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Overview of Approaches

My process for deciding which approaches to implement this year was a challenging one. I thought about previous strategies that I had used and how well they worked out for both me and my students’ families.  I also thought about my time limit and what would be feasible for me to complete with the time allotted. First, I revisited my previous efforts to interview parents and visit families at home, both of which provided a great deal of information. The interview with parent(s) was designed to be implemented during the first two weeks of school and is a brief and informal conversation between teacher and parent, while the home visit was done as a last resort in trying to establish some communication with the “uninvolved” parent.

 
Knowing that the parent interview and home visit would not have been possible for me to do because of timing and scheduling difficulties, I honed in on two possibilities: the Guided Observation for Parents and a focus group. The Guided Observation was completed by the parent in preparation for Parent/Teacher Conferences.  
 
It provided parents to take a closer look into their own child’s learning and noting what they observed. It was later used as a tool for conversation for the parent/teacher conference in an effort to have the parent contribute their own ideas during the meeting. The focus group approach was implemented as part of my inquiry. In a last attempt to reach out to families in my classroom who were categorized as “uninvolved,” I brought together a select group of parents to talk about and share ideas about how to better communicate with each other and how both parties can make this happen.