Latest Content
On Not Fretting

Kelly Petrin’s meditation phrase for the day—Do not fret; it only leads to evil—guides her through a home visit with a parent who worries about her daughter’s literacy skills. This is a terrific short read for thinking through how to make encounters with parents less stressful.

Literacy Builds Community: The Jackdaw Project

"School is not summer camp" – this quote reminds Mandy Robek that there are many challenges to building a strong classroom community in the midst of demands for achievement and accountability early in the year. Her "literacy jackdaw" project is a terrific vehicle for classmates to learn about each other, and hone their listening, speaking, and writing skills in the process.

Helping Classroom Volunteers Become Better Listeners

Helping volunteers understand the importance of listening to young learners is one of Andie Cunningham’s goals. Here she gives tips for preparing volunteers to confer with children.

Many Languages, Many Texts: Book Time in Preschool

In this brief video, Melissa Kolb explains "Book Time" in her preschool class. It's a time when many volunteers read books informally to small groups of children in their home languages.

Family Dichos: Bringing the Language of Home into the Classroom

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham use dichos (sayings or proverbs) in many languages and cultures to build bridges between school and home.

Creative Literacy Events for Families

Brenda Power suggests formats for events that build stronger home-school connections.

Letters from Home: Letting Families and Friends Teach Us

Brenda Power and Ruth Shagoury use letters from home to learn about students and build community.

Honor Books: Helping Children and Families Build Bridges Between Home and School

What does Andie Cunningham gets when she mixes pictures from the classroom, messages from families and poetry from teachers? A wonderful recipe for an Honor Book you’ll want to try with your own students.

Family Survey: Report Cards and Evaluations (SURVEY)

Here’s a quick and easy family survey to send home with students.

My Son Clark Kent

Lisa Koch shares a parent's perspective of the damage too much emphasis on reading levels in the classroom does to her young son.

Helping Young Readers Understand the Middle East: A Booklist of the Best Fiction Picture Books

Do your books reflect the images of your learners' families and culture? Ruth Shagoury offers a booklist to explore the Arab and Persian world.

Alphabet Books for English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury lists a variety of books with languages and scripts far beyond the ABCs to connect school and home languages.

Photo Booth and Young Readers

Stella Villalba uses the Photo Booth app to build stamina in a young English language learner, as well as reinforce the learning and practice at home.

Personal Touches Early in the Year – Classroom Design Photo Essay Series

Make it personal with these lovely design suggestions from "The Sisters" for bringing students' homes into your classroom.

Student-Led Conferences from Many Perspectives

Jennifer Schwanke and Franki Sibberson share four perspectives on student-led conferences — teacher, principal, student, and parent.

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