One of my favorite back to school activities is “In a Million Words or Less”. My mentor teacher used this activity when I was student teaching and I fell in love. For those who don’t know, the assignment is for parents. It asks each parent to write the teacher a letter, in a million words or less, explaining what makes their child special. The responses I get are truly amazing. There are just some things I would never learn about the student or would take me most of the year to discover. When a parent tells me that their son/daughter has a special talent or a specific anxiety I can look out for them from the beginning!
I handed out my assignment on the first day of school. The students always love that they get to give mom and dad homework! I explain to the students that because their parents have work and outside responsibilities, I give them a whole month to finish their assignment. That night, I already had my first emailed responses. I share the responses with my teammates, special ed teacher, and specials teacher as needed.
“In a Million Words or Less” is an invaluable assignment. The letters I receive are priceless. If you are interested in trying it out, my handout can be found below.