Bridging Home and School Literacy

Jordan Brown

"In order to build on what children already know with reading and writing, you need to know where they are." -Vander Zanden

Reading and Writing in Real Life

Vander Zanden would tell teachers to have real life literacy in their classroom.

  • What is the purpose of the text?
  • Put an emphasis on things that people read and write outside of school.

Pre K: Tell students that it is snack time. Write name of the snacks that they would like on the board so the students can see the words written out. Explain that they would put these things on a list and go grocery shopping.

Elementary: Write letters to people in the school (principal, secretaries, nurse, custodian, etc.) Incorporate as many newspapers and magazines as you can. Ask students, "What do people read and write outside of school?" "Why do people read and write outside of school."

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Social Context & Technology

Social Context: Vander Zanden encourages students to work on reading and writing through social things like invitations or tickets to a show. There can be social contexts embedded in the activity. (Who's invited, where to go, etc.)


Technology: Vander Zanden also encourages students to practice using technology in real life (email, blogging, etc.)

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Getting Parents Involved

  • Questionnaires
  • Communication
  • Conferences
* Get parents thinking about their real life experiences with literacy!
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