In order to be truly effective with kids and help close achievement gaps, parental involvement is very important. It can be difficult at times to get parental involvement and to achieve the carry over from school to home, especially with student that have a learning disability or are at-risk.
In a recent training I attended, we discussed how students need opportunities to work with information in order for it to become part of their skills base. The number of exposures or opportunities to work with the information varies based on the student.
Gifted students: 3-5 opportunities
Average learners: 15-25 opportunities
At-Risk 1000-1250 opportunities
This demonstrates the importance of repetition and the added need for parents to reinforce skills at home, especially with at-risk learners. Most times we tell parents to read with their children, which is vitally important, but I thought it would be nice if we gave them more specific skills to work on with their children.
In order to try to help reach out to the parents and give specific skills to work on at home, I created take home literacy kits. The purpose of these kits are to give parents pre-made activities that are ready to be implemented at home. All the activities are from the Florida Center for Reading Research which is a FABULOUS FREE resource. I can not tell you enough how much I LOVE this site. I wish more teachers knew about it! The site breaks down reading into phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension by grade (up to 5th grade) and offers hundreds of activities.
Below is just a sampling of some of the activities.
I included everything the parent would need to use the kit immediately and laminated the materials so they will hopefully last. I also included a note to the parent explaining what we were doing and when they finish working with the kit, send it back and I will send them another one.
I am currently piloting this with the special education students and have received positive feedback. We hope to expand these kits and make them available for teachers to check out and use with students going through the RTI process. They are perfect for centers, small groups, or partners.