Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Parents provide the best literacy



I admit becoming a parent made me more aware of what I loved and feared in education.  I went through an intense stage of self awareness when my daughter entered kindergarten.  I was so impressed by her excitement to learn.  Her teacher of 30+ years experience was engaging, entertaining and very organized.  Her mentoring led to my transformation  and a decision to improve upon a few things. This teacher communicated with parents.  Parents were not afraid or put aside.  Every interested parent found a role to play in education (at least while their children are involved).   It is difficult to organize but I will not give up on the idea that parents want to be involved in education in a positive way.  If I don't give parents a role it isn't surprising to find them airing frustrations on Facebook or in other public forums.

First, I need to improve how schools acknowledge the role that parents play in the home. In the Journal for the Education of the Gifted (2009), Craig Howley urged education to avoid being tied only to middle class and corporate values. In rural areas, like my own, "the community students belong to is of immeasurable consequence to their education". (source links) Teachers can embed rural ideas and dilemmas into the actual coursework but until work at home counts as meaningful education at school, we still have communities at odds.

Research into standardized testing poses many questions concerning educational improvement. Not only do we use scores to change how we teach or reteach content and skills but we use scores for inquiry into why some students seem to succeed and others do not.  There is great fear that low test scores identify students of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.  Is there something in our methodology that causes education to fail students of race or ethnicity, making teachers guilty of racism? Does class influence the values that are promoted in school encouraging teachers and parents to miss the talents of one group of students over another?  It shouldn't and won't if parents and teachers examine the role of literacy.  As a specialist in literacy this is what I want to have acknowledged.


  • Learning in rich contexts, incidental learning, and the use of computer technology all help children develop larger vocabularies. A combination of methods, direct and indirect rather than a single teaching method, leads to the best learning. (National Reading Panel).  As a teacher I will rely on methods that work best for me and my students.  But I hope and expect students to go home and learn directly or indirectly in that home environment in a way that suits them best. 
  • Thus higher scores on standard literacy tests  are influenced more by home environments with a greater  access to literacy activities that fall after school. In a search for transformative approaches to literacy curriculum, this kind of research points to education implications of bridging home and school literacy.  (Ying, Z.,Klinger, D.A., Living,C., Fox,J., &Doe,C.(2011). Test-Takers’ Background, Literacy Activities andViews of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 57(2). 115-136. )
  • Do home activities include the following? traditional literacyreading newspapers, reading manuals and instructions, writing notes, directions, and instructions, reading non-fiction books, reading letters, reading religious or spiritual writings, reading magazines, reading novels, fiction, and short stories, reading comics, and work related writing. Having a variety of literacy activities helps children discover a genre that makes sense to their learning style. 
  • Do family members model traditional literacy?  Seeing family members engage in these activities while students engage in schoolwork at home is very powerful in terms of creating value for gaining new knowledge. Modelling the learning of new vocabulary is very important.  Younger students benefit from  (link to phonological awareness,) manipulating sounds & words.  When parents model use of new vocabulary, guessing at definitions and then finding the right definition is helpful. Even when we model the wrong use of a word and correct that usage is invaluable.  Children need to know that we learn from mistakes. (link to emergent literacy)
  • Do households and families engage in creative literacy activities? reading poetry and song lyrics, writing song lyrics and poetry, writing letters, journals, and diaries, and writing short stories and fiction. One variable, writing short stories and fiction, had a loading of .50  which means that it is considered highly influential in helping students progress in school. 
  • Do households promote fluency in a second language? A sample of 143 students who reported reading and writing in another language, and tested above the norm reported engaging in dual language activities that included  reading websites, emails, chat-rooms, and text messaging, writing song lyrics and poetry, reading novels, fiction, and short stories, writing notes, directions, and diaries, and writing letters, journals, and diaries. 
  • literacy activities are no longer confined to books and print on paper.  There is some value in e-literacy activity on computers or personal devices.  Tech tools are constantly changing and there are two levels of value that children gain from e-literacy. Some e-lit activities encourage minimal levels of learning:  reading websites, email, chat-rooms, text messaging and email.  Students who scored higher on tests were surveyed and were engaged in e-literacy activities such as  collaborative editing, converting complex ideas to simple twitters or vice versa, interactive gaming, comparing two searches or two perspectives, writing html, designing a program,  researching subjects from a variety of subtopics.  intertextual overlays- (finding ideas in a library or books and then using internet searches to discover the same information.)
  • There can be gender differences that influence engagement in literacy activities. Do households include more than one type of literacy activity?  Results also suggest that gender is a significant, albeit minor predictor of students’ afterschool literacy activities. Girls were more inclined to be engaged in traditional and creative literacies (such as short story writing, diary entry, etc.) than boys. Therefore, having other texts available and modeled will help pique interest and invite learning in a different rich context.
  • Do parents and teachers model chunking? Breaking down difficult sentences of information into a self connections, self generated definitions is a lifelong skill and students need to see this modelled. Children need to see ideas that are delivered in school, practiced at home.  Do parents know what units are being taught? Do they share their connections to these studies? Is there a place to share them?  And do students receive credit for making connections between their texts and their own practices?  I learned more about chemistry when I learned to mix my own oil/gas for our lawn mower and our own home cleaning ingredients.  I never understood politics until my parents let me attend a rally on my own or accompany them to the polls to vote.   The National Reading Panel (2000) contends that most students have had few experiences reading informational  texts and that teachers generally do not teach the strategies that students need when reading textbooks. While I disagree concerning what I teach, I do know that students are exposed to sets of informational text in every core class that that do not necessarily cross over to other courses.  We are asking students to become experts in several fields of knowledge, we ask students to apply newly learned concepts to new material without sufficient modeling.  Students need new information to become familiar, background knowledge. Thinking critically and logically is not possible without background knowledge (Daniel Williams, 2009). (links to William's articles)  
  • Are students exposed to enough informational literacy?  How we learn and what we learn is influenced by so many variables that it is impossible to pinpoint one best practice.  However we can ascertain that exposure to types of informational texts can improve or destroy opportunities for educational development.  According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, about 22% of American adults have minimal literacy skills. Some are functionally illiterate in that they can read some words but not enough to understand simple forms or instructions. Adult with low literacy levels are more likely to be homeless or unemployed, or hold very low paying jobs.  While I don't believe that fear of unemployment should shape educational practice it is certain that children and adults using three types of informational text in authentic situations improve their chances for learning.  
  1. Prose literacy is the ability to read and comprehend documents with continuous text, such as newspaper articles and instructions. 
  2. Document literacy is the ability to read and understand documents with non-continuous text, such as job applications, maps, and transportation schedules. 
  3. Quantitative literacy is the ability to perform computations, such as reviewing a bill or balancing a checkbook. 
These three types of literacy cover the types of reading that people need to do to be functional on a daily basis.

