Series: Ideas at Work

Connecting Parents to Classroom Math Concepts

Children today are using different strategies for math than in the past. While the internet is full of Common Core critics, many of the suggestions set forth in the standards have the potential to expand students’ math understanding. Rather than teaching answer-getting techniques, they teach concepts that students can carry with them through later math classes.

To ease parents’ concerns about some of these potentially unfamiliar math techniques, many teachers are making efforts in connecting parents to the everyday happenings in the classroom. This article highlights several teachers who keep open lines of communication with parents by posting lessons and justifications online, or by hosting after-school “Parent Nights” to delve into the reasoning behind these math ideas.

Donna Howard, one of the teachers highlighted in the article, previously took part in one of the Early Math Collaborative’s professional development programs and now trains other preschool and kindergarten teachers taking part in these programs.

It was such an ‘aha moment’ for me, and it really made a big difference in the achievement of my students. They really understand it.

She also hosts after-school events for parents, where she offers advice on how to bring ideas in the classroom back home.