What are some questions to ask your child’s teacher?
You’re getting into the swing of the new school year, and your child has had some time to get to know their new teacher and get used to a new set of expectations. How can you make sure you’re prepared to support your child throughout the rest of the year so they can get the most out of their time at school? When speaking with your child’s teacher, be prepared and know which questions to ask.
As the new school year takes shape, it is important to stay in contact with your child’s teacher. From asking about your child’s academic performance to discussing upcoming projects and assessments, there’s lots of topics to discuss with your child’s teacher. Asking the right questions will help make sure your child has a successful school year. This article looks at questions to ask your child’s teacher this year to help keep you up-to-date on what is happening in their classroom.
Parent-teacher meeting questions
Many teachers send a weekly email or newsletter home that details classroom expectations and procedures. Make sure to read this correspondence, and ask these questions if they haven’t already been answered.
- Student Feedback & Support – How do you like to provide feedback to students? Are there any interventions to help children who need a little extra attention? When are you available if my child needs extra help?
- Home Support – How can I support you, as a parent, so that my child gets the most out of this school year?
Questions to ask your child’s teacher throughout the year
- When working in a small group with my child in reading, what is an area of strength or weakness that you notice?
- How is my child’s decoding? That is, how quickly can they determine what words mean from context? Do they need extra help in any areas when it comes to sound-letter relationships?
- How is my child’s reading fluency? How fast they can read without sacrificing accuracy or intonation when reading aloud?
- How is my child’s reading comprehension level? Are they able to summarise what they have read?
- How is their vocabulary? Do they struggle to find the right words to express themselves? Do they often use vague expressions for specific items, such as “things” and “stuff”? Do they struggle with spelling?
- What are my child’s specific strengths and weaknesses in writing? Do they have poor spelling, grammar or sentence construction? Do they struggle to even organise their thoughts prior to putting pen to paper?
Expression and Language Skills
- How often do students have an opportunity to share their thoughts with the class (i.e., “think out loud”)?
- Does my child participate?
- Compared with others in the class, how is my child’s:
- Memory: How well does my child learn and remember new information? How much support is needed?
- Attention: How is my child’s attention during different types of activities? One-on-one? Small group? Whole class?
- Processing: How well is my child able to “make connections” as compared to peers? When reading, can they decode new words, make good guesses about new word meanings, use background knowledge to predict and infer? In maths, are they slow at performing calculations or recalling basic math facts (like multiplication tables)? For example, they may take a long time to add or subtract two numbers or they may have trouble quickly recalling what 6 times 8 is. This may indicate that they have difficulty with computational or retrieval skills. In writing, are they able to get ideas down on paper without a lot of support? For example, can they write a paragraph or two without needing help from the teacher or other students?
- Sequencing: How well is my child able to organise his thoughts or explain his understanding of a new concept?
Motivation and Social Skills
- Motivation: What does my child find motivating? What can I do to support motivation?
- Social Skills: How does my child handle conflict with other students? Do they get angry, withdraw from others, or blame others when there is a conflict? Do they struggle to communicate their feelings? Do they find it hard to control their emotions? What one thing could my child do to improve his or her social skills?
NAPLAN testing & progress
- Do you have any concerns about my child’s ability to prepare for and take the NAPLAN test, or ability to go up to the next year level?
If you have concerns, don’t wait until the next parent-teacher meeting – request a special meeting. Where extra help is needed, be sure to ask, “What can I do to support my child at home?” And then really do it. That school-home connection can make a huge difference in student achievement. Here’s to a great school year!
Learning skill programs
If you find your child needs help in any of the above areas, we are here to help.
Sonic Learning provides only research-based programs that improve a range of learning skills.
Improving the foundational skills in turn helps your child focus, perform, and most importantly be happy at school.
- Writing: for your child to get better at writing, it’s important to have a strong base of cognitive skills such as working memory, attention, sequencing, and processing speed. The researched-backed program Fast ForWord is backed by hundreds of scientific studies, and targets the cognitive skills underlying reading. Find out more about how we help improve writing.
- Maths: Maths can be a difficult subject for some students, but Zorbit’s Maths Adventure is designed to make it more fun and engaging. With a focus on combining play with learning, this may be the help your child needs to improve their maths skills. Find out more here and download your free info pack.
- Cognitive skills: Skills such as memory, attention and sequencing can be trained with our programs Fast ForWord and Cogmed.
- Language skills: Fast ForWord improves important language skills, including grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, oral expression and the ability to follow instructions. Find out more about how Fast ForWord improves language skills here.
- Social skills: Social Express uses researched-based animated games and lessons to train social skills such as recognising emotions, participating in conversations effectively, building friendships and dealing with teasing.
Learn more & contact us
Learn about the Fast ForWord online program
Book a free phone consult
This free telephone consultation can help to answer any questions you have about our services. At Sonic Learning we are all experienced teachers and health professionals so parents tend to find it very beneficial to be able to discuss their concerns and receive guidance from our team.