Engaging Parents in Meaning-Making

This year, one of my goals is to communicate more clearly with parents about how we are learning Math and why I make the instructional decisions that I do.  I know that it can be frustrating for parents to support their child at home if they don’t feel confident in the methods we are learning at school, and I’d like to try to help break down this barrier (and also hopefully avoid parents teaching their children counter-productive “tricks” at home).

I rarely assign Math homework because I know that it can be a source of conflict at home, and because parents often don’t have the knowledge to support their child in understanding the concepts.  However, I have many parents who really want to help and want to offer meaningful support at home.

So – my three goals in this area for this year are:

  1. Be more explicit in my parent communication around Math – send home a letter at the beginning of the year that addresses some common parent concerns, and include information for parents at the beginning of each unit through the year.
  2. Continue to add to my collection of linked YouTube videos on the “Homework Help” section of my class website, so parents can access information about how we are learning in class.
  3. Develop strategy-based weekly fact fluency practice so parents can contribute meaningfully by helping (playing games) with their child at home.

Part I this summer was to write my parent letter… a harder task than I thought it was going to be because I had a lot to say and really wanted to keep it to a one-pager (front and back).  I used information from Nikki Lineham’s website and also added some edits this morning based on Dr. Hilary Kreisberg’s talk at the Build Math Minds Virtual Summit.

Here’s the letter as it stands now – feedback is all appreciated!

What is your best tip for communicating with parents about Math?  Leave me a comment below!