7 Learn the lingo Teachers sometimes use words and terms that may be new to parents. For example, you may hear your child’s teacher use the following terms: u Sight Words – Specialists have come up with lists of common, high-frequency words that students should know by sight. These lists include words such as the, here, said, and come. u Manipulatives – Manipulatives include items such as beads, counters, cubes, and tiles. Manipulatives are fun and colorful, and they’re ideal for children who learn by touch or doing. Often used to teach math concepts, manipulatives also help young learners develop fine motor skills. u Assessment – An assessment is a test or testing situation. Talk to your child’s teacher if you have any questions about the assess- ment tools being used in your child’s classroom. If a teacher, principal, or counselor ever uses a term you are not familiar with, be sure to ask for an explanation. You want to completely under- stand anything that involves your child’s education! Participate in parent-teacher groups Parent-teacher groups are an important part of every elementary school.These volunteer groups help bring parents, teachers, and school administrators together. Parent groups often raise money to help cover the cost of field trips and enrichment programs (speakers, musical performances, science-on-wheels programs, etc.). Parent groups also help bring aware- ness to activities and issues that affect the welfare of their school. Your participation in a parent-teacher group demonstrates the value you place on your child’s education, and it shows that you are committed to making your child’s school the best that it can be.