Home : 2003 : Jul : 7
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 our families where another answer sheet was sent home, data was collected and shared with the class. (Number in family, brothers, sisters, what kind of pets, share a room or not,etc.) We did math activities of charting, making comparisons, etc. with the information we rec'd. We included learning our addresses/phone numbers with this project. Each child had a house outline to cut out and color/decorate. I had printed up address stickers and read them off for the children to recognize. They then put them on the house cutout. For each family member living in their house, they made a paper loop with their name, relationship and/or age. These were put together as a chain and hung from the bottom of the house cutout. The houses were then hung from the classroom ceiling, each with their own paper chain "tail". These were up during our open house & the families really enjoyed it!
We also had family members send in pictures of items for the letter of the week. These would be cut out of magazines and the newspapers. Each child would glue their pictures onto a page with that letter on it. My aide & I (or mother helpers) would then write the name of the item underneath each picture. The pages were laminated and held together with those ring clasps until the alphabet was completed. The books were then bound together and each child had their own unique alphabet book. I have had some parents tell me that their children still had them and were teaching younger siblings the alphabet with them!
You can include sharing a favorite book with families, where each child in turn takes a book home and shares it with the family. They in turn, write back their reactions or responses in a binder that goes home with the book. The responses are shared with the class. Every month there can be a different book circulated and shared. Sometimes teachers will purchase or make cute little backpacks or things to keep the items in. A similar home-school connection can be created with a classroom "stuffed pet", where the children get to keep the classroom mascot for a week or a few days. Parents then log in the activties that "teddy" got to share in. [We went to the pool, but Teddy was afraid of the water, so he sat on a chair and played cards with Grandma.]
Lots of ideas to get you started Jamie! Good Luck!
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