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Involving Parents-Wonderful Wednesdays

Posted 04-27-2010 at 05:31 PM by happygirl444

Dear Responsive Classroom Teachers,

As a guest blogger, Mrs. R J has invited me to write a little bit about Wonderful Wednesdays—a way I involve parents in my classroom. It is an idea that comes from Carol Davis and Alice Yang’s book, Parents and Teachers Working Together published by the Northeast Foundation for Children. I love Wonderful Wednesdays because they are so EASY and the pay-off is so big!

On specific Wednesdays (about twice a month), parents are invited to come in and “peek” into our school day. After our first six weeks of school, I send home a list of Wonderful Wednesday dates, our daily schedule, and guidelines (how to help, when to ask questions, our quiet signal, etc.). I am authentic when they come. They see a normal day and normal curriculum but I make sure they see my love for my kids and the type of community we’ve created. Sometimes, I put them to work but mostly, they watch. So far, I’ve had parents for every single Wonderful Wednesday so far this year. The actual invitation is important—many teachers I know tell parents they can come in whenever they like but by actually sending the invitation it encourages parents to know that your words are true.

We all know parents have questions about school. Why do they do Morning Meeting every day? What is this “touchy-feely” approach? What is time out like? How cum thay spel like that? Why is math so crazy?!? After a Wonderful Wednesday, they walk away feeling better. The bad kid really isn’t that bad. They are learning to spell. The teacher is firm but friendly. They suddenly feel confident and happy about their child’s education.

A parent recently said to me after a day with us, “The things the kids do; it’s like magic.” Yes, it is. Little do parents know that a necessary ingredient in that spell is involving them. So, my question to you is: How do you feel about inviting parents in for a typical day? What things might you change or add? Share your ideas.

As Mrs. R J would say…

Happy Climbing!

Posted in Teaching Related
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  1. Old Comment
    Mrs. R :)'s Avatar

    Thanks, Happy!

    I am so glad that Happygirl444 posted about this incredibly brave way to involve parents in the classroom. I do not yet have experience with Wonderful Wednesdays... although Happy has inspired me to give it a try next year!

    I am excited to read other's comments about this. I wonder if other teachers feel tentative about "deprivatized teaching"? It can be scary! How would you overcome that feeling? Would the benefits outweigh the risks?

    Come on! Tell us what you are thinking! We can't wait to hear from you.
    Posted 04-27-2010 at 05:34 PM by Mrs. R :) Mrs. R :) is offline
  2. Old Comment
    I think I will try this! I think it sounds truly "wonderful!" It really lets the parents see how proud you are to be a teacher and also allows them to see their child in action during a school day. Lots of parents do not get to see that.
    Posted 05-01-2010 at 05:21 PM by
  3. Old Comment
    tangerine's Avatar
    I had a parent in just about every Tuesday and Thursday all year - but it was the same couple of parent volunteers. They both said they benefitted a lot from seeing how I interact with the kids and how we approach discovery and learning in class. I was nervous in the beginning, but eventually I relaxed and was just grateful for the extra set of hands.

    I always do the "you're welcome anytime" and stick by that - but you're right that only a few parents each year really take me up on that.

    Wonderful Wednesdays sounds like a great idea!

    Posted 06-21-2010 at 03:42 PM by tangerine tangerine is offline

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