Staying Connected to Learning

Week 1- March 23-27, 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: Making Connections - Grades K-5

Making Connections is one of the best reading comprehension strategies you can practice with your child. To do this, utilize the resources provided, following these steps:

  1. Watch the PSA Video on how to make connections when you read.

  2. Watch the complete Claymates read-aloud and continue making connections.

  3. For a read-aloud modeling how to make connections, watch the Behind the Scenes Animation by Karina Hamalainen video. Perhaps watch a chapter each day to practice.

  4. Discuss possible connections you make with your child. Utilize the Making Connections Bookmark for Parents for ways to prompt your child's connections.

  5. Help your child make connections.

  6. Help your child to fill out the journal pages. If you are reading along with Claymates, children can use the K-3 journal or the 4-5 journal. If you are reading along with Behind the Scenes Animation, children can use the K-3 journal or the 4-5 journal. Be sure to make your own copy of journal pages to use on your device, or print the journal pages to work offline.

  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 making connections with your child using all types of text (books, movies, Twitter postings, news reports, etc.)

  10. For more activities for making connections, view January in the Student Success Calendar.

Younger kids might enjoy this Claymates song.

For more read-aloud fun, check out this collection of famous people reading various texts aloud.

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

Strategy for Understanding and Analyzing Text: Say, Mean, Matter - Grades 6-12

Be sure your child has either a fiction book or an informational article to read, then guide them through the steps below to practice the Say, Mean, Matter Strategy. If your child needs something to read, many articles of interest can be found on

  1. Watch the videos linked below that explain the say, mean, matter strategy.
  2. Talk to your child about what he/she is reading. Ask the questions: What does it say? What does it mean? What does it matter?
  3. Have a discussion with your child regarding these questions. As an option, have your child keep a log of these question responses.


Strategy Overview



Inspirational Writing Prompts: Finding Ideas on Instagram - Grades 9-12

Can't unglue your kid from Instagram? Then why not turn the habit into a great writing opportunity? Read the linked article and select one of the writers to follow on Instagram. Use their quotes, wonderings, and ideas to prompt creative writing responses.


Practicing Basic Fact Fluency with a Deck of Cards - Grades K-5 (and beyond)

Want a no-tech way for your children to practice their math skills? Grab a deck of cards, and choose from a variety of games to keep your kids learning while having fun.

  1. Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks Math Games - select a skill you would like to focus on and/or choose a game, then click on the link to find specific grade levels and directions for the game
  2. Huge Collection of the Best Card Games (from Math Geek Mama) - scroll down the page to find games by grade level, then scroll to preview and select games that are the best fit for your family
  3. Math Games with a Deck of Cards - print this handy resource to keep games nearby without having to access the internet
  4. Acing Math (One Deck at a Time) - this extensive document is loaded with games to engage younger and older students in a variety of games
  5. Eureka Math - this printable collection of math games has something for everyone, especially in the elementary and middle school grades

Daily Math Lessons - Grades K-12

Choose your child's grade level to access daily math, science, and English language arts lessons delivered by Knowledge on the Go in the form of videos and games to engage students of all grade levels and abilities.


Plan and Conduct an Investigation: Composting Chemistry - Grades K-5

Looking for ways to engage students outside, while productively contributing to the function of your household? Composting Chemistry from Chemistry for Life is a fun way to dig into science, while the family conducts a long-term experiment observing the process through which nature recycles. The linked guide provides the information you need to get your kid scientist started with the experiment.

Data Collection and Outdoor Field Work: Project Noah - Grades 6-12

Project Noah enables students to create and share multimedia nature journals to collect important ecological data and help preserve global biodiversity. Students simply create a free account then get outside and take photographs of different plants and animals. Students can also join “missions” to collect photos of specific animals or relationships. Web-based, no app

Career and College Corner

College Essay Writing Support - Grades 11-12

At this point, high school seniors should be finalizing their scholarship essays, while juniors should be preparing essays for fall college applications. Keep applications on track by providing opportunities to write a great essay. The following resources will help juniors' and seniors' essays stand out:

  1. Read the article 5 Tips for Writing your Essay

  2. For interactive essay coaching, offers a FREE 30 Day trial to take your child through the essay writing process and receive feedback to build their story

*Watch out for an essay coaching opportunity at RESA this summer.

Mindful Minute

Keep your child happy, healthy, safe, and strong with strategies to promote relaxation during times of stress

Looking for reliable information for the best way to talk to your child (of any age) about the Coronavirus? The Child Mind Institute has a video and clear guidelines for talking to your kids. As the site says, Kids worry more when they're kept in the dark. Here are some more tips for managing your child's stress during these uncertain times:

  1. Access the Child Mind Institute website and watch the video regarding age-appropriate ways to discuss the Coronavirus with your child. These types of topics can be challenging, and it is important to find the balance between being authentic while also providing reassurance and support.

  2. For K-5 students, the belly breathing technique is a great strategy for reducing anxiety. This video demonstrates the technique in a fun and engaging way (it’s fun for adults, too!).

  3. For 6-12 students, this video provides a basic understanding of mindfulness in a way that is lighthearted and approachable.

  4. For K-12 students and parents, “The Smiling Mind” YouTube channel provides many age-appropriate videos to promote mindfulness as a means of managing strong emotions, and promoting relaxation.