Ideas for Working Together with Parents

Every study of the impact of parent involvement on student achievement tells us that parents are vital to student success. TeachersFirst has collected these resources to help build mutual understanding and cooperation with parents.

Remember that parents are rarely familiar with the vocabulary we routinely use in schools (“Edu-ese”). A “content area” to them could be a place where people are happy! You, as the teacher, must be “bilingual” even in English. If the parents are non-English speakers, the challenges are even greater. Here are some resources to help you work together and share ideas, no matter what the situation.

Customizable Parent Handouts: These personalized "Take Home" fliers are designed to help parents help their students. You can personalize each of these fliers with your own name so they look like you created them especially for your class. Topics include homework, reading tips, and more. Especially useful are the "Supergrams" for reinforcing positive happenings in your class. Tell parents what their child is doing RIGHT!

Study Skills Resources: Help parents to support their students as they do homework, study for tests, and more. This list of reviewed resources provides many ideas for students to learn how to learn. Included are web-based tools that students (and parents) can use at home to review and reinforce new concepts and terms. The tools make the study process engaging and personalized. Students rarely even realize they are “studying” simply through the process of creating their own study aids such as graphic organizers, online flashcards, etc. Share this collection on your class web page and be sure to tell parents about it at Back to School night. Maybe even offer special credit for students who make study helpers they are willing to share with classmates.

E-Ready Parent information on Special Education: The E-READY parents' section gives easy access to information about parenting a child with special needs. The definitions and parent suggestions in this section are timeless, though some of the government terminology and legal requirements (IDEA) change periodically.

E-Ready Parent Information on Gifted Children: This section offers a number of tools which can help parents better understand what the term "gifted" really means, and how giftedness can affect a child's education. The definitions and parent suggestions in this section are timeless, though some of the government terminology and legal requirements (IDEA) change periodically.

TogetheRead: Share family reading and activities around a monthly theme for ALL ages using this outstanding series. Interwoven into each TogetheRead theme are questions and activities to prompt effective reading strategies of good readers. Parents and children of all ages can select books from the annotated lists, read together, and join in related free or low-cost activities. Written in language understandable to parents and without education "jargon" so familiar to teachers, these themes will help any child become a better reader and enjoy sharing family time.

TeachersAndFamilies: TeachersFirst’s partner site for parents, TeachersAndFamilies features parenting ideas, preschool activities, web resources, and family fun in support of healthy children and effective learning. A large portion of the site is free. An affordable, paid membership provides access to an even wider set of parenting articles and resources. Membership supports the educational efforts of our not-for-profit parent company, The Source for Learning.

Parent Handouts and Resources
Share these web resources on your class web page (or run off the printables to hand out), encouraging parent involvement and helping support their students.
For Parents of ESL/ELL students
On college planning and career planning
On homework and studying
Supporting reading at home
To share at conference time