Five for Friday…Family Fun

Hello Readers!  If you've been following things over at Adventures on Literacy Land, then you may have noticed that I've posted there the past two days.  Today's post was in collaborations with my blogging buddies who sent me some of their favorite parental involvement activities, so I thought on my page, I'd share five more of my own.

Cartoon Number One
When I first began in Title 1, we put together these cute literacy bags for our students to take home over the weekend.  Each bag had a theme and included a few books, a writing journal, one or two crafts, and one or two reading related activities.  All of the directions were laminated, so the idea was that the only management needed was to restock the consumable supplies.  The bags worked very well with some children and not so well with others, so one important caution if readers try this is to make sure you clearly outline the expectations for how to care for the bags and make sure the activities require limited supplies.  Here's a sample similar to what we put together.  The little bags are available often at the Dollar Tree, and with a little t-shirt paint, you can make them cute as can be (as we all know the importance to stretching the Title 1 budget).

Cartoon Number Two
At my previous school, this event was a huge, huge hit.  We did it in the spring, and each grade level focused on a topic in math and science, prepared hands-on math games and experiments for the students to do with their parents in our gym, and the reading specialists set up poetry, riddles, and various reading activities and games in the hallways.

When families arrive, parents are given a ticket of a certain color to identify their starting point (hallway or gym), and they worked through the activities during the evening.  Door prizes selected from the educational supply store were given out at the end, so everyone stayed and participating.  Here's a glimpse of how a station looked.

Cartoon Number ThreeCoffee House Night is a great way to highlight oral reading fluency with poetry and writing.  Schools might also include violin students to perform as well for the perfect atmosphere. Families are divided by grade level for students to perform their poetry reading and partner skits, and writing pieces are out for
display.  This idea might be renamed for Portfolio Night or Can-Do Night depending on what your Parental Involvement Team wishes to highlight.  I personally love teaching writing, so showcasing student work is appealing to me.

Cartoon Number Four
To help our students prepare for the state history assessment, we started the Living History Museum. This parental involvement night was intended for students to show off their 3 dimensional projects, share a speech about one of the famous people the students learned about during the year, or explain a map and timeline project they've made.  Each student worked at home on the projects and shared them at the event.  It's always amazed parents how much the students have learned and often, the parents comment that they learned a lot too.

Cartoon Number Five
For the last event, I thought I'd share one that's coming up at my school in a few weeks.  It's Healthy Hearts and Minds Night, and the focus for the evening is all about keeping yourself healthy.  The evening starts off with group exercise with Zumba.  Wow, is that a sight to see!  100 people all doing Zumba at the same time in the same room.  Let's just say there is usually a little sweat action going on.  Here's a clip to give you an idea of how it was organized.  The children and parents followed the Zumba teacher hired from our local YMCA.  Afterwards, a local pediatrician shares with the families the importance of limiting television, exercise, and making healthy eating choices.  The evening gives everyone an opportunity to talk about how to schedule activities, homework, reading at home.

Well, I believe that wraps up the topic of Parental Involvement.  I hope you've enjoyed these past few posts, and if you're interested in reading about the other ideas I shared over on Literacy Land, you can click the icon below.  Have a fabulous weekend, and until next time, happy reading!

Adventures in Literacy Land


  1. This is a great group of ideas for parent involvement nights, Carla! Sounds like your school has a lot of ways to involve parents and get them into the school. Great job!
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. We try different things each year, and well, I'm old! :-) There are a few that we've continued now for several years including the NFL night. That's been a lot of fun, and I know at my old school that Math, Science, Reading Night has gone on probably 20 years now, and it's always overflowing with families. Thanks for dropping by Lori.

  2. Wow these are incredible ideas to encourage parent participation in their child's learning! I am definitely pinning this for later :) Do you have any other posts more specific about each of these nights!? I'd love to read/hear more!

    1. The other two posts about parental involvement are on Adventures in LIteracy Land. If you are interested in the details of a specific one, just email me back. I'd be glad to give you more details on any.


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