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April 9, 2010

Open House – It’s that time of year!

Open House is a time to really show off what you do best in the classroom.  And while I dread all of the extra work, I love the way it turns out, and how excited the kids always are to show their families their room.  Our Open House will be on May 20th this year, and June 10th is our last day of school.  So this gives me lots of time to gets lots of projects together to display.  The bad thing is that we spend all of that time decorating, only to have to take it all down to close up for the summer quite soon afterwards.  
I always save books that the children make throughout the year, and put them out for the children to show their parents.  I have the kids reread them a day or two before Open House, just to make sure that they remember what is inside, though!   The kids make some clay insects, and we also decorate our room with a zoo theme.  I take videos of the kids singing our songs and play them on the DVD player.  Sometimes, a mom will bring punch and cookies, and we will make it sort of like a party in my room!  But that does create a big mess with punch and cookie crumbs to clean up afterwards when everyone goes home.  This year, we are hatching chicks, and they should be one week old on Open House.  We’ll also have some insects that have just matured, and some tadpoles that are turning into frogs.  We have planted some lima beans in a root view container, so we will display that also.  The kids also plant cups of grass, and we decorate the cups like monkeys, with the grass being the hair sticking up.  Those are really cute!  The kids also plant some flowers and we put those on display.  They go in pots that the kids glazed and I fired in our kiln.  We also make life sized zoo animals out of butcher paper and put them on some of my (very) high walls.  Then I turn my tree into a jungle tree by adding some low hanging branches with vines, large leaves, and put a bunch of kid made monkeys on them.  Sometimes, I also put out our five senses boxes for the kids to show their parents, so that they can listen and guess the sounds, smell and guess the smell, feel and guess the item in the bag, I also like to put out some word cards for the children to read to their parents, and maybe some animal picture cards to classify by animal type on a pocket chart.  It’s fun!  I would love to hear your best ideas for Open House!