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April 9, 2010

Dear Literacy Place for the Early Years Teacher,

I know how busy you are in your primary classrooms and want to highlight some great ideas to connect classroom learning to the home. Today's tip examines: How does LPEY help me with the home-school partnership?

Within LPEY look for sections entitled "Home Links". They are found in the Read Aloud and Shared Reading teaching plans (indicated by a Home Links icon) or in the specific section of the Reading, Writing, and Working with Words Guides. There is also a section devoted to Home Links in the Program and Planning Guide. All of the activities and suggestions in LPEY are intended to enhance the learning acquired in school and promote positive literacy experiences in the home. You may want to include some of these suggestions in your monthly newsletter or you can demonstrate these strategies at parent meetings and conferences. On pages 53 to 55 of the Program and Planning Guide you will find tips and directions for parents about how to read to and with their child, how to promote oral language, how to practice word recognition and spelling, and how to stimulate writing at home. I really like the ideas outlined for literacy backpacks and shoebox libraries. Both of these suggestions are easy to implement and require minimal maintenance by the teacher.

If you teach Kindergarten or Grade 1, remember that the reproducible books for levels A–C can be used for take-home books. The books can be downloaded from the website ( and then photocopied and sent home. If the book has been read in Small Group Shared Reading, caregivers should read the book chorally with the student. If the student has read the book in Guided Reading, he/she can then read the book to the caregiver. Don't forget to include one of the Reading at Home bookmarks (see page 57 of the Program and Planning Guide) with the take-home book to indicate how the book is supposed to be read (parent reads to child, parent and child read together, or child reads to parent). You can also use these bookmarks with independent reading tub books or library books to ensure a successful home reading experience.

Another supportive tool is the Reading Tips Bookmarks provided on page 58 of the Program and Planning Guide. The bookmarks focus on word recognition, comprehension, and self-monitoring strategies that are helpful to young readers. They can be used by students during independent reading time at school and then taken home with classroom and school library books.

Happy teaching,
Sue Jackson signature
Sue Jackson
National Literacy Consultant
Scholastic Education Canada