Sunday, September 20, 2015

Parent's Night Freebies & Ideas

We have Parent's Night coming up tomorrow evening at our building. Thus, in honor of this auspicious yearly event, I thought I would share some ideas with you all that I have utilized in the past few years that I have found to be useful for the occasion.

One thing that I have consistently done each year is set out sign ups (in an obvious location) for each of the parties that we will have throughout the year. This gives me an opportunity to get a list of individuals who would be willing to help right off the bat. I can then easily refer back to them and email out to those parents for assistance when the time comes about. I also usually leave out a list for parents to sign up for assisting with little projects from home. This is a great way to include those parents who may not be able to come in during the day, but wouldn't mind organizing, cutting, creating, etc. something for me during the evening when they are available.

Furthermore, I always post a "Wish List" which usually includes items in which a whole class set was not necessary or that may be deemed "teacher materials".  I post each item on a post-it so that parents can easily scan items needed and take the post-it with them as a reminder of what they have selected (only if they would like of course) to purchase for our class.

On each student's desk, I set out any key information for parents to fill out and/or take home with them for the evening. For the past few years, I have been creating magnets via Vistaprint (posted in upper left hand corner) with my contact information. These can be created on the cheap if you find yourself a coupon code. I love how it not only gives parents a way to contact me, but a means of posting their child's work up on the fridge, etc. if they so choose! 

Before or after my presentation, I encourage parents to leave an inspiring note for their child for the year on the "you are a superkid because..." page shown above. I have them stick it inside their desk as a lovely little surprise for each student when they arrive that next day.

One of my amazing colleagues created this little gem pictured above a few years back, and I have been using it ever since. It's short, but contains such an important and sweet reminder. I have posted about this one previously, and you can find it at a former post I did on Parent's Night here.

Finally, to give parent's an overview of our year (and something to look at besides yours truly), I usually put together a little presentation highlighting key ideas and information for them to note. After the evening, I then upload the presentation to Google Docs to be shared with all to review as the year progresses. This is also great for families who for one reason or another may not be able to attend. Furthermore - it's a huge paper saver! 

Here is an example of some of the slides from my presentation last year:

I have compiled all of these above ideas and more into a simple one page list to assist in planning for Parent's Night below. Feel free to use for your planning this year, in the future, or to share with others as well. Let me know if you have anything you think I could add to it as well, as I am always looking to hear new ideas from you all! Click on the image to grab your free copy of the list and good luck with Parent's Night 2015!


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