Ever ask your child what they did in school today? Some parents actually get an answer that resembles something a parent hopes to hear. More often, though, parents tell me, with wry smiles, that their students tell them they did “nothing.”
As the wry smiles indicate, “nothing” is never the case. Our students are busy! While I sit writing this, in the MSLC, I am surrounded by the sounds of math, English, Spanish and science classes. I wish you were here…even if your children don’t…and I’d like to let you know how you can have a glimpse of what is going on in classes.
In the core academic classes, each teacher maintains a website. Many parents are familiar with these since they have the homework assignments and calendar. (A list of website links can be found here.) Each website has a section called “Daily Plans.”
Teachers use the Daily Plans section of the website in a variety of ways. Most are a list, and have the class agenda on them. Many times, if the class begins with a writing prompt of some sort, that will be listed too. Some teachers put the homework that arises from the that day’s class right on the plans. (Other teachers have a separate section for homework, or use the calendar notes section.) Some teachers use the plans to list the thematic questions for the day.
If a student is absent, the Daily Plans are the first stop to figuring out what was missed. From there, students can follow up with a teacher to get caught up.
For parents, Daily Plans can be reassuring. Even better, they can help jumpstart a conversation about school. The “nothing,” answer from a student, especially on a school night, is more of a reflection of fatigue, and younger minds needing practice at synthesizing a full day into a few sound bites. When students speak to parents, and encapsulate the main activities and concepts of a class, their learning sticks with them. Synthesizing through a conversation at home is really helpful to learning– and knowing a few words to trigger the conversation is at your fingertips once you consult “Daily Plans.”