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Partnering With Parents in Elementary School Math
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Partnering With Parents in Elementary School Math
A Guide for Teachers and Leaders



May 2021 | 208 pages | Corwin
How to build productive relationships in math education 

I wasn’t taught this way. I can’t help my child! These are common refrains from today’s parents and guardians, who are often overwhelmed, confused, worried, and frustrated about how to best support their children with what they see as the “new math.” The problem has been compounded by the shift to more distance learning in response to a global pandemic. Partnering With Parents in Elementary School Math provides educators with long overdue guidance on how to productively partner and communicate with families about their children’s mathematics learning. It includes reproducible surveys, letters, and planning documents that can be used to improve the home-school relationship, which in turn helps students, parents, teachers, and education leaders alike. Readers will find guidance on how to:
  
· Understand and empathize with what fuels parents’ anxieties and concerns
· Align as a school and set parents’ expectations about what math instruction their children will experience and how it will help them
· Communicate clearly and productively with parents about their students’ progress, strengths, and needs in math 
· Run informative and fun family events 
· support homework 
· Coach parents to portray a productive disposition about math in front of their children

Educators, families, and students are best served when proactive, productive, and healthy relationships have been developed with each other and with the realities of today's math education. This guide shows how these relationships can be built. 
 
Praise Pages
 
About the Authors
 
Acknowledgements
 
Introduction
 
Why This Book Now?
Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Coronavirus Epidemic

 
 
Examining Your Core Beliefs
 
What Role Have You Played?
 
What is a Parents Role in Their Child's Mathematics Learning?
 
How to Use This Book
 
The Goal and Structure of This Book
 
APPLY IT!
 
Stepping Into Parents' Shoes
 
Asking Parents About School Communication
 
What Parents Do and Why
What Can We Learn?

 
 
Putting It All Together
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Apply It! Teacher Activity
 
Apply It! Leader Activity
 
Understanding What Parents Need to Know About Today's Math
 
What Parents Really Need to Know About Today's Math
Math Instruction Evolves...Just Like Everything Else

 
Mathematics is Not a Gene

 
We Prepare Students for the Future, Not Today

 
 
What Parents Really Need to Know About Their Child's Math
 
Putting It All Together
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Apply It! Teacher Activity
 
Apply It! Leader Activity
 
Planning Effective School-wide Mathematics Communication
 
The Systemic Problem
 
The Determining Roles of All Stakeholders
Clarifying Roles of Leaders, Teachers, and Other Educators

 
Clarifying Roles of Parents

 
 
Crafting and Communicating Consistent School-wide Policies
Establishing Homework Policies

 
Communicating Grading Policies

 
 
Getting Buy-In and Commitment from All Stakeholders
 
Putting It All Together
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Apply It! Teacher Activity
 
Apply It! Leader Activity
 
Exploring How to Communicate with Parents About Math
 
What Makes Written Communication With Parents Effective?
Write So They Can Read It

 
Write So They Want to Read It

 
Relate to What Parents Know

 
Communicate Frequently

 
 
Tools For Communication and When to Use Them
 
Traditional Communication
 
Digital Communication
 
Putting it All Together
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Apply It! Teacher Activity
 
Exploring What to Communicate to Parents About Math
 
Reaching Parents-at-large
Schoolwide Beginning of Year Letter

 
Homework Communication from School Level to Parents

 
Mid-Year Homework Survey

 
 
Reaching Parents-as-a-class
Beginning of Year Survey

 
Beginning of Year Letter from the Teacher

 
Unit Preview Letters

 
Weekly Letters

 
Mid-Year and End-of-Year Surveys from Teacher

 
 
Reaching Parents-as-individuals
 
Putting It All Together
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Apply It! Teacher Activity
 
Apply It! Leader Activity
 
Hosting Parent Events
 
Parent Experiences
 
Non-Math Specific Events
Back to School Nights

 
Parent-Teacher Conferences

 
 
