The ability to establish clear expectations for students and families and create an environment that encourages ongoing collaboration and dialogue between the teacher, students, and families is an important skill for reading teachers. Families typically want to know what their students are reading, why specific reading selections have been made, and how to ask questions and express concerns they may have about what their child is reading. It is also important that students feel energized and excited about engaging in reading activities.
Imagine you are teaching students in the 4-8 grade range and your principal has asked you to prepare back-to-school reading orientation materials for families. Create the materials in the brochure format (300-400 words).
The back-to-school information should include the following:
- Definition of children’s literature and explanation of why it is valuable in education. Include discussion of the specific reading skills students will learn and practice and how these align to learning standards.
- Research commonly read books for Grades 4-8 and create a list of five books you plan to read with students during the school year. Include an explanation of how and why the books were selected and how the books support state standards and the content taught in other curricular areas.
- Describe how you will differentiate reading experiences for students based upon their reading ability and individual interests. Include discussion of how you will direct students in selecting books that are appropriate for them as individuals and will help them grow as readers and further develop their reading skills.
- Discuss censorship and inform families that some literature may present content that could create questions or be concerning to them. Explain the research-based evidence and rationale for exposing students to a variety of texts and topics, even those that might be considered controversial.
- Provide tips for families to help their children succeed in reading and in the classroom. Outline the communication steps families should take if they want to express concerns about and discuss classroom literature selections.
Support your orientation materials with 2-3 scholarly resources.
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