Home School Communication

Parents teacher meeting

Home school communication a great tool in working with challenging behavior. Parents often hold the keys to change.

Here are some examples:

Look at examples on pages 35-37

Principles and examples of home school communication from PENT: here

More examples of blank templates: here and here

Articles:

11 Rules for Better Parent-Teacher Teamwork

Sharing Data to Create Stronger Parent Partnerships

Visually readable progress reports

Simple:

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Source

To more involved:

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Daily Behavior Report Cards (DBRC)

Ongoing communication between home and school is an important component to behavior plans. DBRCs can be a very easy, efficient and helpful way of motivating students as well as informally monitoring behavioral improvement with intervention. Teacher behavior report cards can be designed to accomplish the following:

  •  Point out to the students behaviors that they need to learn (skill deficit).
  •  Provide a schedule of teacher attention/feedback for positive behaviors.
  •  Motivate students through reinforcing positive behavior that teachers want to increase, and providing consequences (e.g., a sad face) for negative behaviors they want to decrease.
  •  Increase home-school communication (increase accountability with additional opportunities for positive or negative consequences for behavior).
  •  Evaluate whether the intervention is working or not when used with other measures.

Source

Top Five Reasons to Engage Parents

1. Decades of research show when parents are involved students have:

  • – Higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates
  • – Better school attendance – Increased motivation, better self-esteem
  • – Lower rates of suspension
  • – Decreased use of drugs and alcohol
  • – Fewer instances of violent behavior

National Parent Teacher Association

2. Family participation in education is twice as predictive of students’ academic success as family socioeconomic status. Some of the more intensive programs had effects that were 10 times greater than other factors. Walberg (1984) in his review of 29 studies of school–parent programs.

3. School Benefits:

  • – Improves teacher morale
  • – Higher ratings of teachers by parents
  • – More support from families
  • – Higher student achievement
  • – Better reputations in the community

A New Generation of Evidence: The Family is Critical to Student Achievement, edited by Anne T. Henderson and Nancy Berla, Center for Law and Education, Washington, D.C., 1994 (third printing, 1996)

4. Parent involvement leads to feelings of ownership, resulting in increased support of schools. Davies, Don. (1988). Low Income Parents and the Schools: A Research Report and a Plan for Action. Equity and Choice 4,3 (Spring): 51-57. EJ 374 512.

5. Parents express a genuine and deep-seated desire to help their children succeed academically, regardless of differences in socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and cultural background. Mapp (1999)

Source

 

 

I am giving a brief talk tonight!

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COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE &
SPECIAL PARENTS INFORMATION NETWORK(CAC & SPIN)

JOIN US AND SHARE YOUR IDEAS!

TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2016 FROM 6:30PM TO 8:00PM

PVUSD DISTRICT- BOARD ROOM
294 GREEN VALLEY ROAD, WATSONVILLE
REFRESHMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED

Meeting Topics

 Addressing Social and Learning Needs Through Utilizing Web-Based
Resources, Presented by Corey Tamblyn
Blog: https://buildingmomentuminschools.wordpress.com
 The Importance of Movement- Adaptive Movement from the
Adaptive Yoga Project, Presented by Annica Rose

The CAC is composed of parents of individuals with disabilities enrolled in public or
private schools, parents of nondisabled students, students and adults with
disabilities, general education teachers, special education teachers and other school
personnel, representatives of other public and private agencies, and persons
concerned with the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Letter of Introduction

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From year to year our students change teachers and the transition can be difficult for all parties. Learning about what works at school for that particular student is especially important if they require different support at school. I recently can across an example of a letter of introduction that was written by a mom who really knew how to articulate “what works” for her child. Here is a link to her letter and some other examples to help with introducing your kids particular needs to a new teacher.

A Letter to My Child’s Teacher

A student letter from an older student might read:

 

This article is property of and copyright © 2003-2007 Jene Aviram of Natural Learning Concepts. Reference of this article may only be included in your documentation provided that reference is made to the owner – Jene Aviram and a reference to this site http://www.nlconcepts.com

FIFTEEN THINGS ABOUT ME

Hi, my name is XXX and I am in your class this year. I want you to know a little about me.

I’m nervous to be in your class because it’s new and I don’t know what to expect. I need some time to adjust and then I will feel comfortable. Please don’t judge me on my first few weeks.

As the time goes by, you will be amazed by the skills you never thought I possessed. I sometimes look like I don’t understand. That’s just because I don’t have the same expressions and reactions as other people. I might not look at you when you talk but that doesn’t mean I didn’t hear you. I did. In fact I usually hear more than most people.

As I become familiar with your classroom I will begin to shine. A great way to speed up this process is letting me know what to expect.

Written or picture schedules for the day reduce my anxiety.

A five minute warning before a change of activity can help me greatly too.

