Keeping in Touch with Families All Year Long

Step out of your teacher shoes for a moment and imagine yourself as the parent of a child you teach. You're at home, and the phone rings. You pick it up and a voice says, "Hello. This is Ms. Norris, Emily's teacher." If you're like many parents, two words spring immediately to mind: "Uh oh."
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Learning Celebrations

As a new teacher years ago, I knew by instinct and training that students would learn more, and with more joy, if adults from their home lives shared in their school lives.…
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Informality Enhances Parent Meetings

Because I want families to be important members of their child’s educational team, I make opportunities throughout the school year for in-person conversations with each student’s parents or guardians. These “meetings” range…
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Welcoming Families of Different Cultures

An adapted excerpt from Parents & Teachers Working Together One of the enduring truths about teaching is that to teach children well, we have to know them: what they’re passionate about, what…
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Investing in Parents During the First Six Weeks of School

Teachers work hard during the first six weeks of school to get to know their students and to establish a safe and welcoming classroom environment. This early investment makes the whole school…
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Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences Keep the Focus on the Child

On a sunny October afternoon, kindergartner Chloe welcomes her mom into her classroom for a conference. Together they review a map Chloe had created with symbols representing the activities that the class…
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Wonderful Wednesdays

Morning Meeting is over and writing workshop is underway. The children are scattered around the room sketching and then writing about objects that “called out to them.” Erin's dad is leaning against…
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Bridging Home and School

Learning about patterns is one of the first things we do in math in my primary classroom. We create patterns with our bodies, sing them, build them, clap them. But I never…
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Child Development

Question:What are your goals in sharing knowledge about child development with students’ families, and how do you go about it?
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Welcoming All Families

Question:I know that it's important to have a good working relationship with the parents and care-takers of the children in my classroom. The children come from diverse backgrounds, with differences in ethnicity,…
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Working with Families

Question:In my classroom this year, I am implementing two teaching strategies, Morning Meeting and Rules and Logical Consequences, but I’m concerned about parents’ reactions. I can imagine that they will worry that…
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Homework!

Ask any teacher, parent, student, or administrator about homework and you're likely to get a different opinion about the quality and quantity at their school: there should be more, there should be…
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