How To Plan a Successful Back to School Night
Back to School Night can be the first time you meet many of the parents in your class. It is important that you communicate all of the information the parents will need to help their child have a successful school year. Here are my top tips for planning an informative and stress free Back to School Night:
Have a Sign In Sheet
Have parents sign in on a sheet as the enter the room. This will allow you to keep track of which student's parents were able to attend. Be sure to send home copies of the information presented for those who were not in attendance.
Showcase Your Student's Work
Parents want to see what their children have been creating so far this school year. It is always nice to have a bulletin board featuring student work, or work displayed on student desks for parents to view. An interactive display is especially exciting for students because they get to watch their parents interact with their work. I created this interactive "Guess Who?" Bulletin Board for Back to School Night.
Each student chooses the cover the feel best represents themselves and colors it. Then, they write 3-4 clues about themselves on the top portion of the paper.
After reading the clues, parents can lift the flap to find a photo or drawing of the student.
If you would like to use this bulletin board in your classroom, you can purchase the template in my TPT Store here.
Learn About Your Students
Parents know their children better than anyone else. I like to use Back to School Night as a chance to learn about each of my students. I ask parents to fill out a short survey about their child before they leave. I ask questions about the child's interests, their hobbies, allergies, internet access at home, and other special circumstances. If you would like to use my editable back to school night parent survey, you can get a free copy here.
Share Classroom Policies and Procedures
You do not want parents to be surprised by any of your policies. Use Back to School Night to share information on how your class will be run this year. Be sure to cover:
Office Hours/ How to Schedule a Meeting
Homework/ Take Home Folders
Classroom Management/ Discipline
If you need classroom volunteers, Back to School night is a great time to ask for them. Have sheets for parents to sign up for the type of activities they are able to help with. I suggest separate sheets for field trips, class parties, volunteering to prep items at home, and helping in the classroom.
Ask For Donations
If you still need any school supplies for your classroom, now is a great time to ask for them. I like to create a display by my classroom door. I use a marker to write the name of one supply we need on a paper cut out. I usually choose a cut out that matches my classroom theme for the year (examples below). Parents who are interested in donating can take one of the cut outs home and return it with their donation. The cut outs help to ensure that I don't end up with too much of one type of supply.