You are my teacher and I look up to you. I want to succeed this year but I can’t do it without your help and most importantly, your belief in me that I can do it!

  1. What is my general disposition?

 

  1. What am I really, really good at?

 

  1. What do I absolutely LOVE doing?

 

  1. What do I absolutely HATE doing?

 

  1. What academics are my strong areas?

 

  1. What academics do I need a lot of extra help with?

 

  1. Which skills would my parents really like me to work on this year?

 

  1. How do you know when I’m getting frustrated?

 

  1. What can you do to calm me down before the storm hits?

 

  1. Too late! The storm hit! What can you do to calm me down?

 

  1. What strategies work really well to get me to do something I don’t want to do?

 

  1. What typically makes me laugh?

 

  1. What consequences back-fire and don’t give the desired results?

 

  1. I don’t like consequences, but which consequences work well for me?

 

  1. I would also like you to know…

Source

Or

For younger children- The ABC’s Of My Child

Here are some materials to help identify your child’s strengths.

Checklist: Know Your Child’s Strengths

Child Strengths Checklist

Capture Your Child’s Super Strengths

Below is an example of how to simply display your students needs at school.

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Talking with children using engagement and active listening

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As, I work with children I have noticed that some adults generally refrain from talking to children. I am a big proponent of encouraging adults to talk to kids and forge relationships when they can, the benefits of doing this are great for children in a variety  of ways.

  • Why do teachers talk with children? There are many excellent reasons, such as these:

    • • Children enjoy social conversations with adults.
    • • A few enticing words can encourage children to engage in a particular activity or behavior.
    • • Thought-provoking questions or using new words can extend children’s thinking and curiosity.
    • • Adults can directly answer children’s questions. A great deal of research supports the value of talking with young children.
    • • When adults purposefully talk more with children, children develop larger vocabularies (Hart & Risley, 1999; Hoff & Naigles, 2002).
    • • When children have larger vocabularies, they become better readers in middle childhood (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).
    • • When adults talk to children with longer, more complex words and sentences, children have higher IQ scores (Hart & Risley, 1999).

• When adults talk with children in a responsive and sensitive way, they encourage children’s social and emotional development (Ensor & Hughes, 2008; Harris, 2005). In general, talking with young children encourages development in many areas: spoken language, early literacy, cognitive development, social skills, and emotional maturity. Speaking with children in increasingly complex and responsive ways does this even better. Source

So what to do?

What Can Adults Do?

Adults can play a major role in children’s ability to identify, understand, and express emotions in a healthy way. The following strategies are key in fostering emotional literacy in young children:

Express Your Own Feelings. One way to help children learn to label their emotions is to have healthy emotional expression modeled for them by the adults in their lives. For example, a teacher who knocked over all the glitter can say, “Oh boy, is that frustrating. Oh well, I’d better take a deep breath and figure out how to clean it up.” Or a parent who just got word that she got a promotion at work can say, “Wow! I am so excited about this! I feel proud of myself for working so hard.” Parents, teachers, and child care providers can make a point to talk out loud about their feelings as they experience them throughout the day.

Label Children’s Feelings. As adults provide feeling names for children’s emotional expressions, a child’s feeling vocabulary grows. Throughout the day, adults can attend to children’s emotional moments and label feelings for the children. For example, as a child runs for a swing, another child reaches it and gets on. The first child begins to frown. The teacher approaches her and says, “You look a little disappointed about that swing.” Or a boy’s grandmother surprises him by picking him up at child care. The boy screams, “Grandma!” and runs up to hug her. The child care provider says, “Oh boy, you look so happy and surprised that your grandma is here!” As children’s feeling vocabulary develops, their ability to correctly identify feelings in themselves and others also progresses.

Play Games, Sing Songs, and Read Stories with New Feeling Words. Adults can enhance children’s feeling vocabularies by introducing games, songs, and storybooks featuring new feeling words. Teachers and other caregivers can adapt songs such as “If you’re happy and you know it” with verses such as “If you’re frustrated and you know it, take a breath”; “If you’re disappointed and you know it, tell a friend”; or “If you’re proud and you know it, say ‘I did it!’” The following are some examples of games young children can play.

• Adults can cut out pictures that represent various feeling faces and place them in a container that is passed around the circle as music plays. When the music stops, the child holding the container can select a picture designating an emotion and identify it, show how they look when they feel that way, or describe a time when he or she felt that way. To extend this fun activity, give the children handheld mirrors that they can use to look at their own feeling faces.

• Children can look through magazines to find various feeling faces. They can cut them out and make a feeling face collage. Adults can help the children label the different feeling faces.

• Children and adults can play “feeling face charades” by freezing a certain emotional expression and then letting others guess what the feeling is. To extend this activity, ask the children to think of a time that they felt that way.

