Communicating with parents through journaling and how it affects the literacy achievement of at-risk kindergartners

In this study, communication between parents and teacher through a written communication process called "joumaling" is examined regarding reading strategies in relation to at-risk kindergarten students. This study took place in an upper class elementary school with a high achieving student population. The test sampling was gathered from the lowest quartile of achievement scores on a standardized test in one self-contained kindergarten classroom. The sampling included four boys and one girl, one of which was a second language student. The teaching strategies consisted of small group and individual instruction conducted at school plus specific assignments for parents and their child to complete together at home. The parents of students involved in the study communicated their experiences through an electronic or "take home journal." Prior to and following eight weeks of instruction, the students were given district literacy assessments in "alphabet recognition," "alphabet sounds," "concepts of print," and "running records." All students showed improvement on each assessment, particularly on alphabet sounds. Each student that participated in this study moved from "at-risk" to "proficient" status in literacy at the kindergarten level. It was concluded from this study that communication with parents through a "joumaling technique" involving literacy strategies could improve the achievement of at-risk kindergarten students.