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One Simple Trick For Parents To Help Students At Home

As students are asked to do more in the classroom, parents feel less equipped to help at home. Many feel like they lack the knowledge to help and are frustrated with the "new ways" and "new methods" that look so different and are more confusing than the ways they were taught.

Parents, we understand and we feel your frustrations. There is, however, a very simple and extremely powerful thing that you CAN do to help your child! You can ask your child to explain. Ask them to tell you more! That's it? Yes! Questions like "Why is that so?" and "How do you know?" are the "finish line" of each lesson in the classroom. We want students to have a deeper level of understanding.

Memorizing facts and details does have its place, but we are moving beyond the "what" to "why" and "how." If you ask “why” and “how” questions at home, we can attach the correct term to it in the classroom. Having already explained something at home gives your child rich background knowledge and a much deeper connection.

Continue the deep conversations we have in the classroom by asking "why" and "how" questions at home.

Let’s say your child is reading a book and the main character does something. Ask, "Why did the character do that?" You've just got your child thinking about character motivation. As you are outside after a rain storm, ask your child, "How did all of the rain from yesterday disappear?" You've just got your child talking about evaporation! In a toy store ask, "Why does the section of Pokemon cards take up so much of the store?" Now we're talking about supply and demand. Is it pizza night? Cut the pizza in half. Then cut it into fourths. Next, cut it into sixths. “Why are the pieces getting smaller?” You are comparing unit fractions! 

Get it? Simple, right? This is a simple thing to do, yet powerful!

Parents, we value you and what you do to support us in the classroom. You CAN do many wonderful things to help at home. Ask "why" and "how" and you will be amazed at what even a pre-school student will explain to you!

Check out the fun things we do in class! Ask your child to share what they've learned that day.

RaShada Wood is a guest blogger for GPB Education and a third grade teacher at Commerce Elementary School. A 14 year veteran teacher, RaShada was selected as the 2017 Teacher of the Year for the Commerce City School System and is currently pursuing a specialist's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her passion in education... more