Faculty Members Collaborate for Book to Foster Parental Involvement in Student Learning
Two faculty members from the College of Education and Human Services have collaborated on a new book, Nurturing Your Child's Math and Literacy in Pre-K – Fifth Grade: The Family Connection, published by Rowman and Littlefield. Mary Mueller, Ed.D., and Alisa Hindin, Ed.D., both associate professors in the Department of Educational Studies, brought together their respective expertise of mathematics education and literacy development and instruction to offer parents a resource to navigate their children's education, communicate with teachers and support their children in learning mathematics and literacy.
"In light of recent changes in the curriculum and standards in mathematics and language arts and increased demands on teachers and students with the adoption of the Common Core or similar standards, parental support is even more critical," said Mueller.
The professors explain that parent involvement is one of the most influential factors in a child's academic performance and achievement; however, while parents want to be involved in their children's education, they are often unsure of their role in their children's learning and the best ways to help their children to succeed academically. In this book, the authors set out to alleviate this struggle by offering parents a resource that they can use to navigate their child's education, communicate with teachers, and support their children in learning mathematics and literacy.
Mueller and Hindin provide detailed descriptions of activities, games, books and conversations that connect what children will be learning at each grade level. Each chapter includes questions and answers to provide further insight to parents.
According to Hindin, after reading the book parents will gain a better understanding of the current educational climate and expectations at each grade level, strategies for working with their child's teachers, and specific strategies for supporting their child's learning in mathematics and literacy in ways that connect with their daily routines.
Mueller added, "We hope that parents will discover new ideas for supporting their child's learning beyond the school curriculum and throughout the summer in order to foster the love of learning."
Barbara Krol-Sinclair, director, Intergenerational Literacy Program, Chelsea, MA Public Schools provided the following review, "Nurturing Your Child's Math and Literacy in Pre-K–Fifth Grade: The Family Connection is an innovative and important guide that provides solid p
ractical advice for parents to build connections with teachers. Mueller and Hindin offer explicit strategies to parents that target specific math and literacy goals, address parents' concerns about helping their children succeed, and are respectful of what all families bring to their children's learning."
Stuart Gibbs, author of the Spy School, FunJungle, and Moon Base Alpha series added, "As the father of two elementary school students, I found Mary Mueller and Alisa Hindin's book to be fascinating, innovative, and inspirational. Their methods to enhance your children's language and math skills are extremely effective yet easy to implement; my wife and I started using them immediately after reading about them, and we could not be more pleased with the results. Every parent should read this book."
Mueller specializes in mathematics education. She was a New York City public school teacher for 12 years and uses this experience to prepare future teachers to be successful in a diverse society. Her research interests include the development of mathematical ideas and reasoning over time and teacher preparation and development in mathematics.
Hindin specializes in literacy development and instruction. Her research interests include teacher preparation in literacy, home-school partnerships and literacy, reading fluency, struggling readers, and family literacy. Hindin works with teachers and families to improve children's home and school reading experiences and to build stronger connections between the home and school.
Nurturing Your Child's Math and Literacy in Pre-K – Fifth Grade: The Family Connection is a follow-up to their previous book, Getting Parents on Board: Partnering to Increase Math and Literacy Achievement, K-5, published by Routledge, which is a book for educators to learn how to work more effectively with families to increase student achievement in math and literacy.
After the release of their last book, it was only natural for Mueller and Hindin to collaborate again.
"I never thought of writing a book directly for parents but when Dr. Mueller suggested it, I knew it was a great idea, said Hindin. "Working with Dr. Mueller was my favorite part of writing the book because we both recognize the connections between language arts and mathematics learning but have different expertise."
"Working with Dr. Hindin broadens my horizons by giving me the resources needed to integrate math and language arts," said Mueller. "Our collaboration also helps me to bridge the connections between mathematics and literacy for my students so they will be able to integrate the two as teachers.
Mueller and Hindin are continuing their writing partnership by working on a book for in-service and pre-service teachers that shares research and practical examples of strategies for supporting struggling learners in the areas of literacy and math. In addition, they are currently conducting research into the types of strategies that teachers are using to support students in math and literacy as well as inquiring into their professional development needs in this area.
To learn more about Nurturing Your Child's Math and Literacy in Pre-K – Fifth Grade: The Family Connection, visit Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
To view a sample of Nurturing Your Child's Math and Literacy in Pre-K – Fifth Grade: The Family Connection, visit Amazon.com.
To learn more about the College of Education and Human Services, click here.