Parent-Teacher Conferences: Five Important Questions

Prepare yourself for parent-teacher conferences by thinking about what information parents really should have.

Here are some examples.

  1. What skills and knowledge will your students be expected to master this year?
    • What will your students learn this year in key subjects like math, science, history, and English?
    • Are there challenging academic standards in place at your school, and how do they compare with those at other school districts? Show these standards to parents.
    • How will you inform students about the academic standards they're expected to meet? What kinds of projects and assignments have you planned that will help your students meet higher academic standards?

  2. How will your students be evaluated?
    • What kind of information do you use to evaluate students? How do you know if they're academically ready to move on to the next grade?
    • How are grades determined in your classroom?

  3. What can parents do to stay more involved in their child's academic progress?
    • What can they do at home to complement what is happening in the classroom?
    • How can they know on a daily basis what homework has been assigned?
    • How can they support your efforts in implementing higher academic standards?

  4. How do you accommodate differences in learning?
    • What if their child is a slow learner and falls behind, or is a fast learner and is bored?
    • Are summer school, tutoring, or other programs available for students who need more help?

  5. How are older students prepared for further learning after high school?
    • Are children encouraged to think about a wide variety of career interests?
    • Are all students encouraged to take algebra by the end of eighth grade?

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Celebrate the Festival of Lights in your classroom! Hanukkah begins at sundown December 6.

December Calendar of Events
December is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: World AIDS Day (12/1), International Volunteer Day (12/6), Hanukkah (begins at sundown 12/6), Handwashing Awareness Week (12/6-12), Computer Science Education Week (12/7-13), Human Rights Day (12/10), Winter Solstice (12/22), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (begins 12/26), Visit the Zoo Day (12/27), and New Year's Eve (12/31). Plus, celebrate Bingo's Birthday Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and Write to a Friend Month all December long!

Hour of Code
Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Celebrate Computer Science Education Week from December 7-13, 2015 with our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, or the Hour of Code resources provided by Code.org®

Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.