Sunday, April 16, 2006

Helping Parents Help Us-

Promoting Comprehension Through Parent Involvement

by V. Susan Bennett-Armistead

Your assignment is to read chapter 11 on parent support. Please reflect on the following key questions:

1. How might parent involvement efforts improve achievements in reading comprehension?

2. What are the barriers to parent involvement in your community?

3. What are your ideas that would involve parents who traditionally do not get involved at school?

Please click on the comments icon to submit your reply.

18 Comments:

Blogger Rhonda Gillette said...

1. How might parent involvement efforts improve achievements in reading comprehension?

Parents are the most important people in a child's life. Their love and support are a crucial part of the fundamental needs of all children. Because of this, they have the ability to influence and motivate their children to be good students. Children will perform better in school if they know that their parents are working collaboratively with their teacher. An involved parent gives the child the message that school is important. An involved parent also helps to boost the self-esteem of the child which will lead to greater successes in school as well.

2.What are the barriers to parent involvement in your community?

*single parent families, double-income households, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, poverty-level parents that aren't educated themselves.

3.What are your ideas that would involve parents who traditionally do not get involved at school?

* making a welcoming phone call, post card, and/or introduction letter before the school year starts will help to develop a positive relationship right from the start
* involve parents by having them fill out a questionnaire about their child during the first week of school
* make a parent handbook -involve parents in the homework process and the school discipline process by including information in your handbook that outlines procedures and suggestions for how they can help at home
* recruit parents to help out in the classroom at open house by providing them with a list of ways that they can help through out the school year.

12:34 PM  
Blogger anne mortensen said...

Parent Involvement

Parent involvement in anything helps to make it a focus in the home. When parents are excited about any variety of school or non school topics or activities that excitment or energy is funneled to the rest of their family. If parents support reading time, library visits, magazine subscriptions, books on tape, and share stories that they have read, etc. kids will know it is important. It is just like if parents support their child's soccer playing, by buying them shoes, a ball and kicking it around with them, it will make a difference.

Barriers in my community to parent involvement

Although having two parents is a wonderful gift, two parents with high demand jobs, is common in my school. These dual income families can be very supportive financially to the school and library, but many of the families have time constraints and are believe they are unable to take time to work with students at the school.

An additional barrier is that many parents have their children involved in a tremendous amount of after school activities. These activities also have benefits, but they lessen time at home and time with parents. Time at home with parents is a perfect time to read!

Ideas to involve parents

Our school has a used book sale each spring. Parents and students look through their bookshelves and find books they will no longer need. They then bring them to the school. Each donating family gets a free book voucher for each member of the family. The students then pick a new book that is more their age/reading level.
Although many of the parents don't stay at the school, it gets them in the door and it shows their kids that books are worth some time.

Since I have just started back I have not implemented this idea, but I would love to have a parent/child book club. The parents and the children could read the same book. Many 5th grade level books have great messages for parents as well as students.

At our school, we have a website. I have also contemplated putting book reveiws on the site. It would make a good reading project for the students and the parents could easily check out reading ideas there.

I have parents fill out a informational form at the beginning of the year. It is great to have their insight into their child. I send them the message that they know their child best and I want to support them. I also gain all contact information on this form and I do not hesitate to ask for their involvement. I usually do this by phone or in person when they pick up their child as this seems to produce more results.

Finally, each week the parents receive an note from me. Some families get a paper note and others get an email. I keep them up to date on all that is going on in the classroom and the school. Dates of opportunities to be at school functions, (class play or an all school open house) are given in advance so they can plan for them.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Chrissy Krone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Chrissy Krone said...

1. How might parent involvement efforts improve achievements in reading comprehension?

A childs first teacher is their parents. They have the greatest influence in their child's life. I believe the greatest gift anyone could give a child is the love of reading. It has been and remains my #1 goal each year. I strive to find stories and books that interest all of my students so they want to read...for pure enjoyment. But this process needs to start at home at a very early age, (I started with my son while I was still pregnant with him.)

