Staying Connected to Learning

Week 8 - May 11-15, 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. You can find past editions linked at the end of this newsletter. Contact Rachel Verschaeve with any question you might have at

Reading and Writing

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

Connect through literature with the fluency strategy. This strategy helps readers read in a smooth and natural way.

1. Watch the PSA video about the fluency strategy to help your child read in a smooth and natural voice.
2. Watch the fluency strategy read-aloud modeled examples and practice along with your child. You’ll find examples for fiction and nonfiction.

Modeled Examples:

3. Select a book to read using the fluency strategy. Be sure to stop and retell using your retelling hand along the way.
4. Use the Fluency Bookmark.
5. Add writing to your practice and 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 journal here to help guide you.)

6. Be sure to remind your child to use their writing non-negotiables (capitals and periods).
7. Repeat with a different genre. If your child chose a fiction book, try an information book next.
Continue practicing the fluency strategy 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 or our Read-at-Home Book.

Reading Informational Text: The Week Junior - Grades 6-8

The Week Junior is a new magazine for adolescents. In order to get people interested in its format and context, the company is offering 6 issues for free. Encourage your child to look through Issue One as an example of informational text geared to their age and stage in life.

The Week Junior is a current events magazine for 8- to 14-year-olds that informs, empowers, and inspires its readers. It helps kids make sense of the world, provides context and clarity on complex issues, and encourages discussion and debate.

Reading: The Harry Potter Reading Club - Grades 6-8

If your student is a Harry Potter fan, then the Harry Potter Reading Club will be appealing. Encourage your child to look it over and determine its value for all things Harry Potter. Included on the site are activities, games, background information, and more.

English Language Arts: Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken Word Poetry is the contemporary poetry of our time. Included here are two poems to watch/listen/read and feel, then reflect upon:

When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye

A Lot Like You by Rudy Fransisco

  1. Encourage your child to read and listen to each poem and select a line, a phrase, or a word that resonates with them, bringing up an emotion, making them laugh, or think, or wonder.
  2. Then, in their notebooks or journals, write about that line, or phrase, or word.
  3. Then decide - which of the two poems do they like best?
  4. Post their vote - and your reasons why - on our shared Padlet.

Note: Poems may contain language your family finds offensive; please preview content prior to sharing with your child.

SAT/PSAT Prep: Vocabulary - Grades 9-12

Even though the PSAT/SAT has been postponed for this school year, it has not been eliminated altogether. Eventually your child will have to take this standardized test, so, while there is time, you can engage him/her in some new vocabulary learning. This website has vocabulary word suggestions, pretests, study tips, and more. It is aimed at vocabulary that will be encountered on the PSAT/SAT. The site has suggestions for keeping a notebook, giving oneself a pretest, and strategies for studying the words. Vocabulary lists and quizzes are organized by month, then by date, giving daily practice all year round.

This week's vocabulary lists:

Monday, May 11

Tuesday, May 12

Wednesday, May 13

Thursday, May 14

Friday, May 15

This week's vocabulary quizzes (you will need to create an account to access quizzes):

Monday, May 11

Tuesday, May 12

Wednesday, May 13

Thursday, May 14

Friday, May 15


Basic Fact Strategy: Quick Draw 2s Game - Grades K-2

All you need are some index cards to make your own deck of Quick Draw. This game will help your child practice the basic fact strategy of +/- 2. Have kids say their addition or subtraction sentence before laying down their card to promote using the strategy. Directions are on the Quick Draw 2s Game web page, with a video showing how to play. Get started by making a deck of 40 cards with index cards by writing the 1st ten multiples (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20) out and do this 4 times.

Time: Telling Time with a Sundial - Grades K-5

Find out how to tell the time without a clock! A sundial uses the position of the sun to indicate the time. Typically, a stick (gnomon) casts a shadow upon a plane or surface that has markings, which indicate the time by the position of the shadow. Watch the How to Tell Time Using a Sundial video and try making a sundial of your own!

