Wednesday, September 10

Parent Support for At Home Reading & Back To School Parent Input Form

It is so helpful to parents when we, as teachers, provide strategies and tips for working with their readers at home! Parent input at Back to School time can be so helpful, too! I'm a big fan of parent communication and love doing what I can to help set parents up for success. This post contains two  parent letters - one for Reading at Home and one for Parent Input during Back to School or when you have new students.

This letter supports parents in reading at home with their children. I print it out and send it home in my first graders, Read at Home poly envelopes. Students keep it in their envelopes all year long for parents to refer to throughout the year as their readers grow and evolve. I don't even laminate it because it saves the environment, money AND time! I make 5 or so extra copies at the beginning of the year and replace any letter that's been ruined.

Parent Information Night is Thursday night and I've been getting a bunch of stuff ready! One of the things I've been getting ready is this letter to help parents support their child's at home reading...which, of course, I'm sharing with you! You guys are the best!!! I can't thank you enough for your kind words, emails, comments and support!

Disclaimer: this post contains some affiliate links. If you choose to click on the links, I receive a small commission.

I use letter size poly Take Home Book envelopes like  these or these because they last all year long (after we discuss and practice the expectations on how to take care of them)! 

This is all in an effort to support and enrich the foundation of reading workshop...which is to build readers who read like a star (S=study, T=think, A=ask & R=respond):

In my district, we use Lucy Calkin's Reading Units of Study. I created my reading workshop units prior to our district adoption, but because all three units are totally unique from one another AND from Lucy's curriculum, I still use them during whole group and small group. They are a GREAT supplement and can stand alone or be used in addition to any curriculum.

Readers Workshop Tips

Do you struggle with students that don't self monitor their reading? They plow on with their reading even when what they've said doesn't make sense, sound right and/or look right? Be sure to check out "Teaching Readers to Self-Monitor" in my TpT store!

This parent reading support letter provides explanations and examples of how they can provide support and compliment their reader from the lenses of word-solving, fluency & comprehension.

The other side has the Word-Solving strategies, a tidbit about fluency and an image from my READ bulletin board in the classroom.

Here are the word-solving strategies.

You can find this At Home Reading for Parents letter here.

For building your classroom community with a culture of kindness, you might want to check this Let's Be Kind mini-unit out, too! 

You might also like this back to school Parent Input form. It's a zipped file containing a non-editable pdf and a Powerpoint file that you can edit & tweak to your heart's content for your classroom. (Uncomfortable, but necessary, terms of use...please do not edit the file and then redistribute it, claiming it as your own.)

Read more about how I take the Status of the Class in Writer's Workshop. It is a practice I will continue for SO many reasons! 

Status of the Class

This Writer's Workshop post is full of tips for tweaking or refining your Writer's Workshop at Back to School or any time of year!

What tips do you have for building parent support and communication? I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. Great resource! Thank you for sharing!! I'll be printing this off today and sending it home!!!

    Lanier's Lions

  2. Reading your posts makes me miss teaching primary!!:) love it! Your parents (& kids) will benefit so much from this "PD" ("Parent Development")

  3. This is wonderful! Just what we need to send home with our kiddos.
    A MILLION thanks.
    Granny Goes to School

  4. I just survived my first one at my new school, so you will be great!

    Ventaneando: A Window Into First Grade Bilingüe

  5. This is AWESOME! I work with a lot of parents who want to help their kids at home but don't really know how - I love to have resources like this on hand during parent meetings :)

  6. Thanks for sharing, Lisa! This is amazing!

  7. Starting my Home Reading this week. Thanks for the great documents!

  8. Than You ! Lis- This is fabulous!!!

  9. Children will develop their skills better when they get the necessary support from parents. Learning continues even at home and there are resources that can assist parents in teaching a child.

  10. Amazing resource to send home to parents. Thanks for sharing :)

  11. You are fabulous, my friend! Love these! I will be printing off and placing on desks for Open House! Love!!

    Love you!

  12. I love this! Thanks for sharing!!

    Terri Izatt

  13. This is perfect for my parents! Just what I have been looking for, thanks!!!

  14. This is such a helpful note to send home for parents! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  15. These are so great! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  16. Thank so much for linking up to the Ultimate List of Kindergarten Summer Reads! Great resource for teachers to help their families!

    Jennifer with Simply Kinder

  17. Lisa,
    I love the idea of getting parents involved in helping make my students successful readers. I'm going to send this home for open house. I just have one question. Do you send books home with your students? What did you have your students return to school everyday? A reading log? This is my first year teaching first grade (been in kindergarten for 10 years).
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Leah! I have students bring home two books per day in their book envelope (I use poly envelopes like these.). Inside the envelope are the books and the laminated parent letter described above. I put a label on the outside with the student's name and "Please read and return tomorrow." If students don't bring back their envelope/books, they cannot take any new ones home. I used to do reading logs, but have found that kids are more likely to do the reading if they (or their parents) don't have to fill out a log. In our district our students have independent level texts in their book boxes, so the books should be on the easy side. Welcome to first grade! :-)

  18. THANK YOU for the many great resources, links, and freebies! Hope you have a wonderful summer!
    Pam Van O
    1st grade, CA

  19. This is fantastic. Thank you so much.


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