Jacqui believes in a learning community where the school and families work together to improve learning outcomes for all children. But at the start of the year, her reality was that there were barriers preventing parents from becoming partners in their child’s learning. The engagement opportunities she was offering weren’t accessible to all families.
Using the Tasmanian Department of Education LIFT initiative, Conversation Cards, Jacqui started small with her school’s kinder group. Conversation Cards are taken home by the student and are designed to build parents’ confidence in supporting their child’s literacy and numeracy development through a series of simple activities listed on the card.
Quickly Jacqui and her team realised the use of these cards was successful, and so after some minor tweaking they rolled the project out for the Grade 2 class, too.
After some time of using the Conversation Cards, and receiving funding to add extension activities to the cards, Jacqui and her colleagues realised they had no way of knowing if families were actually using the cards and doing the activities or not. They started inviting families to send in photos of their kids undertaking the activities and have had huge engagement!
In only 4 weeks (and 4 conversation cards), Jacqui has had fourteen families send in photos to her, showing the young people doing the Conversation Card activities at home.
Here are a couple of the comments from parents that accompanied the beautiful photos of kids continuing their learning at home..
“Angel is pulling out the carrots she grew in our garden. Her cousins were very keen to help her too! Angel has loved growing vegetables and we will keep growing them.”
“We had a great time with this at home! He drew a map of his bedroom as it is, and then another of his bedroom as he’d like it. We’ll be changing his room around as a result!”
By the time we saw Jacqui again for Workshop 3, Conversation Cards were being used across the school and learning partnerships between families and the school are now embedded in the community’s culture.
Like the idea?
Jacqui would love your support for Conversation Cards, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Jacqui and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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