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Communication & Collaboration
To get parents engaged with your science program, consider the following:
There are many resources available for you to use in your science classrooms that can be found within your local communities.
- Many online databases, like ProQuest and EBSCO Host, an be utilized in the classroom to link class information with the rest of the world. Students can research any topic that comes up in class or from the other resources that we utilize in the classroom. These databases help students to find the latest information avaiable and this will help them to better understand the standards we present to them.
Teachers can send a questionnaire home for the parent or guardian to fill out and return by the student with a signature. In the questionnaire the teacher can find out the best way to communicate with them. Provide them options for them to choose from.
Ways to Increase Parent-Teacher Collaboration
Southern California Edison-
Offers sustainability and clean energy training and education programs that are designed to align with state standards to easily use in your lesson development. There are three programs currently developed which includes; Green Schools (K-12), PEAK Energy Management (Grades 3-7), and Living Wise (Grade 6). These programs provide teacher training, lessons, materials, and hands-on engaging activities for the students. Edison also provides many scholarships and supports STEM education by providing computers and educational grants that teachers can apply for. Students learn how to create a more sustainable world and manage energy use in their homes, schools, and communities.
in the science classroom
Devin Tribble-Cavy, Jennifer Bell, Kristina Kimbrel, Richard Rodriguez
Your Local Library
- Libraries host many community events, and literacy educational programs to improve reading and writing skills. Letting your students know that they can obtain tutoring, help with homework, join teen reading chat groups, and attend writing workshops is a great way to help them achieve their educational goals. Another great opportunity for students at the library, would be to design a science project or demo that they can present to the community in a science workshop.
Museums, wild life conservation centers, state parks, and botanical gardens
- Are great science based educational resources located within your local area. Visiting these sites are great for field trips. Students can learn about Earth processes and history, habitats, biomes, sustainability, and current environmental issues. Many of these places have interactive computer applications that students can access off sight for use in the classroom. Students can obtain information for science projects, reports, and other inquiry based activities.
School Science Fair
- Your school district is most likely apart of a science and engineering fair that transitions from your district, through State and National level competition. Participation in this school resource opportunity is an excellent way for students to improve developing science and engineering projects, conduct research, student recognitions, work with their peers, and increase scholarship opportunities.
Technology has increased the ways of connecting parents to the classroom. Using different resources parents can better understand of the classroom activities and project expectations and due dates
Email is currently the most common form of communication between teachers and parents. However as technology changes the older generations are becoming more accustom to using different applications
Continuing the education at home will increase the student's comprehension, self-confidence, and understand how the subject may relate to their lives.
Collaboration between the parents and teacher can make a large impact in understanding the subjects "big idea" while focusing on ways to increase student comprehension
Provide instructions for the parents to access the classroom information on the school website. As well as the variety of information they have access to at anytime to understand their child's progress or assignments.
Use social media to keep the parents in touch with the activities and projects in the classroom. Twitter is a common application teachers use to share images of the students completing an assignment. Communicating what the class is studying today and possibly tomorrow.
(Remember to get parents permission to post their child's picture on the Internet)
Collaboration between the teacher and parents to discuss the areas their child is struggling to comprehend and tools the parents can use at home for the student to practice and gain understanding at their own pace.
Communicating openly with the parents can provide insight for the teacher of the student's lives outside of the school. The more teacher understand their students the better teachers know how to help them succeed.
Teachers need to use the communication with parents on positive events and improvements with their child and not just used to report negative information. If all the teacher does in report bad news then parents tend to reduce the communication. Positive reinforcements also let the parents their efforts are being noticed and impacting their child's education.
4 H National Youth Development Program-
This program provides school enrichment and after school programs that support science education. The 4H programs utilize service learning in conjunction with STEM centered content to increase student citizenship, leadership skills, and science literacy. Curriculum is available for many projects that teachers can use to supplement their existing lessons. Teachers can also gain a new avenue of community resources through 4H involvement that will not only provide more diverse learning opportunities for their students but can also increase their knowledge
of the world around them.
After School Family Activities -
Work with your colleagues to host "science nights" that can be used to show student work, get families excited about science, and promote a positive school to family culture. Events can be themed ("Star Party," Environmental Awareness Night, Science Fairs") and students can help plan and set up.
Invite Parents to Help -
Reach out to parents that are knowledgeable in science. Early in the year, ask parents if they work in any science fields and would be willing to present, in person or through videoconferencing, about their career. Parents can also help with tutoring sessions for your school.
Plan family field trips -
Organize an event on a weekend or an evening at a museum, at a nature park, or with a business that is willing to open its doors. Invite students and their families to attend. Try to arrange a guided tour for your group to get a personalized and memorable experience.
Science at home -
Use your class website, email, or other method of communication to send ideas for easy and fun experiments that can be conducted at home. Doing so can help the whole family become interested in science.
Text Messages -
Use the Remind service to send text messages with homework reminders and announcements about what is going on in class. All phone numbers are kept hidden and the service is free to use.
Link to Tutorials -
Parents may feel insecure working with their children on science tasks because of their own level of understanding of science. Provide links to videos from sites like YouTube and Khan Academy so students and parents can review information at home.
Involving Parents through Technology
Remind. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.remind.com/
YouTube. (2016). Retrieved from https:/www.youtube.com/
Khan Academy. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Khan Academy is a great comunity resource because it allows students a second chance of understanding class information. The site not only presents many school topics in video format and test for understanding, it also allows feedback from other students or teachers in your classes that are utilizing the program. Teachers can utilies these videos to help students build upon their understanding of the material as a group.
Online Field Research Journals
- Our academic society has developed a great program where we add our raw field research journals to an online database for academic purposes. This is meant to allow other scientist to review the research done to help their research move each field forward. This is a great comunity resource for students and teachers to use becuase it allows students to see how research is done in the raw. I personally use this resource in classes that I helped teach in college. It gives the students a good source to help them when they create their own research journals.
- Many teachers fall to include resources that help students to identify laws and regulations on science topics becuase it is hard to address them in the classroom without discussing where everyone stands on them, but it is still a useful student resource that will build our understanding of how the science is effecting the poloitical world. The Congress.Gov website allows students to look into what laws and regulations there are and what is being proposed and debated. Students will be able to utilize this information to better their understanding of how research effects policies in our government.
- The NASA website is another useful tool to use in the classroom becuase for many students that is the first reference to science that they may have had. It is again another useful resource that helps students link information being taught in class to things that are happening in the outside world. Students can get the latest information on research that is happening by NASA and understand where our space program is going in the future. This is a great resource for project use in the classroom.
4H Science Program. http://www.4-h.org/youth-development-programs/4-h-science-programs/
Southern California Edison. https://www.sce.com/wps/portal/home/about-us/community/scholarships-education