Monday, August 3, 2015

Made It for Parent Communication!

Happy Monday Made-It! I am sharing TWO things I created with parents in mind- an idea and a form. I shared them last week and I got good feedback, so I think Monday Made It cruisers might want to know, too. One is a free download. Thanks to Tara and Fourth Grade Frolics for this wonderful weekly linky party.

1.  There is a LOT to do to get the classroom ready at the beginning of the year, right? Assembling folders and notebooks, cutting laminate, putting up stuff in the room... Whew!

But you can get help. And that help will probably be happy to help because they are getting something out of it, too.  That's what I was thinking when I started Work and Mingle Night.  I hand this to parents or send it via email or snail mail, depending on the year. Read below and it's pretty self explanatory.

It's a win-win!  It cuts my prep way down and I get a feel for the families coming into my room. Parents have really come to enjoy it because they make friends with the parents of kids their kids are going to be playing for a long time to come, and they get to know me.

Two small cautions, though... you do need to put in a LOT of prep to have everything in a state where people can actually help you. You'd have to do it anyway, so for me having the meeting as a deadline is a good thing, even as it is another push on me. And, you might find yourself in the hot seat that night. Parents ask all sorts of questions and your responses will be heard by many, so you need to be able to think on your feet and know your own mind... or be able to gracefully say "I'll think about that."

I didn't make this one downloadable because you really need to make it your own. Just Pin it and you can go back to it to see my wording if you like. I highly recommend  the last few lines!

2.  And my second Made It is a student information form... but not just any info form. I have tweaked it and tweaked it to ask just the right questions to paint a good picture of my incoming kiddos. For example, I ask for the student's full name, the name the student is to write, and the name the student goes by. I learned this by having a Robert James, who was to write James, but went by Jamie... and I learned that after I had written Robert on everything. sigh.

I also tweaked and tweaked to get it to fit on just half a sheet with room to write. I copy it on bright green cardstock, front and back, and then cut it in half. I carry and refer to them all. year. long. I even keep them from year to year because sometimes you need to know things again, like when you get siblings, or when you are invited to their HIGH SCHOOL graduation parties... I date myself :) The form has morphed over the years to become my most useful version.

Yep, I have hundreds of them now.
One year I used yellow...

This  ultimate student info card is available for download. It is completely editable, and free. Just click on the form below. I do ask one thing though– please Pin both forms for me, okay?

Hope these two ideas help your communication with parents and your connection with kids. Hope you'll let me know what you think. Hope you have a great year. AND I hope you'll come back for another post or two as I continue my mini-series with lots of B2S ideas to try.

Click on back to Tara and get in on some more Monday Made Its!

  See you soon... the best way to do that is to follow... hint, hint :)


  1. I really like your Work and Mingle Night idea. So many parents want to help, but don't know how! This is perfect and great for making parents feel needed and wanted in the classroom! Thanks for sharing!
    Fairway to Fourth Grade

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words. You know, I've been doing this for years... I guess it was time I shared it :) Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen

  2. Your Work and Mingle Night is a great idea! Not only do parents get to know each other and you, but those parents who might be a little more reluctant about coming in to school would be enticed by the "fun-ness" (yup, I just made a new word!) of the evening. That truly is a win-win!

    1. SO glad you like it. It really is a fun night. Thanks for stopping by! Kathleen

  3. Awesome ideas! I really like the last lines of your letter. "If you don't have childcare, you're off the hook this time." What kind of a turn-out do you get?
    Not very fancy in 1st

    1. Thanks, Deb. I usually get more than half the class represented by parents. Parents really want to come to this and make a good impression. And it is laid back with music playing, and snacks, and me telling tales of the classroom... It is important that little folks don't come though. There isn't anything for them to do, except get out all the toys in the room, and since they haven't been in school yet, I don't want to have to establish rules, or reel em in. Not this night. And parents do abide by my request for it to be adult only. See you later. Kathleen


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