Do you provide these literacy experiences in the home and are they available in the classroom?
NPR Puzzle

Grading effort instead of... the usual


There is no doubt that education and learning are integral to building community.  Community is integral to a strong, democratic society.  All students do not learn the same and there are various influences that change the formula for best practices or best learning.  There are pieces of education that both parents and schools can agree upon to improve the chances for improvements in education and progress for all children. I am going to list some of my findings in hopes that I can use peoples' reactions and comments for my literacy research.
Here is what I discovered, read it over and then leave your comments. I really need them.
I recently read Daniel T. Willingham's, Why Don't Students Like School?. Although it left out a few ideas that are important to me as a teacher, I was impressed with his view as a cognitive scientist and his research supporting the idea that the brain was designed to fulfill automatized processes, not difficult thinking. While education is designed to challenge students all day long, in reality, it doesn't.  We are caught trying to decide if  education is giving students what they need to succeed or if somehow it is failing them and the media loves to build up this debate in a way that leaves little room for actual conversation.  Willingham writes, "it is naive to think students come to class equally prepared to excel... it is self defeating to give all of your students the same work".

I agree and hope to change my grading practice to reflect this.  I currently score students on a total number of assigned class and home studies.  I would like to score students primarily on effort and task attention given in class.  I would change to make homework an opportunity for choice and self assigned tasks for practice and or editing.  I would give students a second chance on test or quizzes both in and out of the classroom.  Students would be working toward a percentage of completing a total number of assignments and routines.  If 80% of the total number of activities and assignments listed was met, or 80/100 possible points equaled an A grade, students would gain some choice and control of how they got there.

I have used this system in various units.  I assigned monetary value to assignments and set high bar expectations for each assignment completion.  Students "bought" their grade with kaulbucks (a play on my name).

