Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Parent Communication about School Counseling Small Groups

Ever struggle with the best way to communicate with parents? I know I have... for years. I facilitate many small groups throughout the year as part of my comprehensive school counseling plan. I send permission slips home to families, with an outline and a couple examples of what we might do during group. Despite this, I often have caregivers, at some point in the year, asking "Yes, but what exactly do you do in group?"

This is tricky to answer. All of my groups are different, based on group dynamics and need. I usually give an explanation about identifying feelings, managing emotions, and a brief discussion of the counseling component or topics might be a part of that particular group (e.g. family structures, conflict resolution, types of bullying, etc.). But this conversation never feels like it does groups justice... and I'm really lucky. I get to work with families who want to know what I do, and how they can support and reinforce group ideas at home with their children.

So behold... the parent mini flip book!

I found the template for the double-side mini flip book on Teachers Pay Teachers. It was created by Learning in Wonderland and it's amazing. It's big enough to include a lot of information, different enough to gain attention from parents and caregivers, and small enough that I don't feel overwhelmed creating it. 

Photo credit of Feelings Frogs to and Curto Toys  
I thought about what I wanted families to know, and I decided upon the general structure of my groups, along with a few examples of what students did while in group. I also try to add in some resources for the parents, or information about the materials used in group in case they'd like to check them out.

The feedback from sending the mini flip books home has been great so far! A first grader told me last week that her mom really liked the book I sent home about "Changing Families" group. I sent those home in January, so I know it made an impression when a 6 year old retains that information in April!

What's your favorite way to communicate with families? Comment below!

Wondering what I used to create these amazing parent resources? The mini flip book template was created by Learning in Wonderland. The font used on the mini flip books is Lightning Speed. Clip art credit to Teaching in the Tongass and Educlips


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