Sunday, September 16, 2012

Parent Helpers and Giveaway reminder :)

What a beeeuutiful weekend it was here in Chicago!  Finally our temps are cooling a bit and we could enjoy the outside and not melt!  My son and I had some fun with chalk...

He drew his first "stick" guy :)
Anyway... onto parent helpers!!  If you are wondering if you should have parents come into your classroom... think no more... do it!  I guarantee that you will have less parent calls, questions, concerns... the minute they see that their child is well cared for and in an academically enriched environment... they will get off your back.  Let's face it...
Why do I know that?  Because I'm a parent too! :)
I get it... parents just want to know what's going on. 
 So anyway... I have my parents fill out a survey as a part of my beginning of the year newsletter.  It looks like :
It's not fancy but it gets the job done. :)
Then based on the info I learn about the days they want to help and time of day, I can plan on when they will help out.  I have always scheduled my helpers twice a year.  I plan out for the months of Sept-December  and then again for January-May.  That way I am not scrambling at the end of every month trying to get a calendar ready.  This way I know exactly when parents are coming and the parents can plan accordingly.  The only drawback is that if I have a special "event" then I will need to ask parents to come in.  This is a rare occurrence.
I have my helpers helping in three areas...
SOMETIMES I have them doing other things like sorting word wall words, hanging projects etc... but I have found that it is best to have things that are already set up ready to go.  Less explaining, less trying to scramble when they get there, less time for them to stand there and stare at you while you teach. ;)  You know what I mean! :)
Here's my helper area:
The baskets have everything the parent would need to help for that subject area.  There are very explicit instructions on what to do. I usually just rotate between the subjects. 
I will give a quick synopsis of what I do for each subject, and I will elaborate in another post (sorry It's getting late!).
Reading:  fluency and high frequency words
Math: math facts (flash cards at their level), telling time, money, number sense
Writing: writing with a picture prompt stressing sentence structure and related sentences
I hope to share all I can in the next post.  Hopefully this has intrigued you enough for you to stop back! :)
REMEMBER... enter my giveaway....
click to enter!
Good night!


  1. Okay, Tori. I've waited three days, read this post at least 4 times, forwarded it to 2 parents (anti-spy-OCD-super-helpful-type parents), and I am DYING to know more! I've never had so many volunteers before, and it does seem that they spend the first 15 minutes standing there while I teach, then finally get the kids going, and last get to the volunteer, whom I've let waste 15 minutes of her hour in my room! Help me, girl!

    1. Oh Brooke!! I am soooo sorry that I have made you wait :( If you read my post from tonight you will see what has caused the delay! I PROMISE that I will post this weekend for sure and I hope to share as much as I can with you so that you can just hit print and do it! :) Thanks so much for your support and it is so nice to hear that people are actually reading my posts... often I post and then there's the crickets :) I hear you though... get those parents working on projects and out of your room!! :)

  2. You're the best, Tori, which is obvious from today's post! I have the form. I have the baskets. I have piles and piles of work that needs doing. I just don't know how to make those "explicit instructions", rotate, or even where to begin prioritizing. I actually like having them in the room with me - they're great! I just don't want to waste their time. Good luck today - you'll be FAB!!!

    1. and I'll be patient - not my strong point!

    2. Hey Brooke... here's the parent helper post:
      PLEASE let me know if you want anything that I mention or need anything else. I didn't have time to included the letters like I wanted so I'd be happy to share if you are interested! Just let me know! :)