Last year, my classmate (Kathryn) and I decided to include what we call "Welcome Days" in our teaching environment. We looked for a way to give families an insight into an aspect of their child's learning while encouraging families to actively engage and learn with their child.
We wanted to give the kids as much time as possible to get to know each other, to feel comfortable with each other and the environment in the classroom, and to spend as much time as possible building a community. For that reason, we decided to start the welcome on the beginning of April and run it until the end of June would work well. Visits to the welcome days take place once a week and take one hour during the exploration time.
Since our classroom is quite small, we have found that four adults per visit work very well. We are fortunate to have some wonderful volunteer parents who help us by creating an online application through VolunteerSighup (https://www.volunteersignup.org/where families can view and choose the data that best suits them. The site also indicates when seats are full so that families can choose other available dates.
All children choose where they want to work and have the opportunity to share their creations with peers at the end of the exploration period. The sharing article is very valuable because it gives families a further insight into how much knowledge and learning can be gained from the many questions and comments from their peers. Every time we visit families, it's nice to see their interactions with their child. The children are equally proud and like to show their knowledge of their family.
Here are some photos of the Welcome Days from the last and current year.
Some reviews from families:
"I loved it! It was so nice to see P and his friends in action, we built a city based on a book and were allowed to show them to the class, but unfortunately P (Father) could not attend that day as he did he was shooting, but fortunately he reads and makes pizza days so he often experiences the wonders of 109. "L
"Recently, I had the rare opportunity to spend an hour with my daughter L, attending her regular school day and learning the way she does, building a structure, measuring and learning strategies and learning experiences with her classmates It was such an enriching experience to see her and the other kids in her class interact and develop through various activities, thank you, Ms. Ralph, for giving us the opportunity to see the amazing things that ours Children do it every day while they are away from us in your class. " G
"I love it! Great fun and valuable insights into the learning process in Room 109." J
"I love the Welcome Days! My son A was so happy that Mom could attend his class and show him what he did, I learned so much about my son in a few hours, how he deals with other children, and how It's a personal and valuable experience that I can definitely recommend to other parents. "J
"It's always a blessing when your child's teacher opens the classroom for you to visit, especially as I had a guided tour of the discovery period with my daughter, it's wonderful to be able to see the focus and love I think that Welcome Days is one of the best ways for me to see and experience firsthand the life of a JK student in Mrs. Ralph's class. "p
"Thank you for being in the classroom with T and me yesterday. It was so nice to have a window in Ms world. When I saw that she was present to the class, my heart exploded with pride. And it's so great to see things she's in class and comes home – like polls! We are doing polls all the time – calling the grandparents and also taking their votes off. And the bees! How exciting! She's teaching us something about pollen. 🙂
It was a wonderful experience! I also really liked the way the parents were easily involved in the daily routine – it was not a special event / concert / show and tell type thing, which was great. "K
"I'm a fan.
It helped me to see how Ms. Ralph directs her classroom and why she runs it so smoothly.
It was great to see the kids in action, see their exploration stations and be a part of it. It was interesting to see how the children interacted and watched their thinking process. I enjoyed presenting D and C together with my light table partners to the children, asking them clarifying questions and giving us their feedback.
I hope that the welcome days will also be part of the lesson for the parents next year. "T
"We would like to thank you for attending the Welcome Class class today, what a great opportunity to see the classroom through the eyes of M. He loved it, as did we, thank you." P & B
Many thanks to everyone who made Welcome Days so special for all of us! ~ Anamaria Ralph
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