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Communicating With Parents
Toddler classrooms are a very busy place. Too often, it is not an option to meet with and speak to every parent every day. A daily reporting system can bridge the gaps in communication when you are not available to speak directly to a parent. When used effectively, a daily activity sheet for toddlers in your classrooms can be an invaluable communication tool. Sustaining home/school connections will strengthen your relationships with parents as well as benefit the children in your care.
There are several things that should be included in your basic sheet.
1. Child's name and date. Copies of daily activity sheets can be made and kept by the teacher in a child's file for reference at a later date. For example, the date a child speaks his first full sentence may be important when creating a portfolio of the child's milestones for the year.
2. Routines and daily care. Times that the child used the bathroom or had his diaper changed would be included in this area. Also important for parents to know is the time and duration of naps. You might also want to list foods that he is refusing or that he especially enjoys.
3. Activities. In this section, list the activities in which a child participated. If you have a large classroom serving many families, you can also make a list of the usual activities the children have to choose from and circle the ones each particular child participated in that day. If you choose the latter method, please be sure to leave a space marked "Other" with a space for an explanation in case there was a special activity for the day that is not listed in the usual list.
4. Personal note. Every parent loves to hear special stories about their child's experiences when they are out of the parent's care. Create a section on your daily sheet where you can relay a personal story about each child. For example, "Jake had the best time in the blocks area today! He and his friend Cameron used the blocks to build a long road and then used the cars to drive on their newly built highway. Jake is great at working cooperatively!" A short sentence or two really shows parents that you are taking an interest in their child.
5. Oops! If the child has sustained a bump or bruise during the day, put a reminder in this section--but don't forget you must also complete a formal accident report,
6. Reminders. If I child is running low on pull-ups or wipes or has used their last change of clothes, remind the parents in this section. It may be helpful to highlight this area in a bright color. If school picture day is coming up, or a special field trip, remind parents that permission slips/money is due.
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Records for Records' Sake
Keep in mind that making copies of your daily activity sheet for toddler classroom communication will also provide you with a running record should problems or discrepancies occur.