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Training Conference

Subject: «Methods and ways of drawing parents’ attention to issues of upbringing in a family»

Approximate duration: 01 hour
Audience: teachers

Author: teacher-psychologist - A.I. Isadskaya Approbation date: 18.02.09.

Main objectives:

1. Introduction of new methods and ways how to draw parents’ attention to issues upbringing in a family.

2. Upgrading of schoolmasters’ practical experience (adoption of new methods through games)

Material and equipment: games card files, example of child guidance charge exercises, parents aids « Illustration to upbringing issues ».


When working with parents the main idea is to make PTA meeting pleasant and useful, to establish collaborating relations.

The proposed methods allow the following:

- to ease up atmosphere of the meeting, provide free communication among the participants;

- to make contacts, create trust relationship, improve mutual understanding;

- to make discussions more fruitful, at that the parents start participating in the talk more actively.

The active participation principle is based on a well-known idea that people comprehend 10% of what they hear, 50% of what they see, 70% of what they act and 90% of what they actually do.

1. Game methods.

How to start a PTA meeting?
À) Acquaintance games – getting familiar with each other.
B) Psychological exercise.
C) Methods that help to define the scope of significance of issue or a problem raised,
attitude of participants to the same or degree of their involvement.

À) Acquaintance games for parents.

One entire meeting can be devoted to acquaintance of the participants or else there can be taken
some time during each PTA meeting to held one of such games that would
allow parents to feel more at ease.

· Game «Making knots»

The participants are given 30-40 sm long threads. Parents who have something in common tie their threads together.
The common feature can be as follows: professional field, family status, some similarity in appearance, favourite color e.t.c.
Thereafter everyone tells what was this binding factor.

· Game «Item from my childhood»

Different items are placed on the table, namely: a ball, a doll, memoirs or something else. Every participant chooses the object which is somehow connected to their childhood and tells an associated story.

· Game «Family symbols»

Version 1

Some picture/ symbol is drawn by parents on their visiting cards, this may allow
others to remember them. Parents are welcome to consult and help each other. Then
they have to explain what is the association evoked by the drawn symbol with respect to their name.

Version 2

Parents are to draw a picture of some important event or situation from their life. Others try to guess what is it, asking questions, the reply to which can be either “yes” or “no”.

Additionally, instructor cane use known popular games: «Bingo», «Name letters», «The movie I have shot»,«Hobby», «Building a tower», «Group mirror»

B) Psychological exercise

Instructor makes any statement which is somehow related to the agenda of PTA meeting and proposes those parents who agree with the statement to perform particular action. The last is to be such a statement that makes everyone agree with it.

C) Methods that help to define the scope of significance of a problem.

· «Choose your distance»

Instructor claims some object being a symbol of the current PTA meeting and places it to the center of the classroom. Then parents are asked to stay away from this object on the distance that would show their proximity or remoteness from the subject of discussion (or their knowledge and experience in this field). The method is good for clarification of status among the parents, it gives chance to speak to those parents who otherwise fail to do this.

· Game «Tangle of questions»

In the beginning of meeting instructor reveals the scope of issues parent are concerned with. There have to be more issues then the participants. All parents put their questions on narrow pieces of paper, stick them and coil them together. Instructor proposes somebody to answer a question while unreeling. If the person is hesitant to answer others may help. One participant can give answer to one question only and pass the coil further until all the issues are examined.

· Game «Language of photos»

Instructor places meeting-related snaps on the floor. Each parent chooses a snap, having introduced themselves, and gives a brief comment to the choice. At that the patrent has to give any associated ideas, thoughts and feelings, establishing the connection with the subject of the meeting. The group has to include 15 people at most, they are free to move around the room scrutinizing and choosing the photos. Snaps are driving them to think over. Props: at least 30 photos. Approximate subject: “kids in a kindergarten”, “family”, “kids’ creative work”, “playing games” e.t.c.

· Game «Cap full of questions»

Parents are making up small notes addressed to each other, put them into a cap, then take them out in turn. The answers are decided on consultation in pairs.

1st type of questions: formal ones. They are used to check the awareness of kindergarten life and rules, include such questions as: when was the latest festival, competition, excursion?

2nd type of questions: instructor may wait until proper time for these questions comes. The pattern may be as follows: I think so and so, and what do you think? (expressing a viewpoint).

3rd type of questions: for example: “I wonder how can I teach my child going to bed on time?” e.t.c.

Better move step by step, and everything will certainly be all right: gradually parents will become active and communicative. The main task for the instructor now is to school themselves in patience so as to listen to the parents all through.

2. Illustrative methods of making a dialog with parents

À) Manual «Illustration to upbringing issues».

This an aids for parents who do not know the rules of pedagogics and psychology, as well as for instructors who want to , find a common language with parents. The manual contains pictures, shot stories related to them and explanations to the same. Pictures offering sequence is the following:

1. A picture is shown to a parent, than instructor proposes to make a story based on it. The more details are there in the story, the more efficient is the work. Instructor has to ask leading questions and ensure everyone is taking part in discussion.

2. When the picture is quite clear, instructor tells to which educational problem it relates and explains why.

3. Practical analysis of the issue discussed: in case parents were actively participating during first two stages, the third one is also making them active and less anxious as compared to traditional meeting.

4. Final stage. Finding out of possible behaviour patters and remedy to child-parent relations. It is more desirable that the above work is done by parents on their own, instructor being only kind of an expert here. When having a meeting with other instructors there can be held a discussion of pictures, examining the examples.

B) Discussion of child and parents drawings

This task helps to draw parens attention to children worries, understanding of their own attitude to kids, emphatic interaction with them. For instance, such issue as «Family and first schooling steps» is under consideration. Instructor offers a child drawing: «I am at school» and a grown-up drawing: «How I see my child at school». Instructors give comments to the drawings and on behalf of the parents provide the answers. Such method makes parents realize their experience, avoid stereotypes in upbringing, increases parents emotional attitude to feelings of their kids.

3. PTA meeting conclusion stage methods (feedback)

Feedback methods help to determine the level of significance of the problem discussed and parents’ apprehension of it, to reveal personal problems of the participants.

À) Verbal feedback

· Game «The word of the day»
Instructor proposes to express one’s attitude to the meeting using one word only.
· Game «Helpful hint»
Each participant is given a card where they have to put some advice to another participant.
Advices can be given in form of a joke or a proverb.
· Game «Wonderful bag»
Instructor asks the participants what would they like to place in the bag ant take
with them to future from the received knowledge and skills.
· • Game «Incomplete sentences»
1. The most important question asked today was …
2. The most difficult thing for me today was …
3. Today I’ve understand that…
• Parents psychological exercise
• «Free letter»

Á) Figurative feedback.

· • «The picture of the day» (individually or all together)
Parents express their opinion regarding the meeting with the help of drawing, giving explanations if required.
• «Colorful stripes»
The stripes express parents’ attitude to the meeting, the scope of utility.
• «Snowflake»
Parents mark each vector of the snowflake giving scores to:
* interest;
* utility of information;
* difficulty of games, tasks and exercises;
* novelty,
* emotional attitude to the tasks;
* self-actualization, self-rating,
* effectiveness.
• «The ladder»
Parents are asked to arrange in form of a ladder some concepts regarding children upbringing and development, eg.:
«punishment and encouragement», «development of will», «creativity of
children», «communication» e.t.c.
• «Icons»
• «Fence»
Parents are asked to put their impressions or attitude to the meeting (in short phrases) on a fancy fence.

  Severodvinsk 2011