From Kindergarten Plus! An Integrated Program for the Early Years Classroom
by Joni Bowman
Let the Journey Begin
Kindergarten Plus! author, Joni Bowman, has created a well-rounded daily program in this teacher-friendly resource. You will find developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities for language, math, and integrated learning opportunities (art, social studies, science, music, etc.). Joni believes that an effective partnership between home and school is essential to a well-rounded kindergarten program. Keeping parents involved and informed in their child’s education can be accomplished using a number of strategies. One strategy suggested in Kindergarten Plus! is having them volunteer in the classroom.
Here are 6 helpful strategies Joni discusses for creating a successful parent volunteer program in your classroom.
At the beginning of the year, create and distribute a volunteer survey to all parents. Feedback from this form will tell you which parents are interested in volunteering, when and how often, and if they prefer working with students, preparing games and activities, cleaning up the classroom, and so on.
Introduce the parent volunteers to the students so that the volunteers feel welcome in the classroom.
Place a “Volunteer Tasks” notebook in an easily accessible spot. In the notebook, record a list of tasks that need to be done. You may wish to organize the tasks into two groups (e.g., Daily Tasks: activities that happen on a daily basis; Special Tasks: activities that happen periodically). Tell the volunteers that they can check the “Volunteer Tasks” notebook anytime.
Make sure all the necessary materials are provided and ready for volunteers who are helping with activities.
Provide volunteers with tasks that are simple and “doable,” so that they feel capable of handling the task given.
Set up schedules, and train your volunteers so that they know what to do when they come to your classroom.
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