Presentation on theme: "Family Involvement Starts Here"— Presentation transcript:
1 Family Involvement Starts Here F.I.S.H.Family Involvement Starts Here
2 F.I.S.H.F.I.S.H. Objectives:Identify why family involvement is important in a child’s education.Identify several different methods for involving parents in their child’s education.
3 F.I.S.H.From the TEA Pre-K Guidelines: Families: Critical Players in Children’s School Readiness and Prekindergarten ExperienceFor the first time ever family involvement is being directly addressed by the state.
4 Why is family involvement important? F.I.S.H.Why is family involvement important?WHY is it important?Families are a child’s first and most important teachers.They represent perhaps the single most influential factor in their children’s development.
5 Why should I make the effort? F.I.S.H.Why should I make the effort?Why should I make the effort?Because as early childhood educators we cannot afford to overlook the important impact that families have on their children.We must establish a good relationship with parents in the early years so they will continue to be involved in their children’s education for the following years.If a positive relationship isn’t established it could be disastrous for the child’s future success in school.No more us vs. them mentality, we must learn to see parents as our partners instead of our enemies.Often we have to change the parents attitudes if they have had a negative experience with another teacher before us.
6 F.I.S.H. Philosophy Parents are the first teachers Parents must be equal partnersLearning does not stop outside the classroom.Don’t ask for parent involvement- expect it!It is doubly important for parents of children in PPCD programs to be your partner, you NEED their help to work on IEP goals.
7 F.I.S.H. MisconceptionsFamily Involvement is not only about parents helping out in the classroom.There are many different ways to involve parents and we will discuss several of them in depth today.
8 F.I.S.H. Strategies Setting the Stage for Success Daily Communication FoldersAppropriate HomeworkWeekly NewslettersBuddy BagsFamily NightsClass WebsitesParent ConferencesParent Education Sessions
9 From the TEA Pre-K Guidelines F.I.S.H.From the TEA Pre-K GuidelinesEarly childhood teachers work in collaborative partnerships with families, establishing and maintaining regular, frequent two‐way communication with children’s families.
10 Setting the Stage for Success Parent OrientationPrepare the ParentsF.A.Q.’sHandoutsIt is imperative to meet with parents PRIOR to the first day of school.If they are allowed to just “show up” on the first day without having met with you first all bets are off!If you make this effort up front you will save yourself TONS of trouble and Tylenol for the entire year.If your school doesn’t have something for parents before school starts start BEGGING NOW!!!You must set the stage for success up front, BEFORE school starts.Never leave the parents guessing, you want to be VERY CLEAR about everything before the first day.
11 Setting the Stage for Success How to Prepare the Parents:Put parents at easeTeach parents how to talk to their children about schoolShare your policy onseparation anxiety.For many parents, the first day of preschool or kindergarten can be very traumatic- for the PARENTS!It is our responsibility to prepare them for this momentous occasion- this is part of our job, students and parents are a package deal!We can’t have one without the other, and sometimes more than that, grandma, aunt, big sister etc.You are a stranger to them, most parents are not in the habit of leaving their children with strangers, therefore we MUST put them at ease first, before the first day.Put them at ease:Share your philosophy of “Parents as Partners”Your #1 priority is the safety of all students.Your second priority is that all children should LOVE school, but they might not the first few days or weeks and that’s o.k..Talk about school:Explain to parents how they should prepare their children for the first day by talking about school in positive ways with their kids.If the parents express fear or anxiety about the first day then so will their children.Give them a script to follow, some will need it.Separation Anxiety:Explain how you will handle separation anxiety on the first day- what is your school policy- make it VERY CLEAR.For some parents, if you don’t tell them to leave they won’t and others will barely slow their car down to let the kids out!If you don’t explain your policy up front anything goes on the first day, you could end up with a whole class full of parents and crying children!Tell them that crying is OK, on either parties part and that it will get better over time.Don’t panic!!! Tell them it’s natural and normal for children to cry in strange and new situations but give them a chance to adjust before panicking.If you take the time up front to explain everything and answer all of their questions then the parents will feel more comfortable with leaving their children on the first day.Parents won’t feel the NEED to stay because you have invested time up front making them feel comfortable and assuring them that their children will be safe in your care.You have shown them that you are capable and confident and are up to the task of caring for and teaching their child.
