How can we avoid that useless dialogue? Many teachers keep parents updated on what is going on at school with weekly newsletters, emails, or website postings, and that is great! But you could take it one step further by suggesting questions that parents can ask their kids about what they are learning in school. You can make those questions simple recall, but you could also choose open-ended questions that could lead to insightful discussions. Here are some suggestions with examples of specific areas of study:
- What are 3 things you learned about…dinosaurs? The Declaration of Independence? Desert habitats? Prime numbers? Ways to use the Internet for research?
- What is the difference between… a series and a parallel circuit? A red blood cell and a white one? Decimals and fractions? Adjectives and adverbs?
- What are some ways…we can help river food chains? You can make a boring sentence more exciting? We could improve our eating habits?
- What if…Charlotte had been a goat instead of a spider? Women had not gotten the right to vote? Salmon become extinct?
- Who/What is your favorite…character in the book your teacher is reading? Kind of dinosaur? Inventor? Be sure to follow this one up with Why?
- Why do you think…Northwest Native Americans built longhouses rather than tepees? Your heart has four chambers? The dinosaurs went extinct?
- Show me how to… make a factor tree, make a cursive “f,” find the latitude and longitude of our city, or use a comma when writing a date.