Basic Facts: Math Trash Game - Grades 3-5

Kids can have basic math fact fun, trashing cards that will not work in their sequence. Here's how:

  1. Choose the multiplication facts you want to work on and make your own deck of cards. Make a deck of 40 cards with index cards by writing the 1st ten multiples out and do this 4 times. For example, 3, 6, 9, 12 ...all the way to 30.
  2. Have kids say their multiplication or division equation sentence before laying down their card, or have them talk out loud to hear what strategy they are using to figure out the correct answer.
  3. Head to the Trash Game web page for full instructions and a video demonstrating how the game is played.

Math Tutoring: MATHia - Grades 6-12

Do you feel like your kids' math looks different than the math you learned in school, or do you need to a way to give your kids independent math practice? Carnegie Learning has made its adaptive learning software free to families through the summer of 2020. MATHia@Home personalizes learning for your child, providing feedback and tracking progress, continuing your child's learning progress. To access the software, head to MATHia@Home click the Request Free MATHia NOW button.

Also available for free from Carnegie Learning is the LONG + LIVE + MATH At Home on-demand learning library, full of lessons for middle and high school math courses.


Earth Science: Why do Shadows Move? - Grades K-5

Explore shifting shadows with your kid(s) and create a better understanding of the relationship between the earth and sun from the comfort of your own back yard or neighborhood. Follow the directions on the Why do Shadows Move? slides, and after learning about your shadow, watch the math video highlighted above in Time: Telling Time with a Sundial and try making a sundial of your own.

Science Lab: At-Home Activities - Grades 6-12

Flinn Scientific has compiled over 50 free activities to assist middle and high school students with scientific investigations at home, using common household materials. Head to the At-Home Activities site to explore activities that are available, and select one(s) to try that matches your kids' interests and the materials you have in your home. Download and print instructions for easy access.

Math & Science

Math and Science Games and Videos: Legends of Learning - Grades 3-8

Legends of Learning has made its learning games and videos free for parents, and provides two different ways for families to use the lessons: student-driven or parent-guided. Either way, kids can have fun learning and practicing math and science! For an overview, read the parent letter, or head straight to Legends of Learning to get started.

Career and College Corner

College Preparation: A Checklist for High School Juniors - Grade 11

Exploring colleges, filing for financial aid, and preparing your applications for admissions and scholarships can seem overwhelming but starting your planning early and developing a game plan before the start of your senior year will greatly increase your chances of admissions, scholarships & grant dollars, and reduce the stress.

Follow the simple checklist to help guide you over the next few months before you start your senior year:

  1. Review the Blue Water College Access Network Junior Checklist - 7 Steps to help you Prepare for College

  2. Identify items that need to be completed

  3. Make a calendar of important deadlines, tasks, etc.

  4. Contact your school’s college adviser or guidance counselor for assistance

Mindfulness & Self-Care

Mental Health Awareness Month - Grades K-12

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it serves as a good reminder to reflect upon the ways in which mental health impacts us all. While 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges that can impact their mental health. Our emotional health has an effect on our physical health and vice versa. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the integration of mental and physical health care over the past several years. During these challenging times, having an awareness of our mental health is more important than ever. Many people are experiencing an increase in feelings of stress, anxiety, fear, worry and hopelessness. If you or someone you know is struggling, it is important to know that help is available. You are not alone. St. Clair County Community Mental Health provides services to adults and children, and is currently offering a Covid-19 support line. We are all in this together and support is available.

Grades K-6

Kids share their feelings on COVID-19 (video)

How the Coronavirus is Influencing Children's Play (article)

Grades K-12

Helpful tips from a child therapist on parenting during Covid-19 (article)

Past Editions of Staying Connected to Learning

Staying Connected to Learning Weeks 1-7

Week 1 - March 23-27, 2020

Week 2 - March 30-April 3, 2020

Week 3 - April 6-10, 2020

Week 4 - April 13-17, 2020

Week 5 - April 20-24, 2020

Week 6 - April 27-May 1, 2020

Week 7 - May 4-8, 2020