12 Setting the Stage for Success F.A.Q.’s: Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat if my child is sick?What should my child wear to school?Does my child need an extra change of clothes?Do I need to purchase school supplies?Can I bring treats to school for my child's birthday?Do I need to send a snack to school with my child?Will my child be taking a nap at school?What is the best way to contact my child’s teacher?Beat parents to the punch and show them you have anticipated their every thought!For a complete list of my FAQ’s you can visit the link at the bottom of this page.Your FAQ’s might be different.It’s always best to brainstorm with your team all the questions you can think of together as a group.It is a good idea to have this on video so every parent will have the same opportunity- new additions to your class, parents who didn’t show up to orientation, parents who might need reminders etc.Show video.
13 Setting the Stage for Success HandoutsOrientation Packets: It is always best to have all the papers you plan on giving out in one neat package such as envelope or a folder.Make sure to have several extra packets prepared for late additions or those who might move in later.Letter from the teacher will also help put parents at ease.The more they know about you the more at ease they will feel.Don’t put down in your letter that you enjoy punk rock music and riding your Harley on weekends, even if some of the parents do- this will only help you lose respect, not gain it.Supply List:It’s important to have a list of the required supplies if your school asks for them.Put pictures next to each item to ensure that you get the right items.Often the lists are very confusing and the name of the item doesn’t always make it clear what the item is.If you don’t put pictures of each item you will end up with junk from the dollar stores- waxy crayons that don’t last one use, junky scissors that don’t work, and fancy character pencils…Also have a list of “Wanted Supplies” like baby wipes, Ziploc bags etc.Student Information:This way you will have all the info at your fingertips on the very first day. Parents names, home, work, and cell phone numbers in case of emergency, food allergies, transportation information and have them fill it out at the orientation DO NOT let anybody leave without filling it out!Name Tags:It’s always a good idea to hand out name tags to the parents at orientation so you can identify students on the first day.If there is more than one class assign each teacher a different icon (ducks, stars, bears etc)You can also add bus stickers to the name tags of children who ride the bus, feet for walkers, and cars for car riders and other stickers to differentiate AM from PM students (yes, they do show up at the wrong times!)You can type out a label and stick it on the back of the name tag with even more info like school name and phone number, your name etc. Put the stickers on BEFORE laminating or the kids will peel them off.Letter from TeacherSupply ListStudent Information SheetName TagsOther
14 Daily Communication Folders What are they?What is their purpose?What is found in aBEAR book?B.E.A.R. books are one inch three-ring binders that are sent home with each student daily.See HANDOUT for acronymsUsing B.E.A.R. books helps maintain effective communication between home and school. B.E.A.R. books also help eliminate lost papers and messy backpacks. In general, the notebooks teach necessary organizational skills to children at an early age and help the parent stay organized at the same time. Often, if parents have more than one child it is difficult to keep up with all the notes, papers, and homework that are sent home on a daily basis, B.E.A.R. helps with this problem. Show BEAR book to participants and review each section.
15 Appropriate Homework Name Bags Skill Cards Activities Reading Book Checkout SystemMy goal for homework is to include parents as partners in their child's education. It is my responsibility as the teacher to teach the required skills, but it is the parent's job to help support me in my efforts. In other words, "It takes a village..." Different types of homework benefit different populations. These ideas have been used successfully in Title 1 schools with at-risk populations. There are different types of homework for different types of populations.Show Just Right Homework BookShow samples of name bags- explain about Fonts 4 Teachers and printing on cardstock to create name cards. Letter tiles can be bought in a large container, one upper and one lower.Show samples of reading calendars & explain bookworm kids program.Show book checkout systemShow skill cardsShow homework videoRemember, differentiation for students performing above or below grade level expectations should always be taken into consideration when assigning homework.
