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September 7, 2015

A Back-to-School Night to Remember!

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Here Come The Parents

    Back-to-School night is a big event for you and your students' parents — and, of course, the kids! You will want to make contact with each and every parent at some time during the evening; let them know just how happy you are that they took the time to come in and learn more about their child’s classroom. You might not be able to talk with them all before your presentation, but make sure you catch each one before they leave. Here are some ideas that will bring organization to your classroom, make your parents feel welcome, and add a little fun to your night!

    • Welcome Sign

    I love this! I think this is just the cutest idea and a fun way to welcome your parents into your special evening. Additionally, it’s one more way to get the message out that students' families are valued and an important part of your classroom.

    • Sign-in Sheets

    Put several of these around your classroom to avoid congestion and lines. My school requests that we have these sheets as a record of attendance, and we are required to give a head count when our evening concludes.

    • Making Their Way to Their Child’s Seat

    When the parents make it to their child's seat, you’ll want to make sure that they arrive to a neat setup of all the paperwork you want to share with them. Some of the forms they should find may include volunteering, teacher and classroom information, curriculum information, special classes, and really, just about anything that you think is important for them to see. One thing I would highly recommend is that you have the parents fill out and leave the forms in the classroom before they leave.

    • Thank You for Coming Treat

    If you’ve been following me, you know I LOVE to bake! I feel that baking is a labor of love and it is my little way to let the parents know that I cherish their involvement in our classroom. 

    Calling All Volunteers

    Back-to-school night is one of the best opportunities you will have to invite parents into your classroom. I cannot even imagine what my job would be like without the multitude of parents who come in and out of our classroom doors daily. The students and I are all better off because of these extremely generous people!

    • Classroom Volunteers:

    Parents can be a great asset to the teacher and her classroom by helping work with children one-on-one or in small groups. They can also help by prepping materials that will be needed for upcoming activities.

    • Party Helpers:

    Who doesn't love a party?! At our school we have four celebrations a year: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and at the end of the school year when the whole building has a very fun "Birthday" celebration and picnic.

    • Room Parents:

    I say parents (as opposed to "mothers") because I think it is much easier to share the load of this responsibility by designating two or more parents to help organize our classroom activities. Dads should not feel excluded!

    • Art Parent:

    Once a week, I love having a parent come in and teach an art lesson to my kiddos. This quickly becomes a very special time in our classroom that the kids really look forward to. Two or more parents can also share this job. 

    Lights, Camera, Action . . . It’s Showtime!

    The time has finally come for you to make your presentation. This is the time parents have been waiting for and this is your time to shine! Creating a simple presentation using PowerPoint can really help you stay focused on the specifics you are attempting to convey to your families.

    • What to Talk About

    There is an overwhelming amount of information to cover in a very short time frame. At my school, we only have about 25 minutes to welcome, present, sign-up for volunteering, and visit with our families. Having notes to refer to has really been a lifesaver when my nerves seem to get the best of me. 

    • Making Your Presentation

    Back-to-school night can be very stressful, especially for a new teacher. With an organized presentation, you will feel much more confident and be able to deliver a great first impression. As you are covering topics such as curriculum, rules, policies/procedures, and (last but not least!) your teaching philosophy, remember to breathe and try to have a little fun. When you let your personality shine through, the parents are more likely to connect with you.

    • Take a Breath . . . You’re Almost Done!

    Make sure to give a big thank-you to the parents for coming to back-to-school night. Let them know how much you appreciate their time. At the end of the evening, I ask parents to write a love note to their child. There is nothing more exciting than when my students come in the next morning and see a note from Mom and Dad! If you do this activity, just make sure that you write a note to the students whose parents were unable to make it. Lastly, I would encourage parents to take some time before leaving to look at the student work that is displayed around the room.

    Keeping in Touch

    Make sure to follow up with an email or a note in a weekly newsletter, thanking your parents for coming to back-to-school night. For parents who are busy and take the time to come to such an event after a long day at work, it says a lot about the importance of their child’s education.

    Speaking of keeping in touch, I am so excited to use the Remind app this school year. Remind is a communication tool that helps teachers connect instantly with students and parents. You can send quick, simple messages to any device, and best of all, it’s FREE! If you haven’t already acquired email addresses, back-to-school night would be a great time.

    Good luck and make sure to have lots fun with your families at your own back-to-school night! 

    Still need more ideas on getting ready for back-to-school night, you can check out these posts from my fellow Scholastic Top Teaching bloggers:

     

    Thanks for reading, and have a happy day!

