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Caleb Crum

Dr. Hunter

ELED 508

Teaching Reading K-2 Workshop

October 7th, 2018


Caleb Crum

Dr. Hunter

ELED 508

K-2 Workshop

Workshop 8 Connecting School and Home

Many obstacles and challenges can present itself inside the classroom. One challenge that

I have known to always exist is how teachers can help bridge the gap between student’s school

and home life. Teachers have a difficult time with parents being involved both inside and outside

of school. In this workshop teachers are faced with problems surrounding literacy and other

subjects as well. Throughout the workshop, there is a lecture, with two video excerpts, and two

discussions. With each segment, the presenter Dr. Paratore gives strategies, and discusses what

we as teachers expect of parents, and obstacles they might face.

In the beginning of the lecture, various teachers as well as Dr. Paratore discuss “When

students fail at school we tend to look towards a student’s home life, analyzing what is/isn’t

happening at home” (04:14 Dr. Paratore, 2003). As Dr. Paratore discussed this, I thought to

myself that is very true with how we as teachers observe student behaviors, especially when

students begin exhibiting inappropriate behaviors. With this statement, this leads in to how we as

teachers are building the gap to help students bridge home and school. As Dr. Paratore continued

her discussion, she mentioned a study conducted by Shirley Heath where the results

demonstrated that children used literacy very differently when in school compared to their home

lives, and communities. More importantly, when outside of school students were not literacy

impoverished (06:12, Dr. Paratore, 2003). To build upon students not being literacy

impoverished, it was concluded that communities were not illiterate just differently literate.
There was no congruence between school and home, which could lead to student failure (06:55,

Dr. Paratore, 2003).

As the lecture continued, I learned that culture, race, economics do not predict parents

interest in, or ability to help children read and write (08:00, Dr. Paratore, 2003). Language,

culture, and class can however influence ways parents use literacy at home with their children.

As we begin to change our belief systems, another role is placed on us as teachers. That role is

providing materials and ways for parents, so that we can help create connections between school

and home. To most teachers, this may be viewed as, “We have to do one more thing?” however

this is not always the case. At timestamp 10:34, Dr. Paratore discusses that teachers make the

differences, especially with parent involvement (10:34, Dr. Paratore, 2003). Some ways that

teachers can help build trust and communication with parents is to have weekly newsletters,

make our classrooms open and accessible, and communicate orally or through writing (13:30,

Dr. Paratore, 2003).

In the video excerpts, one video viewed different parent teacher conferences, and the last

one viewed how a kindergarten teacher operated her class with take home activities that students

could use to include school with their home life. At timestamp 34:41, sometimes we get to know

parents through students, and that can often generate a murky view on our students’ parents

(34:41, Dr. Paratore, 2003). In truth, we need to build relationships of trust with parents to create

a collaborative relationship with students’ parents which can aid in building the bridge between

school and home. In the second video excerpt, the kindergarten teacher was gathered useful

information from her students, asking them various questions about how they used their take

home items. Dr. Paratore spoke about this at timestamp 49:50, discussing that the teacher was

gathering this information, so she could build on it with her students (49:50, Dr. Paratore, 2003).
To conclude the lecture, it was discussed that most parents wil collaborate with us as long as we

hold up our end of the bargain when it comes to teaching their students, and keeping lines of

communication open (56:23, Dr. Paratore, 2003). From the workshop, the learning goals

included how language and culture influence home literacy, what challenges and opportunities in

building home-school partnerships can look like, and lastly how differences between home

literacy and school literacy exist. Some factors that are important to remember are parent

involvement at home-school, regular parent/teacher communications, structured parent teacher

conferences, environments supporting home literacy, teacher assigned home literacy activities,

and culture differences in parents’ perceived roles for themselves and for teachers.

After watching this video workshop, I had a few questions come up that I was able to jot

down. Firstly, if I used this strategy of communicating with families, how do I ensure success

between the lines of communication being open? My second question is, if I implement this

strategy, how do I keep congruence between home and school? Lastly, will parents support what

I am sending home, and how do I retrieve lost/stolen equipment if not returned? To respond to

the first question, I could send home a weekly report of brief notes about the student that is of

concern and allow for parents to write me back so that we may reflect and collaborate on ideas.

For the next question, I to ensure congruence, I can send home a weekly newsletter to different

classes and ask parents for their feedback with how they are receiving my information, and the

types of reactions they are receiving from their students. Lastly, to check and see if parents will

support what is being sent home and to reduce the potential for having equipment lost/stolen

equipment I can create contracts for students, and only will the student receive the equipment

being sent home by a signed letter from both the student and parent. This will create a system of

documentation that I can use in the future if needed.


The strategy that I will use for this week is to send home a piece of PE equipment like a

soccer ball, or something like that home with a student and have them record what they did with

the equipment and if they enjoyed using it or not. I will also have the students construct a small

story about the piece of equipment, envisioning either a fiction or non-fiction tale to write about.

On top of that, I will also create a document that outlines what I expect the equipment to be used

for, and that if my equipment is not returned within a specific time frame, I will contact

administration, and if necessary law enforcement to work on getting my equipment back. If I

find success with this strategy I will provide pictorial evidence from my student’s successes.
References

Paratore, J., 2003. Workshop 8 Connecting School and Home. Retrieved from

http://www.learner.org/workshops/readingk2/session8/wtv1.html