16 Weekly Newsletters Computer generated K.I.S.S. Use clip-art Consistency in layoutSave old newslettersProofreadInclude contact infoCatchy titleing newslettersALWAYS use the computer for your newsletter!!!Keep It Simple Silly- be realistic, long elaborate letters won’t be read- parents simply don’t have the time. Be brief and to the point, don’t be too wordy.Always use clipart to draw your reader in, to illustrate meaningAlways place your information in the same boxes- for example birthday box always in bottom left corner, no school on top right etcSave your old newsletters on your computer and in hardcopy for future reference. When next Valentine’s day comes around you won’t be searching for just the right words to explain how the card exchange will work. You will save yourself TONS of time if you do this!!!If you work with parents who have internet access then create a distribution list of all the parents in your class and send them the newsletter weekly. Don’t be surprised if some STILL don’t read it though
17 Buddy Bags What are Buddy Bags? What are companion characters? What goes in the bag?Where to find materials?How do you track them?What are buddy bags?Buddy Bags are designed to be fun and informative ways for families to share literacy and learning experiences at home. What are companion characters?A companion character is a stuffed animal or character that goes with a particular book (a mouse with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, David doll to go with No David)What goes in the bag?The character and the book go home in a special backpack with one student along with special activities or a journal. Sometimes an audio recording of the book also goes along in the bag, either on an iPod, or a CD/cassette tape and player. SHOW EXAMPLESWhere to find materials?All of the items in the bags are things that I have collected from various stores over the years Goodwill, Salvation Army, Garage Sales, Dollar Stores etc.How to track them?The Buddy Bags go home with the leader of the day. When we were half-day there are 2 bags checked out each night. If you have a full-day program just one bag goes home per night. If you would like to send more than one home each night I suggest the library pocket checkout system.How do you explain everything to the parents?I have a note that I print on cardstock, laminate, and include in each bag. Do you get them back?YES!!! I have an extremely high success rate for getting bags returned, never had one completely lost in 15 years!
18 Family Nights Door prizes Food Invitations Organized activities Theme nightsFamily photosDoor Prizes:If you advertise they will come! The prizes are for the kids, not the parents!Collect a few things that are inexpensive yet highly desirable to kids, like stickers, little prizes, bubbles, playdough, or books using Scholastic bonus points.Display them in a decorative box and make sure the kids know that if they attend the event they will be entered to win a prize. Select the prize winners the next day and publish the winners in your weekly newsletter with a big CONGRATULATIONS title.Food:If you feed them they will come! Solicit donations from local grocery stores and food establishments. Pizza, sheet cake, punch etc will all draw a crowd.Have the students make cookies during the day and serve them at the event that night. Ask the parents to supply the ingredients for the cookies and send in in advance.Invitations:Involving the kids in making the invitations is more meaningful and will make the parents want to attend more.Publish the events in your newsletter weeks in advance, for several weeks at a time “Only 2 weeks until our ___ Night! Prizes! Pizza! Cake!”Organized Activities:You MUST have organized activities at your family night events.If parents and kids don’t have a task they will become out of control and won’t want to return ever again!Theme Nights:There must be a purpose for the event, relate your activities to the purpose- for example math night= math activities.Explain Rhyme Time from picture.Explain math nightFamily Photos:Research has shown that low-income families have fewer family photos, some have none at all.Offering free family pictures at low-income schools will boost attendance tremendously.With high-income populations charge for the photos as a fund raising opportunity.
19 Class Websites About Me Page Your Philosophy Class Schedule Class Photos(check your district’s policy first)Homework PolicyFAQ’s/HandbookLink to School WebsiteLinks for Parents & KidsCurriculum InformationMake sure parents know your homework policy up front, even if your policy is “No Homework”, they WILL ask!Make sure you have your curriculum information on your website so you can refer parents to it if they have questions or concerns about what is being taught.Some parents think that we make up our own curriculum and this will help them better understand how it works.Make sure to include a link to your class website in your weekly newsletter.Having a section with links for parents will come in very handy for those parents who want to know how to help their children at home. You can quickly and easily refer them to the webpage with parent links and they will be on their way!
