Staying Connected to Learning

Week 11 - June 1-5, 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: Vocabulary - Grades K-5

Connect through literature with the vocabulary strategy. This strategy helps children learn more words and how to apply and use those words correctly in reading and writing.

1. Watch the PSA video about vocabulary to help your child learn more words and become better readers and writers.
2. Watch the vocabulary 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 vocabulary strategy.
4. Use the vocabulary bookmark.
5. Think about how well you know the word using the vocabulary word rating scale. What will you learn about the word next?
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 with a different genre. If your child chose a fiction book, try an information book next.
9. Continue practicing learning new vocabulary 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 - Grades 6-8

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.

Issue 11 - June 5, 2020

Bike Boom: More people take to two wheels as lockdown sparks a worldwide cycling craze

Encourage your child to look through Issue 11, particularly the article on page 5, Animals Thrive in National Parks.

Writing: Notebooking - Grades 6-8

Playlist of My Year

Middle School students have a strong connection to music. Encourage your child to share some of their memories and events of this past school year with you and the music they have selected to represent those memories and events.

  1. Think about your school year and make a list of 6-8 highlights and lowlights that stand out to you. Examples: memorable events, relationships, triumphs, failures, and special places.
  2. Identify a song that relates to each item on your list.
  3. In your writing notebook/journal, explain how each song you have chosen relates to the item on your list.

Writing: Notebooking - Grades 9-12

Listen to each song below (lyrics included) and think about what is important to you. What is important to you today may change over time, so focus on your feelings and thoughts right now. Jot down your thoughts in your writer’s notebook/journal. This will give you a written reminder for years to come, about how you felt at this time in your life.

  1. Choose six to eight major events — significant moments, times of adversity or challenges, first jobs, first car, entering high school — in your life.
  2. Record these moments in your Writer’s Notebook/Journal, explaining why each event is important and why you remember those particular times.
  3. Look for lyrics that represent the significant events in your life.
  4. Now place your songlist in “order”. For example, your songs might be listed in the chronological order of the events they document, or they might be mixed together so that all of the slow songs are not back-to-back. DO NOT just list them randomly. Put some thought into the order of your songs and the complete package you are presenting.
  5. Optional: Your “songtrack” represents who you are now. But a listener would need to understand the connections and personal experiences that support the choice of each song on the list. So, in your writer’s notebook/journal, write a reflective letter (addressed to “Dear Listener,”) that explains why you chose the particular songs that you did.

It's My Life (Bon Jovi)

If Today Was Your Last Day (Nickelback)

Soundtrack to Your Life (Ashley Parker Angel)

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, June 1

Tuesday, June 2

Wednesday, June 3

Thursday, June 4

Friday, June 5

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

Monday, June 1

Tuesday, June 2

Wednesday, June 3

Thursday, June 4

Friday, June 5


Geometry: Going on a Shape Hunt - Grades K-2

Kids can learn all about shapes right on the playground! Next time you head outside to play, you can also explore math in this fun shape hunt. Just print out the shape hunt sheet and go searching for shapes at the playground with this fun geometry activity for children! For ideas and how-to inspiration, head to this blog.

Geometry: Going on an Angle Hunt - Grades 3-5

Angles can be found anywhere. Make an acute, obtuse, and right angle out of popsicle sticks and start exploring!

  1. Make angles according to website directions.

  2. Use angle models to find different angles around the house or outside.

  3. Keep a recording of where you found your angles. Better yet, take a picture of you holding your angle model fitting the angle you found, and make a picture book of angle!

Science, Art, and History

Chemistry: Bubbles - Grades K-5

It’s easy to mix your own soap bubble solution with just a few ingredients. Let kids experiment to find the best proportion of ingredients to blow the longest-lasting bubbles with this fun outside science activity.

1. Follow directions on the website and ask lots of questions.

  • I wonder...
  • What if we changed...
  • What happen?

2. Record each trial on a data table so you can find your best solution.

Physics: Density and Microgravity - Grades 3-12

Experiment with the band OK Go as they show how creating visual art and music often involve science! Learn about how the band used science and math to create a video while weightless. Then learn how to use fluid dynamics and color to experiment and create art!

  1. Watch the video Upside Down & Inside Out by the band OK Go.

  2. Watch this video as the band describes how they created the video using an airplane and parabolas!

  3. Now try the two different activities below and create art using science!

Science/History: Thomas Edison Inventions - Grades K-8

You may already know that Thomas Edison grew up in Port Huron beginning at age 7, and you probably know he is credited with inventing the lightbulb, but there are many, many other inventions we can thank him for. To learn more about the inventor, the Edison Innovation Foundation invites you to a virtual scavenger hunt. Thomas Edison has lost all of his inventions and needs your help to find them. This interactive game allows participants to learn about science and history, along with the chance to win a $100 gift card.

To begin, head to the Edison Invention Scavenger Hunt webpage and download the complete instructions and submission form, then have fun exploring. Good luck!

Contest Requirements:

  • Submit your findings by Thursday, June 4

  • Student must be in grades K-8 and reside in the US

  • Students under 13 years of age must submit their entries with a parent or legal guardian (over the age of 18)

  • All work submitted must be work of the student

  • Only complete submissions (8 inventions) will be entered in a raffle to win the Amazon Gift Card

Career and College Corner

College Exploration: Michigan's Colleges and Universities - Grades 9-12

As the seniors graduate and we head closer and closer to the end of the school year, it's time to start preparing for next year, especially for the Class of 2021. A great place to start this planning is exploring the four-year colleges and universities in your home state of Michigan.

The best way to select a college or university to attend after graduation is by starting a short list of the schools you're interested to start exploring. Did you know Michigan has over 70 four-year colleges and universities? Follow the instructions below to begin your college exploration journey:

  1. Watch MCAN’s newly released video message

  2. During the video, write down the college and universities you may be interested in attending

  3. Make a list of these schools. It’s helpful to rank the schools on your list in order of interest

  4. Discuss your list with your parents, family, or siblings

  5. ***Class of 2021 - Be sure to check our BWCAN’s Junior Checklist - 7 Steps to help you Prepare for College

Mindfulness & Self-Care

An Introduction to ADHD - Grades K-12

Most of us have moments where it is difficult to concentrate, focus or sit still. This is a natural part of being human, and it is particularly true for children. A six-year-old, for instance, would not be expected to focus on a two hour lecture; it wouldn’t be developmentally appropriate. However, when inattention and hyperactivity interfere with a child’s ability to engage in their daily activities, it may be a sign of ADHD. The good news is that there are many evidence-based treatment options available to help. Reaching out to your child’s pediatrician or contacting St. Clair County Community Mental Health is a good place to start. Both of these options are great ways for parents to be linked with local assessment and treatment services. It is also important to revisit the way that we look at ADHD. Instead of focusing on the “deficits,” let’s focus on the strengths. Recently, I met with a group of parents who all had children diagnosed with ADHD. These are the words they used to describe them: creative, adventurous, athletic, engaging, fun-loving, fearless, curious and courageous. As a community, I hope that we can work together to nurture the wonderful qualities of these amazing kids.

A Comprehensive Guide to ADHD for Parents

Strategies and support for kids with ADHD during the COVID crisis

This is what it feels like to live with ADHD (video)

CHADD provides resources and advocacy for adults and children with ADHD

Past Editions of Staying Connected to Learning

Staying Connected to Learning Weeks 1-10

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

Week 8 - May 11-15, 2020

Week 9 - May 18-22, 2020

Week 10 - May 25-29, 2020