During this Thanksgiving Break, parent teacher conferences are happening at our schools! These school conferences can be something to look forward to, and most parents feel a little bit of anxiety about these meetings. Knowing the right questions to ask can help make you as the parent feel more supported during the conference.
Some questions to come prepared to ask:
1. May I tell you a little about my child and how they learn best? You are the only expert on your child, and the teacher wants to hear your knowledge.
2. How is my child doing socially? As your child gets older, knowing their friends and favorite things becomes more important. They may act differently socially at school than at home.
3. In what specific areas can I help my child improve? Ask the teacher to be specific. The teacher may assume you know what she means by comprehension or vocabulary, but you should feel free to ask for more details if you aren't sure how to help them improve.
4. What do these assessment results really mean? Maybe you are looking at NWEA/MAP or PARCC scores. They may not make much sense. Be prepared to ask to have them explained. The teacher will be happy to do so.
5. What do you see as my child's strengths? Finding out what your child does well can help you harness that strength to improve weaknesses. Things your child does well at home may be different than those at school.
6. How can I help? Simply asking the teacher regarding your child's work, volunteering, fundraising, or attending school functions will help build report with the teacher.
For more ways to have a successful parent teacher conference, see the link below.
Parent tip of the week #13: Helping your child respond to the election with maturity and perspective
If your children are spending anytime on social media in the last week, they are seeing many examples of how to handle the election. They are seeing examples of people who are happy about it, people who are upset about it, people who now have hope, and people who have lost their hope. But they are also seeing examples of adult’s acting without maturity or perspective. Some are excited for various outcomes, and are using it as a platform to be unkind to others. Some are upset about the outcome, and are using it as a platform to act without thinking.
If your children are responding to their friends in texting, on social media, on the phone, in your basement, the playground, or the classroom, they can respond with maturity and perspective. They can use the tried and true THINK method to think before they speak or type.
THINK is an acronym:
Your children can ask themselves, before they respond, however they feel about the election, by asking themselves these questions. Are the comments they want to make true? Are the comments helpful? Are these comments inspiring? Is what I want to say necessary? Am I responding in a kind way?
For ideas for helping your child understand more about how to respond, both for this election and future elections, the link below has great resources for conversation starters. It will help your child develop that maturity and perspective they need to help them understand.
We all want our children to be good with technology. Having them do their homework online and search for dependable resources on the web is important. It helps them build media literacy and technology literacy. Also, these are tools they will need throughout their adult lives. We also know there is a technology gap. Students with better technology skills will be better earners as adults, compared to students with few technology skills.
But balance is important. It is important to help our students learn to unplug, to spend time away from screens. Students who spend time conversing with friends, playing a low-tech game with family, doing crafts, and playing outside are more well-adjusted, and more creative than their peers who speend too much time in front of technology screens. Here are some ways to help your children unplug, and spend less time with technology.
1. Model for them unplugged time. Even when you're not directly interacting with the kids, put the tablet and cell phone done and out of site. Set aside times when you will make sure the screens are away and off.
2. Create a log to record your child’s time being “plugged in” for a week. You may be surprised how many minutes it is.
3. Set a new daily or weekly limit.
4. Avoid using the TV as background noise.
5. Let your children help generate a list of things to do instead.
6. Engage your children in creating special bins f their favorite crafts, activities, and toys to play with when they can't be on technology.
7. Encourage your children to make a list of reasons why they should unplug. Usually, their reasons are even better than ours!
For more ideas about unplugging, click the link below.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.