Kindergarten Teachers Engage Families

“Today, we’ll create a fun, educational board game that you will be able to take home,” said Tessa Johnson, Ring Elementary School kindergarten teacher. “Your child will be so excited that Mommy or Daddy designed a game especially for them to play together as a family. Make sure you create a start and finish in your game, as kindergarteners sometimes have difficulty understanding direction.”

Ring’s kindergarten team, Johnson, Brandi Meacham, Abbie Hereford and Jen Goshgarian, recently held a Family Engagement Session to help parents create a generic game board to be used with different playing cards to reinforce math and English language arts skills learned in the classroom. The cards included words from the classroom “Word Wall” and simple math facts. Parents decorated the board games with stickers, color, text and number lines to help kindergarteners learn more about adding and subtracting.

“It is important to us to make a strong connection with our parents early on and to help give them more information on how they can best help their children at home with the material they are learning in the classroom,” said the Ring kindergarten team. “Our superintendent also believes in the parent-teacher connection and has supported school-home partnerships like the one we are doing today.”

The teachers chose to create the game board because it is a fun way to reinforce and practice early learning skills. Teachers will be able to change out the activities throughout the remainder of the year by sending home additional playing cards. The game also teaches some early social skill concepts that the students need, but don’t always have time to practice at school. This includes: turn-taking and learning patience and good sportsmanship. The parents who attended also recognized the importance of family engagement.

“As a parent, I understand the importance of a cooperative parent/teacher relationship for a strong educational foundation for children,” said Lori Cornell, a Ring Elementary School parent who has a kindergartener and three other children attending Ring School. “As a mother, but not an educational professional, I need to better understand the tools and methods my child’s teacher is using in school and replicate it at home with my children. I compliment the Ring kindergarten team as they do an exceptional job at outreach with parents. Today, is just one example of their excellent communications skills.”