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Connecting with Parents at Open House

Connecting with Parents at Open House

Ah, Open House. The most jam-packed informational hour of the year for parents and teachers alike. For me, it is often times also one of the most stressful. I feel like I have so much to say and just not enough time or words to fit it all in!

This year, I decided to make things more organized and interactive by using technology.

Since I am using tech with my students every day, why not train my parents in using it as well? This way, I could deliver all the information efficiently AND show them how engaging these apps are for their children by experiencing them first-hand.

 

Here’s what I used & how I used it:

What’s Nearpod?– One of my favorite apps for differentiating instruction. {Check it out here} Interactive, multi-platform, cloud-based so files can be accessed from anywhere, and most importantly, user-friendly. As my Nearpod trainer so eloquently put it, “It’s like PowerPoint on steroids”. And since I plan to use it with my students this year, I thought I would start by teaching my parents how to use it at Open House.Nearpod OpenHouse

How it Livened Up Open House- Typically for Open House, I would create and present a PowerPoint presentation of all my important talking points: school hours, dress code, homework policy, celebration guidelines, etc. I would even have a printed copy of all these same points for the parents to take home so they weren’t frantically taking notes the entire time. What did I learn from this my first 3 years? We all can read the handout, and no one wants to be read to for an hour.

So, thanks to Nearpod, I was able to create an interactive presentation this year, which included slides, pdfs, website links and poll questions. Nearpod lessons can be accessed from Smartphones, computers, or iPads during the presentation in “Live Mode”, so the parents were able to play along and interact with the elements in real time. Best of all, after Open House, I was able to share the presentation with parents in “Student-Paced Mode” so that they could go in at home to review the documents, visit the websites, and take any poll questions that they missed.

nearpod join

Parents join the lesson by entering the given PIN into the box on Nearpod.com or in the Nearpod app.

A Peek at My Presentation:

nearpod poll

Parents answered questions like these during the Live Lesson.

A few examples of the poll and open-ended questions parents answered during the presentation are above. In the past, I collected this information on sign-up sheets and paper quizzes. By making it digital, the information is now all in one place and available for me to access any time in my Nearpod Reports section.

Pdfs I would typically print could be shared digitally with parents for them to download and save.

Pdfs I would typically print could be shared digitally with parents for them to download and save.

nearpod website

I included direct links to important websites, such as Seesaw and Class Dojo.

nearpod video

Nearpod allows me to embed videos into my presentation, such as this GoNoodle 101 for Parents! Everyone needs a little McPufferson in their life. 🙂

nearpod slide

For my PowerPoint lovers, you can import your pre-made PowerPoint slides into Nearpod as .jpg images. These will turn them into independent slides in your Nearpod presentation. You can create your own slides in Nearpod, however the graphics and editing capabilities are not as great as those available in PowerPoint or other image editing software.

I can’t say enough about how much parents and I LOVED using Nearpod at Open House this year. Here’s a few of the positives:

  • All documents and links were in one place and easily accessible for parents. No need to print out pdfs, create lists of websites, or collect extra pieces of paper with parent poll responses.
  • Nearpod presentations can be shared as “Student-Paced” so parents could go back and review it again later. This was a HUGE help to families who could not be present or who needed to pass along information to a spouse or family member who couldn’t make it.
  • Go Green! I saved a ton of copies and paper by including my pdfs/documents digitally. Parents also loved that they could download the files easily to save, rather than keeping track of a million pieces of paper.
  • Interactive & Hands-On- Parents loved being able to view the presentation, docs, and links on their own device. They also enjoyed participating in the polls and open-ended questions live.

I hope you’re feeling inspired to take your Open House to the next level with tech. Nearpod is just one great way to do this, but it’s one that accomplished my goals, engaged parents, and brought my usual blah presentation to life.

Best of luck to all of you in your back to school and Open House endeavors this year!

-Kali

Questions? Comments? Need help getting started with a Nearpod Presentation of your own? Leave me a note below!


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  1. Tina

    17 September

    What type of questions did you include in your nearpod presentation? I just created a nearpod presentation and wasn’t sure what to include. Thank you for sharing your ideas with me.
    Tina

    • Elementary Geek

      21 September

      Hi Tina!
      My very first question asked them to input their email address so I could have it on file. I also asked things like what kind of technology devices they have at home, if they would be interested in volunteering in the classroom, and left a blank one at the end for any other questions/comments I may not have covered in the presentation. Good luck with your presentation!
      -Kali

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