Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Boost at the Library a Success + My SMART Goals are off to a good start...

I keep hearing about all of you Arizona teachers headed back and I cannot believe it. 
I refuse to believe it! Hopefully you are feeling semi-ready. 
We are still soaking up 30+ days of this summer! Sorry I'm not sorry 
I love that when Josh gets home from work I actually have dinner cooking
and laundry done. It makes me feel a little better about the rest of the year when I know (though he would never admit it) that he's hoping I won't even try to start dinner because I will get sidetracked the second I do and we will be eating burnt, scorched, can I even recognize what's on my plate kinda food. During the school year I just stick to baking because I can set a timer and as long as it beeps dessert is a success. He knew this about me when he married me though so who's fault is it really?!? I kid, I kid. 

We are at the age where nearly every one of our friends has kids. So when we aren't camping on the weekends we are singing happy birthday to some sweet smiling baby. Here are some pictures from the last birthday party of the weekend. I couldn't resist sharing because they're so crazy cute! 

Now on to the point of this post. My teammate and I, if you are a regular reader you know that she is my teaching soulmate and I don't know what I would do without her. We were once torn apart aka I moved schools and we did everything we could to be together again. 
Okay- jeez let's stay on track here. Anywho- her and I have set out to work harder to create 
deeper connections with parents and families. This is one of our SMART goals for the year. We want them to feel welcome in our school and classrooms. I know we all want that, but this year we really wanted to do something substantial to make it happen. 
I always connect best with student's whose families I know best.
 At the end of each year I never connect with as many families as I had hoped though. 
I even have those that I never met once, not even during conferences. 
That told me I wasn't doing enough. 

Here's our plan of action: 

This year we sent home a summer workbook for our outgoing students and our incoming students just like in the past. However, this year we invited them to two Summer Boost sessions at the local library. We set one for the middle of the summer and another for three weeks before school was set to start. We also wanted to accommodate for different schedules so the first was set for the afternoon and the second for the evening. This is in hopes that families who couldn't make it to the first could make it to the second. 

Before the day at the library we each called 30 families. It's always hard to work up to that. I always feel like it is going to take forever and I get super anxious. There no reason why I just do. So I pushed my anxiety out of the way and I even timed it just to see. It took me 30 minutes for the first half. Then I took a break to play some soccer with Conner. The second half took me 20 minutes. So less than an hour. I don't think that's too terrible. 

We had our first Summer Boost last Saturday. It was a success! Together we had 12 families. We worked on their summer workbooks with them, signed them up for library cards and the summer reading program. Plus we got to learn about their reading interests and help them check out books. I already feel like I know 12 families that much better. 

When we called we told them there would be goodies and snacks. Kids can never resist snacks! 
We had pencils, erasers, bookmarks and cookies for the kids. For parents we had an email list to fill out and a reminder card for the next day at the library. I also added our classroom Facebook page to the card. This is new this year, as well. I am really focused on what works for families. What is going to help me connect with them? I will keep you updated on the Facebook page as the year gets started. 

I posted these bookmarks on my Instagram last week and had several people ask about them. 
You will need to download the font KG Only Hope here.
After you download the font you can click HERE for the bookmarks
 and personalize them for your class. 

After our second summer boost we will complete home visits for students who were not able to make it to either session. This will be quick and informal. We won't call ahead or schedule a time. We will just stop by, introduce ourselves and drop off a goodie bag.  Has anyone else done anything like this? Home visits? I would love any tips or advice!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, first of all, your kiddos are SO stinkin' cute. And second, you and your friend are amazing for doing those summer boost session! That's some real love there. Maybe next summer we should do nationwide boost days...how cool would that be!

    Little In Betweens