*Giveaway!* Powerful partnerships with students’ families have lasting effects on student success

This week, Scholastic Professional announced the release of Powerful Partnerships: A Teacher’s Guide to Engaging Families for Student Success by Dr. Karen L. Mapp, Senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Master’s Program, and Boston, MA educators Ilene Carver and Jessica Lander.

This new title, available just in time for educators heading back to school this fall, highlights the critical need for engagement between schools and families for lasting student success and urges K–12 educators to evaluate their own core values and develop the mindset necessary for fostering respectful, trusting, and effective relationships with families to support student learning.

Readers are guided through important steps for engaging families in their children’s learning, including, examining core beliefs, harnessing the power of partnerships, welcoming and connecting with families, transforming family conferences and IEP meetings, maintaining relationships with families throughout the year, and supporting this work with family-friendly resources. Powerful Partnerships also incorporates educator and parent stories and examples from Ilene and Jessica’s own classrooms.

The book also offers access to an online resource bank that can be used for planning professional learning opportunities for educators and family engagement events throughout the school year.

*GIVEAWAY!*

Educators, we want to hear about the powerful partnerships you are creating for your classroom! We’re giving away one copy of Powerful Partnerships: A Teacher’s Guide to Engaging Families for Student Success and one ready-to-use Scholastic Literacy Event kit designed to engage and empower families to support their children’s academic achievement. The kit features interactive activities with practices and strategies that maximize reading and writing success.

To enter, leave us a comment below responding to the following question: How do you plan to foster powerful partnerships in your classroom this year?

One entry per person. All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, August 25, 2017. U.S. residents, 18 and over, please. See the complete legal rules here.

Scholastic

Comments

We are planning 3 Family Literacy Nights to connect with families and promote reading!

My students' parents are my partners in learning. Students engage in a "Bag a Book Club" daily take home reading opportunity with accompanying strategies & opportunites for reinforcement. We are launching a Little Library for our school filled with Scholastic books ordered through your FACE program. We will have a our Scholasric Book Fair and Paretn Teacher Organizarion sponsored events.

I've been waiting for this book to be available. I would like to plan a few literacy-related family nights this year. One thing parents have asked for is information about finding books for their children to read so I would like to focus on that for my first family night. I'm looking forward to reading the book and getting some useful ideas.

I would love to try this. The biggest disconnect we have in our school is getting parents to be able to help their children. This might help with that.

The way I plan to foster powerful partnerships in my classroom this coming school year is using the idea of "Choose Kind" inspired by the book "Wonder," by R.J. Palacio. Living in a time and place as we are, it is extremely important to prioritize teaching kindness to kids. The kids in our classrooms are the future. Through each and every partnership that I plan, whether it be in math, science, reading, writing, art, etc., the expectation will be that kids "choose kind." Where there is respect, there can be learning. When kids feel safe and when they know they will be treated fairly, there is trust. I hope that I will be able to foster this important idea in my classroom through partnerships and working together.

We have 3 Academic Parent Teacher Team meetings throughout the school year where all parents come in to learn more about goals for their child, as well as making connections with other parents. I also send Take Home tasks throughout the year instead of homework, that helps families engage in a fun educational activity each week.

I plan to foster powerful partnerships in my classroom by engaging with parents regularly, making positive phone calls, inviting parents to come in and volunteer. I also offer fun family projects that kids and parents work on together. I send home resources to help parents help their child. We offer monthly parent partnership events for kids and their families.

As an elementary specialist its hard to foster relationships with over 350 families! I plan on sending a welcome letter at the beginning of school. I also host a selfie booth at the open house so families have the opportunity to meet me too!

I think to foster powerful relationships, a teacher has to connect with their students. It starts with them. It's reason I am there and the reason you are there. In order to foster powerful connections is Understandonf your students needs however their successes need to be celebrated as well. As teachers we focus so much on the rear view mirror and not enough on the windshield. What can my students already do and how do I make it better as a teacher. A growth is growth, whether it is leaps and bounds or it's a baby step. What can my students do and how can I make that better. I think understanding that relationship will foster positive connections becuase it is showing that I believe in their potential. Share common goals with my students as well. They should know my goals and I should know theirs.

We plan on fostering partnerships with 2 family literacy nights, a game nights, and classes for our spanish speaking families on how to best help their children learning english. We are striving to give our migrant and spanish speaking families the tools they need to communicate with the teachers, with their employers and their children.

I plan to coordinate a family literacy event at my school twice this year. Also I would like to plan in class workshops. This would be inviting parents into the classroom to work with their own children. I'm hoping this will bridge the gap between school and home and help parents see how to be active participants in their child's literacy at home.

My current school does not have family involvement events. My teaching partner and I plan on having a family night for Literacy, Math and STEM. We want parents to interact with the curriculum and their children in a very engaging way, while giving them ideas for what they can do at home. We plan to provide parents with a way to use the same type of activity with siblings that are younger. Parents need to feel a part and feel like it makes sense to them.

During the course of the year I use several different seating arrangements, and one is pairs. The object is to have them work in pairs and help each other to grow daily. I also want to see if I can use it to encourage and motivate my team. We already have a dynamite team, but anything good can still get better.

