Staying Connected to Learning
Week 2 - March 30-April 3, 2020
Keeping students happy, healthy, and learning at home
Reading and Writing
Reading Strategy for Parents and Children: Making Predictions - Grades K-5
Besides being a powerhouse reading strategy, Making Predictions exercises readers' questioning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Give those brain muscles a flex by following the steps below:
Watch the PSA Video on how to make predictions when you read.
Select a book to read aloud together to practice making predictions. Be sure to stop and check to see if your prediction was right or wrong and make new predictions as you read throughout the book. You can also practice with the book A Bad Case of Stripes read aloud by Sean Astin.
Help your child make predictions.
Be sure to remind your child to use their writing non-negotiables (capitals and periods).
Repeat the next day with another read-aloud.
Continue practicing making predictions with your child using all types of text and media (books, movies, Twitter postings, news reports, etc.)
For more literacy activities to do every day of the year, check out our Student Success Calendar.
Writing Fluency: Capturing History as it Happens - Grades 6-12 (no-tech option)
We are currently living through a major event in world history, and the best way to for people in the future to know what really happened, and what it was really like, will be to rely on primary sources, those people who lived through and witnessed history, like us! Encourage students to use their writer’s notebooks to capture the events that are occurring now - in real time. Have them capture their thinking as it is happening, using the following prompts:
What is this time like for you?
What is your day like?
What are your thoughts about your day?
The following poem excerpt was written by an Italian woman, Mariangela Gualtieri:
March the Ninth Twenty Twenty
It is extraordinary what is happening.
And there is gold, I believe, in this strange time.
Perhaps there are gifts.
Nuggets of gold for us. If we help one another.
Writing Fluency: Spring Break from Your Couch - Grades 6-12 (tech-enabled option)
Practicing Basic Fact Fluency: Get a Jump on It - Grades K-5 (no-tech)
Geometry Measurement Data Algebraic Thinking: Which One Doesn't Belong? - Grades K-12 (low-tech)
Visit Which One Doesn't Belong?, where you will find three puzzle types: Shapes, Numbers, and Graphs & Equations
Choose a puzzle type to discuss
Ask your child questions and prompt discussion:
Why do you think that?
What made you choose that one?
Is there another answer you can prove is right?
Explain your thinking to me.
Problem Solving and Math Facts with Ken-Ken Puzzles - Grades 5-12 (low-tech)
Ken-Ken puzzles are similar to Soduko puzzles except that computational skills are also used in solving them. Puzzles are done in a grid, with increasing difficulty as the grids grow larger.
1. Download and print the KenKen Classroom puzzles.
2. Find the instructions on page 8, and answers are on page 9.
3. Have fun playing!
Environmental Education - Grades K-5 (low & no tech options)
Earth Day is April 22nd, but why wait until then to engage your family in taking steps toward a greener life and home? The following activities can engage children in learning about their impact on the environment and what they can do to protect Earth.
Kids vs. Plastic (low-tech option):
Read the 10 tips to reduce your plastic use
Have each family member choose one of the tips to reduce plastic trash
Create a Single-Use Plastic Pollution Pledge family chart
Watch the video on how to make a T-shirt tote bag. (reuse) Make one of your own!
How Big is Your Carbon Footprint? (no-tech option):
- Download or view How Big is Your Carbon Footprint? to complete the survey and color a footprint to show the relative impact of your family's impact on the environment
- Review the page 4 to see what your family can do to reduce your carbon footprint and to set footprint-reducing goals for your family
S.T.E.M. Activities to Practice Engineering Skills - Grades K-8
Abdo Zoom is designed for early readers, and loaded with biographies, STEAM topics and animals. Here is one activity to engage your young engineer:
1. Go to Abdo Zoom, then click on STEAM - with each click you will notice the site reads your selection aloud before loading the next page
2. Click on Machine and Inventions
3. Click on Simple Machines and look at where kids will learn how pulleys relate to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, and there is an assistive read-aloud option, and a video to accompany the text
EIE Activities at Home presents a problem to students, then walks them through thee engineering design process. Students can draw solutions or make prototypes with what they can find at home.
- View or download Pass the Peppers! for instructions for your entire family, beginning as young as 4 years old, to tackle an engineering challenge together.
Science Buddies has over 150 Activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, where students begin by clicking on a topic of interest, then they will find activities are categorized by subject area. Each topic has a summary, a materials list, instructions and a way to explore the topic more. Get started with a recommended activity:
- Check out the Build a Hovercraft activity, and click through the series of instructions
- Once the hovercraft is built, students will be challenged to test and improve the design
- Check out the science videos of interest linked on the site
Career and College Corner
Family and Friends Career Interview - Grades 6-12
Students select 1-3 family members, relatives, or family friends to interview. Some ideas for connecting with people outside the home include: phone calls, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts.
Students interview professionals using 10 career exploration questions.
After each interview, students use KWL-S to debrief.
Mindfulness & Self-Care
The last several weeks have been a trying time for everyone. There is so much uncertainty, and it is hard to know when things will return to “normal.” As parents, it is important to cut ourselves some slack, and embrace the fact that it’s ok to not be “perfect.” Practice kindness and forgiveness (especially towards yourself), and do what you can to take care of yourself in whatever way you find meaningful (i.e. going for a walk, taking a nap, watching a TV show, reading a book, etc).
Younger children are like little “sponges,” and tend to absorb the emotions that they sense from the adults around them. It is completely OK to speak with your child regarding the Coronavirus in an age appropriate way. In fact, research shows that discussing the “scary thing” helps the situation to be less scary. In addition, engaging in relaxation activities with your child will help them learn to manage their emotions in a healthy way, while gaining coping skills to help them deal with stressful events. Daniel Tiger, Elmo, Curious George, and all your friends at PBS are ready to help your young child through tough topics:
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus shows you how you can use their help to talk about what is going on
- How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus show you techniques for managing the stress that comes along with this unique situation
- Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus was created based on what kids really want to know about the Coronavirus - listen to the story, read the comic, and print a copy of the zine to share with your family
Grades 6-12 (and college students)
- Supporting Teenagers and Young Adults During the Coronavirus Crisis provides tips for parents to support their young social beings during this non-social time
- How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus offers 6 strategies for teens to practice self-care and protect their own mental health
And finally, this isn't easy for you either, so here are a couple resources to help you look after yourself during these unique times: