Pro Tip: Using Freckle to keep parents informed
Keeping parents informed about their child's progress is vital towards helping a pupil reach his or her full potential. However, it is difficult to make sure that parents know exactly how their pupils are progressing. It can be time-consuming and often gets pushed to the back of our list of priorities. When you finally need to schedule a parent-teacher discussion, the parent may be frustrated that you did not communicate any struggles with their child earlier in the year when they could have acted immediately to quell the problems. With Freckle, you can keep your parents well-informed about their pupil's progress and performance in maths.
This topic will cover:
- How to use the Report Card page to keep parents updated on pupil progress
- How to set up a parent-teacher discussion to discuss pupil progress
- How to use Freckle data at a parent-teacher discussion to support your claims and make next steps
Keeping Parents Updated on Pupil Progress with Report Cards
- Have pupils take the baseline test in each domain.
By having pupils take the diagnostic test in each domain, you are giving parents the most information available. Rather than only focusing on a particular domain, give them the whole picture by making sure each pupil has been leveled and placed in all domains.
- Give pupils time to practise Freckle independently.
Before you send home Report Cards, give pupils time to practise Freckle independently. Many pupils struggle slightly more than usual on the diagnostic tests, so give them time to prove what they know with independent practice sessions.
- On the Teacher Home page, select Reports in the left navigation bar, and then select Report Cards.
In order to share report cards with parents, you will need to print the reports for the parents. Select Reports in the left navigation bar and then select Report Cards. From there, you have the option to print all report cards to send home with your pupils.
Showing Parents their Pupil Needs Support
- Call the parent to set up a discussion on the day you send home Report Cards.
By calling the parent the same day that you send home the Report Card, you already have a talking point. Make sure that you state how you would like to set up a meeting to discuss how you can work together in order to ensure their child gets the most out of maths class. This way, the discussion is not framed around the shortcomings of a pupil but the next steps needed to improve.
- At the discussion, start by discussing the Report Card.
Start by discussing the Report Card that was sent home. Answer any questions that the parent has and explain what each part of the Report Card means.
Pupils who are performing below their peers may not have even started working on objectives at year. For this reason, you may want to print out other year report cards that better show the pupil's progress.
- Use the Matrix view for each domain to show the parent where his or her pupil falls within each particular domain compared to year and peer performance (blot out pupil names).
The Matrix view, found in Reports Class Grouping after expanding a domain, can be used to support your claim that a pupil is behind his or her peers, and will need lots of help to catch up. If you plan to use the Matrix in a discussion, make sure you block out all pupil names! You cannot share other pupil data with parents, and this should only be used as a way to demonstrate to a parent where his or her child is working compared to peers.
You can remove the names of pupils using a computer program (such as Photoshop or Paint) and "painting" over the names or you could print out the matrix and cross off pupil names so they are not visible. As you can see above, this Matrix view shows just how far behind Hayes is in the Measurement and Data domain, and can be a powerfully visual to illustrate to Hayes' parents that he needs extra support.
- Draw up a plan for all stakeholders—pupil, parent and teacher.
Now that parents are aware he is behind, draw up a plan for how to improve. Each stakeholder (pupil, parent and teacher) should leave the discussion with clear next steps. Maybe the parent will start working with Hayes on his maths homework each night, Hayes will start to focus more during maths, and the teacher will show up early or stay late to tutor Hayes. No one should ever leave a discussion wondering what comes next.
Sample Next Steps for Teacher
Sample Next Steps for Pupil
- Come in early or stay late to tutor a pupil
- Create a daily progress report (simply a smiley or frowny face works) to recognise pupil work and effort that day—signed by parent
- Research resources that a pupil can use in class and at home to improve
- Hold weekly phone calls or meetings with a pupil and his or her parent to monitor progress
- Print out notes or other lesson materials for a pupil to use at home
Sample Next Steps for Parent
- Pay more attention during independent practice and maths lessons
- Complete all homework by the time it is due
- If you do not know how to solve a problem, ask someone for help instead of guessing
- Set targets for what you want to accomplish this school year
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day practising maths skills—including weekends
- Check son or daughter's homework after he or she complete it each night
- Help son or daughter to complete homework each night
- Practise flash cards with pupil at home throughout the week
- Limit for how much television/video games a pupil has access to throughout the week
- Keep in closer contact with the teacher about how the pupil is progressing at home