Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gonna Make You Sweat....

Hey Guys! It's Aly, from Just a Primary Girl! 
I am so excited to share with you some tips and tricks for Back to School night or Open House! I have a freebie along with a video tutorial. I also am giving a way my Don't Forget the Forms Bundle AND a winners choice from my store! More details below. 

I am writing today about back to school time in your classroom! I know when I try to prepare for back to school night, there are lots of things that I want to be sure to cover. 
Allergies, Curriculum, Scholastic Book Orders, Birthday Parties, Folders, Report Cards, Conferences, Homework, Signing up to Volunteer and while discussing all of that, being positive and remembering everything. 

I HATE looking at notecards! Are you are like me on this- you can seriously talk in front of your entire grade level of students, but bring in 5 parents, and immediately start sweating? I mean seriously, I wear something as light as possible that is usually sleeveless, and I make trips to my air vent through the entire night because I literally sweat five lbs off my body. I am not nervous, nor ill prepared. I just HATE speaking in front of adults. Even during my staff PD days. I can't stand it.

This coming from Miss Personality 1998. Yep - (enter silly freshman year of college pageant award)

cheesy I know, but I was such an outgoing not afraid of talking kind of girl back then. Now, forget it!

Anyway, I thought I would show you how to make a power point slide show to use for back to school night. I am going to include a template and my second video how to. (My first was a how to create your own printables in powerpoint) You can see that post here. I will show you how to make your slide show, but better yet, I am going to show you HOW to record audio slides to insert. I literally just hit play on my slide show at the start of the night. I tell my parents just how much I talk and that if I talked we would be there all night and no one would make their dinner plans. I let them know that they can stop me at any time to ask questions, and I hand them the slide show so they have reminders of what the slides said and they can take notes. I also stop during and add tidbits so they know I am human and really do talk a lot and these pre - recorded slides were simply to ensure they get the most of their 30 minute time. I also don't want to talk so much that I say something silly.

We do three separate times slots so it takes an hour and a half and we do the same thing all three times. Another reason that I love having this slideshow. My first year teaching, I had to present twice and I was hoarse by the end of the night. That stunk. 

Here is the tutorial on how to add audio to your slide show.
This is good for more than just your back to school slide shows. You could EASILY use it to put directions into a powerpoint for students to play games on the promethean board. You could also have students record messages into a power point show for mother's day. How cute would a Mother's Day Tea be, featuring pictures of your children, then BOOM audio too. CUUUUTTTEEEE.

It is HARD recording slides that are over 5 minutes. The chances of NOT stuttering or making a mistake is slim. So be nice my friends. 

Ok, so first up the power point. You need to figure out what are going to be the most important things you want to accomplish during your short time together? Is it that you need forms filled out? If you need forms, click here or the picture to see my back to school forms post for a VERY detailed account of my forms.

or you can click here or on the picture to see my packs in my store. 

I have a sheet that includes the most important forms that I need for my parents to fill out and return that same night. 

I talk about Allergies and Snack. Many parents think that cheezeits are a good snack to send in, and are sadly mistaken once they see we only allow fresh fruit, veggies or cheese. If your child doesn't eat those things, they go without snack. True story. I explain to them that if their child's safety was a concern, I would do it for them too. I also tell them that we get ants like no one's business and I just don't want food in our room. That makes the allergy parents feel like they aren't the only reason we have this rule. 

I speak from experience with my parents. I tell them about my son and him being an autistic child that has allergies. I tell them the importance of rules and kindness in my room. 

I also go into great detail and stop the slides to talk about scholastic book clubs. I tell them about our ipods in the classroom. This is when I let them know that we are happy to take donated iphone, ipods and MP3 players  that are no longer in use. I show them a quick way we use them and they are more willing to donate them at the start of the year!! I have never not gotten the $350.00 big bonus points reward since doing this. TRY IT. 

The great thing about the slideshow is that they have a hand out to follow along, and usually one parent fills out the forms while the other listens. Sometimes, they just fill out all the forms and have no time to truly listen. Which, sometimes, is nice - depending on the parent. 

I have NEVER had a parent really question anything. 

When making your slide show - if you want to include audio for a slide, be sure you save your audio files in a file that you won't delete. (You will see this in the video post as well!) Keep it with the powerpoint slide show because I have learned in the past that you need to keep them. I deleted them and then I had no audio when I pulled the usb to my school pc. Keep them together. Practice it before you do it that night. I didn't so it was a great shocker to find out that I had no audio and would need to talk in the spotlight without warning. 

I hope that this freebie will help you to create your own power point back to school night slides or hand out. 

Enter the rafflecopter to win my back to school bundle pack AND leave a comment below about your back to school night - whether it is how it goes, what you do, or what you are most afraid of. I KNOW you hate talking to those parents as much as me. #keepinitreal

I will choose one winner on Saturday morning to win something of YOUR choice from my store in addition to the rafflecopter prize of my Bundle of Back to School Forms

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining me for:
Click below to see Miss Nelson's behavior beads and win one of her awesome packs along with picking up a few freebies along the way.

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Mrs. H.


  1. I am just like you... I could stand in front of a group of kids all day long but put me in front of adults and I stammer and stutter, its not pretty :-S I usually go over a packet I have created with them and answer any questions. Love this idea though.. thanks for sharing :-)

    1. I hear you!!! My very first year my presentation was like 490 minutes longer than all my teammates. I talk a lot when I'm nervous. It was awful!!! Thanks for entering and commenting!!!

  2. Ours is in the dead of September, and I have to look nice, so I wear a suit. Needless to say, between that and the nerves, I turn the AC fairly low. One year a parent said it was too cold and could he raise the temperature? I have prepared slides, but do my own commentary, but only have to do it once.

    1. A SUIT?! I'd die. We wear summer dresses - sun dresses and I'm on fire. We can't control our own air so that's a bummer. Thanks for commenting and entering!!!

  3. My team and I greet families together outside our rooms and tell parents about what happens in 2nd grade and hand out all the important papers. We also collect school supplies and answer any questions the parents have.

    1. Hi! We do all of that as well in that half hour. Talk about jamming things in-huh? Thanks for entering and commenting!!!

  4. We don't have a formal back to school night. We do have a before school starts Open House which is very casual. The parents pick up a packet of forms and drop off their child's supplies and talk briefly with the teacher.

    1. That sounds heavenly. There is nothing casual about ours! Lots of luck this year. Thanks for entering and commenting!!

  5. I usually share the abc's of our classroom. There is a packet with information as well.

  6. Don't you wish we could send it all thru the mail? That'd be nice!! Thanks for following and entering!!!

  7. This looks amazing!! We just have boring forms to send home! I wish I could retype them and make them cute lol