One Sunflower

okay, I admit it

on July 3, 2012

Okay, I admit it.  The warm up I had the parent group do was more than just an ice breaker, it was also ………….shhhhhh an assessment.

It was the first day of our 6 hour (over 3 days)  “Ready for K” class for new kindergartners and their parents. The children were with the kindergarten teacher getting a mini-K day.  I was responsible for introducing the parents to curriculum, expectations, ways to support their student and answering all those other questions parents have about school – riding the school bus, hot lunch, recess, school supply lists.

Since the first day was to be about getting to know each other and talk about using books, I put a pile of books on each table and asked the parents to choose a book their child would like.  I asked them to introduce themselves and their child by talking about why their child would like that book.

What did I learn?  I got a glimpse of what the parents knew about children’s books and a bit about how they engage their child with books.   The piles included classics and less familiar titles, non-fiction and wordless books, English and Spanish versions.  I noticed some parents looking carefully through the books and reading books they hadn’t seen before.  I saw some parents reach for a classic title and hold onto it before looking through others in the pile.   Some parents sifted through the books looking for non-fiction remarking on their child’s love for bugs – dinosaurs – the ocean – etc. Some parents copied titles down and talked about looking for the book in the library.

Besides being an ice breaker, it was a great way for parents to talk about their child, their interests, and a bit about their personalities.  I found out whether this was the family’s first kindergartner because the parents invariably shared it.  Watching and listening as they talked together at their tables and in front of the group, I got a sense of their comfort level in this situation and what they wanted to learn in the next few days together.   The parents got know more about the children who will be their child’s classmates.

We didn’t need “ice breakers” after the first day, just time to talk, think about the coming year and ask questions and answer questions.


5 responses to “okay, I admit it

  1. Robin says:

    This is a fantastic idea! I love this and wish that we did a parent meeting that was small enough for an activity such as this. I work in a school with around 100 kindergarten students each year, so our parent meeting can be anywhere from 50-200 people! But maybe at my openhouse in the fall… Thanks for getting me thinking!

  2. Tara says:

    I love this idea for an icebreaker! I’ll bet you learned a lot about the relationship between the kids and their parents, too. I remember having to do something like this when my oldest went off to kindergarten….we had to bring in a favorite book and share our experiences with it. And I remember thinking to myself – this is one smart teacher, she is going to learn so much about us through this book share.

  3. Peg D says:

    Love this! I am only an Instructional Assistant but I work in the k rooms and help every year with Round Up. This is a fantastic idea to incorporate. Love it. 🙂

  4. Juliann says:

    This would be a good one with teachers after a few weeks with their kids – share a book that the kids will like.

  5. Sarah says:

    this is fantastic – i do parent trainings every month as part of our program, can’t wait to incorporate this into our first one!

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