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    • #44020
      Jasmine Slay

      What are some ways to help parents understand the different levels and struggles that their child has?

    • #44167
      Bob Sherman

      I think that it’s imperative to establish an open lines of communication with the parents before you can begin to get them to understand the different levels and struggles that their child has. There are several ways to initiate these lines of communication. I think the most effective would be face to face between you and the parents without the presence of the child. If at all possible this should be done as earliest as possible in the school year. One should try to get to know as much about the student as possible from the parents. After the initial contact, follow-up communication can be done via, phone or emails.

    • #62082
      Lisa Baker

      I am a big supporter of using data effectively. Graphs can be very effective tools when showing how students are performing compared to others in a classroom. It is also an effective tool to show growth over time. The whole goal of education is to improve. Charting data shows this. Many computer based programs do this automatically, which saves time for you as a teacher. Our school offers “Dinner and Data” nights. Parents are feed and then have the ability to review their child’s data portfolio with the teacher. It is a very successful night for everyone involved. It is so much more effective to tell a parent “Your child has improved in 5 out of 7 areas of reading skills” then just the standard “your child is making improvements.” Data has gotten a very “bad rap”, but when used properly, data is a wonderful tool for feedback and monitoring.

    • #63267
      Yen Kai, Lye

      Lisa – I thought that is an brilliant idea!!! “Dinner & Data” night!!!

    • #70437
      Patricia Bentolila

      Love the idea of dinner and data. It´s a fact that we need to have some way to asses results, and where our students are. The problem with the old system is that it compairs apples with pears. Comparison between children gives us no understanding neither relevant information about the learning progress of a child. One teacher at Finnland latest innovations are with pilot-testing “self-assessments,” where his students write daily narratives on their learning and progress; and with “peer assessments,” a striking concept where children are carefully guided to offer positive feedback and constructive suggestions to each other.

      Another example at an attempt of change of the traditional grading system is from Germany. There´s a school that has a no grade system until age 15. The philosophy behind these innovations is simple: as the requirements of the labour market are changing, and smartphones and the internet are transforming the ways in which young people process information, the school’s headteacher, Margret Rasfeld, argues, the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.
      For challenge, students aged 12 to 14 are given €150 (£115) and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. Students at her school are encouraged to think up other ways to prove their acquired skills, such as coding a computer game instead of sitting a maths exam.
      I believe we are on our way to developing new ways to measure learning progress. I feel optimistic about this and the fact that we are less afraid of trying new methods. It was about time, since we cannot only change the way we teach without changing what we expect and how we asses results.

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