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Getting Parents Involved in Science
I am currently a junior at the University of Arkansas studying elementary education. One of the things I have realized from my childhood and have learned in the education program is a lack of communication between parents and teachers when it comes to what exactly goes on inside the classroom, especially when it comes to science. I was wondering, what are some of the most effective ways to let parents know what is going on in the science classroom, and also how they can be involved inside the science classroom?
150 Activity Points
I have a survey for parents during back to school open house. I ask them what skill/talent/occupation they have that they would be willing to share with our class. One year I had a chemical engineer who came every Friday for a 30 minute lesson. He always had cool stuff to show the kids! Imagine, he came in with a lot of balloons, some were floating and some were not. We had a great lesson about how heavy some gasses can be. I think it was Argon gas. He gave each student a pair of safety goggles and gave me boxes of gloves for experiments. He even donated a beautiful poster of the Periodic Table of Elements.
I also send home a note asking for materials we need in class. My students keep science journals so they bring them home to show their parents what they learned that week.
85619 Activity Points
I would have to agree with Pamela, sending home a parent survey is a great idea! I think instead of asking the parents what occupation they have, I would personally survey the parents to find out how much science their children do at home (how much time they spend doing experiments or how interested their students are in science at home). I also think Pamela's idea of keeping a science journal, is easy enough to implement, and makes for a great keepsake for students to reference when they get older. My elementary school always had a curriculum night for specific subjects (math, reading, etc.) that was almost like a showcase for parents to see what their children were working on at school. They also had educational games that encouraged parents to participate with the students, so it was not like a lecture. Obviously, that would be more of a school- wide option though.
420 Activity Points
I am a student teacher and I am currently in a 2nd grade classroom. What I have noticed, that really works for this school is that they have a science night at least once a month. They get to observe the sky with a telescope and record and share all of their findings. I was able to attend the one where they had the opportunity to meet a real astronaut, they had food donated, and lots of other activities for parents and students. As for the class I have seen teachers invite parents to join the class for certain experiments. A survey at the beginning of the school year is also great to do because you get to know the parents interests, who knows maybe you get a parent who's a scientist.
345 Activity Points
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