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Using A Parent Teacher Contact Log
Play This Video In this age of ever increasing accountability it is vital to keep a record of all contact you have with home. A great way to do this is to keep a notebook record of all contact you have with parents and guardians. In that notebook keep a record of the following:
1. Who you talked to.
2. Time and Date
3. The reason you or they called.
This simple task transfers the accountability on to the parent and off of you.
Parent Involvement-"Come To School With Me"
With today's busy schedules it is sometimes difficult to get parent's involved in your program. Teachers are always trying to come up with new and innovative ideas to entice parents into the classroom. Parents are wondering is my child "just playing" all day, are they learning anything, and what is an appropriate curriculum for pre-school children?
It is important to educate your parents on their child's daily routine. And you know what, sometimes parents "learn by doing" as well as children. So why not let your parents come to school with their child? Of course with a large number of parents working this is not always possible. The next time you do a "parent night" provide opportunities for your parents to share their child's day.
Our teachers plan for this evening by altering their daily routine by making an eight hour day fit into two hours. After the parents have signed in, their child takes them to their class. Quiet activities are provided until the program is ready to begin. Parents are encouraged to follow the activities with the children.
Teachers go through their daily routine beginning with Circle Time. Everyone gets involved in singing, dancing, etc. Parents are asked to plan for the next activity. They must choose a learning center to go to. With the help of their child they are guided to the learning center of their choice. Parents get involved in a variety of activities such as painting, block building, putting puzzles together, reading books, or discovering how magnets work. As the activities are taking place the teacher is interacting with both parent and child and asking open ended questions. A warning is given when it is time to clean up. Once this is completed the parents and children are asked to share their experiences with the others in the group.
Parents come away very surprised to learn how many different learning experiences have taken place by playing and the thinking process that goes into answering an open ended question. The evening comes to a close with parents, children, and the teacher sharing a nutritious snack.
Allowing parents to "come to school" with their child is a very enjoyable and informative parent activity. It has given us the opportunity to educate our parents on how children learn through play and socialization.
The Power of a Newsletter
"Keep parents informed about your classroom. Every Monday send home a newsletter informing parents of the plan for the week. This will increase parent and child communication at home. This will let parents feel that they are a part of their child’s education. This can be a short informational outline of the week. Sometimes this can get parents to come and share something that will add to your curriculum."
Communication About Homework
"Homework can be a difficult thing to obtain from some children in your class. Get the parents involved by sending a homework assignment sheet to be signed each day. Let the child sign the sheet also. The accountability is now on parents and child. At the end of each week, send a certificate of congratulations to parents and child for all homework completed for the week."
Use of Questionnaires
"Send a questionnaire home to parents or guardians asking what they can do to contribute to your classroom. Is someone artistic? Does someone have time to give to help in the classroom for an hour? Who wants to accompany the class on a field trip? Someone might have time to sit and cut out letters for the classroom. Parents may come as guest speakers on topics you will address. You can find talent among the parents and they feel needed and part of their child's class."
Use Technology to Your Advantage
"Develop a web page that parents can go to to find out what's happening in your class. You can have up-to-date assignments and projects, current events, future projects, test dates, or any reminders that are worth mentioning for parents to have access to. If you are not tech savvy and cannot create a web page, you can have an email address that parents can send messages to. You would need to check your email every night during the school week and respond appropriately and in a timely manner. You can also create a list serve for you to send messages to parents who are on-line."