Meaningful parent volunteer ideas

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Rebecca1122, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2014

    I have a ton of parents who want to volunteer this year which is great! I sent home a form that asked them to check to type of volunteering they are interested in and I had a handful that would be willing to come in weekly. I have a very low group in general this year so I am all about the parents working with small groups. My question is how do I structure this so that they can work with groups in a meaningful way without a whole lot of prep on my part? My volunteers in the past have typically come during math or reading when I am obviously teaching so I can't take a ton of time to explain what to do with parents.

    Any ideas for low maintenance but meaningful activities for parents to do? This is first grade.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 6, 2014

    Parent readers are always great. Math games, too.

    If you have consistent parents, you could probably "train" them on specific activities, which might take time up-front but would save time over the long haul. Just as a thought here... if you know that Ms. Smith will always come in for thirty minutes of reading time on Fridays, you could train her to do a variation of guided reading with your highest group, you could teach her different phonics games, you could have her give a spelling test while you work with your low kids, etc.

    File folder games are always great too.

    I always find the most productive use of parent volunteers to be "admin" type stuff... making photocopies, setting up bulletin boards, making games, etc.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Aug 6, 2014

    They could work with students of any level on sight words. Put the words the students don't know on flash cards, and retire those cards when the student can identify the card multiple times. Index cards are great for making flash cards.
     
  5. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Aug 6, 2014

    Last year I had 14 parents who wanted to help out. Three were doctors and 2 had teaching credentials.

    My best advice is make sure you keep them busy doing things that make them feel valued. I would not ever give a parent a small group, but assign your regulars the same kids each time. In a way, it's a small group.

    I have them working with gifted kids reading advanced novels and discussing the background concepts that allow those kids to understand the story. They keep a very brief vocab journal that I stamp every two weeks. Of course, they also help with remediation.

    Some parents don't like to work with kids, so I have them doing clerical. Make sure you never run out of stuff for them to do.

    They will love you.
     
  6. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    Aug 7, 2014

    I've only had parent volunteers in my classroom for parties, but as a parent, I have volunteered in the classroom. I liked reading to the kids--I did this in both kindergarten and 1st grade. I also volunteered regularly while my youngest was in preschool. I regularly ran a center when I was in the classroom but it was usually some sort of activity that required adult supervision or facilitation but didn't require actual teaching skills (this was before I was a teacher)--I helped make playdough, helped make pancakes to go with a book they read, helped with color by number, that sort of thing. I enjoyed it and the kids liked it too. I personally hate doing the clerical type stuff-I stamped books and attached book pockets in another class and hated it even though I was glad to be helping. I do think that, whatever you decide, make sure you have enough for the parent to do.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2014

    I remember volunteering in my son's school to be a parent reading buddy, which allowed me to read to and be read to with struggling readers. Additionally, I worked with a project where parents took students original works/stories, and created books out of them. We typed, printed, incorporated student artwork, laminated, and finally bound the "books". Many went home a class books to be read in other homes, only to finally end up with the original authors. I loved it! I also chaperoned for class trips, manned a science station including tadpoles, as well as an aquarium. These experiences helped me listen to my heart about teaching, and one thing led to another, and here I am today. Good luck!
     

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