I teach kindergarten. I plan on having monthly family read alouds. One morning a month, I invite parents and siblings to our classroom for a read aloud by me, and an activity with students. It's a fun way to get families inspired to read more at home, and to give parents a chance to help their child pick out books from the classroom library.

As an elementary specialist I work with everything student. Last year we did an event for Read Across America during the day for students, but this year I would like to extend that from the day to also a night event for students and families. I would certainly coordinate this with our literacy coach and other faculty members.

I created a blog for parents to regularly share with parents what is happening in the classroom I'm hoping this will facilitate parents discussion with their children about their school day as well as keep them up to date and invested in the importance of school!

Powerful partnerships start with families and are enhanced by the communities in which they live, love and grow. With this in mind, I plan to continue to encourage local businesses to engage our Head Start supervisor when I frequent them and speak cordially with staff and management about our program--what if offers and how it builds community. Further, when families bring their children to our program, I will continue to encourage participation through volunteerism (school and community) and support of activities that we host each month with my favorite being Head Start Awareness Month in October.

I will use my home connection program to engage parents. Too much homework is frustrating for all. Kids sit by themselves and parents yell and scream to get work done. Home connection is a joint project for parents to learn with their children.

We love to do Math Family Game Night. Families take selfies playing math games and we put up a big showcase board. The entire family gets involved.

I start off the year by calling all my students parents and introducing myself that really sets the tone and lets them know who to contact if they have a special education question.

I plan to keep open communication with parents this year starting with Student Led IEP Meetings and Student Led Conferences.

I plan on using the first week of school to build relationships with my students and get to know them as learners and awesome tiny humans. Relationships matter!

This is on end of our main focuses this year. We intend to make sure every single adult in our school is welcoming and friendly. We are going to help parents understand how they can become an advocate for their child and ways they can be involved. We are planning on making sure our community is a part of any family nights we have.

I plan to start the school year out with positive conversations with parents! I like to call, email, or write home with happy news to share.

Our middle school hosts family literacy nights and plan to continue this year. Every year, we pick one book and provide multiple copies for check out, encouraging families to read together. The literacy night focuses on the selected book with giveaways, food, and activities.

We have Back to school Nights....fall and spring. I send home book baggies with a Just Right book and a slightly challenging one every week with a log parents need to sign. I offer many parent engagement activities throughout the year.

We plan on having families visit school for a variety of events including student led conferences, pbl showcase, art show, and more.

We plan to lead by example. As coteachers, we will model what a positive and powerful relationship should look like and lay out our expectations for the students as they work with partners. We also plan to foster open communication to allow ourselves and our students to resolve any obstacles that may come when working with partners.

We plan on having Family Engagement activities once a month...I also plan on having Family Day once a month where parents can come in and do an activity with their child.

I have already created a one page flyer with helpful tips for reading st home for my parents. I plan to inquire about home reading often to let them know I am here to help.
I will send books home with my students in their reading range to ensure they have books to read.

I believe in engaging families in learning as best as I can. A positive attitude at home will reflect in the child's attitude to me and learning. I will be sending a note home to the families in the first week requesting that the parents write me a letter introducing their child. I will ask that they tell me their likes, dislikes, personality and the little quirks that make them them. We will also be creating connections without the classroom, having students buddy up and learn things about each other (hopefully making new friends) and every day for the week we will take 10mins out in the afternoon to introduce their new friend to the class and tell us about them. On Fridays I have lunch in the classroom with anyone who wants to sit in with me so children have the chance to connect without the formal 'learning' frame of our classroom, they can also use this as a non confrontational time to seek assistance on a subject they aren't quite understanding- this has been a very successful practice for me and I encourage others to give it a go!

I continue to add more options for parents communication/ways for parents to receive information. This is the main activity I do for building good home to school relationships.

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As the school librarian it is one of my essential goals to foster a climate of literacy on my campus. In the five years i have been in this position i have seen improvements. There is still a long way to go. We have several events throughout the year in which literacy is the focus. Inbthe spring and the fall we hold Scholastic Book Fairs. This focuses families on independent reading choices. In the spring we hold Learning in Motion Night where our entire faculty including classroom teachers, P.E. coaches, Music and Orchestra, Art, Special Ed, Counselors all come together and present activities that parrnts can take home and use with their children to carry their learning in Motion from school to home and beyond. At our Fall Festival, you will find our teachers at booths presenting literavy based activites. Even the library gets involved in all of these occasions with bokths, activites, and of course lits of books.

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Our school works to foster partnerships by hosting a literacy night, a family game night, a free bookshelf program for students and families, English classes, student-led conferences, a mentoring program, among others . Within my classroom, I plan to utilize Seesaw, a digital portfolio, to provide students with an authentic audience (their peers and families) and to provide students choices and the tools that empower them to show their best thinking. This also allows parents a window into their learning to promote discussions at home.

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I am student teaching this year. I believe that it takes a community to develop a child both academically and socially. I find it crucial to build communication among parents and teachers to help the student succeed. I want to start immediately in my practice to communicate with parents in various of ways. One way can be through class dojo an online behavior management website. Month checkin sheets can be sent home to find out if there are any concerns or suggestions. Also showing parents I respect their opinions and encourage the mean of communication. Most of all, informing parents what we are doing in the classroom. In my classroom news letter, I will encourage lesson extensions for the family to do other. For instances if we are reading about story settings I would encourage parents to talk about those details in nightly reading.