Part of my role as the Literacy co-ordinator at my school is to run the classroom helpers program. The course comprises of three one hour sessions, focussing on how parents can help with oral language, reading and writing in the classroom.
This year there were around 30 parents who participated, the majority being parents of Prep children. The goal of the program is to ensure that the parents learn basic skills to effectively help children in the Literacy block, and also so they can help their own children at home.
It can be challenging to know exactly how to pitch the presentations, because I don’t want to overwhelm the parents, but it is obviously important they have some strategies to assist young children who are beginning the learning journey. Here is an overview of what I focussed on in the three sessions.
I used PowerPoint presentations for each session and gave the parents a handout of the slides. Below is the slideshow I made for the “Speaking and Listening” session.
I had the parents complete feedback surveys for me. It was very pleasing that everyone gained a lot of information from the sessions and they all commented that they feel more confident they’ll be useful in the classroom now. A few of them said things such as “I thought you should just tell kids the words they don’t know when reading” and “I didn’t know that letters should be written a specific way”. As teachers, it’s important we don’t assume parents know a lot about how to help children learn. As we all know, having good parent helpers can be very valuable in the classroom, so I enjoy helping them build their skills to feel comfortable and confident working with young students.