Whew... Parent Night was a success. Have you had yours yet? If so, how did it go? Any great ideas to share - just comment below!
So, I thought I would share with you some of the things that I thought worked. I am vowing to redo my Parent Night Power Point today with everything fresh in my mind. Let's see if it happens. The art teacher and library teacher are both away on a course, so my usually free Friday - will be filled with covering specialist classes. Do your schools get substitutes for specialist teachers or do you cover your classes?
Before Parent Night (Back to School Night)
Tip # 1 Send home a questionnaire for parents to fill out about their students
Typically, I have called this "Homework for Parents. The students love the idea that their parents are getting homework. Send it home at the end of the first week of school and it will set the tone that you really want to get to know their children as individuals. It also helps reduce parents urge to talk to you about their children on the night. It sends the message to your students' parents' that their opinion is important to you.
Tip #2 Have student work hanging up
Have Parent Night in mind when you are planning the first week of school. Think about the work that you will be able to display. For example When we learned about our classroom jobs, I had the students illustrate mind maps of the class job descriptions. I also had them illustrate "Who We Are In Numbers". The students illustrated things like their age, their phone number, their height and their address.
Chevron banners are from Schoolgirl Style - Primary Apple Theme
Tip#3 Have the students write their parents a letter to leave on their desk for when the parents arrive
Parents love getting this letter and they also go home and tell their parents that the letter is waiting for them at school. I had one mom who had completely forgotten about Parent Night, and was reminded by her son who bounded through the door saying mom you have to go to school tonight to get the letter I wrote to you.
Tip # 4 Set everything up before you go home
It does not look good if parents arrive and you are unorganized.
During Parent Night
Tip # 5 Have a blank sheet of paper for the parents to respond to their child's letter
Tip # 6 Use a Keynote or Powerpoint Presentation
It will help you keep to the main points, keep you on time, and if you don't get to everything you can share it with others. I love the book Presentation Zen... their advice? Not more than 6 words on a slide. Just a title and a great image. Good advice.
- Have an ice breaker to get the parents to know each other
- Provide a provocation for the parents by having items that represent some of the main topics their students will learn about for the year.
Do you have tips for Parent Night? I would love to hear from you.