Five Ways to Prep Parents for This Year’s Math

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Not only is it time to welcome students back to school, it’s time to welcome back their parents as well. Here are five things that you can do to help parents understand the math curriculum you’ll be covering for the year and things they can do to help their children.

  • Let parents know what you’ll be covering and when. For instance, you can let parents know basic information like “this fall we’ll be covering multiplication and division within 100.” This gives parents the base understanding they’ll need for the tips that follow.
  • Provide tips on engaging children in conversation. Forget “how was your day today?” or questions that evoke little more than “fine” or a shrug. Instead, have parents try questions to elicit a deeper response like, “what was the most challenging math problem you did today?”
  • Remind parents to incorporate math into daily life. Parents are a great teaching partner when they can bring math organically into day-to-day life: practice fractions while cooking together, invite thinking about numbers with sports and video game scores, let kids figure out change while shopping or tips while eating out.
  • Explain the purpose of new math models. For many parents, math is recognizable only as the rote formulas they grew up with and use as adults. They might shake their head in confusion when presented with a number line used to solve an addition problem–it seems so hard! Just add the numbers! They don’t always see the different ways in which kids come to understand what the math concepts behind the formulas mean.
  • Give parents resources for the home. For parents looking for more math practice for their kids, lead them to game sites like Matific and other things you’re using in the classroom.