Note: Welcome to Volume Two of Apples
From The Teacher featuring the thoughts
and tips of Lauren K. Jones, a teacher
based in Virginia. We hope she can share
some insight and advice from a teacher's
perspective and hope you will send your
questions and comments to GeoClan.com
via email and other correspondense method.
Let us know what you think.
November and your child has just finished
his first marking period of the school
year. This first nine weeks can
be a major adjusting period for your child,
his teacher, and you as well.
It is important that all requirements
are known, expectations are clear, jobs
are done, bad habits are nipped in the
bud, and kinks smoothed out realizing
that as the year goes on the level and
amount of work will surely increase.
because it is early in the year does not
mean that you can't start asking questions
and getting involved to ensure your child
is on the right track, no matter how young
or old. The end of the year or even the
middle of the year could be too late!
is some first marking period "look
fors" at this point in the year:
your child have a daily routine?
is key ! This is for students
of all ages. A regular routine
from the time the child gets up until
bedtime is best.
Lessen the responsibilities for the
child in the morning by taking care of
things before bed such as:
Making sure all school materials are put
in the school bag the night before (signed
papers/forms, homework, folders, binders,
etc.), uniforms/school clothes ironed
and laid out, lunch money, etc.
This allows for the child not to be rushed
or worried before getting to school.
your child know his schedule !
If your child goes to before school care
and/or after school care let him know
what days and times. It's their
schedule. It's a good thing to
let your child know just in case they
may need the information for emergency
purposes as well. Also let them
have some ownership and responsibility.
Maybe their job can be to get mommy's
car keys for her in the morning and put
them back in the same place at night.
Or have your child have some responsibility
in reminding you of events that will be
taking place during the week.
you know your child's schedule at school
? You definitely should.
If you know your child is struggling in
a class they have in the mornings, maybe
it would be a good idea to try to schedule
doctor's appointments in the early afternoon.
Or let the teacher know in advance
so they can have the notes or material
ready for them before or after the missed
class. Be accommodating to your
extracurricular activities around school
time . If practice goes until
7pm make sure you are still allowing time
for homework, dinner, and chores to be
you talked to the teacher?
this time of year you should have had
at least 2-3 correspondences with the
teacher via conference, phone, or
letter. If not, schedule one
immediately! Talking with
the teacher is the only way to get a real
feel of how your child is progressing.
The report card should not be the
initial contact. Even if you can
not make it to the school during the assigned
days and times for parent-teacher conferences,
phone conferences, notes/letters to school,
even email will do. Ask specific
questions about academics and behavior.
As a teacher, I know parents hate
to be shocked. Consistent communication
always helps the student in the end.
Knowing that the teacher and parent communicate
reinforces the importance of school to
the child. Also, knowing the parent
is consistently involved lets the teacher
know there is positive support in the
your child where he/she needs to be?
sure your child is taking the right classes.
High school seniors need to
take all classes that are required for
graduation first. Make sure all
requirements are met or are in the process
of being met in order to be promoted to
the next grade or to graduate.
Also, with the No Child Left Behind Act,
many standardized tests are required for
graduation. Plus, the students
in elementary and middle school grades
are often put in remediation classes if
they are not successful in passing the
tests. These classes are not a
bad thing. I would recommend that
your child be in these classes in order
to be successful their second time around.
The results of these tests determine
funding, need of educational assistance
and accommodations, teacher selections
and can even determine whether or not
the school remains open.
your homework and graded papers ?
should be daily, weekly or biweekly evidence
of work from your child.
On every grade level homework is given
just about every day. If your child
always says he has no homework or that
I did my homework at school give the
teacher a call .
If your child has completed the
homework before you arrive home, then
check over it. Even if you need
to brush up on the concept being practiced,
see if your child gave a thorough effort.
The quality of work effect grades.
Homework is a tell tale sign of
your child's effort. Also, your
child should have a place that homework
is written down on a daily basis.
Many school systems provide agendas/assignment
books/daily planners to keep written homework
assignments. If your child does
not have one, you can find an assignment
book in any store that sells school supplies.
Or a simple one subject notebook
can easily be transformed into a daily
planner by putting the date at the top
of each page and each subject along the
papers should be sent home on a regular
Most elementary schools have one day a
week designated to hand back papers.
Middle and high school students may receive
them less often. They are handed
back by the subject's teacher.
Parents beware of papers that only show
good grades, unless your child is an exceptional
student. We've all gotten bad grades,
no matter how well we did in school.
Some students like to hide the poor grades
and parents are often surprised when conferencing
with the teacher or at report card time.
has your child's reading level or math
level changed from last year? Are
they performing above grade level, on
grade level or below grade level ?
there anything new going on in your child's
school? : new principal, PTA president,
math textbooks, scheduling, requirements,
testing? All of these can play
a factor into your child adjusting, feeling
comfortable, and succeeding at school.
Schools usually send out flyers
or mail letters home as a way to inform
parents of school events. Emphasize
the importance of these flyers to your
child in order to make sure the flyer
or letter is put into your hand to read.
you received your child's progress report?
There are nine weeks in a
marking period. Progress reports
or interims come half way through the
marking period (Four or five weeks).
This gives an idea of how your child is
doing. Expect a progress report/interim
every marking period.
you understand all of the information
on the report cards? Report
cards used to be simple, now some report
cards come loaded with information and
abbreviations that you may not understand.
When you conference with your son
or daughter's teacher, make sure you receive
clarification on those elements that are
not clear to you. Please do not
be afraid to ask. Some of the educational
jargon can be quite intimidating and confusing
if you are not an educator yourself.
Make sure you ask for the simple terms
in order for you to understand how to
best help your child.
How can you help?
with your child's teacher is important.
Let the teacher know if something
is going on at home that may affect the
performance of your child.
be afraid to pick up your child's textbook
and read it. Knowing what material
your child is learning or studying can
produce impromptu discussions about the
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