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Growth Mindset

Meaningful Activities for Open House


If you’re anything like me, you get stressed out when Open House starts lurking around the corner. The projects, the cleaning, the ANTICIPATION! This year was extra stressful for my team and me because Open House fell right smack dab in the middle of our grade level’s statewide testing. Call me crazy, but I would rather focus on teaching standards and getting my students prepared for testing than work on a shoebox diorama for Open House. With that said, this year’s Open House got me thinking. How can I take what we’re learning in our classroom and actually make it meaningful and purposeful for Open House? I wanted to get rid of the fluff and add in some more purpose. With the help of my awesome administrators, we came up with some great Open House ideas that definitely WOWed our students and parents.

Self Assessment: Showcasing Learning Goals

We have been working on Self Assessment at our school. It’s a way to help students understand what they have learned, and also be self-evaluative of that learning goal.

I decided for Open House I would display my students’ most recent Independent Practice sheets on a math lesson, and alongside it place their Self Assessment ticket.

Parents were able to see how Independent Practice is structured in our classroom, and how students can be interactive in the learning goal process.

Writing on Achievement: Showcasing Narrative Writing

Writing is a big part of Open House. As a parent myself, I like to see how my children have improved in the area of writing.

One way I wanted to showcase my students’ writing achievement at this year’s Open House was with these “What Success Looks Like” thought bubbles.

I guided students in a writing lesson on writing about what success means to them.



Parents loved reading about how their children have grown, and what their children feel most successful in during the school day.  Grab the FREE template here.

Then and Now: Showcasing Comparing and Contrasting

Another way I like to display writing in an Open House format is by having students write about themselves in a compare and contrast format. Students can practice the writing skills they have learned from the year to write about how they have changed and evolved throughout the school year.




You can use their beginning of the year picture (school photo or your own photo) for the "then" writing, and then take a current picture to accompany the "now" writing. Grab this now to use for your Open House!

Why meaningful activities for Open House? As we start to understand how Parental Involvement offers students a greater effect size on achievement (.49), we need to reevaluate how we structure our Open Houses. Possibly, we should offer more opportunities for our parents to join us in school, so they have more time and options to see their children’s work. We don’t have to save it ALL for just one night.
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