ERIC Number: ED496964
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Family Contact: Connecting Kids and Kin through the Curriculum
Burkhardt, Ross M.
National Middle School Association (NJ3), Middle Ground v8 n1 p18-21 Aug 2004
The author maintains that middle level teachers can create curriculum connections that engage families in their children's learning and strengthen the home-school relationship. This article offers four examples of school-initiated partnerships, each of which connects students with their families. These are: (1) the Relative Letter, in which students identify three family members with whom they have a positive relationship and then write about that relationship; (2) Oral History Interviews, in which students interview older relatives about specific historical events and then create transcripts for publication in a class anthology; (3) Family Traditions, in which students writes personal essays about a favorite family tradition, memory, or event and then share their family traditions with one another at a class gathering; and (4) Parent Writing Conference (PWC), in which students conduct a writing conference at home with a parent. The purpose of the PWC is for students to appear as accomplished learners in the eyes of their family and, consequently, to strengthen the school-home connection. The author states that reading through the journal entries taught him what happened at the PWC, how students saw themselves as writers, and how he could do better at teaching writing.
Descriptors: Middle Schools, Family Involvement, Family School Relationship, Writing Assignments, Oral History, Interviews, Culture
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A