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October 4, 2017

Parent Question Stems for ELA

By Meghan Everette
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    A similar scene plays out at least once every time conferences roll around. A concerned parent will bemoan, “We do read every night. I do ask questions!” and I truly do believe them. The problem is, many parents don’t ask the right kind of questions that lead to comprehension and understanding. The more we can do to help families build their own teaching knowledge, the more successful at-home reading will be.

    I like to include some questioning strategies that are specific to the skill we are working on each week in my newsletter. If we are working on visualizing, I give families a couple of questions they can ask when reading (or even watching TV!) with their child. This is an easy way to support families, so they can support what’s happening in the classroom.

    After sorting through the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, I noted that there are several key ideas that come up again and again throughout elementary and even middle grade reading. To help drive quality discussion, I created two bookmarks to use before, during, and after reading of literature and informational text. Families can reference these questions when creating bedtime reading routines, reading schoolwork together, or even when taking in functional reading every day.

     

    Each grade level has slightly different standards, adding complexity as students move through the grades. Helping families understand the big ideas at each grade level can help them know what to focus on when reading with students. To give even more support, use the question stems that align with each standard.

    I don’t like to overwhelm parents. The bookmark serves as a great quick reference anytime parents are reading with their children. I wouldn’t give the entire grade-level question stem sheet to families. Instead, I’d copy and paste just the questions that go along with your weekly focus standard and add it to your newsletter or post it on your website. They can also be helpful guiding questions to pull out anytime you read aloud in class.

    Click on your grade level to get questions aligned to each standard:

    Two other great resources for parent support are:

    Parents’ Guides to Student Success from National PTA (also available in Spanish)

    Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core — English Language Arts from the Council of the Great City Schools

    One of the most important things we can do for our families is to empower them. By providing simple, easy ways for families to interact with the content and standards, we can support students learning at school and at home.

     

    A similar scene plays out at least once every time conferences roll around. A concerned parent will bemoan, “We do read every night. I do ask questions!” and I truly do believe them. The problem is, many parents don’t ask the right kind of questions that lead to comprehension and understanding. The more we can do to help families build their own teaching knowledge, the more successful at-home reading will be.

    I like to include some questioning strategies that are specific to the skill we are working on each week in my newsletter. If we are working on visualizing, I give families a couple of questions they can ask when reading (or even watching TV!) with their child. This is an easy way to support families, so they can support what’s happening in the classroom.

    After sorting through the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, I noted that there are several key ideas that come up again and again throughout elementary and even middle grade reading. To help drive quality discussion, I created two bookmarks to use before, during, and after reading of literature and informational text. Families can reference these questions when creating bedtime reading routines, reading schoolwork together, or even when taking in functional reading every day.

     

    Each grade level has slightly different standards, adding complexity as students move through the grades. Helping families understand the big ideas at each grade level can help them know what to focus on when reading with students. To give even more support, use the question stems that align with each standard.

    I don’t like to overwhelm parents. The bookmark serves as a great quick reference anytime parents are reading with their children. I wouldn’t give the entire grade-level question stem sheet to families. Instead, I’d copy and paste just the questions that go along with your weekly focus standard and add it to your newsletter or post it on your website. They can also be helpful guiding questions to pull out anytime you read aloud in class.

    Click on your grade level to get questions aligned to each standard:

    Two other great resources for parent support are:

    Parents’ Guides to Student Success from National PTA (also available in Spanish)

    Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core — English Language Arts from the Council of the Great City Schools

    One of the most important things we can do for our families is to empower them. By providing simple, easy ways for families to interact with the content and standards, we can support students learning at school and at home.

     

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