20 Parent Conferences Scheduling Preparing Portfolios Handouts/Packets Sign-up sheetSend home a note asking the parents what dates and times are best for them to meet. Send home a note to each parent stating the time and date of the scheduled conference. (ESL INFO)If you are unable to schedule a conference you may want to ask your principal if a phone conference is acceptable. Twin story.How to prepare for conferences: Tub w/tools, Portfolios , Schedule, Handouts if any & TIMER/CLOCKPortfolios:Portfolios can be more powerful than just words, they show exactly how well or how poorly a student is doing. Portfolios keep parents from thinking that you are “making things up” or not being honest.Handouts/Packets:Give parents something tangibleProvide a springboard for discussion. (behavior article, bedtime article for sleepy kid, food article for picky eater)An opportunity to teach parents something valuable.Helpful in situations where both parents can’t be present.Don’t just give it to the parents-You must go over the information inside that pertains to their child.Highlight or flag passages or pages right there in front of them. Tell them you expect them to read it and to let you know if they have any questions.Conference Reminders:Parents are very busy people and conference reminders are a mustConference reminders don't need to be elaborate, hand-written notes, just short, simple, and to the point. It is best to send conference reminder notes home at least one day in advance if possible. Following-Up:include a general "Thank you" to all parents who attended in your weekly newsletter;"Thank you to all those who attended parent teacher conferences this month. If you were unable to attend your child's conference please contact me at your earliest convenience to re-schedule." If worded in this manner you may be able to finally get those parents in for conferences who failed to show up previously. SchedulingPreparingPortfoliosHandouts/PacketsRemindersFollowing-up
21 Parent Education Sessions RegistrationOrientationHomework NightLiteracy NightMath NightTake every opportunity to educate the parents on early childhood topics.It’s never too soon to start educating your parents.Registration:During registration in the spring- a full 4 MONTHS before school starts- we show the parents of incoming students videos on developmental milestones so they will be aware of what is appropriate, many of them are not.Let them know the expectations of students entering pre-k (fully potty trained, feed themselves, speak in sentences, simple self-help skills etc)Homework Night:Educate the parents on what type of homework is DAP for 4 year olds.Explain WHY worksheets are not o.k.Explain why we don’t use lined paper.Explain the purpose of homework.Explain the goal of homework is to extend learning at home.Show videoLiteracy Night:Take the opportunity during your Family Nights to include parent education components.For example, during Rhyme Time provide parents with a simple explanation about why nursery rhymes are important and the role rhyming plays in the phonological sequence.Give them some simple ideas of how they can help their child with rhyming skills at home.Math Night:It’s not just about the fun games and family interaction.Include a parent education component and identify certain math concepts that are crucial for building a strong mathematical foundation.Give parents some simple ideas of ways they can help their child with these skills at home using everyday objects. Provide them with the tools necessary to do this, or a list of everyday items.
22 End of Year Summer Packet Library Info Local Pool Road Trip Tips List of Top 100 BooksList of local places of interestList of FREE things to do with kidsCalendarNursery RhymesActivitiesRecipesSuppliesWhen the end of the year rolls around many teachers can’t wait to get rid of their kids so they can enjoy their summers. Many parents DREAD the summers and have no idea what they should do with their kids.Take the opportunity to help the parents AND students by providing a summer packet of ideas.Have a letter of introduction explaining the purpose of the packet.Show summer packet to participantsYou must hold parents accountable for playing a role in their child’s education even during the summer!Don’t give the packet to them and say nothing- EXPLAIN it to them in person.Give students the school address and if they send you a postcard telling you what they did during the summer or from a trip tell them to see you in the fall for a PRIZE!OR if they bring back their summer calendar signed in the fall they will get a prize!
23 Using Vista Print to Communicate Enhancing parent communication:Business CardsMagnetsThank You CardsCongratulations CardsBack to School ChecklistsConference Scheduling & RemindersBrochuresAnd Much More!You can use the free products at Vista Print to enhance communication with your parents.SHOW EXAMPLES!Business cards because you are a PROFESSIONAL and professionals have business cards
24 Review of Objectives F.I.S.H. Objectives: Identify why family involvement is important in a child’s education.Identify several different methods for involving parents in their child’s education.
25 by Vanessa Levin www.pre-kpages.com The Endby Vanessa Levin