Increasing parent involvement isn’t always the easiest endeavor. But, I decided to give it another go! Between Thanksgiving and Winter Break, I created a research project called The Day I Was Born We started in class by practicing interviewing and note-taking techniques. Then, I sent home the interview sheets as a homework assignment with a hard due date! Each student had to interview a minimum of 1 person who was there on the day he/she was born, ask follow-up questions, and take notes.
A week later, we started our rough drafts and worked through the writing process. Students drafted in their writing notebooks, revised and edited – alone and with a peer, before conferring with me. I requested baby pictures from the family right around the time we started publishing using our Studentreasures Kit so we could add those to the illustration page. Parents could purchase a book which they would receive at our book release party! Here’s the final Studentreasure book cover created by one of my students:
Skip ahead to February…. Our “baby shower” theme book release was quite a success! I had great parent turnout even though the weather was frightful that morning (and I digress but it SHOULD have been a snow day)! We read aloud from our purchased books or an alternate publication (see below) and ended our celebration with doughnuts and juice. A few baby shower items courtesy of the Dollar Tree :).
Since not all students purchased a book, we all made printables to share and take home on our book release date. One example is here for you:
*Disclaimer: by this point in the year, I knew my students well enough that I was sure each student would have a positive experience and have at least one person to interview. Definitely a consideration when deciding to get personal!