Friday, August 11, 2017

How to make your Open House paperless!

Open House: the time where parents walk away with mounds of school paperwork that they aren't quite sure what to do with. At my school, the front office gives SO. MANY. PAPERS. The paperwork is repetitive, but parents have to fill it out for each child. This, clearly, is out of my control. However, I choose to fix what I am able to fix. Instead of giving additional paperwork in my own classroom, I have turned my Open House into a Paperless Open House!

Here are two EASY ways to make your Open House easy and (almost!) paperless!

1. Set up a sign-in laptop with emails
This part has made my life so much happier and easier. If there's something that drives me completely bonkers, it is trying to decipher handwritten parent email addresses. Instead, I drag a desk outside my classroom and plop my computer onto it with a spreadsheet. Parents write directly onto the spreadsheet, and they never forget to do this since it's located right outside the classroom (plus it's the number one question I inquire about.... "did you remember to write your email down?" "The computer is free if you want to put your email in now!" "Do you like being informed? Make sure to write your email down!"

This is what parents see Below are the questions that I include on the initial Open House Sign-In:

After this, all I do is directly copy and paste the emails into my Distribution List on my laptop. And BOOM, I have parent emails for the list! I never send home any sort of paper newsletter (except for kids without Internet access at home), so this is a fabulous way to make sure that all parents are informed all year.

2. QR code with Google Form on PowerPoint or SmartBoard
I used to print out a handout for each famiy to give me more information on their child. However, in the stack of paperwork from the front office, many families either sped through this or forgot to do it entirely. I switched to using a Google Form a few years ago for this task, and I have not looked back!

Of course, you need to make sure that each parent gets the link to the Google Form. I like giving parents a QR code to quickly find the Google Form. Instead of using paper and giving each parent a QR code on their child's desk, I put a QR code up onto the projector. Parents can scan the QR code to get the link to the second Google Form that I send out regarding their home phone number/child's interests/academic strengths & weaknesses/etc. The parents LOVE the QR code, as do the kids! Usually the kids are the first to grab their parents phones and snap the code.

Then, parents can fill out the Google Form link in their own free time! This allow the teacher to learn more

When is your Open House?


  1. Is there a way to allow parents to answer your Google Form without a gmail account? If so, how do you do this?

    1. Hello! Normally everyone can fill out a Google form; they do not need an account. However, I always send the form to myself and then log out to doublecheck that it works correctly. Best of luck :-)