I still can’t believe that Open House has come and gone already.
I swear, we were just starting the school year.
Or that it was just Christmas.
Or that I was just sixteen years old without a care in the world except for whether or not he looked at me when I was passing through the halls.
Before we look at a few of the pictures, let’s talk about Open House and what it means at my school or, better yet, what it means to Southern (and maybe Northern, but I don’t really know) California as a whole.
At my school, and in my district, and most of California, Open House happens at the end of the year. Or towards the end of the year. It’s a chance for parents to come in and tour the classroom in an actual Open House type of setting. It’s a come and go as you please type of thing.
Our Back to School Night is what happens at the beginning of the year (usually week one or two) and it is much more formal. Teachers prepare a presentation and the parents sit and listen as we go over rules, routines, procedures, and what to expect.
Back to School Night is nerve wracking.
Open House is fun.
They are both a lot of work.
My school considers itself an Open House School. We go nuts. We go above and beyond. We go all out.
We stress and work and stay late and run to Target for one another or pick up something from Michael’s for each other and help each other and then tell each other It’s only an hour and a half – we all need to just calm down. Calm down, we say!
And then we agree with one another and take a deep breath. Laugh a little.
And then get right back to work.
You can check out Open House 2012, which has a ton of pictures and you can kind of see how I tweaked things this year in an effort to save a little time. I think it worked. Maybe. I don’t know. I worked just as hard as usual. Maybe the effort to make things simpler just made it harder.
Hmmm. Maybe I do need professional help.
But the idea was that I didn’t change borders or background papers on my bulletin boards. That really did save time.
First Graders learned about pioneers for Open House and used this Tour Guide list to show off our classroom to their family members.
I took this right before everyone came in.
I buy my kids a balloon every year as a little treat for how hard they work in making our room spectacular. If I earned a nickel for every time I said, This is for Open House, do your best, it should be museum quality work, take your time, this is not a race, THIS IS FOR OPEN HOUSE, listen up, I said, IT’S FOR OPEN HOUSE! I would have about . . . well, I’m not that great at math, but I can tell you right now I would have a ton of nickels.
Balloons can be a little pricey, but I can’t stop doing it. Once you pay for the balloon, the whatever-it-is that makes the helium last longer, the bag to keep each dozen together, and a weight to make sure each dozen doesn’t fly away, it adds up to about $2 a kid.
BUT LOOK! They have POLKA-DOTS and THEY MATCH MY ROOM!
And they just make everything look so festive!
I write a personalized note to each kid on a balloon tag, too.
Professional help needed. I know.
I do enlist the help of a parent each year in picking the balloons up from the party store and delivering them to my classroom a few hours before we open our doors. Otherwise, I couldn’t do it.
Plus, three dozen balloons in a Mini Cooper doesn’t work.
I tried it. There was no room for me or the other two and a half dozen balloons.
Pretzels – Lots of Logs Cabin
Chex Mix – Hittin’ the Trail Mix
Rolos – Ridin’ Solo Rolo
Blue Hawaiian Punch – Fresh Creek Water
For this bulletin board, we wrote about how hard pioneers worked to provide for their families long ago.
For this bulletin board, we compared and contrasted homes from long ago to today.
If you’re thinking about teaching a Pioneer unit, or going over what life was like long ago, I highly recommend the Little House on the Prairie picture books.
These are the sweetest books!!!! My kids go crazy for them every year. Each one starts out the same way:
“Laura lived with her Pa, her Ma, her big sister Mary, her little sister Carrie, and their good old bulldog, Jack.”
These are absolutely amazing books and are perfect for first graders! I think I almost own the whole collection now.
I also have these:
These are smaller chapter books and my Advanced Readers ate these up. They also have AR quizzes to match!
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Also, to show our kids what a one-room house looked like, we showed snippets of one of the first episodes of Little House on the Prairie from Season One called Country Girls. (My teammie owns the whole series) My kids were in awe. I think it was the first time no one spoke.
It was SILENT.
I’m sad this unit over.
But I will live because I’m on Spring Break.
And that’s a wrap for Open House 2015! I hope you got some ideas or were inspired a little bit! I didn’t take as many pictures this year because . . . well, I don’t know. I kind of forgot. So be sure to check out Open House 2012 to see the whole she-bang. Not too much changed except I tried to stay within my color theme.
Enjoy your Sunday!