Many teachers realize what an important role parents have in shaping their children's educational future. Cultivating better communication between home and school will benefit individual students as well as the classroom as a whole. Parents need teachers to give some support and tips in how they can help their children develop literacy skills, such as writing. Writing is a fundamental skill that children build upon and use throughout their lifetime.
Publish a weekly newsletter to send home to parents. This newsletter can share classroom news, what is on the school calendar and share some specific tips on writing with children at home. Keep the suggestions specific and simple. Don't overwhelm them with myriad ideas or pages of homework. To catch extra attention, always include some photos of the class in the newsletter. Parents can't resist seeing photos of their little darling at school.
Host a class or school literacy festival or night. Set up booths with take-home materials like books, bookmarks, ready-to-go projects like a personalized book for parents to take home and assemble with their child or pencils, pens and stationary handcrafted by the class. Have booths on specific skills like reading, writing and research for instance.
Let parents know how important it is to share books with children. Invite parents to volunteer at least once each quarter. Have the parents work with the class on writing journal pages and reading storybooks together. Emphasize how much parental involvement spurs student interest and learning.
Provide parents of a tour of your writing center during parent-teacher conferences and let them know how they can implement a writing center at home by supplying their child with writing instruments, paper of various types, stickers, envelopes and related items. Prepare a take-home paper for parents with a list of writing activities that parents can do at home with children.
Send home a classroom journal on a regular basis. This allows parents to see examples of their child's writing through the school year and how it's progressed and also gives them the chance to encourage their child with their writing by showing an interest in it. Have parents write an at-home entry in the journal every month or so.
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