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Elizabeth Kolb ECED 429 Spring 2014 TWS 10 A.

Family Communication Family communication is important in the classroom because teachers and families have to work together to figure out and meet the needs of the child. It is important to establish the needs of the child in the home and in the classroom. In addition, it is beneficial for the parent to know what the teachers intentions are when it comes to what they are teaching the child and making sure their child is important in the teachers eyes. I intend to instill communication between myself and the parents of my second grade class in four ways so that we are all on a team. The parents will be given an introduction letter in the beginning, a newsletter each week about content and events that are going on, and they will be given my website that has my blog on it that they can leave comments that I will check at the end of the week. The parents will be part of the open house and events that we have at school like career day, or other events that involve parents. Introduction letters are the first way teachers give to parents that tell them a little about them and what their intentions are in education as well as what they will be studying during the year. This is not my first time writing an introduction letter but it was my first time having it sent home to the parents. I believe that the parents know who is in their childrens lives and how it is going to affect their education. The introduction letter also gives me the way to communicate with the parents. In conducting my introduction letter, I wanted to include elements that would be important for the parents to know. First, I wanted to thank the parents for giving me the opportunity to teach their children and that I was excited to do so. I introduced myself by telling them I was an Early Childhood Education major at Lander University. I talked about the different places I lived in and about my dog. I even let the parents know about hobbies I do when I am not teaching or doing schoolwork. I wanted my parents to know my belief on education and instill the concept of motivation to their children. In addition, I let the parents know that I would be taking pictures and videotaping my lessons as part of the experience. I attached a permission sheet to the parents with an option to check no. At the end of the letter, I told the parents again that I was excited about working with their children. I added at the end if they had questions or concerns to email my cooperating teacher or myself. After my signature at the bottom, I added my weebly website so the parents can look at it to get to know me better. For my introduction letter, I included the theme I am going to do for my own classroom one day. The introduction letters are part of what parents need to know about their teachers especially if they did not go to Open House to meet them in person. The newsletter I would include for when I become an actual teacher would be beneficial for each parent. I did not have a newsletter for this clinical experience because I am only an intern in a sense. I would like to include a newsletter for the parents of what I am teaching their children. I did make a newsletter that is on my weebly website and it included things that I thought would be best for parents to know. My newsletter includes the following: 1) an introduction to a new week and a recap of how the week before went; 2) Homework for the week; 3) Furry Friend of the Week, which is a student that had good behavior and has done well in academics during the week; 4) Furry Friend Helpers which tells the parents that responsibility is given in the classroom; 5) School Dates to know, Reminders to Students and Parents; and 6) Spelling words and the weeks activities of what we are doing during the week. For my current

experience, I would like to give out a letter of the things I will be teaching them and how that pertains to what my cooperating teacher is teaching them. The newsletter is another way the parents can keep up what is going on in the classroom and how to implement some of those ways at home. The blog is another way to communicate besides email and I made it known to the parents that they check it out and leave a comment if need be. Blogs are another way to communicate because it could be pertaining to the website and what is featured on it. It is important to have other ways besides email to talk about things that are dealing what their child is learning. I would most likely have a private blog for the parents so others cannot see what they are writing about. I would instill total confidence that anything the parents post would only be seen by me. B. Communication/Collaboration with Colleagues It is important that teachers collaborate and communicate among each other so they can decide what they are teaching and how to teach it. Teachers share teaching ideas, activities, and assessments with each other so they can see what would work for their students. It is important that teachers work together as a team because it is more beneficial for the teachers as well as the students so that everyone is on the same page. I have communicated with my cooperating teacher by helping to plan lessons, making a contract, and helping to co-teach as well as help when she has a substitute. The teachers of second grade do a planning meeting every Wednesday in Ms. McKinneys room across the hall from where my cooperating teacher is. Ms. McKinney is in charge of planning for Math. Mrs. Bradbury does Language Arts while Mrs. Rogers takes care of the Read Aloud books for the week. The other teachers all collaborate on Science and Social Studies units to teach. The teachers switch between Science and Social Studies when the units are over. I was privileged to be in one of the planning meetings during Immersion Week. I was able to watch how the teachers talked about the plans for the nonfiction unit that they are starting on. The teachers have a book that gives them the read aloud for the afternoon and what skills that they need to teach the students for the nonfiction unit. The planning meeting showed me that it is important to be a team with others and feed off each other with ideas and concepts to help the students succeed. My cooperating teacher has helped me plan my lessons by giving me her OnCourse username and password to look at her lesson plans. She has helped plan my first lesson by giving me a resource for learning nonfiction. She has given me ideas and ways I can accommodate the students. At first, I wanted my low students to be partnered with the high students. She told me that it is better to have them partnered with others that are on the same level because of the low ones not wanting to do the work and the high students doing all of it. I took her idea into consideration and I made changes in my accommodations in lesson plans. She has helped me with seeing how she does all subject lessons so I can get a glimpse of how to teach second graders. Watching her teach helps me with my lesson plans in how to response and knowing what prompting questions to ask the students. As far as co-teaching goes, I have helped with read aloud to the class when she had to step out. One day during my time with her, she had a substitute for the day. I took into consideration of what was expected of me. She told me to basically take as much control as I

can. I took over the class for the day so it was an experience for me. The way she communicated to me was when she wrote down for me what the plan was for the day. I have done some of the science lessons involving matter like doing a chart for the kids of the properties. I have done mostly Language Arts lessons with the students mostly with their finishing unit of character series and the beginning unit of nonfiction. I am hoping to do more co-teaching in math since that is my lowest subject to teach. Even before my clinical started I took the time to meet with my clinical teacher Mrs. Rogers and talk to her about what times would be fine for me to show up and what time to leave. The times we decided are 7:30 to about 2:30. Sometimes I show up earlier than that and leave later than that. I told her I would love to be at school so I can hang out and be part of the lesson planning during the afternoon. We would notify each other by email and by phone if there was emergency. We both signed our names in agreement of the times and ways to contact each other if there was an emergency.