family involvement: sharing your classroom with your students’ families can be a powerful tool to keep them engaged in their child’s learning. How I promoted family involvement in my classroom.
Involving families in their children’s education is important for their success and well-being in the school system.
Research has shown that families are more likely to stay involved in their child’s school the earlier we engage them. Kindergarten is the perfect time to start building those relationships.
How have I built relationships with families in our school community? I have some ideas and suggestions to help you do the same:
At the beginning of the school year, I like to make families a part of our classroom. A few years ago, I sent a wishflower home with each student, and families wrote down a wish they had for their child.
I displayed them all year, and on the last day of school I sent them back home with a personalized note highlighting all the amazing things they had accomplished.
Displaying and having pictures of families in our classroom is also a great way to involve families. Make a class book, a display, photo album. There are so many ways that you can bring family portraits into your room.
Send home a ‘get to know me’ flyer at the beginning of the school. Families will feel like they know you better, and it will make you more approachable.
Invite Parents In
You can send home a questionnaire at the beginning of the school year to get to know families better. Asking them about the languages spoken at home, who lives in the house, holidays that are celebrated, parent jobs or skills, etc.
Family members can be invited into the classroom to share their job or skill. They can come in and talk about what they do at work, or something they are good at (baking, singing, crafting, etc.)
Another great time to invite families is- during holidays! They can come in and share their family traditions, and teach the class about their culture and celebration.
Keep Parents ‘In the Know’
I like to keep in contact with each family regularly. I have home bags that are sent to and from school every day. All communications pieces get put in the bag, and families can write messages to me.
Every month, I send home a newsletter. I outline anything that is happening that month, and special dates. This keeps them in the know about what is going on at school.
I’ve also had a classroom website that I made on Weebly. I shared pictures, inquiries, and other fun things on it. They could check it whenever they wanted, and I tried to update it weekly.
A monthly Homework Challenges sheet is also sent home. This contains activities that families can do at home that connect to what we are learning in the classroom. This keeps them engaged, and know what we are doing in the classroom.
You can find these Homework Challenges in my store.
The most important thing about staying connected to families- is to keep regular contact with them and share positive news. I don’t want to just talk with to them when there is negative news to share.
How do you build relationships with families in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!
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