Preparing parents for differentiation begins with building positive relationships with parents. Most parents are more willing to be acceptable of new changes and and ideas in the classroom when they trust you and have a positive relationship with you. We are making the shift to 21st century learning and most parents are accepatable of that, the edutopia article provide a guide to help parents understand 21st century tools (2012).
Tomlinson (2001) discusses different types of parents and how to prepare them for differentiation. There are the parents of the advanced learners who we must listen to and learn from. On the other hand you have the parents who stay away from school and it is critical for us to try to reach out to these parents.
Many studnets use technology and gaming outside the house. Integration of technology helps to prepare our students for the world of work and the world outside of school (Smith & Throne, 2009). Parents understand the world outside of school and the importantce of technology. Discussing this with parents will likely help them to be more accepting of gaming and differentiation through technology in the classroom.
The article Wonderful Wednesdays discusses inviting parents into the classroom on a weekly schedule to participate alongside their child as they are learning (Crowe, 2004). If parents are in our classroom weekly working alongside their child, they are given the opportunity to see what is going on in the classroom. Parents then can build relationships and have firsthand experience with differentiation and gaming in your classroom.
Often times, teaachers become defensive when they are questioned by parents. Parents just want to understand what is going on and they want the best for their child. The reading and research this week gave some interesting advice on ways to work with parents.
“A Parent’s Guide to 21st Century Learning.” Edutopia. The George Lucas Education
Foundation, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. <http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/guides/edutopia-parents-guide-21st-century-learning.pdf>.
Crowe, Caltha. “Responsive Classroom®.” Wonderful Wednesdays. Responsive
Classroom Newsletter, 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 6 Feb. 2015. <https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/article/wonderful-wednesdays>.
Smith, Grace E., and Stephanie Throne. Differentiating Instruction with
Technology in Middle School Classrooms. Eugene, Or.: International
Society for Technology in Education, 2009. Print.
Tomlinson, Carol A. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability
Classrooms. 2nd ed. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001. Print.