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Parent Issues

For additional resources, be sure to check out
Education World's special Parent Involvement page.

Project Appleseed Grows Parent Involvement
On National Parental Involvement Day 2010, Kevin Walker, the founder of the organization that created the holiday, advises schools not to lament the lack of parental involvement, but to use the day to invite parents to do more.

Write It; Live It: Six Steps to Help Kids Write Their Own Lives
The most effective way to help students discover their own passion is by having them write their own life stories -- ahead of time.

School Photo Day Made Easy
Do your school photos make you cringe? Professional photographer Linda Russell shares with teachers, parents, and students her tips for creating frame-able -- and embarrassment-free -- school portraits.

Children's Museums "Exhibit" Educational Outreach
If you aren't lucky enough to have a children's museum nearby, you might be surprised to discover that many museums don’t just open their doors to actual students and teachers; they also reach out to those who can't visit in person.

A Parent Engagement Model That Works
Parent engagement efforts have resulted in the formation of school/community gardens, increased affordable housing opportunities, safer neighborhoods, better economic opportunities, and increased student achievement.

Rafe Esquith on Raising Extraordinary Kids
Parents must be the people they want their children to be. We parents and teachers need to understand that we cannot be in front of a television set and command our kids to go to their rooms and read. Never underestimate the power of a role model.

100 Report Card Comments
It's report card time and you face the prospect of writing constructive, insightful, and original comments on a couple dozen report cards or more. A daunting task? Not with Ed World's help! Included: 100 positive report card comments for you to use and adapt.

Parents and Teachers Working Together
How do you establish and maintain a good working relationship with your students' parents? The Education World Teacher Team shares their strategies for increasing parent involvement and ensuring parental support.

Strategies That Work: Parent-Teacher Conferences
When it comes to parent-teacher conferences, it's a toss up as to who least wants to be there -- the nervous parents braced to hear the worst about their beloved child, or the determined teacher prepared to deliver news that isn't always expected or appreciated. The most important survival strategy for both, however, is to be prepared.

Can We Talk?: What Parents and Teachers Want Each Other to Know
Most teachers and parents recognize the importance of parent-teacher communication. Few, however, gleefully anticipate the actual occasions of that communication. If only we understood each other better! Education World answers the question, "What do you want your child's teacher -- or your student's parent -- to know about you?"

From Beginning to End: Making Memories All Year Through
Experienced educators share how they enrich their classes with projects and activities that take students from the beginning of the school year to the end -- while creating memories that last a lifetime. Included: Ideas for time capsules, memory books, welcome letters, more.

Strategies That Work: "Brag" Phone Calls
Too often, parent-teacher communication is about negative things students do. Many teachers see the value in calling parents to report good news. Teacher Donna Kelly believes in the power of "brag phone calls," but she lets her students make those calls!

Rounding Up Pre-K Kids, Parents
Inviting parents and pre-kindergartners to meet teachers and see their schools six months before school opens can noticeably reduce first-day jitters -- for everyone. Called kindergarten round-ups, these events also let teachers meet their incoming charges.

Strategies That Work: Family Reading Nights
Many schools, in an effort to improve test scores, are placing a renewed emphasis on reading. Planning a special night to showcase student reading and to get entire families involved is a sure way to boost reading excitement and achievement.

Author Does His Homework on Hot Topic
Everyone knows that doing homework is a must for a good education, right? Not necessarily, according to author John Buell. Revamping how much and what type of homework is assigned can create more opportunities for learning.

Voice of Experience: Most Direct Route to Parents Is an E-Line
Educator Max Fischer has been doing a little independent research on the effectiveness of phone calls, written progress reports, and e-mail in raising student achievement. Which communication method do you think he and his teaching teammates found to be most effective?

Newsletter Templates
Two new editable newsletter templates make it easy to keep parents up to date on the latest happenings in the classroom and in the school. Just type information into the formatted areas and e-mail -- or print and send -- your newsletter home.

Strategies That Work: Student-Led Conferences
Many teachers and parents speak enthusiastically about the benefits of student-led conferences. Student-led conferences help students take responsibility of their own learning, reflect on what they have learned, and set goals for themselves, teachers say.

In a Million Words or Fewer...
A simple activity offers a powerful tool for learning about your students and connecting with their parents. "I was suddenly a part of each child's life," teacher Trisha Fogarty said.

Twenty-Five Activities to Keep Kids' Brains Active in the Hot Summer Sun
As students set out on summer adventures, send their parents a much-needed "life preserver" -- a list of 25 activities to share and enjoy with their children. These fun activities cover all subjects and grades; you will find something for everyone.

Voice of Experience: The Power of Written Praise
Being roused from a sound sleep by a parent can be a rude awakening. But in one case it got educator Max Fischer reflecting about the power of written praise to raise student achievement. Included: Six reasons to put praise for students in writing!

Making Parents Part of the "In"-volved Crowd
Parents can be invaluable partners in their children's education, but many take themselves out of the equation because of mistrust, misunderstanding, the demands of work and home, or other factors. Learn how you can overcome those obstacles, get parents involved, and promote better home/school communication!

The Author's Picks: Must-Read Books For Young Adult Readers
In recognition of National Children's Book Week, the authors of some of today's best books for children and young adults share their favorite young adult books with you.

The Author's Picks: Must-Read Books For Elementary Students
Are you looking for the best books to read with your elementary school students during National Children's Book Week? This week, those in the know -- the authors of some of today's best-loved children's books -- share their personal favorites with you.

What Ive Learned About Cultivating Parent Involvement
Educator Max Fischer has found that successful teaching often hinges on employing a wide variety of instructional methods to meet student needs. In this Voice of Experience essay, Fischer reflects on how getting parents involved in their students education also requires a variety of approaches.

Beyond the Bake Sale: Parents Can Make the Difference in Countless Ways
Everybody wins when parents volunteer! Kevin Walker, the founder of Project Appleseed, a nonprofit organization, is helping schools involve parents. The organization has created a list of 37 different ways parents can help and is on its way to recruiting 5 million parent volunteers nationwide. Included: The Project Appleseed Parental Involvement Pledge.

A Dozen Activities to Promote Parent Involvement!
Research shows that children are more likely to succeed academically and are less likely to engage in violent behavior if their families are involved in their education. Many parents say, however, that they feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in their children's schools. Teachers often feel under attack by parents who are highly involved. Learn how to bridge the gap! Included: A dozen activities to promote parental involvement and ten tips for involved parents!

Homeschooling: Examining a Growing Trend
A growing number of families are choosing to homeschool their children. Education World examines the pros and cons of this trend.

The Homework Dilemma: How Much Should Parents Get Involved?
What can teachers do to help parents help their children with homework?

Parental Involvement Is as Easy as PIE!
A special program in Phoenix, Arizona, makes parents true partners in their children's education. "Parent involvement will probably make more difference than anything else we could ever do to help our children learn," says Bonnie McReynolds, the teacher behind the program.