Posted in: Aha! Blog > Eureka Math Blog > Data Stories Family Engagement Eureka Math Squared > Detroit News: Michigan Teacher of the Year and Great Minds PD Associate Candice Jackson Pens Op-Ed To Promote Parent Engagement
Michigan's 2023–2024 Teacher of the Year Candice Jackson wrote this compelling op-ed in the Detroit News about the need to better engage families to help students overcome pandemic-related learning gaps.
We're so proud that Candice is part of the Great Minds® team, working with us as a professional development associate while also teaching third grade at Mann Learning Community in Detroit Public Schools.
Her full op-ed requires a subscription to read, but we wanted to share a few highlights here.
"Often, adults feel comfortable reading with their children but don't know how to help their kids study and practice math. My students made great academic strides last year, surpassing expectations, and I firmly believe engaging families as partners played an important role," Candice writes in the piece.
She goes on to explain that her school holds parent events monthly, rather than just a few times a year, which is more typical. These events ae engaging and focused on the content being taught in the classroom. Educators and parents collaborate on fun activities, and families leave with things they can practice at home. For example, teachers once sent parents home with dice and instructions on how to play an educational, math-related game with them. Another time, teachers shared art supplies with families and helped them make math flash cards to use with kids while walking to school, making dinner, or during other convenient times.
Jackson and her colleagues also make home visits to get to know their students' families on a deeper level. "It's during these nights that I often get great feedback from families on our math nights, homework assignments, learning goals, and more," Candice states in her op-ed.
For districts that use Eureka Math², the Apply workbook includes practice problems and games that students and families can work on and have fun with together. The curriculum also includes a range of math night resources for schools and districts. In addition, Eureka Math users often find the Parent Tip Sheets helpful.
Many adults didn't learn math the way children are learning it today, with a focus on the development of deep conceptual understanding of math and strong procedural skills. They need help too, and we fully agree with Candice's view that supporting parents will help students make much-needed academic progress.
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Great Minds PBC is a public benefit corporation and a subsidiary of Great Minds, a nonprofit organization. A group of education leaders founded Great Minds® in 2007 to advocate for a more content-rich, comprehensive education for all children. In pursuit of that mission, Great Minds brings together teachers and scholars to create exemplary instructional materials that provide joyful rigor to learning, spark and reward curiosity, and impart knowledge with equal parts delight.