Daily Communication with families in preschool is a good thing. However, when you have 16 or more children in your care, sending home daily communication notes for each child can be very time consuming.....time taken out of your lunch break or time taken away from spending time with the children.
Many times, parents don't realize how much time it would take! They want to know what their child does each day (even if it is a half day program), but don't realize that that means writing out a note for their child AND 15 or more others.
Let's do some math: 16 children's notes multiplied by even a short 3 minutes per note would be.....right-48 minutes! In a half day program, that is 3/4 of your morning!
When I worked in full day child care, we sent home daily notes that highlighted information for families about their child's day. These notes included the stories we read, a science experiment, how their child ate (all, some or none of their lunch), what the art activity was, etc.
It is difficult to find the time to fill one of these out for every child (we had 16-24 children in a classroom!). In addition, we found these notes at the end of the week still in the child's backpack!!!
Communication is important and helpful. It not only provides the family with information about their child's day, but also can be a catalyst for conversation between the family at home. For example, parents can ask "Tell me about the science experiment today." or "What was your favorite part of the story 'Will I Have a Friend' that your teacher read today?
Communication is important and helpful, but there's got to be a better way than killing a ton of trees throughout the year!
The best answer we came up with was to use a dry erase board. We purchased one at the Dollar Store that said "Welcome" on the top in bright colors.
We then printed the following:
Ask your child about:
We left those titles on the board using a black dry-erase marker (sometimes we changed them and added other centers that might have had a special activity, like the Water Table or the Writing Table).
We then filled in the blanks for the day with different colored dry-erase markers.
This gave the parent something to read while waiting to pick up their child and information to talk to them about on the way home!
Let your parents know how the math works out in a newsletter! Let them know that you have daily communication information posted on the board outside the classroom!
See Cherilyn's question about How to Motivate Parental Involvement and My answer by clicking here!