ARI's Back to School Newsletter
Alabama Reading Initiative
Welcome Back to School
My Child Can Packets
Click the link below to the ALSDE website under Family Resources for Grades K-3 "My Child Can!" Packets
Available in English and Spanish
10 Ways to Get Involved in Your Child’s Education
- Spend some time learning together. Sit with your child during homework and transform something “boring” into a bonding experience.
- Tweak your attitude when talking about certain subjects or school in general. Try to keep a positive attitude.
- Read to and with your children. Take turns reading before bed, in the car, during homework, or whenever works best for you.
- Make everyday activities reinforce educational concepts. This could include reading recipes while baking, learning about science while playing outside, or engineering strong structures out of Lego blocks.
- Join a parent group with other parents to affect positive change.
- Monitor your child’s schoolwork. Doing this regularly creates opportunities for you to congratulate, help, and encourage.
- Keep open lines of communication between you and your child’s teacher to help them better understand their mood or behavior at school.
- Prioritize parent-teacher conferences. They are one of the best ways to ask questions and raise concerns. Don’t forget to take notes!
- Try supplemental activities. Be mindful of your child’s learning style to help ensure that they learn as effectively as possible.
- Volunteer at your child’s school. Let your child’s teacher know when you are free and for how long. Then get excited!
Make a Bookmark
The Pigeon Has To Go To School
Make a "First Day of School" Photo Book
The first days and weeks of school can bring a lot of mixed emotions to parents, children, and teachers alike. Along with excitement and relief, there can be the fear of the unknown, sadness over the end of summer, and a sense of anxiety about starting the year off right. This crafty project can help address and alleviate some of these concerns, support early literacy skills, and create some lasting memories, too.
What You Need:
- Camera (digital is especially handy)
- Cardstock paper
- Glue Stick
- To assemble the book, print your pictures and invite your child to help you lay them out in order on a table.
- Cut your cardstock paper in half to make a stack of pages 5½ by 8½ inches. On the first page, place a picture of your child and write a title. On each of the following pages, place a photograph and one or two descriptive words, such as “waking up,” or “my school.” You can have your child write the words or ask them to dictate.
- Use a glue stick to attach the pictures.
Back to School Read Alouds
Here is a great selection of books to read with your child afterschool or at bedtime.
The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
Goals for the New Year
Decorate a Homework Clipboard!
You’ve probably noticed, after sitting in a desk all day, sometimes kids just want to flop onto a cozy chair or comfy corner and do their work there. Without a table to lean on, however, pen-and-paper work can be a little difficult. That’s why teachers often keep a box of clipboards in the classroom, and why a nice one is a great idea for home as well. Here’s a decorative idea to help your kid create a personalized clipboard that he/she will want to use every time there’s homework to do.
What You Need:
- Plain clipboard in your child’s favorite color—just make sure it has a solid metal clip on top
- 2 wide craft sticks (“tongue depressor” size)
- Craft glue
- 1 foam sheet in your child’s favorite color
- Stick-on foam letters and shapes
- Squeezable paint (make sure you get the kind that sticks to plastic)
What You Do:
- The goal is to help your child design a cool clipboard that he/she take pride in using again and again, especially when it’s homework. To start, place two wide craft sticks horizontally across the top of the clip of your clipboard, and glue them down.
- Have your child cut a rectangular piece of foam and glue it down on top of the craft sticks. The piece of foam should be big enough just to cover the craft sticks.
- Then have your child spell out his/her name using stick-on foam letters.
- Now have your child surround his/her name with shapes that represent their interests or favorite colors—a sports lover, for example, might use ball and bat shapes, while another kid might create flowers or stars!
- As a final touch, use the squeezable paint to add any decorative touches.
- Give everything several hours to dry, and then enjoy it for the rest of the school year and beyond!
The APC has compiled resources surrounding a FOCUS (Focus On Children Under Six) topic for all organizations that request the information for distribution in local communities. It is our hope that the FOCUS resources will provide more attention to birth-to-five topics statewide.
The Alabama Family Central is a single platform for families to access services and programs. Its purpose is to help families easily navigate and find links to support their needs. State agency partners include Departments of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Early Childhood Education, Education, Human Resources, Medicaid, Mental Health, Public Health, Rehabilitation Services/Early Intervention, with support from the Office of Information Technology
Starfall provides free resources that can be used at home to support reading. These interactive activities place emphasis on phonemic awareness, phonics, and common sight words. Starfall's systematic approach, in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity, is prefect for Pre K-3, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD,ELL,ESL).
"Alabama Course of Study English Language Arts." https://www.alabamaachieves.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/2021-Alabama-English-Language-Arts-Course-of-Study.pdf. Accessed 16 June. 2022.
"Alabama Literacy Act ,"Legiscan.com/AL/Text/HB338/2019. link act2019-523.pdf (alabamaachieves.org)
"Back to School Song | Jack Hartmann - YouTube." 26 Jul. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnWH786zjgc. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
Education.com | Decorate a Homework Clipboard. Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://www.education.com/
"Reading With Your Child | Parenting Minutes | WNET Education." 25 Jan. 2018, https://www.wnet.org/education/video/reading-with-your-child/. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
Starfall Education: Kids Games, Movies, & Books K-3. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.starfall.com/
"THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL! By Mo Willems - YouTube." 1 Oct. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9wJTLpioPI. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
The information included in this document is done from the perspective of improving LITERACY instruction for students and is only intended to outline support that directly relates to literacy instruction. Please use any resource links with discretion, as their position statements are their own and not necessarily representative of ARI and the ALSDE. Usage of any materials should be with adherence to rules and regulations of the Alabama State Department of Education.