As the school year is winding down, it may be a great time to have parents come to the classroom to see what their children have been exploring! There are all kinds of ways to get parents involved in what your children are learning about in science. A "workshop" is a great way to include parents and have a little fun too! Setting up hands-on tables with different inquiry science-based activities can give parents a chance to see what their children are doing and to learn some science concepts themselves. Here were some wonderful tips that teachers that we have worked with in DC Public Schools have left us with:
1.Parent workshops will get the best turn-out when students are being dropped off— typically between 8:30 and 9:30 am.
2.Short hand-outs can be helpful for parents to grab and go.
3.Hands-on tables full of materials are visually appealing and keep parents engaged. Station a teacher at each table to talk about the science content and how to talk with children about science.
4.Have realistic expectations. If you get 10 parents that show up, that's great!
5.Have a sign-in sheet. This helps for future workshops, and perhaps next time parents can help out!
6.Consider having refreshments — coffee and doughnuts are a plus.
7. Get support from your principal. Having the principal stop in a say a few words can be reasurring to parents and demonstrates for the importance of learning science in preschool.
What are your ideas for getting parents involved in the classroom?