Monday, December 6, 2010

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Important Questions

Prepare yourself for parent-teacher conferences by thinking about what information parents really should have.
Here are some examples.

  • What will your students learn this year in key subjects like math, science, history, and English?
  • Are there challenging academic standards in place at your school, and how do they compare with those at other school districts? Show these standards to parents.
  • How will you inform students about the academic standards they're expected to meet? What kinds of projects and assignments have you planned that will help your students meet higher academic standards?

  • What kind of information do you use to evaluate students? How do you know if they're academically ready to move on to the next grade?
  • How are grades determined in your classroom?

  • What can they do at home to complement what is happening in the classroom?
  • How can they know on a daily basis what homework has been assigned?
  • How can they support your efforts in implementing higher academic standards?

  • What if their child is a slow learner and falls behind, or is a fast learner and is bored?
  • Are summer school, tutoring, or other programs available for students who need more help?

  1. What skills and knowledge will your students be expected to master this year?
  2. How will your students be evaluated?
  3. What can parents do to stay more involved in their child's academic progress?
  4. How do you accommodate differences in learning?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keeping Your Kids Safe On-Line

Like any new technology the internet is full of potentially good outcomes but it comes with plenty of potentially negative outcomes.  This has always been true of any new technology.  Try to remember that the technology itself isn't good or bad, its how we choose to use it that's good or bad.
First, some of the good stuff we can get from the internet:
  • Improved communications via email, instant messaging, internet phones and video.
  • Data storage and sharing across the world
  • The potential of networking ideas and knowledge without boundaries
  • The democratization of information
Then some of the bad stuff:
  • Internet crime such as online scams
  • Misuse of information for negative results
  • Character attacks and "cyber-bullying"
  • Exploitation of children and child predators
So how do you educate yourself on the bad stuff so you can help kids avoid it?  It should be no surprise that there is a whole bunch of websites out there that can help you: 
This site provides some practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help people guard against online fraud and protect personal information. 
They advertise themselves as a "Family Guide to making the Internet and technology fun, safe and productive."  Try this site for more detailed information about protecting kids on the internet.
Be Cyber Safe is a good overview of the dangers that are out there for kids while they are online.  It's full of information and links to additional resources.  Definitely a good site to check out.