National Writing Project

Making Connections Between Family and School

By: Marci Resnick
Date: 1996

Summary: In NWP's book Cityscapes, Marci Resnick documents how establishing regular phone contact with the parents of her students led her to create a flexible curriculum directly related to the needs of her students and their families.



One of the purposes for my initial school year phone call was to find out about the interests of my students and how they could be honored in the classroom. It was these phone calls that informed me about Andrew's love of science, Jonathon's interest in computers, Lynda's use of journal writing to help control her temper, and Shonda's desire to  read chapter books. While I unfortunately didn't act on all of this information, I was able, over time, to use it to enhance children's learning. Andrew became an avid observer of our monarch caterpillars, chrysalis, and finally butterflies. Shonda was encouraged at school now as well as home to read and talk about chapter books. And on numerous occasions, Lynda was encouraged to use her journal to help express angry feelings and hurtful experiences.

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