"I don't remember how to do that kind of math!"
"You do math differently than I do!"
How many times do you hear this in a typical school year? Ten times? Hundreds? Thousands even?
|The Initial Interest Survey|
I hit gold! In one of Ron Clark's books, I found the idea of hosting nights where the parents came into the classroom to learn how different math techniques work and how to do them. As any good educator will tell you, we beg, borrow, and steal constantly, so I stole this idea and made it my own.
Of 20 respondents, 16 families indicated interest. 15
families wanted help in math, 13 in reading, and 10 in Virginia Studies. Predominantly, the parents said evenings would work best. Figuring these, I decided to host 3 nights a month from 7:00-8:00 pm: 2 Math and 1 Reading. I discussed this with my administration and she was fully supportive. I moved forward in planning.
|Results of Interest Survey|
I decided to base the Reading Night on three comprehension skills my class struggled with: Main Idea, Inferences, and Sequencing (based on the recent Reading benchmark assessment.) I used the Math Nights to review multiplication, long division, and elapsed time. Those skills comprised our second quart of the school year. I created presentations on Google Slides, which I uploaded to my Google Site for parents to revisit later. I collaborated with my close teaching and personal friend to make the presentations as clear as possible.
The first Reading HSCN was upon us! While 13 parents RSVP'ed yes, 10 showed up, which was a
|The very first Reading HSCN, with 13 parents. |
My principal is in the blue sweater
|Parents working on practice Lattice Box|
Since the first two nights, I have made two major changes:
- One common issue on the feedback forms were that the parents couldn't see the presentation on the paper copy. I solved this problem but giving them Chromebooks to view the presentation on while I presented on the SmartBoard. I still provide paper copies for them to take notes on and for the parents who do not come. This had an additional benefit of embedding the pre survey and the feedback form in the presentation so they could do it right on the Chromebook.
- I began offering childcare during these nights in March. The same teacher mentioned above volunteered to watch children while their parents were in my class. I included this information on the March RSVP. This helped some parents come who could not get a sitter for the evening.
|Taking notes on Reading Comprehension|
|Parents at a Reading HSCN|
groups and they will battle each other in all math concepts. The catch is... the parents have to use the students' methods! I am really looking forward to this particular Night.
|Yours truly presenting on long division at Math HSCN|
I am a very strong advocate for parents taking an ownership role in their child's education. In my graduate degree studies, I have been basing the research portion of my degree on parental involvement and the effects on achievement. Obviously, higher parental involvement equals higher
achievement. This is just one small way I have tried to increase parental support at home. I have 7 hours a day with a student, and they are at home for 17 hours. If school is the only place they are practicing the skills, it is highly unlikely they will be most successful. I urge you to try this in your own classroom and I am more than willing to lend a helping hand! Sound off in the comments below!