The Panthers class has a very special friend that is enjoying spending time with each of our 18 students in their very own homes. Take Home Teddy, which the children have affectionately named Rainbow, chooses a different student each afternoon to go home with for the evening. Rainbow spends the night with the student, and comes back to school each morning ready to share the fun they've had with the rest of the class durring group time.
The children are all extremely excited when it's their turn for Rainbow to visit their home. They always have lots of stories to share the next morning.
They also draw pictures, take photographs, and write stories about their time with Rainbow in the journal that travels along with the teddy bear.
Rainbow is well loved in our classroom and has been a big hit with the students, and their families as well. Take Home Teddy is just one way we facilitate making connections between a child's life at school and their home life. Building those bridges increases retention of concepts practiced at school. In the example of Teddy's journal, we are reinforcing early literacy skills and cognitive development by having the child illustrate their adventures and then recalling and sharing them the next day, as well as encouraging the development of pre-writing skills.
Parents, please embrace take home activities with your kiddos, there are more reasons than I could list that your child's teacher has sent them home, and they are a fabulous way to spend quality time with your children.
Teachers, what other family involvement activities have been successful in your classrooms?