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Back-to-school season is in full swing! What can we do to start the school year off on the right foot? Establishing certain routines can make a big difference in helping students start a successful school year. If you are a family member, I hope that you find these thoughts useful within your own family. If you are volunteer, community member, or teacher, I hope you find some of these ideas helpful as you check-in with the students you support. There is a wealth of information out there, and these are some favorites from the couple websites listed below.
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As the school year nears an end and seemingly drags on in the eyes of your student, literacy may be becoming a point of contention—they are sick of it! Which is where we must remind students that literacy can not only be fun, but is in fact the foundation of so many activities they see as fun. Indeed, the basis for all television shows and movies that your student enjoys? Written stories and scripts. Their favorite card or board game? Relies on literacy to explain the game, rules and how to play. Their favorite video game? Follows written story concepts. That vacation they want to go on so badly? Not possible to plan without the ability to read details around tickets, directions and lodging options!
Literacy truly is behind the majority of activities kids (and adults) enjoy, a fact that is important to illustrate to you student when they seem to be getting burnt out with reading and writing. Of course these things are best instilled through lived experiences and it is vital to remember that literacy is flexible as reading, writing, listening, thinking and speaking are all components of literacy. See below for fun tactics that will bring literacy to life!
Many students struggle with writing and it can be difficult to illustrate the value of participating in an activity that is hard for them in the first place. Which means that we must be creative in how we integrate writing into their lives. We must strive to make it fun for young learners, to engage their natural interests in a manner that makes writing part of an activity that they are intrinsically motivated to partake in. While this can be challenging, and while the activities that achieve this will be different for each student, there are many ways to creatively bring writing into student lives. Following are a few of our favorites.
Comics: We have been having great success in our tutoring sessions lately by giving students either an illustrated comic strip without text that they must add dialogue to or letting them tell a story through writing a comic on a blank strip. Play to your student’s interests here to make this even more engaging for them. Does your student love comic books? Read those together and writing your own!
Mad Libs: A fun, silly family activity that will get your student writing (and reading). Further, Mad Libs activities will add to student’s grammar and comprehension skills as they work through various funny stories.
This blog is designed to inspire literacy learning beyond the walls of TLC. Check back each week for timely content geared towards engaging families and volunteers alike.