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“Around the subjects” in 90 minutes – Parent Participation Hit!

We are getting closer to the end of the school year, but opportunities to continue to build strong school community are still in abundance. “Around the Subjects” in 90 minutes is a fun and engaging way for parent participation in child’s learning process. Teachers will love meeting parents, children will be excited to share their experiences and parents will have a lot of fun exploring all the subjects their child is learning. Win-win all around 🙂

In elementary schools today much of the curriculum is not taught or studied in a single classroom. Yet, parents are communicating mostly with the homeroom teachers. Students may have a separate math teacher, science teacher, reading teacher, and of course the usual out-of-classroom subjects such as P.E., music, and art. Some students may even have access to a foreign language class or a computer design class. Wouldn’t it be great for parents and children to explore all these different subjects together?

Here is the game plan for “Around the subjects” in 90 minutes that makes it happen in a fun and engaging way.  

Preparation

On a particular evening, students and parents receive a map of the school, locating points of the certain classes, labeling “A”, “B”, C”, etc. and color-coded. Once students and parents arrive at school, they are given a color.  

The game

Students will guide their parents to each of their classes according to the color so that everyone is not at the same class at each given time. For example, some may receive the color blue that represents “B” on the map. Others may be given purple that represents “A”. This is where the “around the subjects” activity night begins. How many letters and colors are required depends on the population of the school. The idea is to have an equal amount of students/parents in the same location rather than 50 in one classroom and 20 in another. In each class, parents and students must together perform a simple “task”.

For example, solve a math equation in math, or complete an exercise 10 times or an obstacle course in P.E.; in reading class, the student can read a few pages of a book recently read to them to their parent, and then explain the ending. If a computer class is offered, the student may verbally explain what they are learning and the parent writes a simple paragraph on what their child has learned. This develops great collaboration among children, parents and teachers and great immersion into what the child is learning. When each task is completed, students receive a stamp or sticker from the particular subject on the back of their map.  

A great way to engage parents (and students) who don’t speak English well is to arrange an activity in reading class or the regular classroom where students and parents can “teach” the teacher by collaborating and producing a simple sentence in their home language that the teacher can learn. This can be oral or written. Once the teacher perfects this, the stamp or sticker is given! What a way to involve teachers, as well!

When all stamps or stickers are collected and turned in, the student gets to wear non-uniform clothes (within the dress code) the following Friday. Students love this because it allows them to not wear the particular “uniform” and wear something that expresses their personality! Students will be begging parents to attend!

“Around the Subjects” in 90 minutes…are you ready?

We hope you are! And if burden of organizing this activity is worrying you, we got you covered 🙂 You can set up this event on ClassTag with a few clicks. So what do you think? Please share with your fun loving colleagues and let us know in the comments below how it goes.

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