Staying Connected to Learning

Week 3 - April 6-10, 2020

Keeping students happy, healthy, and learning at home

Each Monday while schools are closed, St. Clair County RESA will share a collection of high quality engaging educational resources organized by content area and grade level band, with clear guidance for parents supporting their children's learning. To subscribe to the newsletter, submit your email address using this form. Contact Rachel Verschaeve with any question you might have at

Reading and Writing

Reading Strategy for Parents and Children: Questioning - Grades K-5

Asking Questions is an excellent reading comprehension strategy - it actively engages readers with the text before, during, and after reading, and it helps readers check that they are understanding what they are reading. To support your child's Asking Questions skills, follow the steps below:

  1. Watch the PSA Video on how to ask questions when you read.

  2. View the modeled Me...Jane read-aloud (if needed).

  3. Select a book to read aloud together to practice asking questions. Be sure to stop and check to see if you answered any of your questions as you read throughout the book.

  4. Discuss possible questions you ask with your child. Ask what they see, what they think, and what they wonder about the book you are reading. Utilize the Asking Questions Bookmark.

  5. Help your child ask questions.

  6. Help your child to fill out the K-3 Journal or 4-5 Journal pages. (Feel free to download and print or just make your own journal at home and use the linked journal to help guide you.)

  7. Be sure to remind your child to use their writing non-negotiables (capitals and periods).

  8. Repeat the next day with another read-aloud.

  9. Continue practicing asking questions with your child using all types of text (books, movies, Twitter postings, news reports, etc.)

For more read-aloud fun, check out this collection of famous people reading various texts aloud or the Big List of Children’s Books: Read-Alouds.

For more literacy activities to do every day of the year, check out our Student Success Calendar.

Writing Fluency: First-person Accounts - Grades 6-12

When future historians look to write the story of life during coronavirus, first-person accounts will prove useful. Right now, the opportunity exists for our students to write primary sources, personally meaningful writings and sketches.

  • Encourage your student to write about their experiences during this time;

  • Encourage your student to sketch their experiences during this time;

  • Keep a family journal

If you are looking ideas/inspiration for recording current experiences, check out this video, and for more ideas and inspiration check out the article The Quarantine Diaries from the New York Times. One idea shared in the article is #Coronamaison (Corona House), with an activity your kids can try at home:

1. Go to the CoronaMaison website. To view the site in English, click the British/Union Jack flag in the upper right-hand corner, GB, or other English translation prompt. Scroll down to see others' drawings; notice the diverse media others have used to create their illustrations.

2. Print or sketch the CoronaMaison template, then draw your favorite room and post it on social networks with the hashtag #CoronaMaison to join a newly constructed common building!

If no technology is available, then follow this prompt: Draw your own ideal place to be quarantined. Create your own imagined interior, your own fantastical room.


Building Number Sense: Math Before Bed - Grades K-2

Practicing math concepts can happen at any time, any place, so Math Before Bed is a collection of prompts that can inspire mathematical discussions that you and your children can have before bed, at dinner, or anytime.

Each prompt shows you and your child a perplexing problem. Sometimes there is one right answer and sometimes there are many right answers. The purpose of each question is to generate a discussion about HOW you determined an answer. If you find one answer, try to find another.

View or download Math Before Bed to find a collection of conversation starters. For more resources, visit

Multiplication Basic Facts: Four's a Winner - Grades 3-5

Take your favorite game of Connect Four or Tic-Tac-Toe to the next level by adding multiplication to the game. In Four's a Winner, players take turns changing one multiplication factor to make a new problem until one player has four counters in a row. Head to the website, where all directions and the game board is shared, along with a video of two people playing the game. In the game you will notice they are using bingo chips for counters. You could cut up pieces of colored papers, use small coins, or find other creative items to use as counters during this game - you only need 36 pieces in 2 different colors. For more math fun, head to where more games and resources are shared.


Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information: Give Me Five - Grades K-5

Your kids and entire family can continue thinking about what they can do to protect our planet, by engaging in the Give Me Five Earth Day activity:

  • Directions and activity templates for the activity are on the website

  • Brainstorm ideas or have your child research what they can do to help save the Earth; some ideas are: recycle, create a home compost bin, walk or bike to school, take shorter showers/baths, plant trees etc.

  • Decide three ways your family can help protect the planet

  • For inspiration, visit the Earth Kids site

Interacting with Nature: Nature Lessons for the DNR - Grades K-12

Now that spring is upon us, it is a great time to get outside and closely explore the world around us, noticing and appreciating life around us. Kids of all ages can have fun learning outdoors with the following activities:

Be a Tree Detective: Learn how to identify trees in your yard and in your community

Finding True North: Learn to find true north without using a compass

  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to learn this important outdoor skill

Nature Scavenger Hunt: download the scavenger hunt checklist to guide your family's outdoors exploration; take the activity a step further by having students collect or take pictures of the evidence of their findings

For more learning fun, check out more videos from Michigan's Department of Natural Resources.

Career and College Corner

Career Exploration: Michigan's Hot 50 Careers Challenge - Grades 6-12

Do you and your kids have any idea what high-paying, high-demand careers are expected to be available when they graduate from high school or college? Michigan's Hot 50 outlines the diverse careers we know will land graduates great jobs by the year 2026. The whole family can engage in this challenge to test your awareness of careers and grow your knowledge of what's out there. Here's how:

  1. Challenge 1-10 friends or families (In-person, Phone Call, FacetTime, etc.)

  2. Gather materials for each participant: pen or pencil; piece of paper; Hot 50 Poster or Brochure

  3. Follow the instructions on the Michigan Hot 50 Careers Challenge guide

Mindfulness & Self-Care

Building Empathy - Grades K-12

Said simply, empathy is the ability to view a situation from the perspective of another person. It is about reserving judgement, and being able to be “with” another person in their feelings. Empathy drives connection, and during difficult times, it is what brings us together. The current challenges our communities are facing highlight the importance of empathy more than ever. This week’s activities will focus on ways to develop empathy in children, adolescents and teens, and provide ways to foster kindness and connection during these challenging times.

For Parents

Grades K-5

Grades 6-12

Additional Resources

Resources for Grades K-12

PBS (channel 56 in the Detroit viewing area or your local cable/satellite channel)

Need to feel good letting your kids watch TV - even if it's an opportunity for you to take a break or get something accomplished around the house? PBS offers a daily schedule aligned to school subject areas, and shows have corresponding learning guides that can be used after viewing programs. The 7:00-9:00 am slots target Pre K-3 age level; 9:00-2:00 Grades 4-8; and 2:00-6:00 Grades 9-12.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a comprehensive resource for students of all ages (and parents!) to use at home. Here are few of the ways to use this resource:

Parent-to-Parent Advice