Parent Communication

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Pre-KPrincess, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Pre-KPrincess

    Pre-KPrincess Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2008

    I send home a weekly newsletter outlining our objectives, thematic unit, read alouds, necessary notes, upcoming events, etc. I also took an idea from a poster in this forum and stapled a communication log into each student's folder so parents and I can jot notes back and forth for the week. I don't write in it every day but I try to a few times a week even if it's just as simple as "Susy did a great job helping her friends clean up the pretend and learn center today!" Anyway, I had a parent write me a note that said he daughter (3 year old) won't tell her about anything she does in school and I sort of got the impression that she'd like for me to give a run-down of the days events. I used to send a checklist with my PPCD kiddos everyday but I only had 4 students and now that I have 20 and limited "planning time" I just don't think I can pull it off. I'm wondering if anyone has a stellar idea of how I can communicate better with parents about our daily activities in a timely manner???
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 12, 2008

    I've seen white boards outside PreK rooms with daily events listed. (Example: we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, acted out a butterfly life cycle and finger painted butterfly wing cut outs...)

    Also send home a list of suggestions for parents on HOW to talk to their child about school...Instead of saying 'How was school today?', parents could ask:
    What was your favorite thing about school today?
    Tell me about someone you played with today.
    What was the most fun today?
    What was the most fascinating thing you learned today?
    Who were you a friend to today?
    Who was a friend to you today?
     
  4. Pre-KPrincess

    Pre-KPrincess Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2008

    How funny that you said that! I totally forgot to add that on my weekly newsletter I also include a "homework" section that lists suggestions on how to question their children to elicit a more detailed response, among other suggested home connections to our weekly objectives. At the end of the day circle time, I also review our daily schedule with the children and ask specific questions about the day's activities to get them thinking about it right before they see mommy. The whiteboard is a great idea except I'm in a public school and the parents don't come up to the classroom, they are dropped off and picked up at the front entrance. Ugh!
     
  5. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Oct 13, 2008

    I think you are doing just fine and giving the parents plenty of information. I think the next step is to educate the parents on what is developmentally appropriate and train them how to talk to their children. I don't know of a 3 year old who will answer the question "what did you do in school today?", that's way too broad. Instead, teach the parents to ask specific questions like:

    Did you go outside today?
    Who did you play with?
    What did you have for snack?
    Did you hear a story today?
    What was it about?

    In my newsletter I would usually put a Question of the Week, it would look something like this:

    "We are learning about rhyming words in class, please ask your child the following questions at home:

    What rhymes with cat?

    What rhymes with star?

    What rhymes with their name? (ie Jonathan = Wonathan)"

    Each week I would change the question, the parents loved it and said it really helped them communicate with their kids and find out what they were learning.

    hope that helps!
     
  6. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2008

    I send three main pieces of parent communication:

    1. A monthly calendar with our specials, Bible story, Bible verse, birthdays, helper of the day, themes, and special events.
    2. A weekly newsletter.
    3. A daily sheet that says: "Today we..." Then, I list about four things we did and copy it. Underneath the copied section, I write special notes that pertain only to one child like how long they slept, how much they ate for lunch, etc.
     
  7. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 13, 2008

    I do send out a newsletter and a calendar-but the idea of sending out individual notes makes my head swim. We have that giant age range-so people who are working on a labor intensive thing will get specialized notes - like first week of school you get a breakdown of what happend in the day item by item like the typical daily schedual. If you are potty traning there is a sheet, if you are the throwing up child I wrote about this summer you parent is getting texts all the time.

    However, for the average Joe/Jane I have a family scrapbook that never goes home. We are a constructivist classroom which implies we are really, really child lead and emergent. So the journal entries and pixs of the group doing things other than smiling at the camera help families see what we are doing. An average day may get a two page spread that reads like a scrapbook, but the theme summary pages may go on for 5 double pages. That way the families are really up to date. It also allows the families to start that conversation on the way home, not waste that time in car while they wait for the dinner table.

    I am amazed at how many don't have a dinner table lifestyle anyway. So we have a "take out" style communication system.
     
  8. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 14, 2008

    I'm a bit confused, you say that you have a scrapbook that you build in the classroom that stays there. Then, how do your parents use it to talk about it at dinner/car? Do they have time to look at it as they pick up the children?
     
  9. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 14, 2008

    I'm actually for the pictures, too. I've been taking a lot of pictures of children all different kinds of things, playing, cleaning, cooking, etc. Now, I just need to develop it (I do it online where it's cheap, since I don't think I'll be reimbersed for it).
    And then I need to figure out what to do with them. I'm thinking I'll have 2 copies, one i'll put in a photoalbum that children will have access to whenever they want to look at it. And then I'll paste other pic in the classroom or outside of it (if I find place for it.)
     
  10. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 14, 2008

    Yes, we look at it while waiting for a turn to have the sign in and out pen, or waiting for the coat to go on, or waiting for them to say goodbye to the friend. As a teacher I am always there to say "B did great!" and then I point to the book. The book stays, and when one parent picks up and another drops off it is a way for everyone to see the interconnectedness of what we do. And the families see the blocks that were built by a team or whatever rather than only what their child did. TEAMWORK

    Then when they are in the car they can say "wow, those were big blocks did you and S have a hard time with that?"
     
  11. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 14, 2008

    Wow, great job!
    Just curious, do you do that for your own money, or do they pay you for printing pic and buying albums (which aren't cheap)?
     
  12. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 15, 2008

    O wait, I recall reading somewhere that you work in home. that would eliminate this question :haha:
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 15, 2008

    How does working in a building that I also have to reside in and making lower pay than most programs mean my pixs cost less?
     
