their cubby (Number on name-tag will match the number on the cubby)
  • Locate the job-station, read through the job descriptions and take note of their 3 favorites so they are prepared to fill out their Classroom Job Application
  • Lastly, to get a jump-start on one of their first-class assignments: All About Me Banner

Each of these tasks ensures that whoever is filling out the student survey form has plenty of time. My Open House Meet the Teacher Bundle includes two editable Parent Survey forms that you print and they fill out, then turn into you with the folder. I love these forms, and the little details included in them. In my experience, I have used both paper parent forms and digital google forms. When given the choice between the two, I prefer the google form. The reason I prefer digital is largely due to data entry. Every response on the form is collected and entered into a google sheet. Instead of typing each email, and deciphering handwriting, a simple copy and paste gets the job done!

 

If you would like to use the digital form I use for my Open House, simply CLICK HERE to become a member and gain exclusive access to freebies like this one!

 

Also included in this packet is a Student Interest Form / Survey. I would save this as the first week of school assignment. This survey is also a google slide file and editable. I’ve taken the liberty to create a form that I would want my students to complete, but you have the freedom to edit the form for your needs. These are a wonderful way to assess your students’ needs, personalities, learning styles, learning preferences, and all-around attitude towards school! This is meant to be printed double-sided and would work great as a first day of school assignment. You may even consider having each student complete a learning preference quiz like the one here:

Station 6: Volunteer Sign Up

Of all the forms I have created for the Open House, the volunteer sign up is probably my favorite. It’s simple to read, and yet extremely detail-oriented. Each type of volunteer is explained and defined. The beauty of that is likely, every parent or guardian hoping to volunteer in someway will be able to find a way. This form is editable through google docs, so you can edit it specific to your classroom needs.  Examples of the types of volunteers I use in my classroom are as follows:

 

  • R: Room Volunteers are involved with all things classroom. They plan, facilitate, inform, and coordinate.
  • P: Party Volunteer helps plan and prepare for class parties.
  • L: Literacy Volunteer has a more consistent schedule. Work on reading concepts in small groups and individually.
  • M: Math Volunteer also has a more consistent schedule. Works with students on a smaller scale need. ***Concept Support given to volunteers!
  • W: Writing Volunteer: Can be accomplished at home rather than in the classroom. Read through student writing and provide feedback.
  • D: Donation Volunteer. Support the classroom by donating needed supplies or wishlist items.
  • O: Other, Do you possess a knowledge, talent, profession, connection…etc pertaining to our curriculum. We would LOVE to learn from you!

Also at this station, I have my wishlist station set up with donation items “asks” they can take home with them and send back with their student. **If you have a need for your classroom, put it out there! You never know what you will get, and there is no harm in asking. Suggestions besides the typical school supplies: Rated G Movies, Maker Space Supplies, Art Set, Board Game, Fun toys or treats for motivators, Thank You Cards, Art Supplies, Gift Cards: Explain what they will be spent on, Favorite Picture Book, Favorite Poetry book, Favorite Graphic Novel…ETC!

Station 7: Finish Line

Phew….. We’re almost there! Last station. This is where I stay for the majority of the evening. At this point, you get to “briefly” meet everyone. You can ask the student if they found something they had in common with you while completing the scavenger hunt. ***Something to talk about….. Do not underestimate the need to have something to talk about when meeting someone for the first time. You can ask the parents if they have any questions, were they able to complete all of the forms… After introductions, they hand you the beautiful folder full of important items you don’t have to send home with a student and pray for their safe return. **Quickly take the time to scan all of the forms checking on the dates, signatures…etc. If everything is in order, place it in a bin to be filed away later.

One of the downsides to really any Open House or meet the teacher is that you will have parents concerned about their students and would like to use this time to discuss precious details that are better suited to be addressed in private, or they will want to talk your ear off while others wait to meet you. If this happens kindly point them to the conference sign up, and express how you would love to continue this conversation later and how excited you are to have their precious little one in your classroom. Be calculated in your delivery, do everything you can to make sure they feel listened to and cared for, but that you simply would like to continue it later.

If you didn’t place the treat or welcome gift for the student on the desk, you can keep it back at this station to give to them when you meet them. The Open House Bundle includes a beautiful gift tag with a favorite quote on it: “I am so glad you are here. It helps me realize how beautiful my world is.” – Rainer Maria Rilke or you have the option of making your own editable pun worthy tag.

  • Pop Rocks: This year is going to Rock
  • Pencil: Everything is “write” now you are here
  • Glowstick: This year looks “Bright” now you are here

Also included in the pack is a teacher information card the size of a business card. I’ve seen teachers laminate these and add a magnet to make a fun gift for the parents/guardians.

