Staying Connected to Learning

Week 7 - May 4-8, 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: Fix-up Strategies - Grades K-5

Connect through literature using fix-up strategies. This strategy helps readers problem solve when they come to words they don’t know.

1. Watch the PSA video about using fix-up strategies to help your child read when they come to words they don’t know.
2. Watch the sample fix-up strategies 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 to practice using fix-up strategies when you come to words you don’t know. Be sure to stop when you come to a word you don’t know.
4. Use the Fix-up strategies bookmark or the Fix-up strategies magnifying glass.
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, have them choose an informational next.
8. Continue practicing using fix-up strategies with your child every time you read 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 Activities: Scholastic's Learn at Home - Grades 6-8

Scholastic’s Learn at Home site contains 4 weeks of reading and activities to engage students in Grades 6-8.

From Week One’s focus on Celebrating Differences to Week Four’s journey into Saving America’s Wolves, your child will find engaging articles to read and interesting follow-up activities. One of our favorites: a fun quiz to discover your personality type. Find this in Week One/Day 2.

Writing/Poetry: Music Mashup - Grades 9-12

Our kids love their music, but very often they don’t see it as a form of poetry. Encourage your child to use their favorite artist’s words to create a new poem that is a combination of their favorite songs. Here's how:

  • Write or print out the lyrics from three songs by your favorite music artist

  • Cut the lyrics apart line by line

  • Choose some of your favorite lines from the songs and create a new poem by deciding how to put them together

  • Mash them up!

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.


Reading Numbers, Place Value, Odd/Even, Patterns: Neighborhood Numbers - Grades K-3

Numbers are all around us, so why not head out for a walk and a little math chat with your child? As you are walking with your child in your neighborhood you can have a mathematical conversation about the numbers on the houses and apartments around you. The Neighborhood Numbers webpage and video will give you some ideas for conversation starters you can use on your next walk.

Mathematical Strategy: Nim Games - Grades 3-5

Keep kids entertained for hours with a game using a handful (or more) of beans, coins, or other household objects, and rules that are made up by the players. The Nim Games webpage and Nim Games video provide ideas for rules, and show how your kids might play.

Math Skills: Fractions Games - Grades 4-8

Learning fractions doesn't have to be a grueling experience for kids. There are plenty of games that can help kids learn and practice fractions and critical thinking skills, while having fun with others. The websites below provide various games and instructions for set-up, so you can choose the right game(s) depending on your child's interests and the materials you have at home.

  • 17 Fun and Free Fraction Games for Kids can help young kids hone their fraction skills. These games can be played with items or games that are commonly found in homes such as paper plates, Legos, and decks of cards.
  • 16 Math Card Games That Will Turn Your Students Into Math Aces is loaded with card games that will reinforce math skills. One example of the games is Fraction War. Your kids probably already know how to play War with cards - this version just adds a fraction aspect. Students deal two cards, a numerator and denominator, then determine whose fraction is the largest. The winner keeps all four cards, and play continues until the cards are gone. You can also play using these free printable fraction cards.


Physical Science - Kick, Dunk, and Ride: How Does it Move? - Grades K-5

Explore the world of your child's favorite sport or yard game through the lens of force and motion. Here's how:

  1. Make a science journal out of any scrap paper and grab a pencil.

  2. Print out or follow the directions slides on your phone.

  3. Talk, notice, and wonder with your child as you follow the directions.

Investigating Phenomena: Science is Everywhere 30-Day Challenge - Grades 6-12

Science is everywhere! The 30-Day Science Challenge will help you notice many of the wonders around you, while you find, observe, and investigate like a scientist. Here's how:

  1. Head to the 30-Day Science Challenge website to get started
  2. Download/print/write out your own board - cross off the squares as you complete the challenge
  3. Use a notebook to record your observations and questions or take a picture to share with classmates and family
  4. There are no rules or requirements other than - have fun and enjoy!


Engineering: Star Wars Day - Grades 4-8

May the 4th be with You!

Science Buddies has put together 15 activities of galactic proportion to help students celebrate Star Wars Day! These activities can be done with items typically found at home. Here is a sample of the 15 Simple Activities with a Star Wars Spin:

  1. Build a Paper Airplane Launcher: TIE fighters…. X-wing…. no matter what variety of starfighter you like most, this airplane launcher activity is an easy tie-in.

  2. Build a Gumdrop Geodesic Dome: the desert planet of Tatooine where Luke Skywalker grows up is spotted with dome-shaped structures (can also have a geometry focus).

  3. Colorful Patterns in Melting Ice: Hoth is an ice planet. Remember when Luke was frozen to the ceiling upside down? Explore the structure of ice — and ice melting — in this colorful activity.

  4. How Does a Hovercraft Hover?: landspeeders and hovercraft appear in many places in Star Wars. In this activity, kids make a simple hover-inspired vehicle using a balloon and CD.

Career and College Corner

Career Exploration: Registered Nurse - Grades 6-12

Registered Nurses are one of the many frontline heroes. Learn more about the importance of this career throughout major events in history and medical advancement from their efforts to change the lives of their patients, then create a “Frontline Heroes Poster” for nurses and other frontline workers to celebrate their effort to help those in need. 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: Nurses Change Lives. And that Changes Everything
  3. Follow the instructions: Frontline Heroes: Registered Nurses

Mindfulness & Self-Care

Thrive With Your Family - Grades K-12

When dealing with difficult times, it can be easy to forget just how resilient we are. Said simply, resilience is our ability to bounce back from challenging life situations. It’s not about avoiding the stress, but learning to thrive within it. The current situation we are facing in regards to COVID-19 presents a unique challenge in that we are socially isolated in a way that we have never experienced before. It can be overwhelming and the uncertainty of “when will all of this be over” can lead to emotions of anxiety, fear and frustration. When we experience these types of feelings, it can be helpful to shift our thoughts and remind ourselves that we will get through this. Humans as a species are remarkably resilient. We have been through so much, and we continue to bounce back and move forward. It is especially important during these times to be kind to yourself and to practice self compassion. Remind yourself that you are enough, and try not to compare yourself to others. We’re all in this together, but the ways we cope may be very different. And that’s ok. If you are feeling overwhelmed and are looking for support for yourself or your child, please do not hesitate to reach out to Community Mental Health. A COVID-19 support line is available for residents throughout St. Clair County to provide support and guidance.

The University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital hosts a weekly web series covering a variety of mental health topics to support children, teens and families during the Covid-19 pandemic. Links to multiple resources are provided to educate families and to help them cope with the crisis.

Past Editions of Staying Connected to Learning

Staying Connected to Learning Weeks 1-6

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