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Involving Parents in the Classroom

how to involve parents in the classroom

I’m a 5th grade math teacher. 

I’m also a mom of two girls that are currently in third and fifth grade. 

I thought that helping my own children with homework and studying would be a breeze.

Boy, was I wrong! ?


  • As a mom, I often had a hard time figuring out exactly what my children needed to study. If they were taking a test on fractions…what exactly did they need to know? Parents need to know how to study with their child.
  • We as teachers need to honestly do a better job of giving parents the resources that they need to help their children study or complete homework. I KNOW that we have a million things on our plate already, but trust me, THIS WILL HELP YOU!
  • Most parents want to help their children but they honestly don’t know how (cue all the social media posts about their hatred of Common Core Math).


1. Send home a math help study guide to parents at the beginning of the school year.

  • Parents should know what their child will be learning during the current school year even if they don’t understand all of the strategies that will be used. 
  • At the beginning of the school year, I send home a 5th Grade Math Parent Guide that lists all of our math learning standards for the year AND gives them sample math problems. 
5th grade math worksheets and tips for parents
  • This is also the best way to help the parents who ask for MORE ways to help their child at home.

2. Simplify your math homework.

  • I’ve made the honest mistake of sending problems on math homework that were way too challenging. The child struggled, the parent was frustrated, and I received a few too many frustrated emails along the way. 
  • I strongly believe in spiral review math homework, but I keep it simple. I stick to 6-8 math problems focusing on algorithms only. I leave the high level word problems for math practice in class. It’s as simple as something like this daily decimal practice sheet:
decimal place value worksheets
  • This way, students are still practicing math at home, but they are problems that the students should be able to complete independently. 
  • This ALSO gives parents a snapshot of what their child is learning in math. 

3. Send home a math study guide before the test.

  • When my child’s teacher sends home a math study guide, I am able to see the problems that she needs to know and use those to practice with her. I can also see what she is struggling with and create “new” problems to help her study further. 
  • A study guide does not have to be complicated. Simply create a document that lists concepts that students will need to know for the test. 
    • Quick Tip: if you are using these types of problems on homework already, simply keep the same homework format and change the numbers around. 
  • I often attach our math standards to the top of the study guide and tell parents when the test will be. I include a parent signature to make sure that parents will see it!
  • Here’s an example from my Classifying Polygons Unit:
Classifying quadrilaterals 5th grade
  • By the way, you should NOT be doing this all on your own. You work with a team for a reason. Split the workload! You can do the study guide this month, and your coworker can take your template and do the study guide next month. I have a hard time saying this because I am someone that has a hard time asking for help, but it will save your sanity. We cannot do it all. 

4. Parents should know when your math tests will be! 

  • I can’t tell you how many times my daughters have told me “I have a test tomorrow!” the day.before.the.test. ? ALL kids do this.
  • This tip has been a game changer in my classroom!
  • Every month, I send home an editable calendar that lists all of our upcoming events, test dates, and due dates. Actually, I send home a printable copy, an email copy, AND I give each child a copy for the binder. Just to be sure! 
  • Parents have told me countless times how much the appreciate these! I encourage them to place the parent calendar on their refrigerator at home. 
Editable Calendar 2021

I hope that I was able to inspire you today! Happy Teaching!

Love Learning


including parents in the classroom
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