Friday, October 18, 2013

Infectious Party Atmosphere at Parent Conferences

Thanks to Todd Whitaker's ideas in his book 10 Minute In-service and to Dave Burgess for his presentation ideas and hooks, we were able to make our parent - teacher conferences an unforgettable experience for everyone!

Upon walking down the hallway towards our classrooms, families were greeted by our humongous, handmade welcome banner.  Also, we had pizza and coffee for refreshments.  Since we knew many would have to wait to meet each of us, we created three activity tables.  On one table we had two laptops for use in checking our team web page, students' online grades (we use gradebookwizard), and Edmodo.  The second table had Angry Birds coloring pages, and the third had all the supplies and directions needed to make a monster bookmark.

Since a team member's son, who works at Hasbro, donated the games, we were able to create a family game night basket as a door prize.  We sent home a flyer announcing our plans for the evening and to receive notice if they were going to be able to attend.  Students received an extra raffle ticket for the door prize if the flyer was returned.  Each family received a raffle ticket for each teacher they visited.

Besides a raffle ticket, families received a token of thanks from each teacher.  I made labels for all of the tokens.  See my freebies page for the different labels for apples, popcorn, mounds candy bar, and almond joy candy bar (I forgot to take a photo of this one).  Unfortunately, the QR Code that was to take them to our team web page was too small for the app to read.  Parents were surprised and seemed to love getting the little treats.

Since our corner was a beehive of activity for the entire three hours, a "buzz" started to go around the school.  Other families became interested in what was happening, and other teachers visited, too.  Throughout the following day, many teachers told me that it was amazing.  I created a survey using SurveyMonkey in order to get feedback from the families.

Thank you Todd and Dave for giving me the inspiration to reach for greatness and for getting my creative juices flowing!

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