Education leaders do not seek a monetary return on their investments, but they do seek greater student learning and cost-efficiency. This is called the academic return on investment for schools. This article is about increasing the academic return on investment through early literacy initiatives.
Check out Sprig Learning’s six strategies to boosting parental engagement, and create a fun and welcoming learning environment that reaches beyond the walls of the classroom.
1. Focus on the Positive
Positive reinforcement isn’t strictly for your students. In fact, most parents only hear from their child’s school in the event of a problem or concern.
Change the conversation by sending home positive feedback early in the school year. A quick email, note, or message can help parents and caregivers see that engaging with their child’s school doesn’t always mean a trip to the principal’s office.
2. Be Inclusive
With classrooms becoming more and more diverse, it’s important to pay attention to the cultural backgrounds of your students and their families. Be sensitive when planning events and activities, as well as when you are communicating with the home. Try to engage parents in ways that help them feel heard, supported, and understood as the first teachers of their children.
3. Make Learning Collaborative
Parents need to see themselves as collaborators in their child’s education, and a healthy parent-teacher relationship comes from a place of mutual support.
Encourage caregivers to take an active role in their child’s education by including them in your classroom activities, or inviting them to share an experience or two with the rest of your students. The more welcome they feel in the classroom, the more likely they are to come back.
4. Develop and support two-way communication
Technology has made communication easier than ever, and parents and caregivers are just as tuned-in to their devices as the rest of us. Consider different ways to reach out to your students’ parents – be it email, text message, or through collaborative apps and software.
5. Provide parents with the tools they need to reinforce learning in the home.
Create more opportunities for parental engagement by providing parents with the tools they need to reinforce learning in the home. Whether it’s digital tools like Sprig’s Oral Language Learning Program, or a simple print-out sent home in a backpack, parents are more likely to support their child’s learning in a meaningful way with guidance, understanding, and of course – fun activities!
6. Have fun!
The most important part of parental engagement really is quite simple – have fun, be creative, and stay open to new ideas. Think of it this way – if you get parents and families together and having fun, they are naturally going to want to spend more time with each other, and with you! The key is to find a low-pressure pathway for communicating back and forth between the home and the school, and keeping the channels for communication open.
More from the Sprig Blog
Recently, there is more awareness about the immense value of early literacy. Studies continue to be published from various states showing that roughly a third of all K-2 students are missing early literacy benchmarks.
It’s a collective responsibility to ensure that the early literacy experience for children is optimized. Apart from parents, teachers spend the most time with kids in their daily lives during the school year. Their role in young students’ early literacy development is paramount to student success.
This article, Part 3 in our series, is dedicated to classroom teachers in early elementary grades who have a permanent seat at the early literacy dream team table. (Read Part 1 and Part 2.)
Sprig Learning Partners With Joyful Literacy To Develop a New Evidence-Based Early Literacy Teacher App
Sprig Learning was purpose-built to help provide every student with a fair shot at success. To date, we have worked with schools across North America to improve the assessment process in the early years, support teachers and provide all young learners with the chance to succeed in both school and in life. We have helped thousands of early learners acquire the fundamentals of early literacy and numeracy.
Sprig Learning’s early literacy tools are built around the Science of Reading. To take the next big leap in early literacy innovation, Sprig is excited to partner with Dr. Janet Mort and her Joyful Literacy team to bring you Sprig Reading: Powered by Joyful Literacy! Joyful Literacy is a proven, evidence-based literacy framework that has consistently improved classrooms to 90% grade-level literacy achievement. Wherever it is implemented, the results soon follow!