Families and Literacy Learning - National Council of Teachers of English
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Families and Literacy Learning

Whether your summertime was leisurely, productive, or both, you’re probably joining the many children, families, and teachers making the mental and physical transition “back to school.”

As educators, one thing to be thinking about is how to keep families and caregivers in touch with students’ literacy learning throughout the school year.

Elementary Pupil Reading With Teacher In ClassroomWhat are the best ways to do this? It seems best to keep it simple. Better yet, our challenge is to show not tell as we involve families in the happenings within our schools on an ongoing basis.

Here are a few examples of educators who don’t need to tell families about the importance of the literacy learning taking place in their classrooms, because they are showing it:

  • Meet first-grade teacher, Jane Fung. She makes notebooking a regular part of her instructional practices. These notebooks will become a treasured part of each child’s school career long after first grade.
  • Julie Wollman, a ReadWriteThink.org and NCTE author, shows us how to get started with family message journals as a means for students to write to an authentic audience about their learning.
  • Because the ways we teach writing are often quite different from the ways most of our students’ parents learned to write, it is important to think about productive ways to get families involved as strong allies for excellent writing instruction. The authors of “Inviting Parents In: Expanding Our Community Base to Support Writing” describe workshops and other methods for getting parents productively involved in their children’s literacy development.
  • Watch as a parent who is in a Community of Practice with teachers shares what it means to learn, talk, and design activities as a full CoP member with teachers