Staying Connected to Learning

Week 5 - April 20-24, 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

Earth Day is April 22nd - #sccearthday

Earth Day falls right in the middle of this week, and to observe the day and the importance of our home planet, most of this week's resources will revolve around the theme of Earth Day. So get ready to make a difference, connect with the planet, and connect with others in St. Clair County. Post your activities on social media using #sccearthday - and have fun!

Reading and Writing

Reading Strategy for Parents and Children: I-PICK - Grades K-5

1. Watch the PSA Video about how to select a good-fit book to read. Use the I-PICK strategy to help you. I-PICK stands for I (I can select a book to read), P (purpose), I (interest), C (comprehend), K (know most of the words).
2. Watch the I-PICK strategy read-aloud modeled examples and practice along with them.

I-PICK Individual Parts:

Modeled Examples:

3. Select a book to read using the I-PICK strategy. Be sure to stop and make sure it is a good-fit book for you.

4. Use the I-PICK bookmark.

5. Help your child practice each step of the I-PICK strategy using the Parent I-Pick resource.

6. 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.)

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

8. Repeat when you finish reading your book and practice selecting another good-fit book using the I-PICK strategy.

9.Continue practicing the I-PICK. 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 and Writing Fluency with Digital Informational Media: The Impact of Plastic on the Earth - Grades 6-12

In observance of Earth Day, kids can take the opportunity to review information on the effect of plastic on the earth, and then record their thoughts in their writer’s notebooks or journals, following these steps:

  1. Go to, who has put together three different representations of the impact of plastic on the earth: an infographic, informational text, and a video.
  2. Select one of the representations and review the information, then record thoughts in journals. You will first see the infographic, then the video, then the informational text.
  3. Respond to the information regarding what you can do to reduce the use of plastic, or record your thoughts, fears, or realizations about the information presented.

Science, Math and Earth Day Fun

Digital Earth Day Event: Science, Social Studies & English Language Arts Grades K-12

Find a Digital Earth Day Event

The world’s largest civic event is going digital for the first time in its history. Check out the world map and click on any dot to see what that part of the world is doing for Earth Day. The Earth needs all of us taking small steps to make a difference in the world! Tell everyone you know about April 22.

  1. Use this map to see what everyone in the world is doing to celebrate Earth Day.

  2. Choose an idea or inspiration you read about from someone else around the world, or think of an Earth Day activity on your own.

  3. Help St. Clair County celebrate Earth Day by posting your activity using: #sccearthday.

Earth Day Math and Science: Foodprints for the Future - Grades K-8

What is a foodprint? A foodprint measures the environmental impacts associated with the growing, producing, transporting, and storing of our food— from the natural resources consumed to the pollution produced to the greenhouse gases emitted.

Let’s highlight the different ways individuals and institutions can make an impact on their foodprints.

  1. Take the foodprint quiz.

  2. Use the detailed reports to find out how to use your resources better.

  3. Get everyone in on the cooking! Go to Foodprints for the Future to get plant-based recipes to try with the whole family. When cooking with fractions, make sure kids are measuring with measuring cups and spoons. Compare the size of different fractions. Depending on the size of your family, double the recipe or cut it in half.

  4. Use the article Food's Carbon Footprint to learn more about food’s carbon footprint.

  5. Kids can read charts and graphs to decide what actions they/your family wants to take.

Earth Day Science and Social Studies: Great Lakes History and Restoration - Grades 5-8

Step back in time 50 years to get a feel for what it was like in the Great Lakes region around the time of the first Earth Day with Great Lakes Moment: Earth Day Turns 50.

Restoration efforts over the past 50 years have had a noticeable impact in our own local waterways. One example of this is the resurgence of the Lake Sturgeon who make their way to the St. Clair River each year to use its rocky riverbed as a spawning ground for their offspring. To get an up close look at the Lake Sturgeon check out this video.

For an even deeper dive into the rich history and current environmental issues we face visit Great Lakes Now: Resources for Remote Learning. There you’ll find nearly 30 different topics to explore. And if you’re a trivia buff, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put together lots of fun Great Lakes facts.

No matter what you choose to explore you can use the following prompts to get an idea of what your family members found most valuable:

  • 3 things that they liked or learned

  • 2 things that make more sense now

  • 1 question that they were left with

Earth Day Chemistry and Math: Methane Math - Grades 6-8

Don't Fart Around with Methane Math

Carbon dioxide and methane are our two most prevalent human-contributed greenhouse gases. The holstein cow is one of many huge contributors to our methane production. Let students calculate percentages of greenhouse gas production from cars, cows, and people. Warning! Flatulence humor.

  1. Download or view the document Cows, Farts, and Global Warming (yes, that's what it is called) from Methane Math
  2. Learn about cows, methane, and greenhouse gases and follow the instructions to calculate greenhouse gas production from cars, cows, and people

Career and College Corner

Career Exploration: DNR Conservation Officer - Grades 6-12

Celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary on April 22, 2020 by exploring one of the most vital careers for preserving our natural resources: Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officers.

Create a career poster for a Michigan DNR Conservation Officer. The goal of these posters is to highlight the importance of a DNR Conservation Officer to our state and natural resources. Here's how:

  1. Gather materials for each participant: pen or pencil; piece of paper; colored pencils, crayons, or markers (not required).
  2. Watch Video: Michigan DNR Conservation Officer
  3. Follow the instructions: Michigan DNR Conservation Officer Career Poster Activity

Mindfulness & Self-Care

How Does COVID-19 Impact Our Mental Health? - Grades K-12

For many of us, the past several weeks have felt like something out of a science fiction novel. Every day seems to bring about new challenges. Our routines have changed, and feelings of fear and uncertainty are at an all-time high. These feelings are with good reason. Some of us have lost friends or loved ones, others have faced significant financial hardships, and others have had to cope with the disappointment of having major life events canceled or postponed. The situation we are facing is like nothing we’ve ever experienced. It is important to be kind to yourself and to understand that your feelings, whatever they may be, are valid. This goes for your children as well. You may notice an increase in defiance (i.e, more argumentative, refusing to do things) or a regression in behaviors (i.e. wetting the bed, being “clingy”), and all of these things are normal during times of significant stress or change. That being said, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you are concerned. Community Mental Health is a great resource for both adults and children, and can provide behavioral health referrals to services throughout the county. These are unprecedented times. Please know that you are not alone. We are all in this together.

Community Mental Health


Phone Number: (810) 985-8900

Grades K-12

Keeping up with kids' mental health during the coronavirus (National Geographic)

Talking with children and teens about the coronavirus

Kids from across the country share their experiences of staying home during the coronavirus (Video)

Resources for Supporting Children's Emotional Well-being during the Pandemic

For Parents

The mental health impact of the Coronavius

Past Editions of Staying Connected to Learning

Staying Connected to Learning Weeks 1-4

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