Math-Specific Events
Family Math Nights

 
Parent Math Nights

 
Family Math Days and Mornings

 
Parent Book Clubs

 
Mystery Mathematicians

 
 
Putting It All Together
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Apply It! Teacher Activity
 
Apply It! Leader Activity
 
Conclusion: Shifting the Narrative
 
Our Top 8 Ways to Support Parents in Mathematics
 
References
 
Index

What an amazing, practical resource to support teachers and leaders in intentionally strengthening communication and building partnerships with parents to support student learning in mathematics! Positioning parents as partners underscores that together we can ensure all students see themselves as thinkers and doers of mathematics.

Trena L. Wilkerson
President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2021–2023)
Professor of Mathematics Education, Baylor University, Waco, TX

Parents send us the best they have each day, their children. The dreams, plans, and aspirations for a better and brighter future for their children are entrusted to educators, with the hope that we will do all we can to prepare them. This powerful resource is filled with insights from parents, practical guidance, and tools to help educators truly build the much-needed partnerships with parents to change the narrative.

John W. Staley
Chair of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (2018–2020), President of NCSM Leadership in Mathematics Education (2015–2017)
Coordinator, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore, MD

This book is a must-read for any elementary educator who wants to empower their students and families to love math! It is a how-to guide in helping YOU as an educator improve your best practices. This book will encourage you to hit the ground running and initiate the change we need for today’s 21st century math instruction!

Katelin Shepler
First Grade Teacher, Folsom Cordova Unified School District
Folsom, CA

Parents are assets and critical partners to student’s mathematical success! Partnering With Parents in Elementary School Math provides school educators and leaders with just the right strategies, exemplars, and structures to honor the strengths, knowledge, and skills that all families bring to support their child’s mathematical journey. This is the book I’ve been waiting for!

Cathery Yeh
Assistant Professor, Chapman University
Orange, CA

Parents and caregivers play an instrumental role in the mathematical success of their children, but many may be surprised by current mathematical teaching practices. Navigating this sometimes new territory is particularly demanding for families thrust into active teaching roles through online education. As the authors emphasize, we need a team approach that will support each and every child. This must-read book bridges home and school with ways to share mindsets and language, build coherent structures, and make mathematics instruction a positive, high-quality, and inclusive
learning experience.

Karen S. Karp and Sarah B. Bush
Co-authors of The Math Pact

This is a great easy-to-implement resource for teachers who want to engage in effective communication with parents and help them make sense of their child’s mathematics learning experience.

Kristopher J. Childs
President, K Childs Solutions
Winter Garden, FL

Families are crucial partners in children’s education, and educators need strategies to ensure partnership works. This is especially true in elementary mathematics education, where content may be unfamiliar or presented in new ways––ultimately leading to confusion between home and school. This guide supports the crucial work of opening communication channels, aligning educators’ and families’ efforts toward the same goals.

Ilana Seidel Horn
Professor of Mathematics Education, Author of Motivated: Designing Mathematics Classrooms Where Students Want to Join In
Nashville, TN

Who are our most powerful—and yet underserved—partners in math learning? Parents. In this compelling book, the authors help educators envision what vibrant parent–school partnerships can do for math education, then equip us with the skills and tools we need to build these relationships.

B. Michelle Rinehart
Educational Consultant, HowWeTeach Consulting
Fort Davis, TX

Teachers spend a great deal of time planning for effective mathematics instruction; this book offers practical and actionable ways for teachers and schools to maximize the work they’re doing around elementary mathematics by bringing parents in as stronger partners in this work.

Kristine Gettelman
Early Learning Mathematics Specialist, Mathematics Institute of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

This book provides step-by-step guidance for schools to facilitate effective communication with parents while still giving the schools choices in how and what communication will look like. A must-read to build equitable practices that impact all students.

Lori Mueller
President of the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Math Consultant, Great Prairie Area Education Agency
West Point, IA

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

Introduction


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ISBN: 9781071810866
£25.99