A collection of effective resources, ideas, and practices for keeping parents informed and involved all year long
Parent Conferences: Take-Home
A simple way to make this board's content stand out is to make a border of take-home notes — just staple one after another all the way around.
Gaining independence, even in the smallest of ways, is an important part of every young child's experience. As children discover things they can do for themselves, they develop the confidence and self-esteem that lay the foudation for success. This board helps address that goal in small but important ways, putting children in charge of making some of the home school connections that encourage communication and reinforce learning.
Building the Board
- Cover the board with craft paper. Add a sign that says "Take-Home Notes."
- Make multiple copies of standard take-home notes. If possible, use different colors for each to help students find the notes they need.
- Punch two or three holes at the top of each note (left and right sides) and use staright pins to hang on the board. (Be sure the holes are in the same place on each set of notes.)
- Demonstrate how to slip a note off the straight pins. (If students pull them off carefully, the pins will usually stay put.) Review what the notes are for and let children take turns doing a few trial runs. Ask children to find different notes and give them time to locate them.
- Have students help themselves to notes as needed. You may need to fill in particulars, though in some cases students may be able to do this themselves.
Seasonal and Holiday Links
Though the content of the take-home notes on this board may change a little, you can easily change the look- using children's seasonal artwork to decorate the pages. Children can also change the border to reflect seasons and special times of the year.
Spark the kinds of conversations between parents and children that go beyond "What did you do at school today?... I don't remember" with notes that offer prompts about activities and more. In addition to the samples provided on pages 15-17, you might want to include the following notes on your Take-Home Notes board to strengthen home-school connections.
science investigation note:
(We explored today. Ask me to tell you about our investigation.)
generic "Ask me to tell you about __ " note:
(Children can fill in just about anything — a game they played on the playground, new friends they made, a problem, a way they helped someone, and so on.)
(I learned a new word today: . Ask me to tell you what it means.)
- Craft paper
- Take-home notes
- Straight pins
Weve compiled a list of resources that focus on building mutual trust with parents, including articles on parent-teacher conferences, open school night, and how to involve hard-to-reach parents.