Wednesday, September 12, 2012

:Open House and Our First Writing:

     Yesterday we had our back to school "Open House" for parents. I can still remember dragging my mom around my 5th grade room showing her all the places where magic happened for me! It is always so cute to listen in as my kiddos share with their parents a little about our room and the cute things they have pin pointed as important from these first couple of weeks together.
Some of my favorites included:
     "Look mom, here is our stamina time ... you aren't allowed to look up at ANYONE, you just keep        
           your eyes stuck on your book so you can get LOST in it!" (YES! insert proud teacher smile)
     "These are our paper plates, we did something with them in social studies" (well, they didn't  
           connect well with THAT lesson! HA!)
     "We don't use our desks in preparation for lockers in middle school so my desk can't even get messy
            if I wanted it too!" (this made me laugh!)
      Our school gives us business cards and I like to make them into laminated magnets so parents can take them for communication purposes. They are always a HUGE hit!
     I also try and get each parent a curriculum guide so they can see what we will be learning throughout the year and remind them to look in our newsletters for updates on where we are in the "What We Are Learning This Week" section. The art teacher had us lay out the kids art portfolios and parents really liked being able to take a peek at what they have already been up to!
     Overall, I had a pretty good turn out. We just do a walkthrough at our school. I feel that there are pros and cons to either a quick meet and greet or a sit down function, but our parents feel that this is the easiest for them and we accommodate.  I have been seeing the CUTEST things on here that people do for Open Houses/Back to School Nights ... next year I will have to get my little butt in gear and create some of these gems:
Awesome popcorn parent favor bags:

 If you want this ADORABLE! template for your own parent night stop over at Fun In First to pick it up for FREE!
CUTE Batman Cookie Medal's that I discovered at Coaching Chronicles (their theme was Superheroes as well! Great ideas!):
A few more neat open house ideas from Coaching Chronicles ... volunteer sign up sheet, email sheet, "needed" supplies written on a star that parents can take to help out, etc.
In other classroom news, the first week and a half of school have been FANTASTIC! I have to be quick to remind myself that there are going to be procedures and routines that I expect {since my brain and body are still accustomed to how student behavior was at the end of LAST year} but I have been extremely impressed with how quick these kiddos are catching on!
For writing I combined my own summer memories writing lesson with 4th Grade Frolic's "Glasses" writing activity. First I read them the book "Wilfrid Gorden McDonald Partridge" (a cute story about a little boy who lives by an old person's home and helps a lady "remember" her past) to help them get into the mindset of "memories". After some discussion and comprehension questions, I had the kids share with their partner their two favorite memories from their summer. Then we went back to our seats and created big sunglasses frames and drew the two memories we had in them. This was a great lesson to teach them my coloring rules:
  • Marker CANNOT be used to color in the background!
  • ONLY crayon and colored pencil are to be used for coloring background
  • When creating a picture, make sure you fill the ENTIRE page (no white showing!)
They turned out REALLY cute! And they were a nice thing to already have to show off for Open House!

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