A Homework Idea to Build Communication

Are you looking for a way to build child, family and school relationships?  How about communication?  Well if you are grab your latte and keep reading because I have a little idea to share with you!  

Back when I taught kindergarten I had a director who had this awesome idea for our entire school to participate in a nightly homework assignment which she called "table talk."   The activity is used to help build communication between families and students about their child's school day and get away from the typical question "how was your day" followed by the one word response of "fine."  It's actually a really simple activity but works wonders!  Basically teachers provide a topic/question for each day of the week and then families and students discuss it together.  Uh.... can you say simple?  Here is an example letter that I wrote up explaining the nightly table talk to families.  

Click to download the editable file for FREE!

And here is a sheet that can be used to ask and record responses.  For the younger ones I suggest typing in questions/topics for the week before sending the sheet home.  But, if you have older kiddos you could easily end your day by generating a question, writing it on the board and having students write it on their sheet before leaving for the day.  Also if you don't want to make copies each week you could just create a table talk spiral notebook that students write in each day instead.  Either way the concept is the same and can be used across multiple grade levels.

Click to download the editable file for FREE!

To keep track of completion we had parents initial each day and then teachers would initial as well to show that they looked at the child's homework folder.  I always liked to bring up the topic/question in class the next day as a way for students to share with each other what they discussed.

The best topics/questions for table talk are open ended and provide a way for the student to talk about something from their school day.  For example it could be used as a way to review a concept, get them thinking about an upcoming topic, share what they learned,  talk about a field trip, discuss a problem etc.

I like this activity because I found that it not only helped to build communication between students and their families, but it also was a great way to help families feel involved in their child's learning.  It was an additional way for me to communicate with families and help build that school - family relationship.  By clicking above you can grab the EDITABLE sheets to use in your own class.  
Is this an activity you'd try?  



  1. Oh my goodness I LOVE this idea! Especially since my 6th graders are at the age where they don't share much with their parents :) Awesome idea!!

    1. So glad you like the idea Emily! I was so happy when my director had us do this and it is now something I'd do every year.


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