Monday, August 18, 2014

Parent Curriculum Night

Hey Guys!

I bet so many of you are back in the swing of things - I almost envy you, as I sit here watching Kelly & Michael...sipping my coffee.  I really do.  Once school starts I find myself wishing that I was beyond all the back-to-school craziness.  I wish my students knew the Room 8 gig and we were past all that.  Since we start after Labor Day I still have some sleepless night ahead of me!!!

We all know how important it is to establish relationships with not just our students, but their families as well. Inevitably you will encounter many a bump and bruise as you navigate through the school year.  Having established an open line of communication with the families is critical.  If your parents understand that you are coming from a place of concern and care they are better able to hear you when you call with a behavioral or academic concern.  

At my school we have a Meet & Greet before school starts.  This is a time for students to see their new digs, meet the teacher and see their parents interact with the adult they are soon to spend the bulk of their days with - their teacher.  This is an "open house" type deal - so parents come and visit for a few minutes and then head out to the PTA ice cream social afterward.  

I created this little ditty for my Meet & Greet and thought I'd share it with you {if you haven't already picked it up on my Facebook page}.

Gum not included ;)
A couple of weeks after school starts we do our grade level curriculum night.  This is a parent-only event at my school.  I know sometimes it's hard to get parents there if they can't bring their child with them - it's best to do with the parents' undivided attention, but if the kids need to come - I say, let 'em come!

Here's how we run our curriculum night:


We meet in the cafeteria as a grade level.  Meeting together is a great way to show parents that you are a team, a village - and you're all in this little adventure together.  We start by introducing ourselves {each member of our team}.  It's nice to share a little about yourself...something that makes you seem human to them.

Next, we head into curriculum - this year we're using this great freebie template from Ladybug's Teacher Files.

This PowerPoint will help our team stay focused on what we want to cover in terms of curriculum.  Each one of us takes a curricular area to discuss with our parents.  Included on each slide is a word or two to help us remember what it is we'd like to share.  When speaking with parents we elaborate enough to help them have a basic understanding.

Template from Ladybug's Teacher Files - white words are typed in by teacher
I also have a personal classroom website that goes further in depth on curriculum, provides links of the common core standards, etc.  There's so much to cover in a 30 minute time period, we try to touch on the basics.  Having this same information readily available in one place {my website} reassures them that they don't have to feel overwhelmed, they can just sit and absorb as much as they can, and then visit my website to delve deeper or use as a reference.

I use TeacherWeb - it is $39 dollars a year and so easy to use!
I've been using TeacherWeb for 8 years...

Once we've shared the nuts & bolts of the curriculum we move down to our own classrooms for the final 30 minutes.  

Each year I have this little poem and apple sitting on the tables...

Freebie from Primary Press

This year, I'll be adding this sweet little freebie from Rowdy in Room's a great way to share a little about yourself.  Sometimes {how about all the time} I feel so hurried, I dive right into classroom procedures, and forget to share even one thing about myself.  Having this on the tables will help me to remember to SLOW down!!!!!

Click the picture to get yours free from Nicole!
I will write student names on each one so that I
 know who was there and who wasn't.
After I've shared a little about myself I dive right into my Room 8 Handbook.  This is available to parents on my class website so I don't print anything out from this handbook {trees are singing right now}.  I do not have this available to you, but you can see it {here} for ideas.

I display this PDF on my SmartBoard and go through each slide {and "in a nutshell" it}with the parents.  This handbook just provides the ins and outs of my classroom and my quirky-ness.  

I'm getting all techie this year and putting this little guy on each table...

The QR code will take them directly to our class website. I'm going to have parents {who can}
put this right on their iPhone home screen right then and there!

I like to save a few minutes at the end where parents can ask questions, introduce themselves and hopefully grab a sticky note from our door that has an item we "wish" for, for our classroom.  I don't have a picture of it, but I have the word "WISH" up on my classroom door...on colorful sticky notes I write different items that our class needs/wants.  I keep this up all year long.  Whether my door is open or closed {rarely} the parents can see our wishes and grab a sticky note.  

Hope you found this post useful.  If you have any cool ways you run your parent curriculum night I really would love for you to share!

Happy back to school...


  1. Very nice! In addition to the text slides, my first grade team has also used pictures of the students that show them going through the different parts of the day. Sometimes the pictures are staged, but the parents don't know that! :)
    - Kelly :)
    Mrs. Campbell's Kids

    1. I love that idea, Kelly! {mental note: take more pictures!}

      Holly :)


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