This process needs to continue even after the students learn to read themselves. So many times I hear that once the students learn to read in first grade that many parents stop reading to their children. I had a college teacher who ended every class reading a chapter out of one of her favorite books. I could not remember the last time someone had read to me. I loved it!

Children need to see their parents reading at home, both for work and for enjoyment. Reading needs to be valued and encouraged at home not just in school! It needs to be a daily enjoyable activity that our children can look forward to. Activities such as visits to the library, a subscription to their favorite magazine, ordering books out of one of the many book clubs available at school, sharing books at home, and visiting a local book store are great ways to get started. The ability to read well will open the door for success in all other aspects of life.

2. What are the barriers to parent involvement in your community?

When I was in elementary school almost every mom was a stay at home mom. My mom helped me with my homework, made me study my spelling words, encouraged me to read, brought me to the library, listened to me read, read to me, we baked together, talked ,played. That along with all of the house work is no doubt a full time job.

We have now entered a new era where more is better. Now in almost every family both parents work full time, my household included. It seems like everyone is so busy. It is like everyone is in fast forward mode. No time equally less quality time at home reading, checking homework, talking,just relaxing as a family.

Another barrier I see is the number of after school activities the students are involved in. It is great to have your child involved and active, don't misunderstand me, but many parents have their children in far too many organized activities. Some of my students have some type of activity every night during the school week. It is either baseball, basketball, dance, horseback riding lessons, Girl/Boy Scouts, 4H, gymnastics, the list could go on! Some of these activites are not even offered in our area so parents drive them 45 minutes so they can join in a neighboring city. What ever happened to just playing outside with the kids next door? When is there time for homework or just pain old down time? What ever happened to "You can play baseball when your homework is done!" Now all these activities come first and school work and quality family time take the back burner.

I feel we as a society need to SLOW DOWN and remember what is truly important in life. It is not how much we do it is how well we do it.

There does not seem to be enough time in a day for everything that needs to get done. Many parents want to be involved but just cannot seem to find the time/balance.

3. What are your ideas that would involve parents who traditionally do not get involved at school?

~Before school begins or within the first month of school have an open house so parents can visit the school/classroom.

~Send a letter home at the beginning of the school year inviting parents to come and visit the classroom, share a hobby, read a story, listen to a student read, etc. Follow the note up with a personal invitation via a phone call. Call one or two parents up every week.

~ Send a weekly newsletter home keeping parents informed on what is being covered in every subject area. Include activities that parents can do at home to reinforce what is being taught in school.

~ Don't just make phone call home when something is wrong. Call about good behavior as well. Try to call 1 or 2 parents a week for "Sunshine Reports".

~Make conferences an enjoyable experience. Always open and close with positive coments.

~A number of years ago our entire school K-12 began using daily planners. Every student has their own and each day the students write their homework assignments in there so parents know what homework they have. These work great. Parents are asked to sign them each night and the students must return them to school the following day. If parents have a note they can place it in the folder that is attached to the planner or they can write it in that day's space. It is an excellent way to communicate with parents.

Many parents are able and willing to come in and help in school. Some just need to be asked.

12:28 PM  
Blogger KristinS. said...

Parental Involvement in Comprehension

If parents are involved in the comprehension efforts of their children, they have the ability to greatly aid their children’s comprehension goals. Teachers are able to help out at school, but due to time constraints and the large number of students needing help, they are not always able to meet with students individually as much as they would like to. Teachers and parents who work together present a united front. Hopefully this will instill the importance and value of reading into all children.

There are a few barriers that I have encountered while involving parents in furthering/reinforcing their child’s learning. Perhaps the biggest roadblock is the fact that parents don’t consider themselves to be teachers. They feel that it is solely the teacher’s job to teach their child from 8:30-3:30 each day and that the responsibility does not need to fall on them for reinforcing learning. Obviously, this way of thinking is detrimental to the student.

I do have parents volunteer in my classroom to aid in comprehension activities. They read with students and work on a variety of project preparation jobs. I liked the suggestion of including basic comprehension activities for parents to try at home in a monthly newsletter. Another suggestion I liked was sending home a ‘book bag’ for students to select a book to read with their parents every week. The difficulty that I encounter at an older grade level is that the shorter reading books are not always the best literature – even if the writing is at the child’s level. These would be some simple ideas to further comprehension in my classroom.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Sam Fuchs said...