    Shari :)

    Here Come The Parents

    Back-to-School night is a big event for you and your students' parents — and, of course, the kids! You will want to make contact with each and every parent at some time during the evening; let them know just how happy you are that they took the time to come in and learn more about their child’s classroom. You might not be able to talk with them all before your presentation, but make sure you catch each one before they leave. Here are some ideas that will bring organization to your classroom, make your parents feel welcome, and add a little fun to your night!

    • Welcome Sign

    I love this! I think this is just the cutest idea and a fun way to welcome your parents into your special evening. Additionally, it’s one more way to get the message out that students' families are valued and an important part of your classroom.

    • Sign-in Sheets

    Put several of these around your classroom to avoid congestion and lines. My school requests that we have these sheets as a record of attendance, and we are required to give a head count when our evening concludes.

    • Making Their Way to Their Child’s Seat

    When the parents make it to their child's seat, you’ll want to make sure that they arrive to a neat setup of all the paperwork you want to share with them. Some of the forms they should find may include volunteering, teacher and classroom information, curriculum information, special classes, and really, just about anything that you think is important for them to see. One thing I would highly recommend is that you have the parents fill out and leave the forms in the classroom before they leave.

    • Thank You for Coming Treat

    If you’ve been following me, you know I LOVE to bake! I feel that baking is a labor of love and it is my little way to let the parents know that I cherish their involvement in our classroom. 

    Calling All Volunteers

    Back-to-school night is one of the best opportunities you will have to invite parents into your classroom. I cannot even imagine what my job would be like without the multitude of parents who come in and out of our classroom doors daily. The students and I are all better off because of these extremely generous people!

    • Classroom Volunteers:

    Parents can be a great asset to the teacher and her classroom by helping work with children one-on-one or in small groups. They can also help by prepping materials that will be needed for upcoming activities.

    • Party Helpers:

    Who doesn't love a party?! At our school we have four celebrations a year: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and at the end of the school year when the whole building has a very fun "Birthday" celebration and picnic.

    • Room Parents:

    I say parents (as opposed to "mothers") because I think it is much easier to share the load of this responsibility by designating two or more parents to help organize our classroom activities. Dads should not feel excluded!

    • Art Parent:

    Once a week, I love having a parent come in and teach an art lesson to my kiddos. This quickly becomes a very special time in our classroom that the kids really look forward to. Two or more parents can also share this job. 

    Lights, Camera, Action . . . It’s Showtime!

    The time has finally come for you to make your presentation. This is the time parents have been waiting for and this is your time to shine! Creating a simple presentation using PowerPoint can really help you stay focused on the specifics you are attempting to convey to your families.

    • What to Talk About

    There is an overwhelming amount of information to cover in a very short time frame. At my school, we only have about 25 minutes to welcome, present, sign-up for volunteering, and visit with our families. Having notes to refer to has really been a lifesaver when my nerves seem to get the best of me. 

    • Making Your Presentation

    Back-to-school night can be very stressful, especially for a new teacher. With an organized presentation, you will feel much more confident and be able to deliver a great first impression. As you are covering topics such as curriculum, rules, policies/procedures, and (last but not least!) your teaching philosophy, remember to breathe and try to have a little fun. When you let your personality shine through, the parents are more likely to connect with you.

    • Take a Breath . . . You’re Almost Done!

    Make sure to give a big thank-you to the parents for coming to back-to-school night. Let them know how much you appreciate their time. At the end of the evening, I ask parents to write a love note to their child. There is nothing more exciting than when my students come in the next morning and see a note from Mom and Dad! If you do this activity, just make sure that you write a note to the students whose parents were unable to make it. Lastly, I would encourage parents to take some time before leaving to look at the student work that is displayed around the room.

    Keeping in Touch

    Make sure to follow up with an email or a note in a weekly newsletter, thanking your parents for coming to back-to-school night. For parents who are busy and take the time to come to such an event after a long day at work, it says a lot about the importance of their child’s education.

    Speaking of keeping in touch, I am so excited to use the Remind app this school year. Remind is a communication tool that helps teachers connect instantly with students and parents. You can send quick, simple messages to any device, and best of all, it’s FREE! If you haven’t already acquired email addresses, back-to-school night would be a great time.

    Good luck and make sure to have lots fun with your families at your own back-to-school night! 

    Still need more ideas on getting ready for back-to-school night, you can check out these posts from my fellow Scholastic Top Teaching bloggers:

     

    Thanks for reading, and have a happy day!

    Shari :)

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Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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