Friday, September 26, 2008

Partnering with Parents

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.


  1. I love the courage piece... what questions did you give them? What great dialogue that would be. I've used a "perfect mate" activity with Romeo & Juliet but you know, I really like the idea of having students write with parents on a value we could connect to reading...

  2. PS: I had 2 parent conferences this morning and have one each morning for the rest of the week. My personal goal this year is parent outreach--thus far it's "blitz-calls" both positive calls and calls of concern and conferences. What I'd really like to do is have the AVID students create a weekly or biweekly parent podcast.