Back to School Night 2015!

Aug 15, 2015 by

Back to School Night 2015!

It’s no secret-Back to School Night and Open House are my two favorite nights of the school year. I love meeting the parents, talking about all the exciting plans we have for the year… and throwing a party!

Our Back to School Night hits us exactly one week after school starts-that is not a lot of time to get everything ready, especially when you’ve just spent weeks getting your room ready. This summer I wised up and prepared as much as I could before the Back to School crush. My preparations are bundled in this little beauty here. All labels, handbooks, signs, etc. that are featured in the pictures below are available in my Back to School Night Bundle!

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

I’m super lucky to have a lobby area outside of my classroom. This lobby was essentially an old desk and a few chairs when I got my room, so I asked the principal if I could bring in some Craigslist finds to spruce it up. She did one better and found some money for a conference table, some whiteboards and a couch. The table came in very handy for some parental refreshments!

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

I put sign-in sheets on clipboards and pre-printed name tags for parents to use. I did a combination of checking our emergency cards for names, and asking students if they had step-parents/grandparents that might not be listed. These are incredibly helpful when parents come up to you after the presentation and you have no idea who their child is!

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Target had an amazing vintage-like vibe to their dollar section this summer, so I decided to use that for my Back to School Night theme. I started by making chocolate covered pretzels that looked like pencils. My teacher bestie, Stef P., made these super cute chocolate covered apple pretzels, and I grabbed a bag of strawberry salt water taffy off Amazon to simulate pink erasers.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

These super cute notebook paper bags were 8/$1 at Target-I spent all summer hunting for enough packages. I then baked several pans of brownies, wrapped them in cellophane bags and slipped them in the bags for parents to munch on. With our presentations scheduled from 6:30-7:30, I feel we need to feed the parents! Last year I had a basket of chips out and the parents loved those as well.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Customized water bottles are a project that I’ll be working on weeks in advance next year. You can simply replace the label, tie on the lemonade packets and stick them in a box for when you need them!

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Sunflowers and an apothecary jar of apples make the perfect centerpieces! I found huge bags of beautiful Red Delicious apples at Costco for $6, and I can munch on them for the next week or two-bonus! The straws were also a Target Dollar Spot find.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

I found the idea of a Parent Wish Jar on TeachersPayTeachers last year, but I made my own label/wish cards to match my handout styles this year. I love reading what parents wish and hope for their kiddos this year.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Our giant whiteboards in the lobby are handy for hanging up sign-up sheets. One side of the large whiteboard has all our field trips for the year-parents can sign up to be chaperones in advance in case they need to take time off work. I also have cards available for parents to write down the events/dates they sign up for so they can add them to their calendars when they get home. The backgrounds on my sign-up sheets are laminated scrapbook paper so I can re-use them each year. (My little Henry added his own green Expo marker art moments before this picture was taken… 😉 )

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

I also have sign-ups for Back to School parent conferences. Our official parent teacher conferences are in November, but I find that is often too long to wait with some of my kiddos. I like to build a relationship with parents immediately, and last year I only had a handful of parents not sign up for a conference. I offer these the week after BtSN. I also have a whiteboard filled with classroom event sign-ups (parties, plays, major art projects. etc.), but I didn’t get a picture of that one.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

 

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Inside the classroom, each students’ desk is ready to greet their parents.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Students write their parents a letter, and parents have some stationary to write back to their kiddos. I also have a folder for each household-if a student has two households, they will have two folders. One of my kiddos had three folders, because a grandparent was heavily involved. I put nametags on all the folders so I can exactly which ones have been taken and which ones are left at the end of the night. I know then that I need to contact any parent who has not taken a folder. The nametags I use on the folders are the same ones I have available by my sign-in sheets-I just print them twice!

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

I also have a pen for taking notes and the PTA fundraising packet.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Inside each folder, I’ve set it up like our homework folder. The left side is the ‘bring back’ side with all the forms they need to fill out and return. The right side is the ‘Give to Parents’ side with everything they need to keep. The forms side include my Forms to Fill Out packet, our classroom fundraising information, our birthday book form, book order forms and our PTA membership packet. The keep at home side includes our handbook, a calendar filled out with every classroom event/PTA event/school event/math test/field trip/etc, a username/password magnet and a little ruler bag from Target filled with a bookmark and a contact information magnet.

PBack to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

 

PBack to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Lastly, I have apples for the parents. I’ve done this in the past and tried to attach the tags with a straight pin-what a bad idea! The tags ripped off and then we had rogue straight pins in the apples. This year, I put them in cellophane bags and tied the tags on with red baker’s twine-it worked perfectly!!

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

My handbook and forms to fill out are editable PowerPoints, which makes it awesomely easy to put together a presentation for my parents! I simply use the slides for my presentation.

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

Every year, I do a variation of the Giving Tree-a place for parents to grab items they might want to donate to the classroom. This year I had labels, bunny food, shaving cream, mint gum, apple cinnamon spray, bleach wipes, Expo markers and zip lock bags. And then of course I forgot to point it out to parents. Doh!

Back to School Night 2015 - SproutClassrooms.com

The last touch was flowers and an apothecary jar of rulers on our coffee table.  I look forward to adding to this evening each year! One of my ideas was to make a table runner for the outside conference table that looked like a giant ruler-the fabric is still in my car, lol. I must admit-this is the first time I’ve been at a school site for longer than 2 years, and the ability to build on what I’ve started is amazing.

If you’re inspired to use any of these ideas for your Back to School Night, you can find everything in my bundle here. If you have any suggestions for additions to the bundle, please let me know! Let’s invite our new group of parents into our rooms this year with a par-tay! 😉

-Kat

I’m hooking up with Fourth Grade Frolics’ Made It Monday-check out all the great ideas here!

Monday Made It 1

9 Comments

  1. Deidre Espadron (DHE)

    This is awesome. I wish that I had more time to do something like this, but our Open House is Monday night. I will keep this in mind for PTC days. Once again AWESOME!

  2. Wow! This is amazing! It looks like it took you a ton of time and work! I love all of your ideas.

  3. kerri

    Amazing! Do you have details about the chocolate covered pretzels?!

  4. Everything just looks so organized and perfect! I am in awe!!
    Alison
    Rockin’ and Lovin’ Learnin’

  5. LOVE how everything looks for your Open House! You are so prepared and organized, I’m sure your parents will love you! Hope you have a great school year!

    Kristina

  6. Wow! This is incredible! Your parents must love you. I am sure they can already see what a dedicated teacher you are. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Wow! This is so inspiring. What great ideas to engage parents. You have so many field trips. Is this a special push from your school or the norm in your area? We have 2 in-town and 1 out-of-town field trip a year. That’s it!

    My Bright Blue House

    • katieuppman

      Thanks so much, Emma! It’s the culture in the school-lots of trips. We are also allowed to use parent drivers, which is why it’s so easy for us to go on so many. There is no way I could afford to pay for that many trips. Most are free, and the drivers make them totally free!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *