Saturday, September 19, 2015

Celebrating - Back to School Night

The spotify Rain playlist was playing.  The Smart Panel message read:
           Welcome Parents!!  Please find your child's seat.
           Check out their work! Also, please take a moment to write a NOTE 
           to your CHILD to go in our Class Time Capsule.
           (It won't be read until the last week of 3rd grade!)

A Figure Me Out Math project hung at each cubby. An All About Me Tower made of index cards was on each desk, along with a decorated writing notebook and a reading bag of of books.

After the room filled with moms and dads, I began:
"This is how your child enters my room each day. To build their independent skills, they know to read the smart panel and to do what is listed. Then we gather for our Morning Meeting. We start with a greeting and then have a share or an activity. Today, I'd like us to greet each other by saying our name and sharing one thing about yourself. With your child, we have been sharing favorites - colors, sports, weekend activity...all this helps us to know each other more so we can learn better together. Tonight, I thought as adults, we could say our name and a favorite restaurant. I'll start....I'm Sally and I like to order and pick up takeout from Moby Dicks House of Kaboobs". Then around the room all continued, sharing a favorite.

"Now as our Share today, I want to show you a video made especially for tonight!!"
Then my first Back to School Night iMovie played, showing all the pictures I took since school started!! (I big thank you to my daughter who coached me in making this movie!!) 

Today I celebrate being brave enough to simulate a Morning Meeting with my parents at Back to School Night. I worried it would be too time consuming. I worried it would seem stupid or childish. 

Instead, it did exactly what Morning Meetings are intended to do - by sharing, we grew as a community, connected because all of us are connected to the students in Room 212.

Today I celebrate the structure of Morning Meeting and I know now that this will be how I ALWAYS begin my Back to School Night meetings. 


  1. It sounds as if it was a wonderful parent night. They do want to know what happens at school, don't they? I love that they had a chance to get to know a little bit about each other.

  2. I think that was a great idea for Back to School Night. I imagine it opened up a lot of conversation with parents and children when they returned home and also gave the parents something more to say than "what did you do in school today?"

  3. Sometimes it's good to share to make some sort of connection even in a large group. I'm glad it was a success.

  4. I admire your courage. I wanted to read a book to them, but I chickened out at the last minute. Good for you! I can't wait to hear more about your year. I love the energy around your new school and classroom.

  5. This is an AMAZING idea! I wish I had thought of it. I will have to stick this idea away in my file cabinet for next year. I love the structure of morning meeting for building community. So glad it worked out for you and that you were brave enough to follow through with the idea. Have a great week!

  6. Perfection! I'm glad you decided to capture it as a celebration.

  7. What a a awesome idea! Glad you shared it with us.

  8. That is so cool and brave my friend. And what unintended benefits of community building among parents. Love it.

  9. Wonderful move, Sally. Your parents got a hint of what your classroom culture is like as you built a safe community of sharing.