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Sunset View Elementary just had their first ever “Bring Your Parents to School Day”.
This special event gives parents an opportunity to come to their child’s classroom and listen to a special reading lesson to better understand how to read with their children at home. One example of this lesson was in Mrs. Kinsey’s second grade classroom. The learning objective was “I can retell a story”, so, to start off their time together, Mrs. Kinsey had the parents sit in desks in the back of the room while the students sat on the floor in the front. She put a projection of a short sample story up on the whiteboard. Mrs. Kinsey went through the story with each of the kids and had them discuss questions about the story’s setting, main character and other key plot details. The discussion was in two person groups that Mrs. Kinsey called their “peanut butter jelly partner.” During this entire lesson, the parents would sit and listen, so they could do the same activity later. After Mrs. Kinsey had gotten through each plot device, she introduced the students to their new “peanut butter jelly partners”: their parents.
The kids went back to their desks and read a different story with their parents. The parent read the story with their child that had different words outlined throughout. Each word denoted a different aspect of a story. The kids then identified which aspect it was and wrote down a description of it on a separate sheet of paper. If they had difficulties, they had their parental peanut butter jelly partner to ask for help. After the students had finished putting together their story on the graphic organizer, they used it to retell the story to their parents. During this time, Mrs. Kinsey walked around the classroom, helping students whose parents were unable to attend.
The reason for this activity, according to the school’s Title 1 coordinator, Lance Vandermark, was to give an opportunity for parents to see how the school is teaching reading comprehension and for the parents to be able to better understand how they can help at home. As it is a requirement for Title 1 schools to host parent engagement activities and events, Mr. Vandermark wanted this school-wide activity to be something special, while also taking some of the burden off the teachers. In order to help promote that unity, each student was given a grade appropriate book and a bookmark that summarized some of the concepts taught in the lesson with their teachers. This way, all of the parents would be on the same page in understanding how to help their child’s reading progression.
Mrs. Kinsey and Mr. Vandermark both helped make this parents day a success. With the skills acquired during this event, all parents will be able to help their children further develop their reading and comprehension skills through implementation in their homes.