Parental Involvement in
NEXT 24 Hours!
We’ve all been there! Each school year we have parents that show up or call us almost daily and some we never see at all
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5 Proven ways to Increase Parental Involvement
Clarks Corner Classrooms
If you are not using Class Dojo, then stop NOW and join! Most parents are on their phones throughout the day and are more likely to check this app’s notifications before an email about class assignments or private messages regarding their child.
For Me, I’ve seen at least a 50% increase in parental responses since Class Dojo was implemented. Click HERE for more information about Class Dojo and its awesome platform.
2. Let’s be honest!
We are all busy and need every moment of every day to get our tasks completed. Parents need this, too! Parent conferences are a big part of what we do, but many cancel at the last minute or just don’t show up. This is why I started using ZOOM. Parents can use it on their phones while on break at work and you can just about meet at any time you request. No more waiting around the school to see who shows up. We just don’t have time for that. The downside is that it’s harder to share work samples, but future appointments can be made if they wish to view a student’s portfolio or tests. However, I use digital portfolios, so I’m able to show them in ZOOM if I’m on my work computer by sharing my screen. Download the
ZOOM app now!
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3. Make your tasks FUN
Make your tasks FUN for parent volunteers! DO NOT allow them to grade papers or do the menial tasks that you don’t want to do. This is not why they are there. They truly want to feel like they’ve done something that contributes to the class and its success. They do not want to feel like they left one job to come to another. So, how do you do this? I’m glad you asked. Read on…
- Many parents like to help with projects, so invite them in to help with those projects. Being active will keep them engaged for the amount of time they are with your class. Small group book readings or center play time are great places for parents to “help.” This is what we want!
- You can also have a career day that spotlights what parents do. This really gets them going! They love to talk about what they do and the pros and cons of the job or career. The kids love to hear it, too! If they can’t come to the class, then use ZOOM to get them “in.” This allows students to “see” their offices, too!
- Do experiments! I’ve not met a kid yet that doesn’t like to see an exploding volcano, so get creative on what types of experiments you can do. A little hint…food always gets them! A homemade dish or a cultural dish will surely get them to your class. Don’t miss that opportunity!
4. Are you ready for this one?
Create a Pinterest classroom page NOW! Millions of people all over the world search Pinterest daily for ideas and your student’s parents are no different. Create a business (class) account, create your boards and pin information that parents will want to learn about or need to know. This is a great way to provide information that is readily available any time of day. You can even create pins of classroom events and post your newsletters. If you aren’t doing this, you are truly missing out! You can even make some money pinning!
just ASK! I’m guilty of asking parents to complete a boring sign-up form. The problem with this is that you don’t always list ways parents can help. I’m not signing up to sharpen pencils or refill the crayon buckets. That’s not involvement to me. Parents will surprise you with how they can help and will almost always make suggestions on what they can do (and when) to help you. Of course, you can make suggestions, but asking always gets better results. They want to help in some way, but may not have the means to meet your expectations on that sign-up sheet, so give them options from THEIR suggestions and go from there. Keep in mind that “involvement” may mean something different to every parent. Providing snacks might be one way a parent is involved and reading to the class is another way a parent wants to be involved. All you have to do is ask!
That’s it! I hope you found some information that will help you increase parental engagement or involvement in your setting. With today’s busy parents, we have to find ways to accommodate their schedules and work with them to make the best of our situations. There will always be exceptions to every strategy, but get creative and move away from those 20th Century strategies that seem to no longer work. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with! Thank you for reading. Now get started on your new ideas!
Clark’s Corner Classroom