Please welcome Danielle from Carolina Teacher, who is guest posting today about Making Family Connections in the Classroom!
Hey guys! I’m Danielle from Carolina Teacher.
Family Connections In The Classroom
I’m so excited to share today about how I build connections with my students’ families from the beginning of the year. I think it’s important for families to feel connected to their child’s classroom at any grade level, but especially in kindergarten. We are often families’ first experience with school and so it’s even more crucial to make it positive!
I have a few simple ways I try to start the year off strong with my students’ families. First, I give a family survey on Meet the Teacher night. This is something a coworker shared with me a few years ago and it is invaluable. I read through the surveys again each time I conference with families so that I can make sure I am targeting their needs and meeting their goals. In my freebie file (at the end of this post), I have the survey in both Spanish and English.
Reading & Writing Project
I also start the year off with a family reading and writing project. I read All the Families, by Margaret Wise Brown, to the students and then they take turns taking the book home. When they take it home, I send home a note and a reading response sheet where they can write what’s special about their family.
I love using this book because I have it in both English and Spanish. About half of my students speak Spanish at home. But Todd Parr’s The Family Book would also be great for this project!
Happy Notes & Phone Calls
I also love to make positive phone calls home and send home happy notes. I keep these simple notes printed on colored cardstock and try to send a few home each week. I keep a checklist of who has gotten a note. It encourages me to catch kids being good and celebrate with them.
Finally, about a month after the school year begins, I schedule a class picnic one Saturday. This gives families a chance to meet each other. I’ve done this since my first year teaching and have seen families become good friends from this connection.
I hope this gave you some new ideas on welcoming families and building relationships with them. All the files I shared today are available for free. Just click on the link below!
Download Printables Here:
Family Connections in the Classroom from Carolina Teacher