Sunday, September 24, 2017

Starting the Year Building Home/School Relationships

Purposefully developing relationships with parents is so very important to our classroom learning community.  I want parents to feel that they are part of our learning community and know that we are all a team doing everything we can to help their child reach their fullest potential: Parent/Teacher/Child.  I start out the year meeting parents during our Kindergarten Screening process.  I wanted parents to be able to create something special for their child while they were waiting so I put our this invitation for them.

I want parents to remember how they felt when offered this invitation!  Some may have been a little nervous to try, yet they rose to the challenge, even though it was hard. Many were amazed at what they were able to create using the wire as they had never used it before in this manner! Many were very proud of their accomplishment. Many got lost in their art because they were so focused! Also, they all had felt safe just trying their best!  Now, here is the connection I want my parents to make: This is exactly what happens when I put out an invitation in our room for their children.  These invitations invite their children freely explore or rise to the challenge! It helps them try something new, making them use important critical and creative thinking skills which are needed so much for their future success in school and beyond! As the year goes on, they will use writing skills as they learn them to document what they created or noticed.  If I could do this again, I would have a book about wire sculptures for them to use as a resource, as books will be included with the invitations in our room for them to develop reading skills and use as resources.  I hope this shows parents how their children will learn new things by visiting the different areas in our room!

After school started, the kids were invited to learn how to use liquid watercolors and Sharpie markers as they created self portraits.

We took their parent's wire sculptures, note, and their self portrait and put them together in our hallway to display how we view children!  Our image of the child.

When we had an open house, I had some more invitations set up for parents to take part in, again, to help create this important home-school connection!  One was some rocks and sharpies with the invitation to write their hopes and dreams for their children.

These will stay in our classroom for the children to visit in our Library Area which is also our quiet, calming area for when they need it.  Many times, if kids are sad, these rocks bring them some comfort from home.

Another invitation invited them to create a string of beads and add them to what we call our Peace Wreath.

It is a reminder of our peaceful community with each other and our efforts to create a peaceful atmosphere for their children. It was an opportunity for them to work with their child as a team to create something beautiful for our classroom.  It also serves as a reminder to kids that when we are in this room, we will create amazing things together.

At the end of the year, these beads will be joined with the ones created by families in past years which are part of a beautiful class chandelier, making them a part of this classroom in the years to come!

Home/School connections are very important to me!  I hope that parents will feel welcome and valued as we take this journey with their child!

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! I felt so good after reading your beautiful post. I love how you created such a wonderful bond between you, your students and their parents. I will try to incorporate some of your ideas into my classroom. Thank you for sharing!
    Julie Bales
    First Grade
    Cambria Ca.