Harry Wong
Jan 2017
Vol 14 No 1

Ideas to Increase Parent Involvement

By Teachers.Net Community

Addie /MO – i think that the key to getting the parents to stay is to make them feel comfortable and welcome. i would start by just being friendly and making eyecontact and a short greeting. then one day, enthusiastically, walk over to them with a neat piece that the child did and quickly explain the significance.
Jen – great, lyn…I thought about running off copies of a wish list and just say help with what you can some of the items are eggcartons and recycable things
meeha/ece/tx – JWgs … milk jug lids, similar jar lids — great for sorting, counting, etc.
Peachy/K/NC – We send home a poetry notebook that is to be read with a parent and we have them read to their child 20 minutes a day. They sign a form each month and the cild gets a certificate. We also have family projects..usually art… that the parents and children do together.
JWgs – Thanks Addie.
lyn – paper bags, cotton balls, old magazines, etc.
meeha/ece/tx – i try to send home pics of the kiddos at work from time to time … kids send home BIG cards when a parent is ill (special class project!) seems that when we, as the teachers, go out of our way to welcome parents and kind of include them into the classroom they try a bit more to become a part of it!
Jen – yes, I figure that way if I get to much i can pass it on to other teachers and it always ends up I get a little of everything needed
Kat/1st/nj – Last year our k-team did a project to bring what we were learning in science to the home. We called it “Weekend Scientist”. Every friday a child was randomly selected to take home a portable lab (duffle bag filled with stuff, including an experiment) that was relevant to what we were learning in class. After doing it with their family on the weekend, the “scientist” came to school on Monday and led his classmates in the experiment. It was a big hit!
Kindercutie – I send home a husky dog, out school mascot, and a notebook (journal)with a different child each day. They are to draw/write about everything they do with the husky in the journal and bring it back to share with our class the next day.
Leslie – another way to involve parents with children is a birthday poster…..usually a photograph of each year of the child’s life with some description of events…we display it in our classroom for the birthday month!ย 

Addie /MO – i used “sunshine at home” books from the wright group as take home books. the kids were to practice them each night and return the book weekly. i would conference with each child and listen to them “read” or retell the story of their choice (three in each book). at open house i emphasized to the parents how this nightly reading was soooo important.
kar – Does anyone have parents in your classroom doing bookmaking activities or do you send materials and projects home for parents who want to help out
Trish – fun arts/craft things like googly eyes, colored pipe cleaners, colored tissue, white lunch bags,etc.
Peachy/K/NC – Oh! We also send our bunny home to spend the week-end with a child. That was popular even with the parents this past year.
Kindercutie – We our fortunate enough to have a publishing center in our school where parent volunteers can make our class books.
meeha/ece/tx – we send home a lot of things with reading attached … i would suggest sending home instructions both printed and on cassette … possibly with an old tape player … to accomodate parents who don’t read! pictograms will also help in that area!
Peachy/K/NC – I really like the bookmaking idea. I’d like to get that going.
lyn – Trish, you just helped me add to my list! Thanks
Addie /MO – i had one parent who came in and did our classbooks for most of the year. she came in weekly and put together whatever we had ready. but, she got a job about three-fourths of the way through the year. she even asked me to provide her with a reference! i told her i was going to write her a bad one so i could keep her. LOL,! but i didn’t.
Kindercutie – My kids LOVE to read our published books.
Leslie – kindercutie, i use the same kind of mascot…a monkey puppet…the puppet goes home with the journal as well as a disposable camera…also i change the activity in the bag month to month…a book to read, a game to play etc.
Anna J – I interview each child at the beginning of the year, and write the things he tells me on a chart. Then I hand the child a paper crown which he takes to his desk to color while the other children draw a picture of him. I bind the pictures they drew into a book that he can take home. I take a picture of the child interviewed and type up the interview to put into a class book. When all the interviews are finished, they take turns taking the class books home and parents read the interviews and make comments on a comment page at the end of the book.
Leslie – that is a monkey puppet:)
Kindercutie – Great idea Leslie. I think I’ll add a camera to my bag next year!
Peachy/K/NC – We have parents donate film and then we display the photos in the room or send some home to share.
meeha/ece/tx – if you have a parent so-inclined, one thing i have started recently is a class scrapbook … i take pictures all the time! scrapbook them … provides a nice opportunity to showcase my special needs program!
Kindercutie – meeha…i do the scrapbook thing too! I put the pages out in the hallway for everyone to enjoy!
Leslie – that is a lovely idea, meeha ๐Ÿ™‚
meeha/ece/tx – one year another teachers’ parent took b/w photos through the year and compiled them into a book, copied it off, one copy per child at the end of the year!
Kat/1st/nj – Peachy, I also had parents donate film as we use a lot of pictures for class made books. does your school pay for developing? I usually end up paying for it myself, but was wondering if some parents wouldn’t mind have a roll developed over the year.
Kindercutie – I scan the pictures at the end of the year and include them in their memory books.
meeha/ece/tx – kind of made a year-book for each child with the people who were most important to those young children … and didn’t cost other parents a dime!
Leslie – i usually wind up paying for the developing myself, but i think it is really ok to ask parents…maybe that’s something that can be included in the questionnaire for open house
Addie /MO – a friend of mine has parents sign “coupons” for film developing at the first of the year. then when she finishes a donated roll of film, she sends it home with one of the coupons and the parent gets it developedย 

Kindercutie – gotta go make dinner for my husband…thanks for the great ideas.
meeha/ece/tx – Kat — i have several parents who would gladly develop film … i can do it with my classroom $$ but generally do it myself. need to learn to let parents do it if they so desire!
Leslie – addie, that is a great idea!
meeha/ece/tx – hi, mermaid! welcome to our discussion on parent involvement in early childhood/primary classrooms!
Kat/1st/nj – Good idea, Addie! thanks!
Peachy/K/NC – The school pays for some of it and I have paid for some. I, too, have thought of a volunteer! Good idea for the questionnaire.
Addie /MO – if you do lots of pix, you might want to invest (or get your school to) in a digital camera. i have one personally and our library at school has one.
meeha/ece/tx – i like the questionnaire idea, too … may add that to mine next year!
meeha/ece/tx – then mark my attendance page so i know who says yes and who has done it (i forget so easily!)
kar – I have a hard time asking for help and donations–do you find it best to do this at the beginning of the year(Back to School night) or throughout the year as the need arises
Peachy/K/NC – I mention the need for help in our weekly newspaper. Usually there is a response.
meeha/ece/tx – kar — i do it both ways … have pretty frequent contact with many parents, also include upcoming ‘needs’ in my newsletters … sometimes just the description will have parents saying ‘what can i do to help with …..’!
Addie /MO – i think you need to ask the parents right off the bat if they are willing (because k parents are tripping over themselves to help at that point) and then organize the parents fairly by what they are willing to do and when things are needed.
Kat/1st/nj – I usually ask for donations at BTS night. Some years parents are very generous and send things on their own. One year my son’s teacher asked that instead of a personal gift to her, if parents WANTED to give something, she prefered a gift for the class. I thought that was a nice idea.
meeha/ece/tx – school has one, Addie (dig. camera) … but it is always somewhere else and not in my room for those ‘kodak moments’ like my 35mm is!
Leslie – i ask for volunteers at open house….for classroom help as well as classroom donations
Kat/1st/nj – (That was during the Holiday season, guys!)ย  (continued on pg. 3)



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