Can you believe school has been in session for over a month? I know for some it’s been longer but the fall is definitely underway and as a mom, I’m starting to feel like things are falling into place. The first month of school is so hectic with new schedules, routines, forms, procedures…it’s so nice when it starts to run smoothly.
Below is a checklist/list of questions that I use with my own children to make sure I have a good sense of what is going on in their math class so there isn’t any miscommunications or major bumps moving forward. Even as a teacher, it was so important to me that my students knew that the teacher, parent, and student were all on the same page. Every year brings a new teacher with new ways of doing things. Don’t hesitate to find out more about your child’s math program, tests, requirements, etc. You are your child’s most important advocate!
Math Program: Math programs change constantly — even the look of the books can be different from grade to grade. Don’t hesitate to find out more about your child(ren)s math program. Also, many teachers use other resources — don’t hesitate to ask about all resources used in the classroom.
- What is the name of the math program?
- Is there a textbook or workbook used in the classroom?
- Is my child required to take notes in class?
- Does he/she have a math notebook? And can it come home at night?
- Is there an online program to help parents understand the work?
- Is there a program to help with facts and computation?
Math Homework: Every teacher has a different homework policy and it’s very important for you and your child(ren) to feel comfortable with this policy. Ask questions ahead of time with your child so there is no confusion and limit arguments and confusion at home!
- How many nights a week is math homework assigned?
- Should he/she be doing the homework on his/her own?
- I plan to check that it's complete but should I be correcting the problems that I see wrong?
- Can my child leave some problems blank if they are very confused so the teacher can see areas of weakness?
- Who corrects the homework in school — teacher, aide, student, or peer?
- How much does homework count towards grade/report card?
- How will I know how my child is doing on the homework?
- How many nights a week should my child be working on memorizing facts and computation?
Math Assessments: No matter the grade level, every student is assessed (test, quiz, check-up, etc.) in math. It’s important you know what the assessments look like and how they will be given and scored. I also feel it’s important for parents to see the assessments and understand their child(ren)s strengths and weaknesses.
- How often will my child be assessed?
- How far in advance will he/she know about the assessment to be given time to study/prepare?
- Will there be an outline/study guide given ahead of time?
- When will the assessments be given back to the student?
- Will the assessments be sent home and need to be signed by a guardian?
- Is he/she required to make corrections on the assessment at home or in school?
- How much do the different assessments count towards grade/report card?
You might already know the answer to several of these questions but continue to advocate for your child in anyway and never feel you can’t understand what is going on in the classroom. No one likes surprises, especially the teacher!