Another Open House came and went (#13!), but this time with a twist. Since I’m looping with my students (this is my second year with them), I’m also looping with their parents! I couldn’t do the SAME thing I did last year for Back-To-School Night because THAT would be boring. So I decided to mix it up and gamify Parent Night. Here’s how I planned and executed it all.
I created a video!
Last year I created a video using Keynote and iMovie to show at Open House for these reasons:
- Giving the same speech five times is a drag, and be the talking head like everybody else.
- I tend to forget to tell the parent certain details, so this ensured that I fit everything in.
- There is never enough time, and I usually go over before parents have to move on to the next class.
- I never have time to answer questions.
This year I couldn’t very well show them the same video, so I created a new one!
WAIT! It’s not that simple! I flipped Open House!
Another difference is that I sent a link to the video to the parent a day before Open House. This allowed them them to view it ahead of time and come prepared with questions. I figured that since we only have 10 minutes for each of their 6 classes, I didn’t want to use up 3.5 valuable minutes showing it!
That day, I told the students that they had to remind (nag) their parents to watch the video as it was their homework, and that they would be quizzed on it at Open House.
I gave them a quiz.
I adapted this from Angela Watson’s post on Tips for Open House. Instead of taking roll, I had the parents complete a short About Me quiz on their student. Their student was able to grade it the following day in class and delivery the score to their parents (they LOVED that part!).
We played a game.
I created a Kahoot quiz based on the Open House video I made. The winner received a small back-to-school kit for their student.
I held a raffle.
Finally, I held a raffle for a $5 Starbucks gift card as a way of saying Thank You for coming to Open House!
It was hectic, but fun! We didn’t have enough time for the questionnaire AND the Kahoot quiz, but we made it work. I think that some of the parents were somewhat confused as to why I wasn’t talking about my class, but I assured them that they would hear enough teachers talking all day and that all of the pertinent information was on the video. I think I’ll do it again but start off with the Kahoot and only do the questionnaire if there’s time.
Also, as much as my intentions were good, not all of the parents watched the video. This didn’t surprise me, since many don’t check their email or they just don’t have time.
I’m exhausted and elated, and overall satisfied with the results. I’ll try to think of something creative for next year too! I encourage you to try some of these methods and mix things up a bit. Let the parents get to know the wonderful person you are!