Tag Archives: parents



As part of planning and preparing for a parent program, I reached out to different companies for donations that I could giveaway to parents.  The intent of these giveaways is to increase participation and give parents something useful to use at home with their children.  I was excited to receive a donation of a NEATLINGS chore chart system.   I LOVE their motto of “cultivate contributing, confident, can-do kid”.  I started using it with my own children this past week.

neatavery1From a psychologist perspective, it has all the components of a great token economy and from a parent perspective it is easy to set up and includes lots of options to fit our home and daily schedule.  The system comes with a nice one page overview of different ways to set up the chore chart at home and different chart configurations.  It also has EVERYTHING you need to implement the chart immediately.  This was such an added bonus because I did not even have to get scissors to cut anything apart.  It even included a pen and blank chore cards to customize for your own child.


I put it together a couple different ways before settling on a daily chart divided into different times of the days (morning, afternoon, and evening).  However, the chart could be created for an entire week or divided by chore priority.  I was able to set up the chart for both my girls, but it can also be set up for three children.

neatlings1             neatlings

The chore cards come in a nice variety of colors, so each child can have their own color cards and it is easy to distinguish between them which eliminates potential fighting over cards!!


Once the girls completed a chore card, they received one ticket to start keeping in their ticket pouch, but parents can adapt the number of tickets for their own schedule.  I also really liked that BONUS chores were included which also come in different colors.  These are extra chores that the child can complete and earn even more tickets.  There are also blank cards that can be used to write in your own chores that are not included in the set.


The “reward” part of the system can be used by having children redeem tickets for either an item in the “family store” or number of screen minutes.  Children can choose which reward they would like to work towards.  The family store can be set up between child and parent and include very simple items and more “expensive” items.  NEATLINGS includes a sample of items you could use in your family store.  We will be using a rotating reward chart so it always keeps the girls engaged!


So far this has been a great addition to our family routine and I was impressed with every possible component that NEATLINGS thought of to make this a comprehensive system.  NEATLINGS can even customize their charts for you to make something slightly different to fit your family needs such as different color combinations or additional pocket chart panels if you have more than 3 children.

One lucky parent will get a NEATLINGS chore chart system at the upcoming parent program thanks to a generous donation by the company!  If you are interested in any of NEATLINGS products check them out at www.neatlings.com and get 10% of your purchase with the coupon code of DEAL4YOU.  This code is valid from now until November 30th.




Building Skills at Home: Take Home Literacy Kits


In order to be truly effective with kids and help close achievement gaps, parental involvement is very important.  It can be difficult at times to get parental involvement and to achieve the carry over from school to home, especially with student that have a learning disability or are at-risk.

In a recent training I attended, we discussed how students need opportunities to work with information in order for it to become part of their skills base. The number of exposures or opportunities to work with the information varies based on the student.

Gifted students: 3-5 opportunities
Average learners: 15-25 opportunities
At-Risk 1000-1250  opportunities

This demonstrates the importance of repetition and the added need for parents to reinforce skills at home, especially with at-risk learners.  Most times we tell parents to read with their children, which is vitally important, but I thought it would be nice if we gave them more specific skills to work on with their children.

In order to try to help reach out to the parents and give specific skills to work on at home, I created take home literacy kits.  The purpose of these kits are to give parents pre-made activities that are ready to be implemented at home.  All the activities are from the Florida Center for Reading Research which is a FABULOUS FREE resource.  I can not tell you enough how much I LOVE this site.  I wish more teachers knew about it!  The site breaks down reading into phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension by grade (up to 5th grade) and offers hundreds of activities.

Below is just a sampling of some of the activities.




I included everything the parent would need to use the kit immediately and laminated the materials so they will hopefully last.  I also included a note to the parent explaining what we were doing and when they finish working with the kit, send it back and I will send them another one.


am currently piloting this with the special education students and have received positive feedback.  We hope to expand these kits and make them available for teachers to check out and use with students going through the RTI process.  They are perfect for centers, small groups, or partners.

Back to School: Open House Night

back to school

Since I have always been a school psychologist in multiple schools, I never participated in Open House nights.  So this year, I was excited to be part of the back to school night at my new school.  While being a Special Education Coordinator, you do not get as many parents coming by to visit, I still wanted to be prepared with a little treat!

I was inspired by this post I found on Pinterest and replicated something similar.  I just happen to have red and green boxes that I bought years ago for potential Christmas gifts that never got used so I decided to put the cookies in them.

I then attached the poem below to each box full of cookies.  I really loved this poem because it emphasizes the importance of educators and parents working together for our children.


The final product turned about pretty nice and hopefully the parents will enjoy the message and the treat!DSC_0130I also found these other great ideas on Pinterest, but did not have time to make them all, but possibly something to try for next year.

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