Staying Connected to Learning

Week 10 - May 25-29, 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: Writing - Grades K-5

Connect through literature with the writing strategy. This strategy helps readers write about things that are important to them.

1. Watch the PSA video about the writing strategy to help your child write about things that are important to him/her.
2. Watch the writing 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 writing strategy.
4. Use the writing bookmark.

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, try an information book next.
8. Continue practicing the writing 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 Informational Text: The Week Junior - 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 3: America's Heroes

Encourage your child to look through Issue 3, particularly the article on page 12 regarding the Golden Gate Bridge, and page 24 on keeping a journal.

Writing: Developing Ideas - Grades 6-12

As summer approaches, it provides an abundance of time and resources to write freely and creatively in our journals/writing notebooks. Encourage your child to use a few of the ideas presented to continue developing ideas for future writing pieces.

Poem: Hands by Sarah Kay

Read/listen to the spoken word poem by Sarah Kay. Think about the amount of work your hands have done: homework assignments, practicing sports, playing a musical instrument. Think about the other hands your hands have held. Trace your hand on a page of your journal/writers notebook. Use this drawing to list the ideas that come to your mind. For inspiration, see Penny Kittle’s examples.

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, May 25

Tuesday, May 26

Wednesday, May 27

Thursday, May 28

Friday, May 29

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

Monday, May 25

Tuesday, May 26

Wednesday, May 27

Thursday, May 28

Friday, May 29


Basic Fact Fluency: Ten Plus a Number - Grades K-2

Bingo is a great way to practice the addition strategy of Ten Plus a Number. Download and print the directions and sample game boards, and find wonderful tips for families. Also included are ways to 'Change it Up' to helps kids think about the math in a new way.

Basic Fact Fluency: Products 4-in-a-Row - Grades 3-5

Bingo is a great way to practice the addition strategy of Ten Plus a Number. Download and print the directions and sample game boards, and find wonderful tips for families. Also included are ways to 'Change it Up' to helps kids think about the math in a new way.

Mathematics, Science, and Art

Math/Science/Art: Balance - Grades K-3

Why don't the rocks fall over?

  1. Hold a wondering and noticing conversation with your child about the balancing rock picture.

  2. Try creating a balancing rock sculpture.

Math/Science: Measurement - Grades K-3

Exploring Balance: How Many Legos Does it Weigh?

Build a balance scale with a coat hanger, string, and some legos! Start by keeping a chart and recording items around your house. After weighing 3-4 items, start estimating the weight before you actually weigh the item.

  1. Read the webpage to see how to make the balance scale

  2. Gather materials: hanger, string, legos, items to weigh

  3. Make a chart to keep track of your measurements (Object/Weight)

  4. Find 3-4 items to weigh and practice using your balance scale

  5. Make a new chart, this time with an estimation (guess) column added

  6. Find new objects to weigh and keep track of your measurements by using your chart

Math/Science/Art: Balancing Sculptures - Grades K-3

Make an incredible gravity-defying balancing structure and investigate the science of stability. Find all directions, tips, and resources here.

Science: Matter/Conducting an Investigation - Grades 3-5

What happens when you place M&M’s in any dish and add a little warm water? To continue your investigation, what else could you try?!? Different candy? Different liquids? Different temperatures? Get creative!! Find instructions and resources for this fun activity here.

Science/Art: Optical Illusions - Grades 6-12

The band OK Go discusses the brain processes behind optical illusions to give us an understanding of how we are able to see things that aren’t really there.

  1. Watch the music video The Writing’s on the Wall by OK Go. Observe all of the different ways the video using optical illusions.

  2. Watch this video clip as the band OK Go describes the science behind optical illusions.

  3. Use this link to access two different activities: Triangle Accordion Fold and Illusions in a Box!

  4. Create beautiful art using science!

Career and College Corner

Summer Employment: The Importance of Summer Jobs for High School Students - Grades 9-12

Summer jobs provide high school students with valuable experience and benefits beyond their paychecks. Summer employment for high school students are excellent opportunities to gain experience and knowledge to enhance students’ professional training and education, making them more competitive in the global job market today.

Top 5 Benefits of a Summer Job - Besides Pay

As we approach the end of the school year and summer month, businesses and employers will be hiring part-time summer employees. Here are a few tips to help you land your summer job:

  1. Set Your Goals - Ask yourself how much money you want to make? How many hours do you want to work?

  2. Make a Target List - What are your career interests? Which businesses are hiring summer employees?

  3. Tap Your Personal Network - Ask family and friends who are hiring. Does anyone own their own business and looking for extra help?

  4. Submit your applications - Visit each company or business you're interested in and ask for an application. Complete and return your application with 24-48 hours.

Mindfulness & Self-Care

Compassion Fatigue - For Parents

During the past few months, parents have had to expand their roles in ways that were, to say the least, unexpected. Many parents are attempting to work from home while simultaneously acting as their child’s teacher. This would be a daunting task for even the most seasoned educator, and many parents have found themselves feeling stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted. The added layer of fear and anxiety surrounding the current pandemic has made the situation even more challenging. One parent recently told me, “It feels like I have nothing left to give. My tank is on empty.” This parent is not alone, and what she described is referred to as compassion fatigue. The resources below describe compassion fatigue in detail, and provide strategies to cope. If you or someone you love could benefit from further mental health assistance, please contact St. Clair County Community Mental Health to be linked directly with providers in our community.

For Parents

What is compassion fatigue?

Compassion Fatigue TED Talk

How to Combat Compassion Fatigue with Self Care

Compassion Fatigue is Real

Past Editions of Staying Connected to Learning

Staying Connected to Learning Weeks 1-9

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