A few years ago, I was on a departmentalized team and assigned to teach fifth-grade math. Do you know the number one thing that I heard from parents? “I can’t help my child with homework because the way they teach it is different from when I was in school.” How many times have you heard that statement? Well, I’m here to share how math parent study guides can prevent you from ever hearing it again! These math resources for parents have been a game-changer in my classroom! Not only did I stop hearing that statement, but I have seen an increase in parents helping their children with math at home.
What Does Math Help for Parents Look Like?
I knew I had to find a solution to the problem when parents constantly told me they were unable to help their children with math homework. So, I began creating math parent study guides for every math unit. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that these math resources for parents transformed my classroom! My math parent study guides contain several key pieces of information about the math skills being discussed.
Just as it is important for our students to understand the meaning of mathematical terms, it is also important to make sure parents know those terms too. I begin every math parent study guide by defining key terms. It is important to use language that is easy to understand because we do not know the reading levels of our students’ parents. By introducing vocabulary at the start of the study guide, it ensures that the parents are able to understand the step-by-step instructions.
For every skill, I include easy to follow, step-by-step instructions. For example, when multiplying multi-digit numbers, I break down each step in the process.
In addition to written instructions, I also provide lots of visuals to show the steps in a process. When creating my math resources for parents, I try to keep the different types of learners in mind. Just like students, many adults are visual learners.
Math Tips, Riddles, and Sayings
I’m sure you use fun tips, riddles, and sayings to help your students remember mathematical processes. If these help your students learn information, they will likely help parents too.
Other Tips for Creating Math Resources for Parents
When creating and using math parent study guides, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Families need to know what these parent resources are and how to use them. When you send home the first parent study guide, you should also send home a note that explains what it is and how parents can use it to help their child learn mathematics. Usually, during our back to school night, I am sure to have an example and explain it at that time.
- Use the math homework help worksheet to share other important information. At the top of all my math parent study guides, I include the date when the unit test will be. With this information, no parent can ever say they did not know when the test was. Also, knowing this information encourages parents to help their children study for the tests.
- Make sure the math study guides are easily accessible to all families. We all have that student… the one who loses every paper they are given. I am sure you probably have faces popping into your mind as you read that! If you know a student will never get the math study guide home, email it their parent.
Math Help for Parents Transformed My Classroom
I have been using math parent study guides for about eight years and have seen many benefits!
- Seldom do I hear the phrase, “I can’t help my child with homework because the way they teach it is different from when I was in school.”
- There has been an increase in the number of students turning in their math homework.
- Scores on unit tests have gone up as more parents are helping students prepare for tests.
- Best of all, parents regularly tell me “thank you!”
What If I Do Not Have Time to Create Math Parent Study Guides?
Math parent study guides have been a huge help in my classroom, but they did take A LOT of time to create. If you are short on time, I have created math resources for parents that are aligned to third, fourth, and fifth grade standards. Each set of math parent study guides are aligned to both Common Core and the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs). Each set also includes a bonus digital template so that you can easily add in any unique tips or strategies you teach in your classroom.
Click each image to learn more about the study guides for each grade level.
Upper elementary math is challenging! If you are teaching math, I highly recommend that you use math parent study guides! By teaching parents things such as key terms, step by step examples, and math tips you use in class, parents are more likely to help their children with math at home. If parents do more to help their children with math at home, students are more likely to be successful at school.