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Family Dialogue Journals

School–Home Partnerships That Support Student Learning

JoBeth Allen Jennifer Beaty Angela Dean Joseph Jones Stephanie Smith Mathews Elyse Schwedler Jen McCreight Amber M. Simmons

160 pages
Teachers College Press
This honest, clearly written, and accessible book shows how to use Family Dialogue Journals (FDJs) to increase and deepen learning across grade levels. Written by K–12 teachers who have been implementing and studying the use of weekly journals for several years, it shares what they have learned and why they have found FDJs to be an invaluable tool for forming effective partnerships with families. Learn from firsthand accounts how students write weekly about one big idea they have studied, ask a family member a related question, and then solicit their writing in the journal. Through these journal entries, they share their family knowledge with classmates while actively engaging with the curriculum. In turn, teachers extend the academic discussion by writing to each family and incorporating their funds of knowledge into classroom lessons—writing about everything from the use of thermometers to life in Michoacán, Mexico. Family participation in the FDJs is remarkably high across ages, ethnicities, and economic realities. Book Features: Demonstrates how Family Dialogue Journals allow parents and caregivers to provide meaningful input and feel personally connected to their child’s education. Provides detailed examples of teachers implementing FDJs, including how they got started and routines for sharing family voices during morning meetings, literature discussions, and classroom dialogue. Illustrates how teachers, students, and families create critical curriculum that builds on the vast resources of cultural and linguistic diversity within and beyond the classroom.
Author Bio
The authors are all associated with the Red Clay Writing Project at the University of Georgia.