Big Hit: Novel Groups!
This past school year, I had parent volunteers continue with listening to students read and asking comprehension questions, practice math fact fluency, and prepare the Friday Folders.
I also did something new where I had the parents lead novel groups (resources used by Laura Candler). This was a big hit! The students loved these novel groups. They felt ownership of their books and the assignments given. I also like it because these groups are heterogeneous, based off their own interest, and they created in-depth discussions and connections. I also love these novel groups because I think it is natural and similar to how adults participate with book clubs.
Donalyn Miller from Reading in the Wild writes, “When students read together every day, they forge strong bonds through shared reading experiences that help them define themselves as members of a reading tribe,” (Miller, 2014, p. 9).
Love anything that promotes more reading!
According to Michael Linsin in Dream Class, he encourages active parent volunteers. I may try to attempt to have parent volunteers do more than one role (if available and willing). Linsin has his parent volunteers listen to students read with questions available for parents to ask and be guides in literature circles.
- My first year I tried out parents listening to students read for the fluency aspect but stopped because I wasn’t sure if it made a worthwhile effect. I realize now anything to help students be accountable for actually reading and thinking about their reading (if parents ask questions) is worth it.
- I will still look for parent volunteers for doing Friday Folders and having students practice their math fact fluency.
Parent Student Conferences -> Student-Led Conferences
Attending a session by Connie Balkom from Buckland Mills Elementary School, I was inspired to do Student-Led Conferences. Multiple grouped conferences going on at once for 45 minutes, the students lead the whole conference where the focus is not on grades but on a celebration of all that the student has learned so far. The details shared sound exciting and very different from what I’ve done or thought to do so far.