The end of the year is near peeps!
We just had our Open House last week.
Unlike some of you, we have Open House at the end of the school year. Back-to-School Night is at the beginning of the year and Open House is the culminating “thing” at the end of each school year.
Well it used to be. We had it kind of early this year. So now it FEELS like the year should be over, even though we still have a few weeks to go.
To me, Open House is a party. It’s the kids’ party – I’m just there to monitor. They host it. They enjoy it to no end. The classroom is all about them. The music is fun and loud. There are snacks. I just stand around an answer the occasional question about how “Johnny is doing”, smile for pics with the kiddos, and pick the randomly dropped goldfish crackers off the floor.
Our theme in class during Open House time is always the ocean habitat because it is my favorite and it includes the most writing assignments poured into a short stretch of time. That results in the most fabulousness to display.
Here are a few views of the classroom before it was filled with the kiddos and their families.
The slideshow filled with class fun is running on all of the computers so more peeps can watch it without getting into everyone’s personal space. I decided to use songs we sang and danced to a lot in class for this year’s “end of the year” movie.
- Count on Me – Bruno Mars
- Uptown Funk – Kidz Bop version
- Happy (From Despicable Me) – Pharrell Williams
- Dream Big – Ryan Shupe and the Rubbberband (We didn’t really sing nor dance to this during the year, but you need something to help with the tears!)
Our Open House Brochure is on their desks and a few extra are on the snack table. I think it’s a good idea to have a little keepsake for the parents that also outlines the key areas of the room. Here’s what mine looks like:
Also on their desks is their “Sea How I’ve Grown” folder. In this is all of the work from the 1st Grade Measuring Stick. We do the activities on the first day of school and then again the week before Open House. This demonstrates their growth, not only to me and for assessment purposes, but for their parents as well.
We start with a folded piece of construction paper. I have the kiddos color the page that is glued to the front.
Inside I staple the exact same papers. One side is everything from the first day of school. The other side is from mid-May. This is also where I indicate their reading growth.
I always take their pictures in the same location. In this one, the physical growth isn’t as great as it is in most of the kiddos pics. However you can tell that this little one had quite a bit of hair back in August and the top of that hair didn’t even hit the “cross-bar” in the e in the poster behind his head. In May, with very little hair, the top of his head meets that mark. In some of the kiddos pictures the growth is easily several inches! I love that the poster (although not the BEST background) helps exemplify that physical growth. The loss of baby fat in the picture comparisons is pretty amazing, too.
It’s so fun to look at the kiddos’ changes in artistic abilities over the year. Having them do a self-portrait usually shows some incredible gains. This little guy had hands and feet in August. That’s usually not that case!
One of the things I ask them to do is write words they know how to spell. At the beginning of the year this is a LOT to ask. Apparently, he knew dog and that’s about it back then! 🙂 They have to write these words without looking up from their paper. The same amount of time to complete this is given at the beginning of the year as is provided at the end!