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Our school recently held Open House where the parents come in and learn more about our classroom. Am I the only teacher who gets nervous to talk in front of parents? Like seriously, I talk all day to my second graders, yet talking to parents gets me all bashful. Crazy town.
So this year, I switched things up with Open House and I loved how it turned out. Last year I had a whole speech and a PowerPoint…I felt like I was running for class president. This year, I put more of the focus on my kids! Each student had these items on their desk when their parents arrived.
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The items included a Welcome to Open House note from me, an I Am Special Booklet they made, a questionnaire for the parents that went along with the booklet (not pictured), a letter my kiddos wrote to their parents, a letter template for the parents, and an class information booklet.
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The welcome note just walked the parents through their “tasks” for the evening. Some of my kids did end up coming, but our Open House is intended for just the parents.
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The I Am Special booklets from Lavinia Pop are something that I’ve used the past two years. My kids completed them in class during the first week of school. I saved them so that their parents could read through them. Before the parents read their booklets, they had a questionnaire to see how much they knew about their child. They wrote in the answers and then read their child’s book to see how many answers they got right. I loved watching the parents as they read through the books.
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My students also wrote a letter (using a template from First Grade School House) to their parents thanking them for coming to Open House and telling them what their favorite part of school was so far. Again, smiles on the parents’ faces were priceless. I love how this kiddo wrote ROLL TIDE! My dad is from Alabama so this is near to my heart…tears!
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I didn’t expect for the parents’ letters to touch my heart so much but OMG! I read through some of them and I almost shed some tears y’all. The parents wrote a letter back to their child saying whatever they wanted. The next morning, I gave each child the letter their parents wrote, giving them an encouraging start to their day. The kids loved reading what their parents wrote to them! I am definitely doing this next year.
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The last item was the class information booklet for my parents. It’s kind of expected that we do some kind of speech for the parents, but to avoid running for class president again, I decided to just hit the important parts in the booklet and call it a day. It’s a great reference tool for my parents when they want to know our class schedule or need to contact me. You can get this editable booklet and customize it for your classroom.
What kind of things do you do for Open House?

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Like it only took me 8 years to get organized. Don’t judge me. Don’t you dare judge me. Just clap in circle because I finally got it. This summer, during one of my many unnecessary but necessary trips to Target, I found this file box. I knew that I needed a way to keep my graded papers organized and this was the perfect fit.

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Meet bae. We’ll call it file box bae. Why? Because I keep this little gem in my classroom and place papers in that need to be graded. No more messy teacher bag stuffed to the MAX with papers. Yes, I have done that since I started teaching.

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Fridays are typically test day. So, on test day, my kids take their tests and when they hand them in they go in the hanging file folders. Each subject area corresponds with a different color (red is for Reading, blue is for Math). I carry bae home with me on Fridays, grade papers over the weekend, and then bring bae back to school. All of my papers are neat and in order for me to pass out on Tuesdays, which is they day I hand back graded papers.

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And all the children clap in unison because their teacher is so organized.

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Some other ways to use this could be to have a hanging file folder for each student, and let them place their papers in after they finish testing. You grade them and place them back in their folder. Then they can come and grab their papers out. This would totally work for older kiddos.

Hope this was a nice tip for you! Share in the comments below how you keep your graded papers organized.

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Would it surprise you that I never used a nice, formal class newsletter until last year? Yes, I’m crying on the inside. Before, I just sent a homework sheet home and left a few notes about upcoming dates at the bottom. Nothing fancy…or very informative. Yikes, y’all. But you live and you learn, right? When I transferred to my new school and district, we were required to send a newsletter each week. So I scrambled and came up with this newsletter and used it last year. While I love the design, I just figured I would create a new one for this school year.
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I love that this newsletter is not as busy as the other and uses the oh-so-cute Melonheadz kids on it. I use the front of the newsletter for things going on in the classroom. I also put upcoming events happening in our school and classroom.
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I use the back to inform parents about the week’s skills and homework. This is a REALLY important part of my newsletter. My homework is pretty much the same each day of the week, so I am able to print it ahead of time. If your homework differs each day, you could print a new one each day and include the homework. Whatever floats your boat.
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If you’re in search of a newsletter to keep your parents informed, check out this editable class newsletter in my TpT store.
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As I peruse Instagram, one of my favorite hobbies, I see many teachers who are just starting their summers while others, like me, or getting ready to head back in. I am been breaking my back and getting hot glue burns on my body in preparation for the new school year.
I know that there is a crop of new teachers out there that need my expertise advice! I have 5 tips for your first day.
First things first…I’m the realest.
Just kidding. I don’t care for Iggy, but I like that verse.
Ahem, anyway.
Tip #1: Have everything ready to go
Tip #2: Have a first day script with everything you’re going to say and do.
Tip #3: Have your behavior system in place and ready to go
Tip 4: EAT LUNCH!
Tip 5: Have fun with your kiddos.
I created a YouTube video and explained these tips. You can watch it HERE on my channel. The tips above may or may not be in the same order as the video. I could go back and check, but I’m doing some lazy Saturday blogging. You know how it goes…sorry not sorry.
Oh yeah, have you gotten your teacher extraordinaire shirt yet?
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I am taking a big step this year. Drumroll please. I am getting rid of my teacher desk! (GASP) Why on earth would I do that? Well, let me be honest. My desk was simply a place for me to put junk on top of and in. It was a scary site to behold. By getting rid of my teacher desk, I have added so much more room in my classroom. So, now that my desk was gone, I needed a place to put my stuff…essential teacher stuff, but stuff nonetheless. Enter the teacher toolbox, folks.

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I’m sure you’ve seen this bad boy all around the internets. I actually saw it for the first time last summer and put it on my to-do list. But you know how that goes….So this year I was determined to make one. It is super simple and not too expsensive. Here are the steps to make your own teacher toolbox.

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Well, duh, first you have to purchase the actual toolbox. I got mine from Lowe’s for about $16 dollars. The one I bought comes in blue, but that didn’t go along with my bright colors theme for this year, so I also bought some Valspar spray paint to complete the look.

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Now that you have your materials, take out all 22 of the drawers. You don’t want to get spray paint on those!

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Get yourself to a well ventilated area and go crazy, but not too crazy with the spray paint. I went outside to spray paint mine.

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Now look, I didn’t go to school for professional spray painting and it is very obvious! I did a good job on some parts but not so good on other parts. Whatever! Once your toolbox is spray painted, give it ample time to DRY! How about I messed this one up too…

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After it’s dry, you need to get some labels to make it all pretty. I have saved you tons of searching and created some. You can grab them from my TpT store HERE.

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Once you have printed and perhaps even laminated your labels, you can attach them to the front of your drawers. I created the labels to be attached to the outside of the drawers but technically I guess you could attach them on the inside. I attached them by simply using tape.

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And VOILA!

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The last step is to add all of your supplies and you’ve got a nice toolbox for your classroom that will help you stay organized. All of your teacher friends will be amazed.

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