Establishing close communication with families is an objective for early childhood educators and the programs they work in (NAEYC, ECERS-R, Head Start). You might be connecting with family members when greeting children at the door to the classroom in the morning or at pick-up time at the end of the day, sending email and paper newsletters, posting on school social media sites, and holding school open houses and parent-teacher conferences. A consistent connection at drop-off can ease the transition from home to school.
In the April/May 2016 issue of Science and Children I wrote about a practice at the Clarendon Child Care Center in Arlington, Virginia where teachers use a “Question of the Day” to connect with families in the morning drop-off time and stimulate children’s thinking about a topic. The questions are written on a large pad of paper where families can draw or write, if they choose, during morning arrival. The topics of the questions can refer to an on-going investigation or recent weather event, be a prompt for a new activity, or be a question asked by a child. Here are examples from the early childhood program. Click on a photo to see a larger version:
I might ask, “What does foam look and feel like?” when we are exploring how bubbles form and sponges absorb water. Or “What change might happen next in the growth of the Paw paw tree?”
What additional questions would you add to a list for your program?