Last bit of Advice:

Remember that beautiful manilla folder with all of the forms…etc in it. Once you have a lull in the traffic or are completely finished up. Take the time to create a google sheet or excel form and enter in your students’ roster, as well as each permission slip. From there mark each student who turned the form in. Then create a hanging folder for each type of permission slip. Next, take the folder with the student’s name and file that in a place for all your students. Throughout the year, this is your place to keep student documents, notes about guided reading, reading records, writing pre-assessments and post-assessments, math assessments…etc. Come Parent-Teacher conference, you will have an abundant supply of things to talk about and address.

I hope this helps you better visualize and wrap your head around how to set up and organize your Open House / Meet the Teacher. I know the majority of the stress as a first-year teacher was not having a clue what to do, or what an Open House even looked like. If you have any questions, need clarifications, or would like something added to the bundle please let me know!

The bundle I created, was created for my own classroom. In it you will find:

  • 25 Beautiful, Printer Friendly, Editable pages (Through Google Slides)
  • Create and edit as many station pages as you need
  • Volunteer Sign-Ups
  • Conference Sign Ups
  • Welcome Treat Tags
  • Teacher Information Cards
  • Classroom Donation Cards
  • Classroom Scavenger Hunt
  • Parent / Student Survey
  • Open House / Meet the Teacher Checklist
  • Display Welcome Slide
  • Welcome Sign-in Sheet
  • and more!

Click Here to Purchase the Open House Bundle 

What Teachers are Saying about Featured Products:

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Remember the Meet The Teacher / Everything you Need to Know about the Classroom Form is not included in this bundle. You can purchase the two forms as a bundle or separately, but note they are editable in PowerPoint, not google slides.

As always I love to hear from you! What are your tips and tricks to a successful Open House / Meet the Teacher Night? Do you have any favorite apps or recommendations for Parent-Teacher Communication?

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“The influence of your personal testimonies is ever so far-reaching. The Lord instructed: “The testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you” (D&C 62:3). He also cautioned us: “With some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man” (D&C 60:2). You never know when your turn will come to comply with the admonition of Peter to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15).”
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Thomas S. Monson
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I’ve complied my FAVORITE inexpensive gift ideas for Father’s Day and created FREE printables for you to complete the gift! These are perfect and practical for the men in your life, and work great as a gift for the entire ward! -
What did your Ward do for Father’s Day this year?
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“I know the love of God. It is one of the very few things I do know with absolute certainty. I think suffering on this earth is an indication of God’s trust, God’s love. I think it is an indication that God does not want us to be simply obedient children playing forever under his hand, but wants us able to become more like himself. In order to do that we have to know reality. We have to be real ourselves and not dependent on externals. If we are to be like God, we cannot live forever in fear that we may meet something that will scare us or that will hurt us. We have to be able, as he is able, to meet what comes of others’ agency, and of living in a lawful universe that allows creation of a habitable planet only when it allows also the difficulties that come in natural operations of such a planet.”
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-James E. Faust
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Reflecting on Father’s Day... it’s incredible to me that the Supreme Creator of the Universe chooses to be addressed as “Father”...
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. “Father’ is the noblest title a man can be given. It is more than a biological role. It signifies a patriarch, a leader, an exemplar, a confidant, a teacher, a hero, a friend and, ultimately, a perfect being.” Robert L. Backman
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For whatever reason, I’ve had this false idea in my mind that when you are on the Lord’s errand, a path paved in smooth simplicity would be laid out before you… This simply isn’t the case. Consider Nephi’s path and the bumps and stumbling blocks placed in his way… Consider Abinadi and his ultimate sacrifice of meekness and obedience… Consider Joseph Smith and the reestablishment of the early Church… Now consider Alma the younger and his dealings with Ammoniahah… Looking ahead, look what happens to Amulek once he finally decides to “Know” the Gospel.

It’s so interesting to me that when the angel is sent to Alma to lift him up and send him back to Ammoniahah a key detail that in my mind would have eased Alma’s mind is left out. Notice how the angel made no mention of Amulek. There is no mention of comfort that someone has been prepared for you, and is waiting for you. Instead, Alma acts “speedily” not knowing what he will do, ACTING in faith, hoping that the Lord will provide a way.
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To me this illustrates the idea of the Lord’s hand cautiously guiding us even when we can’t see it. I’ve seen this concept in my own life, however, it isn’t until I have the hindsight of the future to look back and realize his hand was there all along. There is something to choosing to act on our own. Heading in the right direction, even though we don’t know how we will be delivered, having faith that we WILL be delivered.
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“Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load... [...]Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness... [...] Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities. Most of us know that when we do things wrong and need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. But do we also understand that the Atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully? I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone—through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.” Excerpts from Bear Your Burdens with Ease, -Bednar ...

With there being a focus on Missionary work this week for Come Follow Me, and the fact that it isn’t always rosy… I thought a good addition to the lesson would be to write a letter to a missionary. Maybe this is a family member, a ward member, or someone new entirely, but a message from home can be an easy way to show support for those serving in the mission field. To help with this activity I created a fun and editable missionary letter template. The template should simplify the writing process and take the guesswork out of what to write. You can either type directly onto the slide, and print or email. Or you can begin by printing a hard copy and writing directly onto the page.