  14. Bellebellecs

    Bellebellecs Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2008

    At the end of the day meeting I would go around and ask the children what was the favorite activity/part of the day and write it on a sticky name tag and attach it to the child. When the child was picked up the parents read the tag and were able to ask the children about their day!
     
  15. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 15, 2008

    Oh that is a great idea!! Wonderfully personal.
     
  16. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Oct 15, 2008

    Wow... that's a lot of info sent home for pre-school. Holy moly. And they want MORE? Unbelievable. I'm the parent of a non-verbal student. He can never tell me what he did in school that day and it breaks my heart. But even before I got my teaching gig, I knew that it would be impossible for the teacher to give me a run-down of each day. I think your weekly newsletters sound awesome. My son's previous teacher never did newsletters. She had a daily (and very generic) check-off sheet. It told me so little that I didn't really even look at it. I would have been grateful for a monthly newsletter with some photos of him in action. Photos are great for parents to see what their kiddos are up to. You might consider creating a classroom webpage and posting pics and putting weekly info on there. Still, I'm pretty impressed already. I do a monthly newsletter and keep my website updated with lots of photos.
     
  17. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 15, 2008

    websites are something I don't understand how to make yet.** Any ideas?
     
  18. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 16, 2008

    Once you download pictures on your computer, what program are you using to go through them, weed out the bad once, correct the good ones (red eyes, etc) ?
    I highly recommend Picasa. It's a great free program, it does all of the above, plus uploading it on the net it a breeze. Oh, one thing you need is an email account on google.com site. That's free too.
     
  19. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 16, 2008

    wEll, I meant to say that you don't work in a preschool where you have to ask whether they would pay for this or for that; you are your own boss, correct?

    I'm finding out in my preschool that the answer to most of my questions, can we have this or can we have that, the asnwer is it's TOO EXPESIVE! So, I'm learning to ask less and just try to get it for cheaper.

    I read a nice idea somewhere (probably on this site) that a teacher does a gift for each parent at the end of the year, and makes little photobooks with classroom pics in it. "That would be nice" I thought, but knowing the answer that I would get as to whether it would be re-imbursed or not, I just figured that I'll put it out on the web and send a link to parents, that's as much as I can afford.
     
  20. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2008

    I take as many pictures as I have time for during the year and then "burn" them on a CD to give the parents at the end of the year. They can print the copies that they want. I even got the CD's donated this year.:D
     
  21. carriebr25

    carriebr25 Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2008

    Let me say, I have a 3 yr old in pre-school and when I ask her what she did at school all I get is play. Sometimes, I worry that there are things I am need to be helping her with that they are doing in school, but I have no idea what specifically they are doing. Maybe that is where the mom is coming from.
     
  22. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 16, 2008

    that's a great idea, thanks!
     
  23. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 16, 2008

    Yes, I am my own boss, so yes it is easier for me to ask myself-but the budget is that same. I took the funding and reallocated it. Rather than having all of the wonderful shiny eyecatching playstructures-I put that in parent involvement. I know your funding goes where it goes when it goes. Just saying-playstructures don't write checks parents do. And parent involvement was good for business.

    Perhaps you could save for a digital pix screen/frame that would be yours (w/name) and then load it with photos. I even here that there are frames where you can put words under the pixs. That would be the same as the book (provided you update it on you own time-something i have none of during the day-only late at night).
    It would only be a one time outlay of $ that way?:hugs:
     
  24. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Oct 18, 2008

    You can take a look at how it looks, I finally downloaded my pictures. It's not a website really, just a place to store and view pictures, but takes almost no time to do:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/anna50VR/YPreschoolWeeThree?authkey=YSqrdxBOPuc#
     
  25. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Oct 19, 2008

    Let's see....how does our school communicate with parents?

    We have a wipe off white board outside of the entrance to the classroom.

    We send home parent letters for every thematic unit we do. Explaining our goals for the unit, what activities we will be doing, etc...

    I have an e-mail address set up just so the parents can get in touch with me when ever they want. I also use this e-mail address to send out pictures of the children. The parents love getting pictures of their kids through e-mail. I also burn the parents a disc containing all of their child's photos at the end of the year.

    We have a classroom blog that is updated several times a week. It shows the parents what activities we do every day. It lists the books we read for story time, and pretty much anything else we do at school.
     
  26. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 19, 2008

    Oh, kudos for asking her. I am sure she does believe that she is just playing all day, since many of this age groups tasks are presented in a fun way.

    I hope that, at least in my program, these sorts of confusions are helped by all of the parent communication available. Perhaps your teacher is in this thread somewhere discussing the photo books or the uploading of photos for you to order. Perhaps she would be open to ideas from you about other ways that communication would be best.

    I am just wondering have you alread asked her the more specific questions about her day (I believe they are listed above in this thread-but perhaps it was another) like "who did you play with", "what book did your teacher read", "what was the best part of today"?
     
  27. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I am so techno delayed-how do you set up a blog
     
  28. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Oct 19, 2008

    I set my blog up on blogspot.com. I liked that site because you can have a blog for free and they have it set up so that it's really easy to do. After playing with it for a few hours it turned out to be pretty easy.
     
  29. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2008

    Make one collage page of phots from the year and then have color copies made at Kinkos. The rest of the pages can be for the child to write their name, write what they want to be when they grow up, autograph page, draw a self-portrait, etc.. that uses regular copies on cardstock (or even regular paper if you don't have cardstock available).
     
  30. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2008

    I have a classroom blog that I update with what we are learning about and pictures of the kids at school. I send a monthly newsletter with a brief outline of our objectives for the month and other school info. We send sight word readers home every other week with sight word cards and letter cards each week with the 2 letters from that week. I still have parents that ask what we are learning about :) Our Friday folder has a note on it to look inside of it at the work from this week to see what we have learned about, so I direct parents to the Friday Folder and blog when they ask!
     

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