Teaching Practices

Welcome Packet Ideas for Open House

It’s that time again. Time to get ready to meet your new parents and students at Open House and prepare them for a new year. I hope you’ve done the first step and prepared yourself for this year and if not, don’t worry it’s not too late. Check out my 5 Secrets to Having a Successful School Year post. I want you be prepared to persevere!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about suggestions for Welcome Back packets for Open House. Unfortunately my school typically had very low attendance for Open House but I still prepared several items hoping that all my new parents and students would show up.

Here is a list of some of the things I had in my packet:
1. Parent Sign In Sheet
2. Transportation Arrangements (First Day and First Week Exceptions Included)
3. Student Info Sheet
4. Volunteer Sign Up
5. Parent Interest Inventory
6. Meet Your Teacher Page
7. Ready Confetti
8. Peace of Mind Packet
9. Contact Card

I didn’t like to bombard my parents with too much paperwork to fill out on the spot, so I just collected those very pressing documents (items 1-4 above) and spent a few minutes talking to them and giving them an idea for how the school year will be. They took the parent Interest Inventory home and sent it back the first week with other documents the school sent home. Items 6-9 were for them to keep!

Here are samples of a few of the documents listed above. I know it’s crunch time for you so provided downloads of them as well. I don’t want you to have to take time to try make them…you’ve got enough to do!

1.Β  Peace of Mind Pack and Contact Card

I am a huge advocate for building family partnerships in the classroom. Each year family involvement fluctuated but I still did my best to build the connections. One of the ways I did this was through a “Piece of Mind Pack” that I created for the parents. It was a simple idea that was the first step to letting them know I care about their child and that I am invested in their well being and growth! As you know, that means everything to parents to feel that way.

Download Peace of Mind Pack and Contact Card Templates

2. Parent Interest Inventory

This second idea helps parents to let you know their interests as it relates to partnering with you in the classroom. Some parents would rather go on field trips to chaperone while others might want to be a guest and read a book. I never liked to assume that every parent wanted to volunteer the same way, so I provided them with a chance to be a part of the classroom in a way that best interests them.

Download Parent Interest Inventory

3. Ready Confetti

This final idea was a huge hit with making the new students feel special! First day jitters are real. When a teacher acknowledges these feelings and provides their new students with a thoughtful poem before the first day, it brings a sense of comfort to children. A short poem and a few simple materials with jumpstart your year and begin building teacher-student relationships before day one!

Download Ready Confetti Template

Try some of these ideas out! I’d love to hear how it works for you.

Happy Preparing!