1. How might parent involvement efforts improve achievements in reading comprehension?

Parents can be very important people in their child's education if they are involved. First of all they know their children the best and usually see them more than we do. By reading with their child at home not only are they reinforcing the skills at school but they are showing their child that reading is important. I think because they have more flexibility when they read with their child than when teachers work with the class there is an opportunity to more tailor the reading to the child and make it more fun. When students enjoy reading they do well.

2. What are some barriers to parent involvement in your community?

I think we have pretty good parents overall, but there is still a few that feel that "schoolwork" should be done at school. The parents don't see the importance of the work at home. Also, we do have some students whose parents have language barriers. I think another big problem is that parents are not always sure what to do unless it has been assigned by the teacher.

3. What are your ideas that would involve parents who traditionally do not get involved at school?

I have tried some of the strategies mentioned in the article. I have put suggestions in the newsletter, talked with parents about how to work with their child, or found buddies for poor readers to read with. Another thing I do is that we have a book report each month and I try to make them so that they include the parents nor people from outside of school. One last thing I have participated in at a previous school was we had a book lending program. In the program there were many backpacks that were filled with books and activities about different themes. Parents could sign up for a theme and the kids would take them home when it was their turn. Since most of them were fun activities involving reading there was a high level of participation throughout the school.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Lisa Taylor said...

1. Parents working with their child at home reinforces what has been done at school, and it shows that it's important the parents just as it is to the students and the teachers. Sometimes students need an extra reinforcer to get ideas across that may not have been understood at school.
2. I have families that are low income, uneducated, single parents, no parents involved, language barriers, some parents don't know how to help their child without telling them answers, don't have time, schedules, and other children at home that also need help.
3. The first week of school we send home a "First Grade Parents Handbook". This lays out everything that parents will need to know for the year. Rules, gym, art, music schedule, discipline, ways to get a hold of the teacher/school, calling a child in sick, homework policy. We have an open house at the beginning of the year where we invite students and families to come visit the school and our classroom. My students took real pride in being able to show their parents around the room. We tried to arrange a literacy night this year, but it fell through due to so many conflicting schedules. It is on the top of our lists for next year though. At open house, we did pass out a variety of papers that had our reading strategies and what the parents can do at home to help their child. I send home a Note of the Week every Friday. This highlights what we have done for the week, any upcoming events, and how to contact me. Each month we have a different book log to keep track of the books they are reading each night. On the back side are reading strategies for parents to use and reinforce at home with their child.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

1.How might parent involvement efforts improve achievements in reading comprehension?

Parental involvement is the key! Parents are their child’s first teacher. They have the greatest influence in their child's life. When parents are involved with their child’s education, the better the child is as a student. I believe that parents should try to instill the love of reading. It is my focus at home and at school. I try to read stories and books that will interest all of my students so they want to pick up a book and read without being told to.

2. What are the barriers to parent involvement in your community?

In our community, some barriers are single parent families, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, low income parents, and parents that aren't educated themselves.

3. What are your ideas that would involve parents who traditionally do not get involved at school?

My ideas to involve parents are:
+ before school even starts, send home a post card or a phone call home to develop a positive relationship
+ have parents fill out a questionaire about their child’s learning styles
+make a parent/student handbook letting both know discipline plan, different programs that are available, etc
+in the handbook, I also have a page that asks parents if they can help out in any way either in our classroom or somewhere in the school
+a newletter keeping parents informed about things in the classroom and activities for the school

8:10 AM  
Blogger Kris Schmidt said...

1. How might parent involvement efforts improve achievements in reading comprehension?

Parents are a child's primary educational environment. Children from low-income and minority families have a lot to gain when parents are involved with their children. Parents do not have to be well-educated to help. Parents who are involved with their children are teaching the importance of their work. If they have the support and encouragement they need from their parents, it will lead to greater success in school, whether it be learning the alphabet or learning to read. Most children want to be like their parents, so seeing parents read the newspaper and magazines or books help support the notion that reading is important.

