This year I was granted funds by the California Teachers Association - Institute for Teaching, referred to as the IFT. The CTA Institute for Teaching attempts to bring a new approach to school change. Based on its work in California schools, with Foundations and from discussions with hundreds of practitioners and students, the IFT has determined that school change must include two key factors: (1) It needs to be teacher-driven and (2) It should be based on what is working and successful in our schools and classrooms. By focusing on what works in our schools, the IFT believes strength-based models for school change add a new dimension to school improvement.
I decided to use those funds to create the Parent-Teacher Connection at Montebello Unified School District. The Parent-Teacher Connection provides delivery of high-quality parent education workshops where parents learn about California Standards and how parents can support classroom learning from outside the classroom. By bridging a connection between the home and school, parents will be guided by classroom teachers through several key Common Core trainings that will ultimately provide a clearer understanding on how the California Standards (CCSS) look school-based, district-wide, and beyond. Classroom teacher leaders that collaborate, research strategies, and resources, which focus on improving the academic achievement of students and preparing them for post-secondary education, plan the parent sessions. The practitioner-led workshops guide parents through highly effective strategies and resources that they can use at home to support the classroom learning.
My district was not only supportive of the grant, but went above and beyond. Montebello Unified committed to doubling the amount of the award, demonstrating their commitment to the community and their support of teachers bridging partnerships with parents. The Parent Support Services department, lead by Jose Franco, has been essential to the success of this project. His staff has helped my team of teachers put together the event by promoting the sessions, organizing catering, translations services, and we have an interpreter at every session. The parents are given headphones that allow them to hear our session in their native language. This component has been key to allowing our community’s parents to deeply understand the content.
This is one of the flyers that we gave out throughout the district:
Last night’s session was on:
Engaging Ways to Help Your Child Learn the Common Core Standards
This workshop was geared for intermediate parents, but the information can be applied to all grade levels, especially the resources shared. We focused our session on two major content areas, language arts and mathematics. We shared the importance of reading everyday and how crucial it is for parents to support the love of reading at home. The parents participated on math hands on activities similar to ones that our students experience in the classroom. Some of the statistics we shared were:
These currently are some of our favorite educational websites we recommend to parents:
Power My Learning is a website that brings together free, curated educational content and activities from all over the Web. Parents can find academic games, videos, and interactive content aligned to the Common Core State Standards across a range of subjects, from language arts, math, science, and social studies to technology and other subjects. Activities are tagged by subject, grade, Common Core State Standards, and type (video, interactive, etc.).
Use these concept-based, adaptive fraction tutorials and practice sets to support meaningful, differentiated instruction. Students encounter and learn about fractions at a conceptual level; they'll get practice using pie pieces, number lines, and more. Grade 3-8
Over 60 design challenges get kids planning, building, testing, and iterating their own engineering projects. Kids can engage in a true design process and utilize an amazing network of supportive experts, all while making real-world connections.
A good for all those students who want to know about solving any kind of problem related to mathematics. This blog totally offers the best and different tools along with the tutorials to help internet users for easily learning of mathematics. Best thing is that most of the students face problems with Calculus and Trigonometry etc and the other topics that are covered in this blog are Statistics, Precalculus, Algebra, Pre-Algebra and Basic Math etc. I must say this is the best site and highly recommended for mathematical students.
Hooda Math is a free online math game site that includes over 700 free math games. Founded by a middle school math teacher, Hooda Math has math games for all ages, K through high school.
Penzu is an online journaling site. The site includes tools such as email reminders to write, the ability to send tweets about your journal entries and a variety of style customizations (such as font).
GoComics is, essentially, a portal of many of the most popular comic strips out there, as well some great up-and-coming artists. There's plenty of space for political cartoons, too, sensibly categorized according to their political leanings.