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Q&A #5082

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Student apathy

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From: Tom Hibbs <hibbs_t@cde.state.co.us>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000120713:51:13
Subject: Student apathy

Tara,

We used parent nights and the parent/teacher conferences as a method
for involving parents.  Although many people do not like "give aways"
counted in the grades, I gave the students a "100% homework grade" to
count into their quarter grade if their parents came in to look at
their grades, talk, look at their student's math folder, and be
involved.  Then I worked to make sure all parents had the information
to respond.  If they couldn't make it to school, they would be called.
I had only about 10 out of 80 at home follow-ups to make.  

How legitimate is the grade?  Personally, I think that getting parents
involved, having them bring in their kids folder and signing the rules
of class, having them meet me, and meeting them is not only
legitimate, but vital to creating a "math community" in your school. 
This method gets the students involved and makes the job of contacting
parents easier.  You only need to go after the parents who don't show,
and that's a great exercise. Other teachers thought the parent night
was "useless".  So it's not the night, but the approach to the night
that makes it a contribution to your class.  

Tom Hibbs
MathStar Coordinator for Colorado	

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