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Posts Tagged ‘parent involvement’

We scheduled a meeting with parents of our KAPPA IV students participating in the project for this evening at 5:30 PM to introduce them to the XO, inform them of the project, answer their questions, and ultimately let the children take the computers home. KAPPA IV’s parent coordinator, Rosa Colon, translated the letter we sent home into Spanish and called all the parents last week to confirm that they would be able to attend. Little did we know that there would be a veritable snowstorm in New York this evening! As I write this, there is two inches of snow on the ground and the snow is now changing over to hail and ice. But the parents at KAPPA IV braved the bad weather and climbed to the fifth floor of KAPPA’s building (most of them led eagerly by their children) to learn about this project their children have been buzzing about.

We crowded them all into the classroom and invited them to partake in sandwiches, soda and cookies that the parent coordinator arranged. Then I asked them to complete a survey devised in partnership with the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers’ College (Columbia University). After we all settled in, I took a deep breath and asked “So what have your children told you about this project?” And the answer, which came from many, was summed up simply in one word- “Excitement!” The parents told us how excited their children were about the computers and how they couldn’t wait to take them home. Professor Almanzar and Rosa Colon translated for Principal Carr and myself as we led them through the same activity we used to introduce students to the project. We explained the scope of the project and their role in it.

Then children showed their parents the Write activity and the Record activity. We asked all students to take a picture with their parents for posterity (and fun). After they spent some time becoming familiar with the machines, we showed parents the Journal activity and explained the importance of checking in on their students’ experiences every week. Parents asked questions about the computers and their capabilities and compatibility with software and applications that they know. Then we stressed the rules for students and gave them permission to take the machines home. The parents and children left to trudge home in the lousy weather with raised spirits as they cloaked their XOs in backpacks and under coats. Pictures and more details soon…

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