5 MUST HAVES for Open House (Back to School Night)

Are you ready for the perfect Open House (Back to School) Night?! I’m going to make it easy for you and outline the 5 Must Haves for any B2S night!

1. Forms

It is essential to gather information at an Open House Back to School Night, but also to give it as well! I found that you need a couple key pieces:

  • Information Records Form – there are many that are free if you search! Easy to keep in files, take on field trips, etc.. I try to find one not too cumbersome as most information will be on your student information system. I like ones where parents give you info you need to know! This would be easy to make as an online form as well!
  • Your info! – Parents want to know more about you (and kids too!). What can they expect from you and a little about your history. I keep this pretty top level as I like to form relationships with parents but never get to level of giving out my personal cell (Thank goodness for Remind!)
  • Classroom Vital information – we’re talking schedule, homework policy, supplies, other policies you have. I LOVE using a Back to School Flip Book so as to not have lots of paper for parents to keep track of!

2. Supply Gathering

Make sure to have spots in your room designated for supplies! Review your list so when students come in (if they bring supplies) or on the first day so they know where they go – places are easily labeled.

Having shelves for Kleenex, paper towels, or wipes (value pack is way to go – no sickness here!) are easy to get the “bulk supplies” out of the way ahead of time.

Use small group tables or other “large classroom spaces” as well for supplies until labeled or need to be moved.

3. Connecting with Students (from day one or before!)

Do you send out a Open House Back to School Postcard or Preview? These are great to start relationships off on the right foot and get students excited about the year! You can use a picture or QR code/video to introduce yourself or the year to students (and parents!)

If you want a FREE Back to School Postcard – visit this link!

Here are my top activities to do the first day of school that will definitely build community and show off your fun side too!

4. Community Building Craftivities

Getting to know your students it one thing and sometimes it can be daunting as to what to do. I was the introverted student that hated formal introductions and a quick “what do you like?” scenario in school….enter my FAVORITE Back to School Craftivities.

I like a little downtime to create and express myself and then get to share vs. just talking. I love that these go deeper than just “what did you do this summer?” and a list of your favorites. It’s a mix between light hearted and yet some critical thinking. I love the discussions that come out of these (and much better for introverts) and easing back into school.

5. Welcome Procedures

Setting the tone for the new year can happen even before school starts on your Open House/Back to School Night! Getting it right is not only important it is vital!

Students need to feel welcome! How does that happen in your classroom?

  • use correct names and pronunciations along with pronouns
    • do not assume – introduce yourself and how to pronounce your name then ask them to do the same. Note it on your checklist (some FREE ones here!)
  • give tours of the room – it can be tough just wondering around aimlessly give direction as to what to do and where to go
  • ask student how they like to be greeted (handshake, high five) make a note as well as some might change when students get more comfortable

You can do this! Your students are excited (and maybe nervous!) to meet you! Your parents want to know who is keeping their babies. You have the resources, tools and supplies – make this your best year yet!!

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