You can find parent boards in most early childhood classrooms. Traditionally, these boards provide information to parents about classroom activities. This board is a tool to help keep parents informed about the daily happenings in the classroom, upcoming special events or activities, and may house classroom rosters and communication sheets. The board is used in conjunction with other forms of parent communication, such as digital daily reports, digital newsletters and verbal communication.
Let me begin by saying that the most important things about a parent board are…
Location: The parent board needs to be placed where it can easily be seen and accessed, or your parents will easily overlook it. Keep it in a location where it is at parent’s eye level and within parent reach.
Updates: If you want parents to actually look at the parent board, then you have to be committed to keeping the parent board updated with the most recent information.
Useful: You have to plan ahead and put things on the board that are useful and informative to the parent like extra copies of newsletters, the menu, or field trip forms.
Commitment: This may seem like an odd word choice, but if you throw up a board and title it “Parent Board” without ever thinking about it again, then parents will lose interest and not get into the habit of looking at it. You have to be committed to making the parent board a regular part of your communication strategy.
Time: Take the time to remind your parents to view the parent board for the most recent updates and classroom happenings, but make sure you have taken the time to add those updates!
What you might include on the parent board:
A clear label identifying it as the Parent Board.
Food Menu: a copy of your weekly menu outlining meal options for the week and any updates to the menu.
A place for the roster to hang when the teacher is in the classroom. This will help the parents know where to consistently find the roster when the class is inside.
A copy of the daily schedule.
Information related to that age group (for example, in a 2 year old classroom, potty training info could be posted).
The lesson plans for the class.
Important Announcements. The parent board is a wonderful communication tool. This is a great way to keep parents up-to-date with current classroom happenings such as field trip forms, newsletters, pictures/documentation of students in action, or other special important announcements.
Special Classroom Activities or Special Events.
Teacher’s Bio with a photo.
What we learned today. Make sure that these are dated with the current date. This can be handwritten by the teacher, but spelling, grammar and professionalism must be considered at all times. What We Learned Today will help the parents know what happens daily and give a better understanding about what the children are learning while at school.
Another Helpful Tip:
Be sure to keep your parent board attractive, well-organized and, most of all, eye-catching and appealing! It must be updated regularly and referenced as a place of communication in all correspondence with parents. Mention the parent board in your newsletter. Reference it in your daily digital communication with parents. Parents will be eager to reference the parent board when it is thoughtfully designed and relevant to what is happening in the classroom.