Sunday, April 2, 2017

Learning Together With Families

This week we highlight three Somerville Public School classrooms where teachers are partnering with families to increase engagement that supports children at home and at school.

Author Celebration: Georgia O'Keefe - Argenziano Preschool

Children spent a month working on writing books and then celebrated their work by inviting families in for a special breakfast and publishing ceremony.  There is also a "mystery reader." Parents sign up to come read to the class but the children don't know who it is until the parent arrives. Parents  love this opportunity and the children get so excited about the "mystery."


Published books on display

The authors with their books

Mystery Reader!

Beautiful Buffet

Oobleck Adventure: Lori Hight - Capuano Preschool


We read the book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck By Dr. Seuss, in 3 reading times.  The morning of our last reading, we surprised the children by making oobleck! A parent volunteered to help the children add ingredients and involved himself in discussion with the children about how the oobleck felt, what happened when they handled it and thinking about whether it was a solid or a liquid.  I have been very fortunate to have parents volunteering throughout the year for extra special activities we do.  With parent support, we are able to do whole class activities and assist children with fine motor work during extra special small group activities that are related to a theme we are focusing on.  I truly appreciate their time and energy to build on the children's learning and fun at school.

Parents help make ooblek

Playing with ooblek - Why does it feel and move this way?

Breakfast Literacy:  Jess Ferris and Veronique LePaix - Healey Head Start Preschool

Our class spends half and hour each morning in the cafeteria to eat breakfast.  Parents and family members stay as long as they can, some for the duration.   Earlier in the year we had books for children to read after they finished breakfast, but we noticed an opportunity to infuse this time with more learning.  We have added name puzzles, clothespin activities that focus on identifying beginning sounds, matching letters of the alphabet with images that start with that letter and sound, counting syllables and soon rhyming.  The children are more focused on finishing their food so they can have game pieces, parents are engaging with their children and others as they work on the activities, and children are getting more exposure to literacy concepts.  It has also been a great opportunity to demonstrate to parents some simple activities they can do with their children to work on literacy learning and also to get a concept of their child's understanding of literacy.  The time at breakfast flies by and the class and families seem to really enjoy doing this work together!

Clothespin picture-letter matching

More picture-letter matching

Name puzzle