Latest Content
An At-Home Summer Reading Camp

Katherine Sokolowski comes up with a novel way to boost kids’ reading and her summer income —hosting a reading camp in her home.

What to Say on Parent Teacher Night

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan present some of the anecdotes and research they would share with parents during open houses and conferences.

Using Video to Build the Home-School Connection

Video is a terrific tool for building connections between home and school. Heather Rader explains how Kelli Demonte uses video to guide children and communicate with families.

Conferring with Parents (ROUND-UP)

There is always a new tweak to consider with conferences involving families. Choice Literacy Contributors have both the head and heart in mind with these tips.

A Poetry Cafe Celebration

Stella Villalba explains how her poetry cafe program brings families together for a festive event, and helps English language learners develop reading and fluency skills at the same time.  This is the first installment in a two-part series.

Tuesday Trading Post: Involving the Whole School in a Book Exchange

Here's a terrific idea for building the home/school reading connection and involving parent groups in literacy.  Andrea Smith shares the nuts and bolts of the Tuesday Trading Post, a schoolwide book exchange.

Books, Books, Books

Parents of young children may be drawn to text tied to movies or other pop culture filler books.  Trish Prentice shares a letter she sends home to families to encourage even the youngest learners to find books and authors with a little more staying power.

Spring Reading Interviews (TEMPLATE)

Kindergartners may be too young for reading interviews early in the fall, but Mandy Robek finds spring reading interviews are an excellent bridge to families and summer reading suggestions.

Tips from Literacy Leaders for Closing Out the School Year (ROUND-UP)

Here are some suggestions from Choice Literacy Contributors of the best ways to close out the year, with everything from personal organizing tips to family events.

Letting Go After Holding on Tight: Reflecting on the Last Days of School

Andrea Smith writes about how our instincts as parents and teachers merge to make it so hard to say goodbye at the end of the school year.

The Nuts and Bolts of the Family Inquiry Project

Julie Johnson explains how a family history inquiry project in her first-grade classroom builds technology, literacy, and research skills as students explored many cultures.  This article is the second in a two-part series.

34 Languages

What is the starting point for building community in a preschool classroom where almost every child speaks a different first language than their teacher? Melissa Kolb writes about how she gently guides her preschool students early in the year.

Literacy Keepsakes to Carry Home at the End of the School Year

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite gifts for students to make and take home at the end of the year.

More Literacy Keepsakes to Carry Home at the End of the School Year

Choice Literacy readers share more of their favorite end-of-year gifts for students to make and take home.

Beginning with the End in Mind: Planning Ahead for Closing Activities

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite end-of-year activities that circle back to events from the start of the school year.

Getting to Know English Language Learners at the Start of the Year

If you’re nervous about working with English language learners, Stella Villalba has some reassuring advice for you.

Make it Personal

The connections we make with students and families are what we remember most when all is said and done. Trish Prentice has thoughts on what changes a respected teacher into a beloved teacher.

A Congenial Parent Night

Invigorate your parent night with these suggestions from Trish Prentice.

Parent Contributions Beyond Instructional Support

Parents want to contribute, but not all contributions are welcome or even helpful when it comes to teaching children how to read and write. Trish Prentice has suggestions for making the most of family skills and willingness to help.

“This Could Be Our Family”: Books for Children with Lesbian and Gay Parents

Andie Cunningham considers the diversity in how “families” are defined in children’s literature, as well as how some newer books can support children with lesbian or gay parents in our new booklist.

Sharing Data with Families at Parent/Teacher Conferences

How can teachers use assessment data in conferences with parents, without overwhelming them with information?  Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan recommend a "data snippets" approach.

How Do We Talk with Parents About What It Means to Be Challenged in Reading?

Discussions with parents of precocious young readers can be tricky. Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan have some tips for these conferences.

Creating a Culture of Literacy

How do we create schools and communities where everyone is passionate about reading and writing? Shari Frost has practical advice for teachers and school leaders.

Bilingual (English/Spanish) Books that Celebrate Language, Family and Culture

Stella Villalba shares her favorite bilingual (English/Spanish) books for helping young English language learners feel at home in new classrooms early in the year.

Lessons from Family Writer’s Workshop

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan remind us that our own children are often our best teachers. Here they share all they learned from their children during a summer of writing together.

Talking with Parents about Text Difficulty

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan write about how to share the research base and goal of producing lifelong readers with families in understandable terms. The article includes a handout to share at parent meetings.

What Reading is Like: Sports Analogies to Use with Parents

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan provide some sports analogies to share with families when talking about reading growth. The article includes a handout of prompts parents can use to spark discussions about books with their children.

What My Son’s Reading Difficulties Taught Me About Teaching Struggling Readers

No matter how many education methods courses and professional development workshops you take, if you’re a parent, your children will always teach you the most about how students learn. Tammy Mulligan shares three practical strategies for reaching struggling readers that she learned from experiences with her son.

Rethinking Reading at Home

What’s the value of reading at home? Mandy Robek ponders the home/school connection. Download a copy of a rubric to assess the home reading log.

Questions and Answers about Home Reading Logs

Readers enjoyed Mandy Robek’s explanation of her move to home reading logs in a calendar format, and some wrote in with additional questions about the program. Mandy provides a follow-up article in a question and answer format, addressing issues raised by readers.

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