Parents: evil nemesis or total ally?
The answer can help change (or hinder) your whole school year.
How to get them involved? Some of the things I have used (and will continue to use):
-send home a parent survey asking for insight into their child
-call them or email them every so often with a "good news tidbit" about their child
-invite them in to the classroom; even if they never come, knowing my door is open to them seems to make parents more comfortable with me as a teacher
-involve them in the homework
One example of this that worked really well last year was to send home four questions about courage. The students wrote their answers, the parents wrote theirs, and then they discussed. The students wrote a synopsis of the conversation, the parents signed it. I received so many thank you notes I was amazed! (Got this idea from Janet Allen's Plugged into Reading series)
-invite them in to read with the class
I did this last year, and over 20 parent showed up for a silent reading day!
Parents are the best allies we have. Reaching out to them has made a huge difference in my classroom.