Sunday, July 26, 2015

An Interactive Open House

Even though my Open House for back to school isn't for a few weeks, I'm trying really hard to get as much done now as possible!  I usually don't mind the late nights to get stuff done during pre-plan but with a 5 month old...  I'm thinking I might be getting too old for that (at least this time around, lol)!

This year I am doing something different!  Our Open House usually starts out with the entire fourth grade in the cafeteria and all the teachers talk about what they can expect from 4th grade this year: curriculum, field trip dates, etc.  Then they are let loose up to our rooms for exploration time!  It never fails that parents are busy filling out paperwork or talking to me.  The kids, for the most part, are shy and trying to scope out the room from the safety of their parents side, LOL.  Well I want all that to change...

I introduce to you my interactive welcome sign!

This bad boy will be up on my white board and I will have the remote pen ready to go so my new kiddos can just walk up and start clicking away.  Even though the families just heard a few things to expect for the upcoming year, they definitely didn't get all the good details or what our specific classroom will get into.

I created this by uploading my own picture to ThingLink and made it interactive from there!  If you have never heard of ThingLink (don't feel bad, neither did I!), it is a program that essentially can make any photo or video interactive!  Think of all the possibilities!!!  There is a free version but I caved and paid for the year subscription because it has SO many cool features that I want to try with my kiddos this year.  I think it would also be an incredible tool to use if you happened to be doing a Flipped Classroom!

I thank Kim at iTeach STEM who, a couple of days ago, posted in one of our Facebook groups her newest "All About Me" page on her blog (click here to check it out) for introducing me to this awesomeness!  Well let me tell you, it was an instant game changer when I saw it.  Instead of a bunch of writing, she has a picture of herself using ThingLink and I instantly knew four different ways I wanted to use the program in my classroom!

How would you use it in the classroom?  Leave your ideas in the comments section!


  1. Sabra, I've used ThingLink with my kids but never did it dawn on me to use it for me like that this! You're so smart! I love it!
    A Primary Owl

  2. Love, love, love this idea. I think I might sit down tonight and make one of these for back to school. It's definitely more creative than doing a Powerpoint...which I originally planned. I told Kim she should start a linky where we all fill out an All About Me Thinglink. That would be fun!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I had not heard about ThingLink before, but I have an account now! I can't wait to find different ways to use it!

    Oh, and I had to smile when I saw OSC and St. Augustine listed as field trips. I've done both in the past two years. St. Augustine is great for the kids but bad for my stress levels!

  4. Thos looks awesome! I need to check out the site tomorrow! Thanks for sharing, smarties pants! :)

  5. You are BRILLIANT! :) I am in love with this! :) Thanks for telling us all about it! :) I'm going to share the heck out of this post!! My mind WAS blown!!!! You, my dear, are a ROCKSTAR! :)

  6. This is genius! What a great way to get students interacting and learning! Thank you for sharing this!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  7. I love this!! I'm very excited to use it in my classroom this year! Where did you get the image you used for your poster?

    1. Amanda, I actually got the background photo from the Dollar Photo Club (they even had different versions of that one with more or less hands and different backgrounds) and then added the font on top!

  8. What a great idea! I love that you added other images and video to yours. Inspiring!

  9. Love this! What a fun element to have at open house. I shared this on my Five on the Fifth post today!

    I Teach. What's Your Superpower?