Open House Ideas

Whew! We're wrapping up our first month down here in sickeningly hot and humid sunny Florida and I kinda sorta finally feel like maybe I have both feet on the ground. Personally, I had a weird start to the year. I'm always so excited to get in and start working on my room, but between having work done on our house, no AC at school (which in Florida equals sauna times a thousand), and an infected wisdom tooth, the first couple of weeks did NOT go the way I had carefully plotted and planned as I feel asleep every night over the summer.

Maybe you noticed that I didn't have a big "classroom reveal" post. Maybe you didn't, which I totally understand because sometimes I don't even have time to notice that I'm wearing two different colored shoes or that I've been wearing my shirt inside out all day. #truestory

My room didn't really come totally together until about 10 minutes before the parents came in for Open House on Wednesday, and even then it's not exactly what I want but really, the important thing is that we're building a nice little community in our classroom and I love love love love my kids. Like super love. Like I walk around the room and watch them sometimes and I'm almost on the verge of tears when I realize how lucky I am that I get to spend my day with such amazing little kids. I mean, look at them! See those sweet smiles? They're genuinely happy little kids. Which makes me a genuinely happy teacher. These faces are what help me forget the crazy political bureaucratic testing baloney that can threaten to overwhelm most of us on a daily basis.

Here's a little peek of the parts of the room that I did manage to get looking sorta like I pictured. I'll blog a bit more about my room at some point I'm sure. But I do like how our science center is shaping up and I'm really lovin the fact that I got rid of my big honkin teacher desk. Now I just use my horseshoe table and behind that you'll see the two Ikea Kallax bookshelves that I'm using for storage. It's working out really well so far!

Ok, so I promised Open House ideas. Here's what the tables looked like as the parents came in:

That lapbook was something I just stumbled upon on Tpt. You can see it here. Super cute and perfect for open house. The colored strip is for the parents to make a bookmark for their kids. The little poster is from my friend Gina at Beach Sand and Lesson Plans. The kids make a welcome poster telling the parents about school and their classroom and they don't know it, but we have the parents make a version to welcome the kids the next morning! You can see it here on tpt.

Kids Work:

Parent's Work:

And look at these priceless reactions when they saw the little notes from their parents on their desks.

Open House is the first time I put out the Estimation Station jar. Before this, the kids haven't seen it. They really get a kick out of seeing the guesses their parents made. We put their guesses in order from least to greatest and then see whose mom or dad came closest. That student then takes the jar home and fills it for the next week. You can read a lot more about how we use Estimation Station in our classroom every Friday in this blog post and this one which has a few freebies.

So things are slowly coming together in our little corner of the world. The decor in the room may not be picture perfect, but the little people in it sure are!


  1. Those kiddos are stinkin' adorable!!! I'm so glad they liked their parent notes. I had some pretty creative ones this year. Did you have the kids decorate the other side of the bookmark? That's what I do. I laminate them and they use them all year. I'm proud of you for getting rid of your desk. I want to do that, too but there is no place to store it so they tell me. Thanks for the shout out friend!!!

  2. I hate when the AC goes out at school. Our building is OLD and it happens far too frequently. I think this is the hardest time of the year in Florida. I miss fall!

    Your room looks great! Enjoy your weekend!

    Suntans and Lesson Plans

  3. Your room looks great! I love the idea of having the parents do a page for the students to see the next morning. Hope your school year gets better!

  4. Love everything you do! How do you handle it in the morning when some students (I am guessing I'll have about 4 or 5) don't have bookmarks or posters because their parents couldn't make it? Do you make things for them from you?


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