Susan devised the “Family Share” activity to invite parents more fully into curriculum conversations and to deepen our shared understandings of what children are thinking and experiencing. The Family Share provides an avenue for our teacher, parents and children to consider specific curriculum focuses together. Teacher Susan writes and posts a daily prompt. Upon entering the classroom, caregivers and children read and record a response. Prompts range from “What’s your favorite color?” to “What do you do when you’re frustrated?” to “What do you know about peace?”
Sometimes children have an immediate idea to share. Other times, children need additional support. The adult might ask, should we write about this (describing idea) or this (idea)? For example, if the question is “What Was Something Fun You Did This Weekend?” the adult might ask their child: “Should we write about our hike in Forest Park or building puzzles yesterday?”
When the concept we are considering is more complicated, it may be an opportunity for the adult to share how they would answer the question, modeling for the child. They can scribe the adult’s response, and if/when the child as an idea to offer up, they can record that as well.
Susan often revisits these recorded responses at circle time for further discussion. She offers related stories, songs and/or activities to enrich the learning on the topic.
-Support literacy development.
-Offer children an opportunity to reflect on a topic with one on one adult attention.
-Create an opportunity for families to participate in our daily curriculum.
-Provide a window into classroom happenings so families are able to build on those ideas and have further discussion at home.
-Deepen our understandings of each other’s ideas and experiences.
-Build classroom community as we learn about each other.
-Assist the teacher in knowing what children are thinking and experiencing, which in turn informs future curriculum planning.