Game on! The school year has begun. It is prime time to initiate a multi-stakeholder collaboration of student-teacher-parent and administrators and to forge a partnership to help achieve the education goals of the student. But here's where the story gets twisted. You have only 10-20 minutes to accomplish this! And first impressions are vital! So, how will you foster a year-long partnership that will bear fruit in the form of a successful school year for the student? How do you convey essential components of the READ 180/System 44 programs as well as your class policies?
How to Make the Open House Work for Students, Parents, and You:
1) Invite students (the main stakeholders) to attend the Open House so that they can guide their parents through the classroom experience. This also helps them buy-in and take ownership of the Open House as well as their education right at the starting gate
2) Show a brief video clip to inspire the students and parents. This year we are viewing “Helping Children Discover the Pleasure and Power of Reading” http://www.scholastic.com/worldofpossible/
3) Distribute a course outline that includes classroom grading and school policies. I created one for Stage B http://educatorcommunity.scholastic.com/resource/stage-b-course-outline
4) Arrange some rBooks, reading and writing folders, and independent reading books on a desk for easy access by parents
5) Distribute a Welcome Kit that includes Fact Sheets, Quick Links, FAQ’s, Scholastic’s Welcome letter, etc.
a) Fact Sheets (Classroom, Homework, Grading Policies, Contact Information, etc.)
b) Quick Links:
- System 44 NG eBooks: www.scholastic.com/system44/MyReading
- READ 180 eReads and eBook Library: www.read180.com/myreading
- System 44 Family Portal: http://system44.scholastic.com/family-portal
- READ 180 Family Portal: http://read180.scholastic.com/familyportal
c) Welcome letters: http://educatorcommunity.scholastic.com/resources (type “letters” under search)
d) FAQ’s: Take questions from previous years and prepare optimal short answers on a handout.
6) If ready, distribute “Parent Report 1” which is located in SAM under “Student Reports.” For System 44 students, it is called the “Family report.”
7) Review some of the key Instructional Routines that you implement during class and use one of them, such as the “Idea Wave” during the presentation
8) Show an implementation video clip that shows the key components of the software. This is located in the ITS (Interactive Teaching System). Check out Stage C Teacher, Debbie Lee's blog for an overview of implementation videos.
9) Allow time for questions
Create an atmosphere of interest. Parents should notice the posters, star charts, books, independent reading and small-group instructional areas, etc. as soon as they walk into the room. The goal during Open House is to demonstrate the students’ daily routine and to get them and their parents excited about the learning process and supportive of the teaching work that we do.
Make this a pioneering and unforgettable school year. Create an Open House experience that opens the doors to a world of possible for both students and parents.
Finally, remember to check out all of Scholastic’s other blogs for tips and suggestions throughout the school year.