“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” By Oliver Wendell Holmes
1. Have a Math Curriculum Night in the beginning of the year for parents. During this time explain/breakdown the Common Core’s mission and expectations. Have the parents play some of the math games you are playing in class to help them understand the concepts. Have some of the students work samples out so parents can see some of the concepts they are learning as well.
Mission Statement: The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
The Common Core Standards/Expectations:
•are aligned with college and work expectations.
•are clear, understandable, and consistent.
•include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills.
•build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards.
•are informed by top-performing countries, so all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.
— Taken from Common Core State Standards Initiative
2. The National PTA has done a wonderful job of making guides that are available in English and Spanish online at PTA.org/parentsguide. They have broken it down by grade level offering explanations, activities and tips. Direct parents to this website link or send the packet of information home for your grade level.
3. Each week, send an email blast of information about what you are doing in Math home. Using apps such as ShowMe or videos from the ‘flipped’ classroom can help parents understand lessons/concepts that are being taught in your classroom. For example, in third grade, the students have to compare unlike fractions and determine which is greater than or lesson than. Many parents have learned in school the method of the ‘butterfly’ which is cross multiplying. This does not show true understanding of fraction number sense. Here is a great video representing this, click here. However, sending a ShowMe that is showing how you are teaching comparing fractions such as this one, will help the parents understand and feel more comfortable when trying to help their child on homework.
I would love to hear any other ways educators are helping parents understand the Common Core; please share in the comment section.