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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Making Meaningful Family Connections

Making meaningful family connections is such an important part of teaching, 
but can often be put on the back burner 
due to the increasing workload put on teachers.

One of the reasons I LOVE teaching pre-k is the connection with the families during drop off and pick up. Parents love to hear a little snippet about their child's day! It might be where they played, what they learned or something sweet that they said or did.  And yes, sometimes we need to let a parent know that their child had a difficult day, but we are sure tomorrow will be much better! Always leaving on a positive note makes the parent know you are all in for their child!

We send a monthly newsletter as part of our school initiative to keep parents in the know. This year, I decided to send a weekly "Peek at My Week" which is a half page weekly newsletter that quickly lets parent know what we are learning, important dates and a brief note from the teacher.  I have had several parents share that they LOVE this as they are able to connect to the classroom and SUPPORT the learning that is going on.  I have made  a 52 EDITABLE Weekly Newsletter Templates pack that is available on Teachers Pay Teachers to make it that much easier to connect with families!
Hosting events is a fun way to connect with families on a more personal level.  Our school hosts Family Math and Literacy nights, a Fall Festival and The Pro-Kids Show which promotes social skills in a FUN and ENGAGING way.  In pre-k, we offer a 3 day science time though a grant with our local Orlando Science Center as well as our VPK Spring Fling which includes an egg hunt with HUNDREDS of eggs and rotating stations outside.   


Pre-Kinders LOVE to sing! We have worked hard this year leaning a new song, poem or nursery rhyme each week.  The teacher in me not only adores when they sing, but appreciates all the pre-reading skills they are learning through this! You can find the monthly poems with rebus pictures HERE.  My kids love to interact with the large charts and "play teacher" during the week.

On Fridays, they get a small copy of the poem to put in their poetry journal and practice "reading" and illustrating it.  The REAL MAGIC happens once a month when they take their poetry journals home and SHARE their favorite songs, rhymes and illustrations with their families. The parents OFTEN share how much their children LOVE these songs!
Sharing pictures of their kids is definitely a go-to way to connect with families.  In this digital age, it makes it that much easier to share a little piece of their child's day with them.  There are apps like CLASS DOJO where the parents can sign up for texts from the teachers.  You can send pictures through Class Dojo. You can read more about what Class Dojo has to offer over at A Primary Owl.
One of the easiest way to build connections is by making someone feel appreciated.  Thank You notes are the PERFECT way to show parents you are part of a TEAM!  When I receive a gift, I try to write a personal note to each family.  However, families do TONS of things to help out the classroom every month.  In order to stay on top of it, I print out THANK YOU NOTES with messages already included that I use in a moment's notice.  Parents TRULY appreciate this!
So those are my top 5 ways to build meaningful relationships with parents.
You can use the image below to pin this for future reference!
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Mrs. Wathen
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