So, what do you think? What are some other ideas that could help us move toward grading practices that acknowledge effort and editing instead of total number of assignments?


occupy Vermont- Suffrage & employment
political cartoon
revolution row/ Wall of protest

Melding a lit program from New Mexico with Vermont?+


How does this success transfer to a rural Vermont high school?
In December I will return from my sabbatical to teach high school history at the public school that I have been teaching in for sixteen years. There are a few big ideas that I definitely need to bring from this literacy program in New Mexico to both my own teaching and the newly shaped literacy program in the high school. I have never worked with someone as organized as the director of this program.  She has to be.  She constantly updates changes in a daily school schedule and her volunteers' schedules in order to guarantee consistent student contact with reading and writing. Every lesson has to be organized so that students and mentors can follow simple directions without misinterpretation.  Each day must follow specified routine.  This is the foundation for building a supportive community between school and everyone else. I see a great value in bringing organization to my class curricula that will encourage collaboration, differentiated instruction and individual attention to each student.  Most of the lessons I currently teach are not written for a general public to interpret and my routines are subject to change. I am very responsible for the learning and the teaching in the class and it is difficult for me to step aside, allowing substitutes or students or others to take over.  I would like to develop a role that mentors and study advisors could actively engage in.  To develop these meaningful roles, I think it would benefit me to develop easy accessible routines for learning both online and in paper format. Once organized, my time would be spent modeling application of content while advisors or mentors would help students practice routine assignments.  Weekly assignments, consistently utilizing a simple format, allow for purposeful assistance towards incremental student improvement. The change for me would be to give up the time I spend monitoring student work on assignments to spending more time reviewing student work, instantly responding to skill level or depth of content and then helping them choosing what area of improvement they would agree to work on.  Students would  utilize class time for revision and editing with supervised help. 

In my traditional teaching role responsibilities included teaching content, developing assignments and student activity.  I graded students on number of assignments completed, averaged with scores on tests.  Some students finish faster than others, some students will speed through their work to enjoy time spent accomplishing little.  It has been hard for me to keep students actively engaged for every minute of class time.  What I learned from this literacy program is that the first routines students engage in are the most important for assessment and then as a teacher I need to overplan additional tasks.  Students engage because there is a degree of choice in what they choose to accomplish.  The last ten minutes of the program involve enrichment and depth of knowledge.  One weekly gaming day  also provides an incentive to complete a task.  Students are expected to be engaged and should be scored on effort not necessarily number of final products. For my purpose, if the enrichment gave students a second opportunity for improvement or editing then their overall grade should be reflective of this measured result.   I have learned that it is possible to base my entire grading system on % of active engagement instead of total assignments accomplished.  A student who needs more time to accurately accomplish a task would receive a grade comparable with a student who finishes tasks with ease but chooses an enrichment to augment their research.  In this case, no project is necessarily complete, it could always evolve into something richer. 

A literacy lab is a perfect place for students to work on skills that would also be expected of them in their core subjects.  Reading comprehension, especially of document or quantitative writings (instructional, non fiction, etc.) is necessary and transferable to all content areas if all teachers adhere to a minimal set of similar practices and assessments. I have discovered that reading comprehension accelerates if students can work on one concern or miscue at a time.  If work on that particular issue, (punctuation or text structure of informational text) is isolated, practiced and then is measured, students have a purpose for success.  Pairing students with a mentor to work as a team on isolated issue validates and guarantees that the skills of literacy are important throughout life.  Every single volunteer paired with one of the 92 students in our program absolutely love the feeling of accomplishment and express genuine appreciation of the school system that allows this relationship to exist.  The self esteem and confidence that students and mentors develop together becomes the incentive for meeting higher expectations as a year progresses.  It is important that the work of the literacy lab results in incremental progress in the core classrooms and it is essential that teachers believe that the system is actually working to help them.

I absolutely love the rapport with the community, the one to one learning and the weekly team assessment of student skill development.  I miss the creativity and spontaneity that at times, overwhelmed my former classroom.  But I believe mentors have this to offer as well.  Facetime chats with authors or face to face meetings with local authors can bring some excitement to a program.  Mentors here bring licensed dogs from the Pet Outreach programs. Students love reading to a dog, or petting a dog.  I could see mentors having a day where they share something special that brings literacy to life.  And of course giving students the opportunity to develop or present to mentors is very powerful too.  By having an organized literacy program, core teachers could enjoy their own spontaneity and creative classrooms without worrying that they are giving up content or skill development.  Literacy focus can bring back that team effort to teaching.