Use this with your family, your students, the primary, or young men| young women! This works great as a zoom call activity or fun activity at home! I’ve also included a link to inkablinka.com where Kristin has uploaded some awesome printables going over missionary letter dos and donts!
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Highlighting one of my most treasured scriptures this week. President Bednar said it best: “Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us. There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” ...

To help you with your study this week, I’ve created a printable with all of the questions posed in chapter 5. (Around 50!) For me, this gives me something concrete, that I can hold, look at, and mark up. You will notice that many of the questions aren’t as simple as a yes and no, similar to many of the questions asked in Come Follow Me. I’ve left a space next to each question for you to use as you wish. Yes, it could be a place for a checkmark, but the more I grow, the more I learn that this is not a checklist Gospel. Rather, it’s growth, progression, and all about movement whether that be forward or backward. I wonder if you may even choose to “check” one of the questions that you choose to further study, ponder, or focus on for the week.
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I’d love to hear how you use this personal inventory, and any takeaways you have. Don’t forget to share this post with a friend!
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Recently I was asked to share my thoughts on the Come Follow Me program during the past few months for the LDS Website in the UK. @churchofjesuschrist -
Frankly speaking the invitation made me a little sick. My biggest fear is that it would seem like we were the perfect little family with the perfect little program in place, complete with cutouts and crafts, deep discussions and daily reflection....
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This couldn't be more from the truth. Yes, I do a weekly round up of ideas and resources for Come Follow Me that I publish on my website, but that doesn't mean that it always happens within my own home. When it does happen it typically looks like a bedtime story, or a video played while the kids eat lunch... When it does happen I often fall asleep while trying to catch up on last week’s reading... Most of all, when it does happen, I notice a difference within my home. This program is divinely inspired, the simple timing of everything amplifies it's divine origin to me. -
Art by @_thecoloramber one of the most beautiful illustrations of a family I've ever laid eyes on. Words fall short on this piece. It's my absolute favorite.
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You can read the article here:
https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/come-follow-me-during-lockdown?lang=eng-gb
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This quote stopped me in my tracks... Make sure to head to the website for this week’s Round up of FREE Come Follow Me Resources! This week’s lesson is based on @comefollowmefamily AWESOME idea to use bubbles and balloons to teach about pride. AND @davidbowmanart released another FREE Sample video from his Drawn In, Come Follow Me monthly subscription that I know you are going to LOVE! His videos are wonderful and go beyond just a retelling of the story by diving deep into application in a language the whole family can enjoy! This is the ONLY paid subscription I use for #comefollowme Head to the website now for all of this, a coupon code, and MORE! -
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What are your takeaways from Come Follow Me this week? Do me a favor and spread the love by sharing this post or tagging a friend in the comments!
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By now we all know I love all things Lemon... Lemonade is not exception. ESPECIALLY a good tart Lemonade like @chickfila Did you know you could buy it by the Gallon??? Stay tuned... FREE Father’s Day Printable Gift Tags and a list of well received/ inexpensive gift ideas to accompany them! Whether your looking to outfit the entire ward, or just a thoughtful gift for a few of your favorite men, this post will highlight some fun ideas! -
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COMMENT BELOW: What are some of your favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday
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“And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 27:25–26).
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”Conversion is a process, not an event. Conversion comes as a result of righteous efforts to follow the Savior. These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith. Although conversion is miraculous and life changing, it is a quiet miracle. Angelic visitations and other spectacular occurrences do not bring conversion. Even Alma, who saw an angel, became converted only after he “fasted and prayed many days” for a witness of the truth (Alma 5:46). And Paul, who saw the resurrected Savior, taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).”
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Excerpt from LDS.org
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”Our behavior is nothing more than a reflection of the depth of our conversion to Jesus Christ." Ed J. Pinegar
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What has your behavior shown today of your conversion to Jesus Christ?
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Let’s talk FATHER’S Day... I’m getting ready to add a post on my favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday along with FREE & Thoughtful printables to complete the gift. So help me out... what are your FAVORITE ideas for budget friendly, visiting teaching friendly, give every man in the ward friendly GIFT IDEAS???
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Comment Below 💛🍋💛🍋
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This week in #comefollowme has me thinking a lot about the ripple effects of our choices. Consider the #rippleeffects of your Covenants. What about the ripple effect of Abinadi’s brave stand, or the ripples caused by Alma’s conversion. What choices are you making today, what ripple effect will they have tomorrow? ...

“What is the source of such moral and spiritual power, and how do we obtain it? The source is God. Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him. A covenant is an agreement between God and man, an accord whose terms are set by God (see Bible Dictionary, “Covenant,” 651). In these divine agreements, God binds Himself to sustain, sanctify, and exalt us in return for our commitment to serve Him and keep His commandments.”
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Head to the website to see this week’s round up of FREE, featured #comefollowme resources.
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