Some say that it takes a village to raise a child. As a teacher, I totally agree. Parental involvement is necessary not only to strike a harmonious balance between school and home; but it also sets a good example of adult partnership and cooperation for children. Are you wondering how you can get involved in your child’s classroom? Or, are you a classroom teacher that simply could benefit from the extra help and wish to improve your community involvement? Read on to learn about five fun and creative ways to enhance parental involvement.
1. Host a Science Fair
Sure to meet various science standards; a science fair is a great way for students of all ages to work through the scientific method and present their findings. Invite a handful of parents inside the classroom a few times a week to assist students with their research, and also select some to help judge final products.
2. Have a Poetry Tea
At the conclusion of your poetry unit, host a poetry tea. Ask for parent volunteers to come in and share their favorite poems while the students do the same. Parents can also assist in the set-up of the event, and even collaborate with one another in order to decide who is going to bring in what-cups, tea, muffins, plates, etc.
3. Family Math Night
Math is one of the most difficult subjects for parents when it comes to helping their children with homework. Many districts subscribe to new and specific math programs; so they way parents learned math is dramatically different from the way that their children are. Host a family math night so parents can become familiar with the instructional methods and strategies; and even invite them inside the classroom during an actual lesson so they can brush up on their arithmetic, and help struggling learners simultaneously-a set of extra hands never hurt!
4. Create a Help Basket
Send a letter home asking for parent volunteers who are able to assist you with making up tests and projects with students who were absent or who are simply struggling. Fill a large basket with directions, the students’ work, and the supplies they will need. When parents check in, they can grab the help basket and collect their students without interrupting the class and take them to an area of the room or work outside of the classroom at a small table.
5. Parent Tutor
If students in your classroom are struggling with their weekly spelling words or oral reading fluency, ask for parents to come in every day for 20 minutes or so to work with individual students on their weekly words, or simply to buddy up with them and listen to them read. They will be happy to help, and will be in the know of what their own child is learning so they can better assist them at home.
If a parent ever asks if you need help, say yes. If you are a parent who wants to help, your child’s teacher is more than happy to put you to work! Both parents and teachers need to understand the importance and power of working together. After all, it takes a village!