This program depends on resources from several literacy programs.  It also depends on teachers’ collective experiences with texts and suggestions from core teachers.  If, for example, the English department notices a particular miscue that is setting back a majority of students, the literacy lab can adjust to address this concern. The program at my high school would need to access more online tools or resources than are available to elementary students here in New Mexico.  Jerry John’s Basic Literacies and Susan Lenski’s Reading Strategies are reliable for starting literacy labs or classroom supplements.
Readthinkwrite.org is a great resource for literacy in all core subjects and the resources are useful to parents as well.
This write up was edited while perusing writings by Daniel Williams. AKA- Ask the cognitive scientist. link to latest column here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My experience in a literacy program


In order to finish my masters in literacy and my endorsement as an administrator of reading programs I would need to immerse myself in a reading program.  There is nothing in Vermont that compares to the HOSTS program in Santa Fe at a public elementary school.  My grandmother volunteered for this program for her 15 years in Santa Fe. I volunteered twice and was in awe of its accomplishments.   The organization of one to one volunteer reading mentors to each student is unmatched. The organization of the lessons, assessment of student progress and development of individualized education plans for 92 students  has been successfully run by one literacy teacher since1998.  Nowhere in Vermont is there a successful model literacy program that serves a bilingual population.  65% of the population at this school isEnglish Second Language.  Many students have yet to communicate in English at all. The entire school has implemented a dual language curriculum that offers all lessons in English and Spanish.  Most of the teachers are dual language certified. It is humbling to observe this knowing that this could be the expectation for a career in teaching.

It took the administrator of this program five years to get the HOSTS program running in the school. Helping One Student To Succeed was a federal program that folded. It originally offered a structure and management system and resources to trained individuals. Using HOSTS as a foundation, allowed the literacy program to redefine itself meeting this school’s particular needs and expanding to utilize other available resources.  It began serving 6students per ½ hour session, ten times a day. It grew to its current size of 98. The literacy administrator collaborates with each classroom teacher to determine which students will be recommended and accepted for the program. The program must be supportive of the classroom teacher if it is to work. The whole school follows one curriculum and one structure (dual language) in order to implement individualized planning with greater efficiency.  Referred students received 30 minute,individual diagnostic tests which were assessed and organized into 7 reading levels.  Student profiles identify recipients for  special education services separate from HOSTS.  Teachers confer to make final decisions for students receiving classroom instruction and whether students with emergent skills or with fluency will attend the program.  The program is differentiated purposefully to remove the stigma of being a remedial program only.  Each classroom is affected daily with one pull out time for all selected students, minimizing disruption. Weekly lesson routines must be written to fit pull out times for each class.  Volunteer mentors must be scheduled to fit this schedule.  Each mentor will serve each student for 30 minutes. In order to waste as little transition time as possible, mentors give a minimum of an hour, students must be trained to arrive and leave on time.  Everything the student needs, including pencils is provided and organized in the classroom.  Students arrive together on schedule.  Each student independently finds their folder from a file box organized by the time of day and moves quickly to meet with their mentor.   The administrator must organize both the school calendars and the volunteer’s time to fit perfectly around year long events, planned vacations or unplanned absences.

world wall
All of this must be accomplished within the first four weeksof school.  With scheduling in place each reading level must have its own weekly lesson plan and assigned literacy skill with the appropriate, applicable worksheets or vocabulary lists.  To allow for changes in skill development, the lesson plan is built around routine activities.  Students always begin with oral reading atwhatever level they are assigned.  The readings are organized on each desk and color coded by level. Students can choose their reading, record the title in a log and then read to their mentor or their mentor’s pet. (Pet Outreach involves volunteers with licensed therapydogs). The next task is always vocabulary review.  Which words reviewed can be changed to fit the students skill needs, but vocabulary must be reviewed and defined with the mentor.  All vocabulary terms are organized into pockets on a wall by content area and by skill level.  They are numbered, laminated and can be switched into student folders quickly. All of the walls of the room are designed for access to all necessary materials for lessons without assistance.  The first 20 minutes of work with the mentor is necessary and must be completed.  The mentor will need the additional time to model reading and thinking and to engage in conversations that help build rapport. Enough routine tasks are included for session so that those who excel will continue with tasks that challenge their skill development yet are not necessary for completion should a student be struggling at a level of frustration.  Two days a week, students bring a completed worksheet home. One day a week students engage in gaming with their mentor. The game is the incentive for task completion.  Students and mentors know that being engagedin developing language skills is the goal of the program.  The overall time together allows for some choice in activity, routine accomplishment and meaningful conversation. Homework is not a piece of the program. Students enjoy being selected for this experience but no one is forced to attend;  parents must give their signed consent.

