This project consisted of parent and children workshops that were presented at the same time during a four-week time period. The 1 1/2-hour sessions focused on helping parents understand math concepts, the importance of mindset and discovering that math is found everywhere. The children’s workshop involved the students learning card, board and dice games that were fun and engaging for them. At the halfway mark of each session, the children met up with their parents to show them the games they had learned, while the parents were given the opportunity to implement their learning from the night’s workshop by interacting through playing games with their children.
Upper Grand District School Board
Upper Grand District School Board
Upper Grand District School Board
Professional Learning Goals
Our professional learning goals focused on enhancing our leadership skills and learning how we as a school could support our parent community. We also wanted to work collaboratively with colleagues to develop and implement four successful parent and student workshops.
Activities and Resources
We met as a team on several occasions to develop the four workshops that were to be presented to the parents and children in the primary grades at our school. We met with curriculum leaders from the board who gave input and suggestions for developing and implementing the workshops. The team worked together to develop a parent handout, a slide show, a Presenter’s Handbook and a Guide for the Children’s Leader. We also used and purchased a number of resources such as picture books, board games, dice and cards. These resources were used to help parents learn and apply our content to different experiences with their children.
One challenge we faced involved our support staff. Early in our planning stage, we met with our curriculum leaders. We felt that many times during this meeting, many of our ideas listed in our proposal were not being listened to nor addressed. We constantly needed to remind these colleagues what the focus of our TLC was and why we received the grant.
We also spent a lot of meeting times doing paperwork to complete the program. We understand it is necessary, but it took a lot of time away from our release time, which was needed to create the materials for the workshop.
Enhancing Student Learning and Development
Our program taught parents to become aware of how to talk and think about math when they interact with their children on a daily basis, and while playing games. By playing math games and following snack recipes, the students began to use their math language and thinking skills when they interacted with the volunteers, teachers and parents. Children also learned that math is fun! Many comments that were given to us described how the children enjoyed the program and looked forward to coming each week!
We first shared our successes at our monthly staff meetings and division meetings. We spoke to our colleagues about how the program was administered and the reactions we had from parents and students. Our principal has also informed us that she has been promoting our workshops among individuals who work within the Program Department, other principals and the Board Office. We have also been invited to speak at our board’s annual Learning Fair in August 2015. We will be presenting the workshop we created and highlighting our successes, as well as discussing what we would like to see happen with our program. We would also like to see our program implemented at other schools within our school board.
We feel that our project was a huge success. Our first goal was to enhance our leadership skills, which we feel has been accomplished by creating the workshops and leading parents throughout the planned activities. One colleague within the group has learned that she needs to be a little bit more assertive when it comes to leading a workshop. At the beginning, she would hesitate to speak in front of the parents. However, as the weeks progressed, she felt more comfortable in leading the parents through the presented material.
We also learned that we have been very successful in supporting our parent community. Many of the comments we have received from our feedback forms have been very positive. In fact, the parents have told us on many occasions that what they have been or are learning, is resulting in positive changes in their children’s attitudes towards math. The parents are excited about these changes and look forward to coming each week.
We also feel that we have worked collaboratively with our colleagues. We have mentioned before about the conflicts we had with our curriculum leaders, wanting to change our focus. What we learned from this experience is that we need to stay focused on our goal and keep working towards it, no matter how many times people may want to change it.
As a group, we feel that we have worked very well together. We each have specific strengths that helped to fulfill the roles that needed to be filled. In addition, we listened to each other’s ideas and communicated our opinions clearly. If we were to change anything, it would be the time spent with our curriculum leaders. As a group, we feel that the time spent together resulted in lost time and a lack of focus during our planning stage. We all agree that we could have used that time more efficiently with just the three of us working together.
We definitely feel that our project was a huge success and look forward to working together again in the future.
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