After a loooong break, too long for the kids (they kept asking and asking the date of our next meeting!), we had our second Literacy Workshop last Thursday! 16 parents and 3 teachers attended (Ellen, 1st grade, Marissa, Special Ed., and Mr. Mofitt, ESL). Once again, Hector from WSPEI (Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative) came to conduct the presentation, Connection Between Home and School: sharing and learning together.
The workshop started with a question presented to the parents, What do you know about your child as a learner? Parents were reminded they are the experts when it comes to knowing their children! There are some things the teachers won’t know unless parents tell them! Two way communication is crucial! Parents were asked to fill out an information form that will be shared with teachers.
Next, a graph that depicted the Reading achievement gap was explained. Some of the reasons for the progress discrepancy were stated: lack of proper support at schools; parent’s limited formal education, limited economic resources, and limited English proficiency; low expectations; limited community support, etc.
The presentation continued with ideas on how to reduce the achievement gap: strengthen relationships between home and school, parent involvement, community involvement. Hector praised parents for attending the workshops! A step towards closing the achievement gap!
Teachers were then asked to explain how Literacy looks in the classroom. They talked about large group instruction, small differentiated groups, ESL instruction and Special Ed. instruction. Then Hector mentioned the different Literacy exams the students take during the year, PALS and MAP. Ellen was asked to explain what the PALS assessment is. Ideas on how to best prepare the children for evaluations were given to the parents, on the powerpoint and in a handout.
What happens when a student is having difficulty in Literacy? The process of school support and interventions was briefly explained.
To finish with the presentation, parents were advised to discuss test results with teachers, ask for clarification if they don’t understand them, and ask for ideas on how they can help their children. A list of questions parents can ask the teachers was handed out. Parents were reminded how important it is to maintain a good relationship with the teachers! To communicate with them EFFECTIVELY, POSITIVELY, and FREQUENTLY!
At the end of our meeting Hector distributed 65 public education textbooks he was able to obtain from the Mexican Consulate. Parents were delighted to reconnect with some familiar stories and poems from their childhood, and were eager to share them with their children!
Next workshop will be March 26th.