2. What are the barriers to parent involvement in my community?

I think the most common barriers to parent involvement are busy schedules, transportation, language barriers, and parents' perception that they have nothing to offer.

All of my families qualify for Head Start because of their income level. Not all parents are well-educated, but I do believe they all have something to offer in helping and supporting their children.

3.What are your ideas that would involve parents who traditionally do not get involved at school?

I begin each school year visiting each of my families on what we call a home visit. The goal of the home visit is to meet the family in their home and work with the child to see where they are at and if they have any special needs.
I believe this is a great introduction to meeting parents in a comfortable place for them and helps to build our relationship to best help their child.

We have an open house before the first day of class where we invite students and families to come and visit the classroom. For most of our students, Head Start is their first experience in school so it helps to get them comfortable with their setting.

Many of my parents are involved in a books to home program. I send a book home each week (in their home language-most of them spanish) with the children and have the parents sign a paper about how much time they've spent reading with their children. I have extremely good turnout, especially with my hispanic families. I like the idea of adding a sheet with some tips for parents as they read and some strategies to enhance language and comprehension.

Our school has a literacy night where the parents and children make activities at the school to have at home, such as flannel boards, popsicle puppets that go with stories, and song props and words to songs. Each family receives a free book. It is a popular night because we also give away baskets of activities for the kids as door prizes.

I send applications for library cards in hopes that some parents will bring their children to the library and check books out together.

Head Start has a Parent Center that sets up many activities for families to get involved (BINGO night, Men, Kid's and Pizza, Cooking Nights) The environment is much more relaxed than the school.

I like the idea of including literacy suggestions and activities with our monthly calendar. If even a few parents try out the ideas, it is worth it.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Robes said...

Parent Involvement

Parent involvement with their children's reading has the potential to send several positive messages to their children. Their involvement will let their children understand the importance of reading. Hopefully, parents will also be able to convey the joy of reading to their children. I believe that children who think something is important and/or enjoy it will work harder at it.

A possible side affect of parent involvement is the parent feeling as though they are partners with educators. Some parents still few the teaching of reading as "our job". Including them may lead to more follow through at home with nightly reading.

Barriers

I believe the number one barrier to parent involvement is time. Many (most) families have two income earners. They and their children are involved in sports, plays, destintion imangination, etc. Kids have video games, big screen TVs, and ipods. They don't seem to have the time for reading. Time is equally precsious for families with a single parent. By the time the kids get home from school, supper is put on the table, and supper is cleaned up, a single parent is just plain tired. Even when parents understand the important role they play in the development of their child's academic skills, it can be hard to schedule it in or even to have the energy to do it.

Ideas for involvement

Since I believe time one of the primary barriers to parent involvement we need to considered the parent's needs when designing activities. I have found that personally asking the parents to be involved via phone call or in person is very effective. After school a meal that is free or as inexpensive as we can make it is one way to help relieve the time crunch. If the activity involves parent training, child care needs to be part of the night.

When we are thinking about involving parents we often forget to ask the parents what works for them. Meeting the parents needs will go along way towards involving them.

I feel very fortunate to work in a school where many, many parents are directly involved in their child's academic progress. We have reading nights, prime time(a fifth grade reading acitivity with an in school sleepover) and an authors wall, to name just a few activities that occur at our school.

8:55 AM  
Blogger jomarie said...

Helping Parents Help Us

Parent involvement with improving achievements in reading comprehension is essential. Parents are the cornerstone of their child’s educational foundation. Parents that are involved or connected to the educational setting create a link with home and school that benefits the child. Parents can be involved at all sorts of levels, even by just reading a classroom newsletter or a monthly school newsletter can make a difference. An example I have in mind is a student I had 6 years ago. The student was an exceptional student, but her parents built walls between home and school. This child came from very educated parents who provided her with very enriching reading materials and experiences, but due to the parents attending a very non-traditional schooling (no grading system) caused them to purposely not support the efforts of the school. Well, parent/teacher conferences were like battle sessions where the parents constantly couldn’t understand the reason for the grades that were given etc. At one point the father (being sarcastic) said his daughter wasn’t any good at math, because she was a girl. I threw my hands up and asked the parents what they wanted from me (the father did apologize when he wanted to attend a field trip with the class and I told him he couldn’t go unless he apologized to me). Several years ago this girl’s mother was hired in our school as an educational assistant. She was a 1:1 aide in my classroom three years ago and she shared with me how she now understands the incredible responsibility teachers have in the educational setting and how she now does everything in her power to connect with school to make learning between home and school the best for her daughter. In some cases, I wish that many parents and non-school people could have such a transforming experience.

