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Tool: Parent subject matter guide

When supporting their children’s learning, many parents’ natural inclination is to help them do activities in the same ways they learned to do them. Without specific information and guidance from you, that pattern is not likely to be interrupted.

The following template can be used to develop your own guidelines in specific subject matters and at specific grade levels that will help parents understand the materials and activities you are using in your classroom and that they are likely to see as they work with their children at home.

You could send this home as a flier or include it in your newsletter or handbook.

Making connections: Parent’s guide to helping your student learn [subject matter]

Dear Parents,

Your enthusiasm for becoming involved in your student’s education is wonderful! These days, learning [subject matter] may look different from your own learning in [grade level], so I thought I would provide some information that will help you get acquainted with the types of resources and activities your student will be doing in school and for homework. This information will supplement the parent events we have at school to acquaint you with the curriculum. Please feel free to ask questions!

[your name]

  • Main topics we will be covering this [month/semester/year]:
  • Types of resources used in [subject matter]:
  • Types of thinking involved in activities:
  • The importance of discussions in [subject matter]:
  • The importance of reading in [subject matter]:
  • The importance of writing in [subject matter]:
  • How we work with “errors” in students’ thinking and written work:
  • Things you can emphasize at home while working with your student:
  • Resources you may have at home that would enhance your student’s learning:

Here is a sample activity we do in [subject matter]:

Notice how [explain how above characteristics are present in the activity]:

As you work with your student on the activity you could…

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