Happy summer! We are finally able to exhale and join in on the summer fun with the rest of you who are off! Of course, on the last day of school when I'm anxious to hurry home and get my summer started, I found myself stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour. So, I decided to give my co-blog author a call and wish her a happy last day and we ended up gabbing for FOUR hours!
What could we have possibly talked about for that long, you may ask (my husband will most definitely ask)? Did we talk about our summer plans? No. Latest movies? Nope. Good books? Of course not. We talked about school for four hours straight! I mean, who engages in a four hour conversation about school on the last day of school?! I think we may have to change our blog name to "The REAL Dorks of Orange County!"
Anyway, I thought I would take a moment to invite you into my classroom and give you a peek at what it looked like at Open House. My school had Open House a few weeks ago, but with all of the end of the year craziness, I finally managed to get the pictures uploaded and posted. I have been doing a Hollywood Theme for the past three years now and really like it! My kids film a movie Beth Newingham style and I play it during Open House. Since we have the movie showing, the Hollywood theme just fits. My students learn about the solar system during this part of the year, so I break them up into small groups and have them research a planet. Then they write a script pretending that they are astronauts on the planet they researched. We use a green screen and the whole bit! I film one group a day during lunch. I find that filming them during lunch is easier because then I don't have to disrupt class time for this project. I end up not eating lunch for almost two weeks so I can manage to film all the kids. It's a lot of work, but the final product is worth it. In addition to the movie, a parent from my school who is an amateur photographer, takes my students' head shots. I wish I didn't have to cover up their faces because they look absolutely beautiful! Some students actually look like professional actors/actresses in their pictures.
Each year I add a new element to my Open House theme to make it better than the year before. I purchased the plastic popcorn containers at Target in the dollar spot and filled them with white flowers. Fortunately my mother in law has access to a whole sale flower place, so they ended up being pretty cheap! My kids also wrote compliments to each other on the orange stars you see hanging from the ceiling. Each student has a kind compliment from every student in the class on their star. I also write each student a kind note on their star. The kids feel so special when they come in the classroom on Open House night and see their star! One of the other pictures you see above is a package of microwaveable popcorn with a note that says, "Thanks for Popping in!" This was a Pinterest inspired idea, which I gave out to the families. The red and black movie curtains were made out of plastic table cloths.
Next to the students' head shot was an autobiography they wrote about their lives.
The students also wrote their own "Fractured Fairytale" after reading many different fairytales and fractured fairytales in class. The published copy was created in a hardback book, which was purchased from a company called Bare Books. The kids felt like professional authors!
During Open House night, I provide my students with a check-off sheet where they have to give their parents a tour and show them everything on the sheet. I love this idea because the parents are so busy hearing about their students' work that I don't have to get stuck in any awkward conversations about their child's progress or which teacher they want/don't want for next year.
I hope you enjoyed my Open House tour! Happy fun, sun, and relaxation! Yay, summer!