How to make your Open House paperless!

Make your Open House paperless with Google Forms!

"TAG, you're it!" is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Open House. Open House is the official beginning of school- the moment that you meet the children that you will be spending the next eight months with. It's a time of excitement, hope, anticipation... and papers. At least at my school, a defining moment of this day is parents trying to wrangle their children while holding way a mass amount of papers 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. Anything given from the office, 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! No longer do I give parents piles of papers with questions like, "tell me about your child!" "What's your phone number?" "How do I contact you if your child sits in a container of pudding and needs a new pair of pants?" (yes, this has happened).

Here are two EASY ways to make your Open House easy and (almost!) paperless! Say hello to my best friend, Google!

1. Set up a sign-in laptop with emails...outside your classroom door
Having a laptop outside the classroom to collect parent information helps create a calm before the storm. It made Open House much easier and pleasant for me! If there's something that drives me completely bonkers, it is trying to decipher handwritten parent email addresses. I drag a desk outside my classroom and plop my computer onto it with a Google Form. Parents write directly onto the Google Form, 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 when they look at my laptop. Below are the questions that I include on the initial Open House Sign-In:

Are you familiar with Google Forms? It has a feature that automatically turns your form into a spreadsheet! At this point, 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 family 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. You can either use a small piece of paper with the QR code on each desk, or 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 about the student. I love learning about the child from the parent's point of view, especially hearing their concerns for the school year. It allows me as the child's teacher to be proactive if mom and dad feel nervous about their child's learning during math, or behavior at lunch.

When is your Open House? Have you used a paperless Open House before? Drop me a comment below!

Make your Open House paperless with Google Forms!


  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 :-)

  2. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!! :D