A barrier to parent involvement is the experience above. There are families who put up a barrier between home and school because they feel some kind of mistrust. I am glad to say I haven’t had such an intense experience as that again. I often see divorced couples that have barriers between themselves which negatively impacts their child. I had nine students from divorced homes last year and I observed more students with being more scattered in their thought processes and demonstrating more anxiety that interfered with their daily learning. Families have mothers and fathers that are both working jobs with incredible hours. Families are involved with long evening of extra curricular activities. Students don’t have time to do their reading/homework because their schedules are so busy. But the biggest barrier is the parent that had bad experiences with school when he/she was a child or the parent that feels intimidated and avoids school communication. I think they feel that the teacher or school will make judgments about their level of intelligence.

This is what I have done to involve parents at all levels:
• I make two positive calls to each family a year. Just to talk and field any questions.
• I write a weekly newsletter that encourages families to question their child about what happened during the week.
• Pet show in October. I send out notices six weeks in advance so parents can make work arrangements. I send many notes home and I make phone calls assuring that parents are going to attend (I had one student this year that did not have parents attend. I then have a stand in teacher from school that can be a support to the child.) A family writing activity is incorporated with this event.
• Notes are sent to families that would like to volunteer their time to reread with students throughout the year. I didn’t get any parent volunteers this year.
• Grandparents to come in to help each student make an apple pie. Following directions is the skill with this activity. This event has been successful, too.
• Family Luncheon where parents receive invitations two months before the event. Students are waiters and waitresses and serve their families pizza and cake. This celebration occurs because the students create a book about themselves and their families. Each chapter of the book features each student (17 chapters/100 pages with digital pictures families send to be scanned into the book). One page in each chapter is a memory about the student written by their Mom and/or Dad. The students love it when I tell them that their parents have a homework assignment and not them (again this assignment is given at least four weeks in advance). I have had 100% turn out so far!
• Energy saving inventions created using the scientific method and presented at our local Energy Fair. This is an evening event and students present their inventions to people attending the Fair. Parents are invited to attend to view all of the class inventions.
• End of school year DVD with a special “thank you” message to the parents.
• Teacher Web page which I have a PowerPoint presentation available to run. I really don’t update the web page often. This is one area where I need to improve a lot!
• Special talents reading theme where I invite parents to come in to share their special talent. This is my first time inviting parents to do this event this spring.
• Student planners that students record notes and assignments in daily. Parents are asked to initial.
• Home visits to families that have a child with special needs.
• Welcome letter sent to students in August that is candy coded.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

1. How might parent involvement efforts improve achievements in reading comprehension?

Parents know their child best. They are the best teachers. They already have a wealth of knowledge about that child. They know their childs background, memories, prior knowledge, etc. They can best know how to build upon the foundation already formed. Parents can give words of affirmation, encouragement, and support. Parents know the strengths and weaknesses of their child.

Teachers can only do so much in school. If parents are mirroring what is done in school, the child will have a better chance of comprehending. Repetition in a variety of environments increases comprehension.

2. What are the barriers to parent involvement in your community?

There are several barriers to parent involvement. One is language. Many of my parents are not fluent in English and may be intimidated to spend time at school. Another is transportation/location. Almost all of my children are bussed across town to school. School is definitely out of the way for most parents. Many do not have cars and so making it across town is difficult. Family dynamics also play a huge part in family involvement. Some parents are in jail or out of the picture, leaving single parents the responsibility. Many of these single parents are struggling with balancing their busy lives while trying to maintain a job. These are just a few reasons parents are not heavily involved.

