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Quick and Easy Ways to Connect With Students and Their Parents, Grades K-8

Quick and Easy Ways to Connect With Students and Their Parents, Grades K-8
Improving Student Achievement Through Parent Involvement

June 2004 | 152 pages | Corwin
Dianne Mierzwik, a long-time teacher and teacher trainer, has put together a book based on her own best practices of ways to motivate K-8 students and connect with their parents. Her ideas have been classroom-tested by herself and by the many teachers she's trained at in-service workshops.

The book is full of ideas, strategies, and sample forms, documents, and letters that teachers can use or adapt for their own purposes. The author presents alternative ideas for adapting strategies and adopts an upbeat and enthusiastic tone to motivate teachers to use her strategies. Diane Mierzwik's strategies will improve the classroom environment, solve many classroom management problems, and keep students motivated, and most strategies require only a few minutes of a teacher's time each day. The research shows that parent involvement results in increased student achievement, so many schools are focusing on this component of school success.

Includes guidance on topics critical to beginning teachers:

} back-to-school night

} parent-teacher conferences

} parent volunteers

} reaching out to uninvolved parents

} talking to parents about difficult students and other problems

} using E-mail as a communication tool

time-saving tips

} motivating even the most difficult students

About the Author
Part I: Connecting With Students
1. Having Students Introduce Themselves
2. Greeting Students
3. Making the Most of Classroom Time
4. Congratulating Students With Certificates
5. Connecting With Your Students Through the Curriculum
6. Recognizing Your Students as Stars
Part II: Connecting With Parents
7. Sending Home Your Introduction Letter
8. Learning About Your Students From Their Parents
9. Presenting at Back-to-School Night
10. Requesting Parent Suggestions
11. Conducting Parent-Teacher Conferences
12. Thanking Parents
13. Contacting Parents Using E-mail
14. Phoning Home
15. Mailing Home Good News Postcards
16. Inviting Parents to Visit
17. Getting Attention From the Media
Resource: Sample Forms and Letters

"A novice teacher should find Mierzwik’s book to be quite helpful as they face the many challenges of modern day classroom teaching."

Kent Hayden, Field Supervisor, Student/Intern Teachers
University of Redlands

"As a veteran teacher, I wondered what this book could teach me. Well, it taught me valuable ideas, some new, some long forgotten. It resulted in my brain processing a deluge of new ways to look at old behavior problems."

Linda Mercier, High School French Teacher
Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA

"This book is an excellent resource for veteran and beginning teachers. It contains a number of simple, practical, useful, and effective ideas, suggestions, and practices that can be easily implemented."

Bernard Cavanagh, Director of Curriculum, Secondary
Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District, Yucaipa, CA

"Diane Mierzwik offers an approach to teaching which is both humane and effective. Her suggestions are backed by years of experience and research and will help everyone, from the brand new teachers to the old hand."

Martha Plender, Co-Director, Inland Area Writing Project
University of California, Riverside

"This book is not only for the beginning teacher, but for the seasoned teacher that needs new and innovative ways of touching the lives of our growing student population with diverse needs."

Lynn Anderson, School Psychologist
San Bernardino City Unified School District, CA

"This book is chock full of ideas that can be put into place immediately. From personally greeting each child every morning to conducting parent conferences, the author provides practical, easy-to-accomplish strategies for building relationships that let students and parents know you care."

Principal Navigator, March 2007

Diane Mierzwik

Diane Mierzwik currently teaches seventh and eighth grade English at Parkview Middle School for the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District in California. In her 16 years of teaching, she has had experience with first- through 12th graders. She has been Gifted And Talented Education coordinator, Leadership team member, Department Head, a mentor teacher, completed the Inland Empire Writing Project, and served as a Language Arts consultant for the California Language Arts Project. She is also the author of Quick and Easy Ways to Connect With Students and Their Parents, available from Corwin Press, and Wishes in the Field, a middle... More About Author