All parents want their children to become better readers. The Parent Connection Newsletter provides parents with ideas and links to resources to help their children learn to read more fluently. This post contains Issue #2.
This button link goes to the Google Slide version of the newsletter in both color and black and white versions. The text can be edited to meet your needs before sending the newsletter either in printable or digital versions to parents.
The Parent Newsletter Content
Tips for Parents
Asking your child to give you a play-by-play is an effective way to improve vocabulary. It also helps your child practice skills needed to become a good reader such as summarizing and sequencing events.
Focusing on one event makes this a manageable activity. After your child has been to a party, sports event, seen a movie, or played a game is a great time to give this a try.
Be sure to . . .
- Ask questions to guide your child through the sequence of events.
- Repeat portions of what your child says using new and interesting words.
- Praise when your child for explaining the situation well or using fascinating words.
Free Online Resources
Here is a collection of six websites where children can hear and read books. You’ll find everything from picture books, chapter books, and magazines.
Thinking out of the Box
Reading game instructions is a terrific way to get your child reading difficult material. You can try out a new game that you have never played before, or ask your child to verify a rule about something you are unsure of in a game you have played many times. Either way, your child must read and understand the rules.
Activity to Try
Play “I’m Thinking of an Object.” This game may be played while driving in a car, eating breakfast, or just about any time you have a few moments.
The questioner may ask up to 10 questions to figure out the object. The questions must be answered with “yes” or “no.”
- Is it alive?
- Can you find it in a house?
- Is it bigger than a car?
If the questioner can guess the object in 10 questions or less, s/he receives a point. Once the 10 questions are asked, repeat the game with the other player thinking of an object.
This activity is great for building vocabulary which will help students become better readers.
Teacher Information about the Parent Newsletter
Shortly after posting the last Parent Connection Newsletter, I received an email from a teacher wanting to know what information I include in my classroom newsletters. I decided to answer that question here for teachers who are thinking about starting a classroom newsletter.
Any Tip that Will Help Students Become Better Readers
If you come up with an idea that doesn’t fit into the 4 categories of the Parent Connection Newsletter you can add it to your classroom newsletter. You might include events such as “Pajama Day.” On this day, students wear their PJs to school and bring their favorite books. Portions of the day are devoted to sharing books, writing on book-related topics, and doing other activities that promote reading.
What Should You Include in Your Newsletters
First of all, my classroom newsletter is not as structured as this Parent Connection Newsletter. It varies from month to month based on events that are taking place in my classroom. Here are some of the items I include:
Topics the Class is Going to Study
I usually include a short list of the major things we are going to study for the upcoming month. This may include the name of the novel we are reading or major units I plan to cover. The purpose of this is for parents to have enough information to ask their children questions about what they are learning in class.
- dates when projects must be turned in
- unit tests
- when money for yearbooks, field trips, or such must be received
- due dates for permission slips
- upcoming field trips
- PTO meeting dates
I love taking photos of my students in action, but I do not include these in the actual newsletter because it takes a huge amount of ink to print them. Instead, I place the photos on my website and provide links for the parents. I have some parents who print these out each month and place them in a scrapbook.
Other Things You Might Include
- Student Birthdays
- Volunteer Information
- Changes in Classroom Rules or Policies
I also like to list student achievements. This can get really tricky if you are not careful. You need to take your classroom role and check off each student you highlight so that everyone gets a turn.
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