valentines 3

Friday, January 24, 2014

After School Programs and a Give Away

It seems like we are always trying to find ways to get parents involved. It's not always the easiest thing to do is it? 

One of the things that I think is deterring parents from coming in is our locked door policy. Of course they can still come in, but it isn't as easy when they have to ring a buzzer and be allowed in by the secretary. I know we are trying to be safe, but are we also keeping parents out?

Last year we started having once a month meetings that parents could attend. We tried to find a good time that was convenient to their schedule. So we called it "Ask the Teacher" and we hold it right after school lets out for about 25 - 30 minutes. We provided child care and let them know the topic ahead of time. These meetings are proving to help some of our parents. We get less than 20 each time and usually it is different parents. We select the topic and give them some information on it. Last night we shared math. So we gave a perspective of what 2nd graders are learning, but also touched on Kinder and First too. After we are finished we let the parents ask or share about math or any other topic. We usually try to give them something for coming. Last night they got a small white board, marker and two magnets. We told them that kids need to draw pictures to explain their math work. Then they need to be able to explain the actions they used to find the answers. So the white boards were perfect. 

We also tried having breakfast meetings where the parents could come in when they dropped off their child for school in the morning. These were run by our counselor and principal since we were teaching. It did get some parents to come in. 
I'd love to hear what some of you do to keep them coming in to help or learn.

We know that children just don't get enough time to read and enjoy reading at home. So this week we started a new program. We call it "Relax and Read." We invited only 2nd graders (and their siblings if they are in our building.) These kids get a snack (one of the main reasons they want to come!!!!) and then they go to the library to just relax and read. They can read to themselves, a partner or a teacher. We even have some high school and middle school students who want to come and read with them. If it is needed we can also pull a couple kids to work on some of their essential skills for this marking period. 

These pictures show some of the kids doing just what the title says they should be doing.

 There's even a competition to see who reads more books. They have a chart to put a sticker on when they finish a story. The computers are also available to take Accelerated Reader tests if they want to.

If you have purchased my Valentine Contractions, you'll want to go back and grab the update. I added in some more contractions and answer keys. If you haven't bought it yet, but would, you can click here to see it in my store. 

We are in the middle of a super cold week AGAIN! No school today for many schools in the area because our wind chill dipped down to -28. Dang! That's cold!

In honor of this cold spell, I want to warm your heart and give a set of these away. Leave me a comment and your email address and I'll have my husband pick a random number on Saturday around 9:00 PM EST.



  1. I like your patent involvement ideas. We don't do panty thing on a regular basis, and it sounds like our Math and Literacy Night might not be much fun this year either. I also like your Relax and Read idea - how often do you do that? I think, for my class, they'd like to do that special little thing. Thanks for the ideas, Sara

    1. Well obviously my early morning auto correct wasn't noticed by me - should be anything!

    2. We do this twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We started this week and will do this until May. We had 36 kids (out of 54 second graders) sign up.

  2. What a cute contraction activity! My kids would love it! :)


  3. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  4. I am a Michigan teacher like you I believe:)! It is hard to get parents to participate! I love the relax and read idea. Just wondering where you get the money for the snacks? I would love to offer something like this for my students but could not afford it out of my own pocket!

  5. Ashley, our food service found a grant to pay for the snack. There are three teachers who are paid to stay and supervise this. That money came from title money, I think.


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