Should you share the Preschool Reading Screener results with your child’s preschool teacher? That is a personal decision that you can make with a bit of caution. The purpose of the screener is to provide a current snapshot of your child’s skills and help you learn simple things to do that, over time, will boost reading readiness. Growth during the preschool years is rapid and highly influenced by environmental factors such as nurturing parents, quality care giving and the learning setting. Screening results are just one piece of evidence of a child’s progress and skill level. They should not be used to make “high stakes” decisions about a child.
As a parent, you should feel comfortable partnering with your child’s teacher and sharing information. Having the Preschool Reading Screener results and other information from www.readingbrightstart.org should give you knowledge and confidence for a great discussion about your child’s reading readiness. Here are some tips for sharing the screener results with your child’s teacher.
- Visit the website and answer the questions honestly and accurately about your child.
- Print or copy results and action plan to an email for future reference.
- Look at the Reading Readiness milestones for children younger and older than your child, so you are familiar with the continuum of skill development.
- Set up a time to meet with your child’s teacher that is convenient for both of you. Trying to do this at drop off or pick up is difficult and not very private.
- Make a list of questions or topics to cover in your meeting. Think about information you want to share, questions you want to ask and information you want to learn more about.
- Share information about the ReadingBrightStart! website, the Preschool Reading Screener and the results. Be sure to talk about your child’s skills in: Oral Language; Letter Knowledge; Phonological Awareness; and Beginning Writing. Ask what observations the teacher has of your child’s abilities in these four important reading readiness skills.
- Discuss the areas where your child is on track. Ask if this aligns with your child’s work in the classroom. Ask what kind of activities the teacher is doing or plans to do to continue your child’s growth. Share the things you are doing at home.
- Discuss skill areas in which your child scored “below average,” if any. Ask for the teacher’s observations of her in this area. How are children exposed to these skills in the classroom, and how does she respond to these activities?
- Ask how the teacher modifies activities to meet your child’s needs in order to help her feel successful.
- Talk about the activities on your child’s action plan and the website and discuss how you and the teacher can set up a plan of action connecting home with school.
- Set up a time to meet in a few weeks or months to discuss progress or a new game plan.
Observation and screening results are most helpful when used as part of the teaching-learning process. The information should tell parents and teachers what a child can do and what he is ready to learn next. For example, parents watch an infant sit up when propped up by pillows. They observe to determine when she seems ready to sit unsupported. In the same vein, parents and teachers can use observation and screening results to measure or estimate what things children already know and understand, what things they might grasp with more support or practice, and what may be too difficult for now. Use the results in planning next steps in your child’s learning.