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Family Involvement

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Whether you're planning projects for your students to complete at home or a family math or literacy night, you'll find tons of great ideas to get families more involved.
family quilt
Posted by:teach4fun #142098

I do a family quilt. I send home a 12 by 12 piece of tag board with instructions for the family to make it in to a square which will be part of a larger quilt to show we are all part of a bigger family. They are to put whatever they want to represent thier family just now alter the size or shape of the square. They can use photos, drawings, fabric, paint, words anything they as a family agree upon. It is amazing to see how it looks after it is all put together. I bought cheap ribbon at Michaels on sale and after hanging the squares I tack the ribbon along the edges and it looks just like a quilt. I love it and it is now a fixture of the hallway for each fall. :) I hope this helps.

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family projects
Posted by:nirupama badhwar #58249

dear jamie , here is some thought to a family project idea - one of this idea i have tried and it worked very well .
idea 1 - try sending home 'HEALTHY FOOD PROJECT"where child is involved with taking a trip to a supermarket with parents in buying /eating and learning all about healthy foods and share a dialogue with parents about junk can be a healthy vs "junk" food week or day and they bring various items of health food/as well as junk food items have a lesson on growth n food via actual objects/ a lil drawing ect.
idea 2 - values lesson - find a needy child home /orphange /center in the area. organise from the there information about how many children have a birthday coming up in that a date from that month and annouce in class about each child...

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Family Projects
Posted by:Tracy #58442

Hi. I used family projects last year for the first time. Unfortunately, I only did them through December. I just ran out of time...I should have had them planned earlier and I didn't. I strongly recommend planning them and having all the materials ready in advance. I saw the idea on a website somewhere (I don't have the site...sorry) so I came up with some similar ideas and went from there.
I sent a letter home at the beg. of September explaining "Family Projects." It pretty much said that the projects were optional (most families participated!) I explained that these projects would come home the first week of the month in an envelope, with most of the supplies they needed. (construction paper shapes, sentence strips, etc.) The families were supposed to work on these projects together. I expected the family to have glue,...

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family project
Posted by:Betsu #57050

I have done several family projects this year. Every week my students have a family homework project, but some are more involved than others. Some of my favorites are:

1. Disguise a turkey. Send home a pattern in the shape of a turkey. Instruct families to disguise the turkey so that he won't get caught for Thanksgiving. I loved the creativity....we had Santa with a bag of toys, an NBA basketball player, etc.

2. 100s Day Project: Create something out of 100 items. Another project that shows their creativity. I've had a rocket built out of 100 styrofoam cups, a house of cards with 100 playing cards hot-glued together, and a flag made out of 100 red, white, and blue buttons.

3. Milk Jug Challenge (for Earth Day): Create something out of a reused milk jug. I had everything from planters to masks to birdfeeders, and...

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Family Projects
Posted by:Amy #58340


In the past, we have done "Family Science Night" where all the kindergarteners and their families come to the gym and do hands on science activities together - make ice cream, predict the number of items in a jar, play with "goop", use their five senses to try to figure out covered items, etc. It's a blast! During the time, tickets are drawn and the children win science related prizes such as stuffed animals, books about bugs, magnetic games, etc.

Another idea - try a "Family Reading Night" where children can share their favorite class book with a family member, check books out together from the library, listen to a story teller, and also pass out information or hold sessions for the adults about the importance of reading aloud at home with children.

Hope this helps!

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family projects
Posted by:dolly #58341

One theme unit we did was entitled "All About Me" and each child had typical "baby book" questions that needed to be answered (size, weight, hospital, first steps, first word, etc.) They were done up nicely on one or two sheets of paper with decorated "answer boxes" similar to what you might find in a baby book. We also had a baby photo option. Each child had an opportunity to share their booklet with the class. We included up-to-date statistics (height, weight, picture, etc.) as the math section of the unit, as comparison. I saved them & included them in our "end of the year" activity packets (select samples of the child's work throughout the year). We also included updated statistics of height, weight, & a picture, etc. as a comparison for a "See How I've Grown" page. Family feed back was great!

We also did a unit about...

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Family Projects
Posted by:Linda #142553

I send a letter at the beginning of the year telling the parents what family projects will be. Then I send a letter with details about each project the month it is due. We try to do one a month. Ours is as follows:

September: Grandparent Interview
October: Timeline of the child's life
November: Family Turkey (We send home a paper turkey and they decorate it anyway they want)
December: Make an ornament for the class tree.
January: Junk Sculpture
Febraury: Famous Person Report
March: A recipe for the class cookbook
April: Earth Boxes
May: Ocean Animal Report

Hope this helps you!! I would love to hear what everyone else does!

