Have you ever tried stations for meet the teacher before? They have quickly become my absolute FAVORITE way to spend open house while meeting students for the first time. Without a doubt, I know that implementing engaging and fun stations for your meet the teacher night, it takes away ALL the stress. You may be thinking… yeah right, there’s no way. But I promise after you read this, you’ll walk away ready to take on Meet the Teacher night. You’ll have a great time, and create a memorable experience for families without ANY stress. So what are we waiting for? Let’s dig in!
Set the Stage
Since this is most likely the first time your families are stepping foot into your classroom, think about the kind of space you want them to see. First, we want our spaces neat, clean, and set up. In the event that your space isn’t completely ready for the first day, just make sure the piles are hidden and the surfaces are clean. Learn more about classroom setup tips HERE!
Secondly, think about the environment you want to create. Simple touches such as having low calming music playing, a fresh linen aroma scent, an informative slideshow on screen, and some sort of individually wrapped snack with water does a lot to create an ambiance. Basically, I want to make it feel good to be there. Additionally, if you don’t want to deal with food being consumed in the room, you can make some premade grab and go treats for families!
The third component for setting the stage is a simple presentation. I like to share important information to let families get to know you better by creating a slideshow. Check out this completely customizable presentation so you have one less thing to do during this hectic time! It’s the perfect thing to be on display as families work through stations.
Prep ALL the Papers
One of the first things we need from families is the paperwork. It’s not fun, but it is necessary. Between emergency forms to contact information, it can be SO overwhelming for families. Help take off some of the stress and pressure by creating folders for families to store all the important documents. Take a look at some of the things that can be stored in the folder below.
I also love sharing a newsletter with families so they can get to know a little bit more about me and who I am as a teacher. Additionally, sharing classroom expectations with this foldable is also a great way to inform parents about the important values in our classroom. Introducing flexible seating? No problem! I’ve got you covered there too. Check out THIS pack that includes an editable family brochure!
Prefer digital forms to help save paper, ink, AND time? I’ve created some digital forms that can be shared easily with families. These forms can help you quickly gather student/family information and student interests and keep it all organized. You can grab these forms HERE!
Fuel the Fun
It’s time to get into ALL things stations! After we’ve spent time setting up our environment, prepping treats and paperwork, now it’s time to get those stations set up and enjoy meeting all those amazing families.
This set-up is designed to deliver a fun, engaging evening for your families that they are sure to remember. I will help you have an organized and successful event. It will help you build connections with your students and their families in an exciting way. The best part about using a station set-up is that while families have such a blast working through all the different activities, it gives YOU so much more time to go around to meet and talk to everyone! Simply lay out tables and/or desk areas for your stations, set out instructions for your numbered stations and you’re good to go! So let’s get into what you’ll lay out!!
Entry starts with a checklist. As families walk into your space, welcome them in, hand them a checklist while informing them that they can enjoy the vibes and get started working their way around the room. Everyone can start at Station 1 if you’d like, or however you want. A key point it is to just make sure they complete all of the different stations in any order. Depending on how crowded it gets, one way may work better than the other. Now let’s check out a few of the fun stations your families will experience!
The QR Code Station
A great way to begin building relationships with families, and a love of reading, is by creating a special video of yourself for them. The QR code station is where they can grab a surprise code for them to scan and listen to on the night before school starts. The code gives them access to a video of a sweet and memorable read aloud by none other than their new teacher! I always read The Night Before First Grade to my students, but you can choose a favorite of yours. Grab your freebie below!
Grab this free resource now!
In the past, when parents dropped off their students the first day of school, I have had SO many parents tell me how much they loved that I did that for their child. I also had so many students that ran up to me telling me how excited they were that they got to see me read to them!
The Ready Confetti Station
This is another fun and simple station that students LOVE! It’s a cute, sentimental, and super easy to assemble. Grab some confetti, put it in a plastic bag, staple the poem to the top and that is that! Students get to take home a bag to signify them being “CON-READY” for school to start. Super easy inexpensive gift that the kiddos absolutely love! Check them out pictured below.
The Photo Booth Station
This station is the ultimate hit! They have such a blast with the back to school props, taking pictures that can be hung around the room later. This is such an engaging way for families to bond and create some great memories in their new classroom. I LOVE using these props with a simple iPad set up for them to take pictures.
Many families will also use their own devices to take pictures so you can create a shared Google folder for them to send their favorite ones to. You can print these later at your convenience to decorate your room with! If you’d like to get real nostalgic, you can set up a Polaroid and let them enjoy watching them develop. Set a limit for how many they can take with that idea though because the film can get a bit pricey! Look at how adorable these props are!!
The Supply Drop Off Station
I don’t know about you, but when students roll up with a giant backpack full of stuff, it is SO overwhelming. One way to help ease that stress is by setting out giant labeled tubs in a designated spot in the room where they can place all their supplies. It makes it really easy for you to put them away after the event, because they are already sorted out. Check out the setup below and grab the editable labels HERE!
The All About Me Bag Station
The last station is a great get to know you activity that makes things super personal. Have students grab a paper bag to take home and tell them to think about 3 items to put in their bag that represents them as a person. They will bring it back on the first day of school to share with the class throughout the week. It is such a sweet way to get to know your kids and a great soft activity for the first week of school. I will usually also bring my own paper bag of items in so my students could see my interests. They absolutely love it and we all instantly feel a tad bit closer as a family. When you subscribe, you’ll receive a cute direction tag to add to your bags for FREE! You can also learn more about engaging first week activities HERE!
Grab this free resource now!
These are just SOME of the fun station ideas you’ll find in my Editable Stations Resource. Not only is this a fun and exciting experience for everyone, it’s a great way to start building connections right away while taking some of the pressure off at back to school time! You’ll find my Editable Meet the Teacher Stations HERE. Want more? Grab the entire Meet the Teacher Bundle that has ALL the things done for you. This bundle is complete with everything you need for this night and of course everything is editable to meet your own needs. Check it out below!
Meet the Teacher is one of the best ways to kick off the year with families. I hope that this post helped you feel a little less overwhelmed about the unknown and a little more excited about what’s to come. These ideas can help you connect, have fun, and save you time! If you have any more wonderful ideas to share or are looking for something else to make life easier, please share in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! You will get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the QR Code FREEBIE! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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