Question: How can parents go beyond reading aloud to other productive reading activities?
Answer/Quote: Parents, Teachers and Children Working Together on Reading: “Evidence substantiating the impact of parents on education is mounting. For schools this means that integrating parents into the designs of the educational system can maximize student growth. Additionally, the added support on the home front promotes positive student attitudes toward learning throughout the entire elementary curriculum. Educators recognize that reading education succeeds when teachers and parents work in tandem. This collaborative interaction means that teachers must share responsibility with parents. Accepting and working with parents and sharing the same goals and aspirations for children is a necessary first step in helping youngsters achieve reading competence.” P. 692.
Activity: Journals. “Encourage parents to work with their children in maintaining a daily or weekly journal of family activities. Each family member should be encouraged to contribute a piece of writing to the family journal on a regular basis (e.g., once a week, three times a month).”
Activity: Tape Recording. “Encourage parents to have a tape recorder handy whenever they read a favorite story to their children. A separate recording of each story can be made and kept on file. Later, children can be encouraged to select tapes on their own and listen as Mom or Dad ‘rereads’ the story again and again.”
Activity: Wordless :Picture Books. “Encourage parents to select several wordless picture books for their youngsters. Family members can create original stories for the books and write them on separate sheets of paper….”
Activity: Letters and Dialogue Journals. “Establish a campaign in which children and parents write to each other about activities….”
Activity: Bulletin Boards. “Encourage parents to create a family bulletin board of several books by one author or a collection of books on the same theme.”
Activity: Write Away. “Encourage parents to practice the six steps of the writing process (writing, drafting, sharing, revising, editing, and publishing) with their children. With their parents, students can summarize the action in a shared book….”
Activity: Jackdaws. “Jackdaws are artifact collections related to a particular book. After reading a book at home, parents and children can be encouraged to make or find artifacts related to the book. For example, after reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, children and parents can go looking for interesting looking stones that can be brought to school and put on display with the book.”
Comment: This article is intended to support parents and teachers working together with children in a whole language classroom. These activities will help children succeed in reading regardless of the nature of the reading program. RayS.
Title: “Whole Language and Parents: Natural Partners.” AD Fredericks and TV Razinski. Reading Teacher (May 1990), 692-694.