Orientations are organized for mentors and are mandatory for students.  The work to prepare the program was seemingly endless but each detail is crucial to building a program that runs itself. Mentors must be trained in confidentiality and given the school reports of statewide testing from the previous year. Students need to practice their use of routines and simple rules for behavior. This first week had not one problem.  While some instructions were misinterpreted  the repetitive nature of the lessons allow these issues to resolve themselves.  The program runs only four days a week to allow for an entire day of assessment and reassignment of skills on Fridays.  Students who accelerate through a level can be reassigned and students struggling with a particular literacy issue receive a repeat opportunity for development. Within the first week bilingual students seem to struggle with consonant pairing and sound recognition.  They confuse Spanish pronunciation of J or with the English and this takes more practice in order to develop fluency.  First graders in the same reading level as 3rdgraders might struggle with silent e while the 3rd graders tend to forget how to spell or pronounce words with an “ou” or a “gh”.   Ideally each student has an individualized plan while being engaged in routine activity. Repetition and practice gives both the mentor and mentee opportunity to celebrate progress and at the same time develop rapport.  This rapport is important as the challenges put before students grow. Testing results for 84% of students involved improved.  Students who did not see improvement remained at a reading level were re examined by outside literacy coaches who determined a more specific response to intervention. 
Every volunteer loves their time.  They take their role as teacher seriously knowing that they rely on the educational administrator to organize and determine what is to be taught to the student. The relationship that mentors have with the school is strong.  Their advocacy brings donations but most of all, more volunteers.  Nuclear engineers, CEOs, medical professionals, even the former governor of New Mexico  involve themselves because the reward of promoting reading and writing skills is priceless.

word lists


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fiesta, Santa Fe Style

Pet parade, Desfile de Los ninos. Any and all are welcome. Costumes optional

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bread making and pueblo design

The most elaborate homes of Santa Fe have humble beginnings. 


The living style is best served by its communal relationship with wind, water and earth.  Whereas early Puebloeans established means of securing water for sizeable populations, the Spanish introduced the aquifer and acequeia systems once brought to them by the Arabs.  The Arabic irrigation ditches channeled water from the Santa Fe River and the water shed of the Sangre de Cristo into the city.  Sheep herders and farmers established ranches above the city. Trees of apples, peaches  and other fruits hung over the ditches and courtyards. Adobe walls of earth and straw kept families cool in the summer and warm against the arid winds of winter. 


This simple mix of earth and straw gave people bricks and cement or plaster to shape a home as they saw fit.  Most designs followed a pattern of square rooms connected by halls and passage ways.



But anything is and was possible. 









Ranches were self sufficient.  Chapels, bread ovens served peoples general needs. 




If you could build your own adobe home.  How  creative  would you be?  Be careful.  Your design must  protect you and connect you to your environment. 







This little New Yorker was nice enough to pose for me at a demonstration of  breadmaking. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How do you say...










These road signs are commonplace names that roll off the tongue for locals. As a Vermonter, I feel like a fish out of water. At my new school, I realized I couldn't pronounce Ximenes, nor spell it without aid. Wow, what it must be like for families struggling with English and dialect on top of keeping up in school.
I have a great respect for learning the nuances of our diverse American culture. Many Santa Feans took the time to help me improves pronunciation, they take pride in this vibrant culture and anyone willing to learn something new


 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Activities- ramilletes,festival & tradition

I didn't realize that I looked so intense.
What I have learned out here in Santa Fe is that tradition and culture is very much a prominent part of peoples' daily lives.  Everyone embraces art, experiments, practices and creates.  I see things I hold in awe and projects that are down right goofy.  But there is no right or wrong, only practice.
When Spanish colonials moved to New Mexico, fresh flowers for the home were difficult to come by. Not to forgo tradition, colonists took scraps of paper, cloth, anything and fashioned them into flowers to decorate a mantel, a table, a woman's rebozo or the hair.  


shiny paper added gave it a sparkly effect. we did not have this handy.  
But one could quickly fill a room with flowers. Once the process is mastered. 

