FORMINGPARTNERSHIPS WITH PARENTSJames D. MorrowUNCCMAED 5040 – 090Dr. Adam HarbaughApril 22, 2010
Forming Partnerships with Parents Parents Teachers Middle School Success Students
Forming Partnerships with Parents How can Teachers get Parents engaged in their Child’s Education? Initial Letter to Parents Back to School Night Open House Parent Teacher Conference School and Community Mathematic Clubs Mathematic Contests Community Outreach
Forming Partnerships with Parents Initial Letter to Parents 1stImpression A little about yourself and teaching philosophy Course Description Class Rules and Expectations Materials Needed Class Milestones (Projects, Major Tests, etc.) Grading Policy Discipline Policy Contact Information Reference to NC SCOS
Forming Partnerships with Parents Back to School Night Parents have seen your letters – now they meet you in person. Parents see the environment where there child is learning Parents follow student’s schedule. Teacher gets 8 to 10 to discuss the following: Describe fun project and activities students will be doing. Review and participate in student’s current work – Show parents what students are working on. Have displays around the room. What parents should expect from their child (in line with NC SCOS). Grading Policy Contact Information Emphasize how parents can provide a home environment where homework is a priority.
Forming Partnerships with Parents Open House Consider Student-Led Open house where student presents their work to their parents. Have students maintain a math portfolio of all their assignments in including projects. Display student work including posters, physical models, multimedia presentations, etc. Make sure classroom is neat and organized. Will have limited one-on-one with parents.
Forming Partnerships with Parents Parent Teacher Conference: Questions to be asked by Parents Is my child performing on grade level? How well is my child performing on tests? Is my child behaving in class? Is my child adjusting socially? What are the most important assignments coming up in class? What is the best way for me to communicate with you?
Forming Partnerships with Parents Parent Teacher Conference: Information Teachers need from Parents Any changes in the home that could affect school performance Any difficulties your child may be experiencing in school Your child’s special medical needs Your child’s after school activities Your child’s hopes and dreams The best way for the school to communicate with you
Forming Partnerships with Parents Tips when preparing for Parent Conferences: Post a conferences schedule by the door to help parents be aware of time. Keep some chairs outside the door so parents have a place to site outside the door if conferences are running behind. Put a desk outside the classroom door by the chairs. On the desk we keep copies of the how to help letters and also testing information. It might be a good idea to keep a basket of books underneath the desk to keep the kids entertained while they wait. Bonus points if the books are class made. Keep a large digital clock in view of both yourself and the parents. It is easier to stay on schedule and on time! When you are conferencing try you best to face the door so you can see if your next appointment arrives. Keep all my information for each child parent clipped together. This includes required district paper work, a writing sample, individualized reading list and any other important information.
Forming Partnerships with Parents Compliment the child and parent. Praise goes a long way too setting the tone for a conference Always stand up and greet the parent. Go up to them, not the other way around. If the parent looks open to it, stick out your my hand for a handshake. Some of the parents may not be comfortable at school and it is area effort for them. Make them comfortable. Always start out with a compliment or a cute anecdote about their child. Regardless of how involved, every parent loves their child and will be appreciative if they know you appreciate their child.
Forming Partnerships with Parents Break out the paper work. Go over your checklist like district benchmark paperwork on reading and writing levels and a writing sample. Use oral explanations for progress. Have a running record ready, however, most parents tend to glaze over when explained what all the checks mean on a running record. State everything in layman terms. Keep examples of the student’s math work to show the parents.
Forming Partnerships with Parents If you have academic concerns with a student's progress If a child is doing math work at below grade level, have an example of work their child is doing and compare it against the work students at grade level are doing so parents can see the difference. This usually floors most parents and is a pretty good way to illustrate your concern without being negative. If done in a correct tone, it can really demonstrate in a caring way your concern.
Forming Partnerships with Parents If you have attention concerns with a student... Is attention issues related to student’s age? Is the student disruptive in class? Is the student finishing their in-class work or taking a long time to finish. Time the assignment and document the time it takes a student to finish a problem. If you do this on a few assignments, this can be a real eye opener. Use a positive tone. Have a caring tone. Try the line “I wonder how successful he can be when he is focused….” Do not insinuate any medical issues like ADD and ADHD. Be careful what you say. You and the school system might be held financially responsible for indicating a child may have medical issues.
Forming Partnerships with Parents If you have behavioral concerns with a student: Try to feel out a parent to see why their child can be disruptive sometimes. Give specific examples of behaviors and ask, "Do you notice these behaviors at home?" If they answer yes ask," How do you handle this at home?" Parents need to be a part of this and feel like they are a part of this. Maybe ask parents what they say to their child and then try to mimic (if it is appropriate, some parents are a little more rough around the edges than I am comfortable being) it when the child does this at school. If the parents answer no, then I usually give them prompts like "Does he have a hard time getting homework done? What makes it a battle? How long does homework take? Does he sit at the table to eat or is he moving around a lot?" This can sometimes give you a good lead in.
Forming Partnerships with Parents Thank the Parents Always end with a Thank You and a handshake. Try to walk the parent to the door (like I would a guest in my house). This is a good way to get rid of the very talkative parent. It also allows you to be ready to greet the next family.
Forming Partnerships with Parents Other forms of Communication Weekly Folders Class Websites and Emails Positive Phone Calls Parent Surveys – child’s adjustment to class CMS Parent Assistance
Forming Partnerships with Parents Video: Parent Teacher Home Visit Project http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7752830435959282528#
Forming Partnerships with Parents References: http://www.mandygregory.com/Conferences.htm#Forms and Notices http://www.educationworld.com/tools_templates/index.shtml Teaching Mathematics for the 21st Century - Methods and Activities for Grades 6-12, Linda Huetinck and Sara N Munshin, 2008 Pearson Education Inc. http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/p/parent_teacher_conference.asp http://newteachersupport.suite101.com/article.cfm/communicating_with_parents http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7752830435959282528# (Google on “Parent Teacher Home Visit Project” and select video)