3. What are your ideas that would involve parents who traditionally do not get involved?

One of the easiest ways to get parents involved with their child is our lending library. Parents read with their child, discuss the story or do an activity, and return a paper stating their involvement.

I send a calendar home every month and always include an invitation to the classroom at any time. Also, Head Start bombards the children with TONS of newsletters on how they can be involved in the learning process.

We start off the year with a home visit. We spend about an hour with the family in their environment. Family workers have more home visits through out the year and share resources as well as set goals with the parent. The teacher completes a final home visit at the end of the year. We are required to have 3 conferences with the parent (one being on a final home visit) and there is a specific section for parents to have input on. This is a chance for them to share what they feel their child needs extra help with and a chance for the teacher to give them ideas to use at home to target that area. Phone calls and notes home are not uncommon. All of these opportunities are chances to build trust and connections to these families.

Our mission statement shows our dedication to building connections with families: "Our mission is to build positive relationships with children and parents. We provide resources that empower families to prioritize child and family goals and develop advocacy skills that recognize parents as both teachers and lifelong learners. We build and nurture community collaborations and partnerships. We believe success will come from a celebration of diversity, inclusive learning environments, and acceptance of a variety of family dynamics."

There are several family nights offered throughout the year. We have a literacy night, holiday concert, and many offerings at the parent center. The parent center holds classes, has free clothing for parents to take, and even hosts social events like men, kids, and pizza nights.

Parents are always encouraged to come on field trips. Just last weekend there was a Saturday field trip (optional). The children and parents were able to make stools together with a local fire department.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:26 PM  
Blogger kris said...

I think one of the best ways to improve achievement is to just get kids to read more. The way for parents to be involved is to set an example of being readers themselves and sitting down and reading with the child or children. Then from there they can begin working on strategies by asking question and making connections.

One of the biggest barriers to parent involvement where I teach is that families are so busy taking their children here and there. From the moment they get home from school until they go to bed the kids don't even have time to open a book let alone sit down with a parent to read. We also have the other end of the spectrum of kids going home to find nobody there and sit in front of the television all evening. Often times there aren't even any reading materials at home for these kids.

We need to make all parents feel welcome and offer suggestions and encouragement and materials for things they can do at home. For some, parent education would be very beneficial--they just don't know what to do. Somehow, (I still don't know how to do this) get all parents to come in at least once a year to read with kids. This would be very powerful, especially for the kids who have never seen their parents in the school before. Starting small (classroom) and building up (school-wide) might be the key for some parents.

12:22 PM  
Blogger JB said...

1. I feel that parental involvement is directly related to achievements in reading comprehension. I am able to see this first hand with my children. I feel that reading should be a fun and enjoyable activity. I want to pass my love of reading onto my children. All of those hours spent reading to and with your children can never be made up in the classroom setting. All of the important discussion that takes place and building of vocabulary and background knowledge, etc. is crucial to development as a reader. I was disappointed when my fifth grade students last year filled out a reading survey and only 2/8 read with their partent- the others read silently. I work with fragile readers and the parent support is very important.
2. Schedules are a large barrier. Many parents place sports before academics. I wonder how many of the students will go on to be involved professionally in sports and how many will go on to further their education where academics come first? The time issue goes along with this and many of my parents are divorced or dual-income so this restricts the amount of time dedicated to reading for pleasure. Also, since lerning disabilities run in the family many of my parents do not like to read and may not be the best readers. They feel that the reading should be done at school. Other parents may become frustrated while reading with their children. Often they will choose a library book which is too difficult and then attempt to read it at home. We try to stress choosing books at their reading level.
3. Our PTA is very generous and gives each classroom $150.00 per year to spend on books for students to read at home. Every classroom has a large lending library of books that go back and forth on a nightly basis.
2. Open House in the fall so the parents can see the classrooms and meet the teachers.
3. Publishing House which is run by parent volunteers. Our goal is to have every child publish a book during the year. (Laminate, illustrate, typed and bound)
4. We are just starting 4 year old kindergarten next school year in the community (perschools and daycares) This will reach all children inclusing those that can't afford preschool and need some social or educational skills.
5. We have book bags that the students can check out. Inside are 8-10 books holiday, theme, author based and a few short activities.
6. Assignment notebook which is signed nightly by a parent
7. Weekly newsletter
8. School web page with educational links
9. We run a monthly home reading program. Each month is a different theme- ex. monopoly, racing to literacy(race cars), tickets to movie (Based on a book we've read),swimming at the high school etc. The students take home a reading log and keep track of their reading. The parents are invited to join our celebration at the end of the month. They look forward to the different celebrations and seem to benefit from this extra encouragement.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Mr. Bretzmann said...