And the end result is... stunning.
Traditions give people a sense of style. A sense of identity to embrace at any age.
see this story of this young artist at Spanish Market & the how to instructional

Classroom journal- Rapport- first lesson learned


Rapport is everything.
In this literacy program it was initiated during the one on one testing.  It began with a hello and a show of interest in the student; a request for the student's participation in the test, not a command.  As the administrator of the test I showed the student the scoring guide, the word lists and the readings.  The student was aware of their role and mine.  It was necessary to tell each student that the information written during their participation was to be used in order to to design instruction specific to him or her.  The score is neither good nor bad. It only highlights what skills and strategies will become the focus of the program. Any answer given was met with approval.  A wrong answer is actually viewed as excellent data.  It highlights exactly what deficit or need that student will focus on in order to progress. The student knows if they are selected for this program, it is not for remedial needs but for students with initiative who will receive targeted skill development at any level. Knowing that the student body selected for the program will be heterogeneously grouped is important to students who will communicate this back to their peers.

These students are ages seven to ten and they are full of wonder and worry. Giving a student the power to be able to skip a question, to view how and why I record data gives them the power to decide to cooperate. Bilingual students showed signs of shock and relief when I stumbled over pronunciations and explained that I would let them teach me Spanish in exchange for their cooperation with English literacy. The relationship with be reciprocal.  What I discovered today, was that rapport is based on friendly relations but more importantly it is based on purposeful, useful communication. It is about building a relationship that gives everyone a role.  I discovered in conversation with D- my administrator that many students don't really understand the purpose of reading.  Reading isn't modeled enough outside of the school setting.  This is why the relationship with an adult reading mentor will be crucial to student success.  Students may not understand why they should read but they do appreciate an action that leads to a direct outcome and this is what I must model in the short time I have out here.

I have always known that rapport is important but I perceived it to mean shaping a persona of firm resolve and amicable understanding.  I have never had control of how students perceive me and this has been cause for conflict with some students while great friendships with others. The conflicts have always haunted me until now. I now believe that I could build a positive rapport with all students if I focus on the following:
  • knowing that students have a role to play in their education, this role allows them flexibility to reject or skip some learning opportunities and to try some ideas that are new. (Marzano, 2001)
  • Provide consistency with  routines, assessments, conferences and opportunities for discovery.
  • That direct outcomes are appreciated. When there are gains in skills and strategies, there should be a gain in content. This need to be clearly presented. 
  • If students have opportunity to activate opinion and past experience they surpass the focus on whether a question is right or wrong. They should return to a question for a final answer.  Anticipation guides are springboards for individual and collaborative growth. (Lenski, 2011)  
  • Questions that encourage discussion:
    • What do you remember learning on this topic from Middle School? How should we proceed? Did you read this summer?  Do you like to read?  Does this story remind you of...?   I remember that this was hard for you last year, but how did you tackle this this year?  If we could add one more element to this experiment, what would it be?  If I take on this.. will you take on this responsibility? When you learned this in Middle School you could name 5 items, can you still do this? Is this true or false- how can we be sure? (see more strategies)
  • Positive connections must be made to what was taught at home, in elementary and middle schools. Knowing exactly what knowledge was achieved should be recalled and received with praise. It is a building block that is often ignored.  (McCoss-Yeargian& Krepps, 2010). 
parental rapport- Unfortunately, I realize that there are few if any parents who are volunteering in this reading program that I will be observing. But this doesn't mean that parents can't be involved. I can always improve my communication with parents and now there are resources online to give parents the tools of educators. There is a trend to involve parents, their home values, skills and expertise with schools.  Parents need to know of deliberate science and ideology that shapes learning. Open communication, social networks, and teachers who publicize standard uniform practice makes it easier for parents and teachers to be on the same page.  Teachers need the freedom to implement their own creative expertise but their classroom need not be confined to the physical walls of a school. Public sharing give parents the tools to bring practices home and be supportive as volunteers, guest speakers and experts in the field. (The National Reading Panel, 2000).


sources cited


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