Blogs on Home-to-School Connections

Blogs on Home-to-School ConnectionsRSS
John LarmerSeptember 17, 2013

When a teacher, school or district tells parents, "We're going to do project-based learning," the response may vary. You're lucky if some say, "Great news! Students need to be taught differently these days!" But a more typical response might be:

  1. What's project-based learning?
  2. That's not how I was taught. Why do we need PBL if (a) our school is already doing well, or (b) what we really need is a better literacy/math program to raise test scores?
  3. Isn't that just a trendy new thing that doesn't really work?
  4. How is this going to affect my child (and me)?
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Karen BantuverisSeptember 16, 2013

Do you find yourself wanting (more) help from parent volunteers, but are either not getting it, or not getting the kind of help that would be truly useful to you and your students? Is managing parent volunteers time-consuming or burdensome? If so, you're not alone, according to a new survey (see infographic) of a thousand educators and parents by WeAreTeachers and my organization, VolunteerSpot. Even though guardians and teachers overwhelmingly agree that parent volunteers in the classroom are an important ingredient in student success, the study also reveals big gaps in expectations and problems with communication. These issues leave teachers feeling unsupported and parents feeling left out!

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Jason BrandAugust 6, 2013

The Los Angeles Unified School District's recent decision to provide each of its 600,000 plus students with an iPad makes sense. The technology drumbeat is growing louder and louder. Training children to use the tools of their future is a must, and the LAUSD is smart to take a proactive approach.

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Suzie BossJuly 25, 2013

The New Tech Network includes more than 100 schools in diverse settings that put project-based learning at the center of instruction. That's all true, but it doesn't begin to tell the story of what makes learning "electric." That's how one educator from this network describes project experiences that ignite students' curiosity and build their agency to tackle challenging work.

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Ben JohnsonJuly 23, 2013

In teachers' lounges nationwide, parents are a favorite topic of complaint: Now I know why Bertha behaves as she does -- the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! or, If parents would do their jobs and raise their children right, then I wouldn't have any trouble getting students to learn.

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Lisa MimsJuly 17, 2013

We all know how crucial it is that our parents are supportive and involved in their child's education. We understand how important it is that they are aware of what is taking place in your classroom. The more supportive and involved parents are in their child's education, the greater the odds that their child will be successful.

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Dr. Joe MazzaJune 3, 2013

Since Knapp Elementary held its first "ParentCamp" on April 27, our learning community has been engaged in conversations far beyond those 27 discussion sessions led by local parents and teachers.

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Anne OBrienMay 29, 2013

Mobile devices are coming to school.The Learning First Alliance (where I am deputy director) and Grunwald Associates, with support from AT&T, recently released Living and Learning with Mobile Devices, which examines parents' attitudes towards mobile devices as learning tools.

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Dr. Joe MazzaMay 9, 2013

As we near the end of the school year, it's time to take stock of our efforts in teaching, learning and leadership, and how well they’ve worked. We should also be looking at what has or has not worked in regards to engaging all of the families in our school community.

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The video series A Year at Mission Hill has continued to encourage discussion, gather support, and inspire offshoots of wonderful new content, like "Line One, Page One," a compelling and poetic video produced by UK Filmmakers Veez Nixon and Christian Britten for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, as part of a video series to complement Mission Hill. And if you haven't seen it yet, it's also worth a visit to the excellent Prezi on Mission Hill, which continues to expand as more chapters are released.

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