Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Blend Your Back-To-School Night!

Because parents tend to come in at different times, creating a blended back-to-school night can deliver the info you need so that is accessible to all parents; early birds, latecomers, parents with multiple classes to visit, those that want minimum info and those that want to know everything! As parents come into the room, give them a menu of the stations they can visit and the information each will contain. Also include your contact and info and home resources for them to use with their child. Parents can select a station to explore and move from station to station at their own pace.

Once you are confident you have everyone there that is coming, you can do a short, whole group presentation to set the tone, welcome them as a community and give them the info you want to emphasize. I recommend creating this as a Nearpod and sharing it with parents. This will put the info right in front of them and increase engagement. It will also model one way you will increase classroom engagement through technology integration.

Include a few minutes for whole group questions but then send people back to finish stations. You can circulate around the room, engage with individuals and answer questions relevant for them.

Station Ideas
All about me- have a station with some background on you; experience, education, family, philosophy… You can have links to your website, classroom facebook, twitter handle or other ways you will communicate the amazing things happening in your classroom.
All about your child- have students fill out a profile that will help you get to know their child and what their hopes are for this year. Have them include the best way to contact them and get their email address!
Content- this station can include online tools you will be using (prodigy, dreambox, razkids…) that they can experience for themselves. You can have books you will be reading, topics you will be covering, textbooks, sample projects etc.
Digital Learning- this could include info such as on campus wifi access, digital citizenship, DYOD, helpful apps, website logins (discovery, brainpop…) and details on how you will use digital tools transform learning in your classroom. Consider making a video or self-paced Nearpod for this.
Home learning- Have suggestions for what you want students to work on at home- spelling practice, nightly reading, math facts. Include any web applications that you use in class that can accelerate achievement levels through increased weekly use.

For stations that access digital content use both a QR code and a customized for easy access i.e. Put all of your content on a shared Google doc or website for future access by parents. These stations are just ideas! Make them fit your needs.