The session topics are selected with that grade level’s specific needs in mind. Typically, 2nd grade parents have many questions about the transition in math. They are curious about how math is being taught conceptually and what that means in reference to skill based teaching. They also want to know if their child will learn the standard algorithm for addition and subtraction the way they did. We begin the conversation with an overview of the three prongs of math—concepts, skills, and problem solving and explain how we use our math resources of Math Investigations, Every Day Math Counts, and Envisions to meet grade level Sunshine State Standards while teaching within each of the three prongs. Then, our teachers concentrate on explaining the strategies of addition and subtraction so parents have a better understanding of how we are teaching number sense and flexibility of thought. The session wraps with an open floor so all parents leave with their questions answered.
Fourth grade parents are old hats at FCAT so just when those questions dissipate, they are curious about the state writing test. What do students have to score? What does meeting the standard look like? How are you preparing students for success on the test? How is a prompt different from the Writers’ Workshop? Is my child going to do well? These questions drive the evening’s conversation. In addition, teachers hold a fish bowl mini Writers’ Workshop with students to give parents a bird’s eye view of what is happening to prepare students in the classroom. Explaining the logistics of the 45 minute prompt write is something new to parents, and we hope they walk away feeling good about what we are doing to prepare their child. Teachers field questions as the session concludes.