General Teaching Topics, Regular Education

How I Structured My First Kindergarten Open House

As many of you have read, one of us made a switch from Deaf Education to Regular Education this year. That was me! And while I am over-the-moon excited to be teaching kindergarten, I am also a bit terrified! I am consistently reminded by friends and family to take things one step at a time. So I hope to share all of my steps with you along the way, starting with open house! (Hopefully they are forward and upward steps, but I suppose we can all learn from the backward and tumbling steps as well).

My first step was setting up my classroom! I am still tweaking things around the room, so more on that in the future. You can, however, check out my Cheap and Easy Mailbox DIY Makeover !

Step 2: Kindergarten Open House

Once my room was functional (or at least seemed functional) I needed to narrow down my main goals for open house. Some teachers are very relaxed about this, don’t mind if their room isn’t decorated, and have a sort of wing it mentality going into it. Which is fine, don’t get me wrong. But I am a planner at heart!

I also feel that Kindergarten is a big deal, especially to parents. I feel pressure as a Kindergarten teacher to gain the parents trust as their child’s first full day elementary school teacher! Creating a good bond with the family as a whole is important in order for the parents to leave my room excited about sending their baby to kindergarten! They should trust that I will care for their child and be their biggest cheerleader! Each child should also leave excited about their new classroom, new friends, and new teacher!

So… here was my master plan:

1. Greet each family at the door.

2. Obtain all pertinent paperwork before leaving my room. (A girl can dream right?)

3. Keep the kiddos occupied so parents can complete the mound of said paperwork and avoid destruction of the 4 day classroom set up.

4. Establish a positive connection with each child and receive positive, excited vibes about the first day of school.

5. Don’t lose kids. (I’ll explain more on this in a minute.)

Set up:

Alright so in order to reach all five goals for open house I decided, after much Instagram stalking and Pinterest browsing, to set up stations.

For the Parents

The parents would have 7 stations + a sign in sheet at the door. I purchased this resource from Cara’s Creative Playground on TPT. It was fully editable so my plan is to use this for open house every year!

Outside my door I put a sign in sheet on a small bookshelf and a “Welcome, thank you for coming” sign.
Inside the room, four tables held the massive amount of paperwork.

Table Stations

  1. Emergency information forms + all required forms given to me by the school.
  2. Transportation information + your child (a get to know you of sorts about the kiddo).
  3. Volunteer sign up sheet + meet the teacher + classroom information flipbook (amazing resource from Chalk and Apples on TPT!)
  4. Notification app sign up sheet + wish-list items.

For the children

I set up three areas. On the carpet I set out a large sheet of bulletin board paper to color on.  On the other side of the carpet I had stacking tower manipulatives. And on the fifth classroom table I set out two small tubs of Target Dollar Spot Legos.

Snacks (goldfish bags and water bottles) were set up on a low shelf in the front of the room as well as supply bins on the marker board table in the back of the room.

Lastly, I made a photo backdrop with marker board props that the parents LOVED. Thank you shout outs to all of you creative teachers on Pinterest for that wonderful idea!!