1. Parental involvement connects what we do at school to what is going on at home in the "real lives" of the students. The idea is that reading comprehension isn't just something that is important for a class, it's important everywhere. Parents can encourage students to read, understand, discuss, analyze, interpret, predict, make decisions, form opinions if they get involved with what their students are doing and ask them about it. "Do you have any homework?" is not enough.
2. One of the biggest barriers is time. Parents and students are committed to so many things that reading and discussing reading take a backseat. I think another barrier is the students themselves. "why do you keep coming to school." "gawd, stop asking me about my homework." "why are you always hassling me." It may take some time to get rid of these questions from some students. Of course, others would welcome the involvement.
3. a. call parents in the beginning of the semester to introduce myself. b. call parents and e-mail parents throughout the semester on good topics, not just bad topics. c. send a letter to parents asking for their involvement if they have some expertise related to topics that we're studying. d. encourage parents to ask about and discuss what we're studying in class. This may lead to more comprehension by both students and parents since we're studying a lot of current events and political topics. e. encourage parents to post to the blog that their students will post to at www.civicsblog.blogspot.com

7:53 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

1. Parent involvement efforts improve achievement in reading comprehension by showing their child how important reading is. A parent's involvement is so important in all areas of a child's life and the first involvement a child experiences is that of their parent or parents. When parents or a parent models good reading, children will follow. A parent needs to realize they are a valuable part of a child's life and eduacation. Teachers and schools can learn a lot from a parent because parents/families know their children better than anyone. If a parent cares and contributes, a child will succeed.
2. The barriers to parent involvement in our community is the same that many communities face today. Everyone is in the fast lane. The good old days are gone. I remember my grandparents saying families stayed together, played together and sat down to talk while eating a good home-cooked meal. No one was in a hurry to go somewhere. Today children and parents are going somewhere (work, after school activites, sports practice, dance class, babysitter, etc.). Barriers include parents that are too busy, many single parents, low-income families, and parents that are more involved in their jobs or other things than their child's life. (Sometimes people put money before families. )
3. One way of keeping parents informed in school would be by teachers sending weekly emails to parents who have computers (maybe at work instead of home) and for those who do not have a computer a weekly written note. These weekly emails or notes should be always sent on the same day of the week so parents can become familiar with the practice. Another way would be at the beginning of the school year at the open house, have a list so parents can see how they are needed in the classroom. Spend some time talking with parents about this as they come through and signing up parents for given activities. Also once a marking period, send home a flyer about the ways parents are helping the classroom (request help again at this time). Include in the flyer a big thank you for those who are helping (you may want to be specific). An important thing to remember is to thank all who help out in any way, shape or form.

2:48 PM  
Blogger crk said...

1). Parent involvement always improves achievement. If children have their parents involved in what they are doing they become more excited about it and realize how important it is. I also think it helps children's self esteem. If parents make a big deal and/or show interest in what their children are doing, children feel better and more proud of themselves. They also realize the importance of reading if it's something that is valued and loved at home.

2. I'm new to this town so I can't be sure but from what I've seen so far we have wonderful parent support and involvement. I work at a primary school with early childhood through second grade so of course parents are typically more involved during those age groups but we have lots of parent volunteers and involvement.

3. I really believe that when parents do not get involved, it is typically from a lack of understanding or education on the topic. I've learned from experience that often times it just takes teaching parents the importance of their involvement as well as teaching them how to become involved in order for them to get involved and work on certain skills at home.

7:06 PM  

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