Ease Parent Introductions with These Fun Activities
Back-to-school season is as anxious for educators as it is for students and parents, especially since they have two first days back at school. A teacher’s introduction is a significant factor in the development of the school year and in the relationships formed between students and teachers.
Ease any tension in your classroom by getting to know students and parents with some unique icebreakers to create a comfortable environment. These conversation starters will make those back-to-school nights run smoothly and leave you understanding those in your classroom better.
1. Pair up and ask one person to draw anything without allowing the other person to see. Then when time is up, have the illustrator describe their drawing to the second person and see if he or she’s drawing matches the first person’s.
2. Either pair up and sit in a group and ask questions relating to the classroom (i.e. favorite subject when in school, favorite school memory and etc).
3. Instruct parents to list as many coming-of-age movies in one minute.
4. As parents walk into the classroom, have them select an M&M. Once everyone is present, inform him or her that each different colored M&M falls under a different category or question. For example, those with red M&Ms answer the question: “What was your first car?”
5. Break into pairs or small groups and choose what person, dead or alive, would the other like to have dinner with and why and present to the classroom.
6. Instruct parents to pair up with someone they do not know and draw a picture of the other person in 45 seconds.
7. Create a BINGO card with slots full of things parents have done relating to school and have them try to get BINGO by finding other parents in the classroom that can initial off each slot. For example, one slot on the card can have “Majored in business.”
8. Ask parents to look into their handbag or wallet and ask them to choose something significant to them. Then they have to share why that item is significant to them with others.
9. Break parents into small groups and ask them to take turns telling the group three true things about themselves and a lie, leaving the rest of the group guessing which is the lie.
10. Ask parents to create an alliteration poem using their child’s name on poster boards. For example, if a parent had a child named Beth: Brave Enthusiastic Talented Hilarious
11. Go around the room and ask parents to say their name accompanied with an adjective using alliteration (i.e. Marvelous Miranda). After each person says his or her name, the next person has to recite every person prior to him or her and build to the chain of introductions.
12. Ask parents to introduce themselves and share one thing that they learned when they were their child’s age.
13. Create a small quiz relating to the designated class and have parents participate by testing their knowledge on the subject.
15. Go around the classroom and ask parents if they were in school today, what would they bring for show-and-tell and why.
16. Have each parent write down a question. Ask them to walk around the classroom while playing music. When the music stops, parents have to ask whomever they are standing next to their question. Ask parents to write down a different question for the next round.
17. Create a quick game of charades by having parents act out well-known TV/Movie teachers.
18. Have each parent write down three things about him or herself on a sheet of paper. When they have done so, ask them to crumble up the paper and have a snowball fight for 30 seconds. Then ask parents to pick up a snowball and try to find whom it belongs to.
19. Ask parents to share three adjectives that describe both them and their child.
20. Break parents into groups and ask them to create a life supply list for their children at their age.
Feel free to mix things up by breaking parents into pairs and having them introduce the other after a certain amount of time or have everyone sit in a circle and take turns answering questions. Make sure to keep questions light and enjoyable for your attendees and most importantly have fun getting to know each other.
For more inquiries on simplifying volunteership in the classroom, ditch the clipboard signups at back-to-school night and switch to VolunteerSpot's free online sign ups with reminders. Sign parents up on the spot with an iPad or mobile phone, or let them know that online sign up links will be emailed out at a later date.