• In the mornings, have children “check in” by selecting a feeling face that best represents their morning mood. At the end of the day, have children select again, and then talk about why their feeling changed or stayed the same.

• Finally, the teacher can put feeling face pictures around the room. Children can be given child-size magnifying glasses and told to walk around looking for different feeling faces. When they find one, they can label it and tell about a time they felt that way. With a little creativity, teachers and other caregivers can play, adapt, or develop new games, songs, and stories to teach feeling words.  Source

Active Listening has some good ideas for promoting good communication.

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Active Listening

The most common problem in communication is not listening! A Chinese symbol for “To Listen” is shown below.  It is wise beyond the art. The left side of the symbol represents an ear. The right side represents the individual- you. The eyes and undivided attention are next and finally there is the heart.

chineseletter

This symbol tells us that to listen we must use both ears, watch and maintain eye contact, give undivided attention, and finally be empathetic.  In other words we must engage in active listening!

Active listening is a skill taught to teachers and police officers, counselors, ministers, rabbis and priests. It is a skill we would all do better having learned, practiced. To begin being an active listener we must first understand the four rules of active listening.

The Four Rules of Active Listening

1. Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.

2. Be non judgmental

3. Give your undivided attention to the speaker

4. Use silence effectively

Let’s explore the rules of active listening.

1. Seek to understand before seeking to be understood. When we seek to understand rather than be understood, our modus operandi will be to listen. Often, when we enter into conversation, our goal is to be better understood. We can be better understood, if first we better understand. With age, maturity, and experience comes silence. It is most often a wise person who says little or nothing at the beginning of a conversation or listening experience. We need to remember to collect information before we disseminate it. We need to know it before we say it.
2. Be non judgmental. Empathetic listening demonstrates a high degree of emotional intelligence. There is a reason kids do not usually speak with adults about drugs, sex, and rock and roll. The kids already know what the adults have to say. Once a child knows your judgment, there is little reason to ask the question unless the intention is to argue. If we would speak to anyone about issues important to them, we need to avoid sharing our judgment until we have learned their judgment. This empathetic behavior is an indicator of emotional intelligence as described in Chapter 3.
  1. Give your undivided attention to the speaker.The Chinese symbol that we used to describe listening used the eyes and undivided attention. Absolutely important is dedicating your undivided attention to the speaker if you are to succeed as an active listener. Eye contact is less important. In most listening situations people use eye contact to affirm listening. The speaker maintains eye contact to be sure the listener or listeners are paying attention. From their body language the speaker can tell if he is speaking too softly or loudly, too quickly or slowly, or if the vocabulary or the language is inappropriate. Listeners can also send messages to speakers using body language. Applause is the reason many performers perform. Positive feedback is an endorphin releaser for the giver and the sender. Eye contact can be a form of positive feedback. BUT, eye contact can also be a form of aggression, of trying to show dominance, of forcing submissive behavior. All primates use eye contact to varying degrees. We should be careful how we use it when listening. If we want to provide undivided attention to a child, a better way to show your attention is to do a “walk and talk”.
  2. Use silence effectively.The final rule for active or empathic listening is to effectively use silence. To often a truly revealing moment is never brought to fruition because of an untimely interruption. Some of the finest police interrogators, counselors, teachers and parents learn more by maintaining silence than by asking questions. As an active or empathic listener, silence is a very valuable tool. DO NOT interrupt unless absolutely necessary. Silence can be painful. It is more painful for a speaker than for a listener. If someone is speaking, and we want them to continue talking, we do not interrupt. Rather, we do provide positive feedback using body language, eye contact, and non word sounds like “umh, huh”. Silence is indeed golden especially when used to gather information as a listener. Source

Common Core

What are the Common Core Standards?


Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.

Since 2010, a number of states across the nation have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the CCSS to prepare students for success in college and the workplace. SOURCE

 

Great Lifehacker Article

What parents should know

Parents’ Guide to Success Booklet

Common Core 101

Common Core PowerPoint for parents

poster20parents20and20teachers

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Comics and Reading

Obviously from the name of my blog I am a proponent in building momentum towards positive outcomes for kids. When I was learning to read in elementary school it was laborious and boring at first. Then as time went on I discovered the Tin Tin Series of comics and have loved reading ever since.

When I sit in meetings talking about certain students who struggle with their reading I often ask if they have books that are for fun and leisure around to practice with at home for down time. Quite often the answer is kinda. So, I think it is a worthy pursuit to find those interesting books, comics, and magazines to build that inertia of reading practice.

Articles:

How Comics Helped My Kid Love Reading

10 Great Kids Comics for Early Readers

Graphic Language: How to Read Comic Books with Your Kid

How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read!

For Improving Early Literacy, Reading Comics Is No Child’s Play

Using comics to improve your child’s literacy

How comic books can help improve literacy