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Posted by:Ilvtching #113081

Last year I did one take home project per marking period and didn't have a problem (I teach third grade). I think it depends on the means of the parents where you work. I would not have been able to do that at the last school I worked in.

Some ideas:

State Fair---each student chose a state (they all had different ones) and they wrote a five paragraph report (had to have certain info.) and they created a tri fold board to present at the State fair. They had to have an attention getter (food, things from that state, pamphlets, etc) VERY FUN!

Science Fair--our school required participation

Biography papers--- students chose famous people, did research and wrote a paper. They they created a poster board and we had a wax museum...very fun.


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family flower project
Posted by:gc #87838

In the beginning of March I send home a project
Family flower project.

I trace a large flower with lots of petals on card stock, about half a page in size. I let them cut it out at home. Attached is a little letter explaining that the child and parents should work on this together. Decorate it any way!! but no food products (ants ) name should be on the front too.

Over the years I have seen some really creative stuff. beads, sequins. pictures from childhood, fabric, paint, feathers. you name I have seen it on the flower!

I give them all stems and leaves and 'plant' them in a bulletin board garden "watch us grow" it is the BB visable as you walk in room.

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Family Activities
Posted by:jane #109813

Our school has a family book club. Children choose a title from a select group offered by our Reading Dept. Then the child and parent reads it at home over a 2-3 week period. Families come together at school one night to discuss the book. Interesting to see the different perspectives from parents and children and the different families.
We also have had Writing night. Families bring in a special photograph from the family album. Each member writes their own piece about the photograph and then share their drafts.
We also came up with old patents for inventions from a library book. Some of the ideas are incredible. Children and their parents had to figure out the contraption and explain how it worked. Lots of laughs and fathers loved this one!
Math games and brain teasers are also fun to work on as a family. Hope...

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Getting mom and dad involved!
Posted by:Kimberly #40602

My problem is getting the parents OUT OF MY ROOM!
ha ha (it is not a problem, I love them there)

I do A LOT with my parents. Here are a few of the things I do that keep them tied into my class.

First I make the expectation know right from the start. The education of their child is a PARTNERSHIP. This means as thier parent they need to work together with me to help ensure success for thier child.

I make a concerted effort to let my parents know THEY ARE EXTREMELY important to the success their child will experience in my classroom. One way I do this is -I have a buletin board JUST FOR PARENTS. I have my wish list posted, up coming events and poems, etc put up JUST FOR THEM.

I send home projects that need to be cut out for...

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Science family night
Posted by:Paula #90741

We just had a Science family night for k-2. Our biggest hits were: making a personal volcano. We uses styrofoam bowls and cups. cut the bottoms out of the cups and glued them into the bowls. Hot glue would probably be best. Then they followed a typical recipe of vinegar and baking soda to watch the volcano erupt. We also made ooblec and gak both of these were very popular, and they made balloon rockets. The students also made edible dirt. In a zip lock bag we put two oreo cookies, 1 cup of pudding, a gummy worm and a small styrofoam cup and spoon. The directions were to put the pudding into the cup, put the worm into the pudding, and then after crushing up the cookies place them on top. Then they were ready to enjoy their dirt. We had several other stations but the ones listed were...

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Family Literacy Night
Posted by:AmberM #89311

We have Family Literacy night at my school. The PTO buys through Scholastic the 100 books for $100. Then we play sight word BINGO and the winner of each round gets to pick a book to take home as their prize.

Each class chooses their favorite read aloud short story. The children with simple costumes act out the story while it is being read by the teacher or a student. My class did SWIMMY by Leo Lionne the black fish wore black t-shirts and Swimmy wore red.
Also did Caps For Sale one year and the kids had a great time being the Monkeys!

We do a Book Walk exactly like a Cake Walk except words on the floor not numbers and the prizes are books. (Also from the box of Scolastic 100)

Computer Lab is set up with all reading/language art software that night.

One area is...

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Family Math Night
Posted by:teach2all #118654

We have a family math night each year. One of our most popular events is the restaurant. We make up menus, set up tables and chairs and have bags of money already made up (simple for k-2 and more difficult for 3-5). Teachers play hostess and seat families, other teachers are wait staff and write up orders on a pad, other teachers are cashiers (with play registors). After an order is written up the student/family adds the total bill and takes it to the cashier to pay for it.

We have also had a store. We hung ropes throughout the pod and attached pictures of items with a price on an index card. The students/families are given a bag of money (again along the lines of their ability) and they shop for items without going over that price. They take their "purchases" to the cashiers and count out the correct...

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