Article-A-Day Helps Comprehension

An article each day builds comprehension skills.
An article each day builds comprehension skills.

Article-A-Day in 3 Steps

Article-A-day is a strategy that teachers use in a classrooms that assigns students a non-fiction article to read each day.  This technique strengthens a student’s background knowledge, vocabulary and stamina.  This research-based classroom routine combines writing & oral sharing. The technique is used in whole-class or  small groups and also as an independent project.

A great FREE resource to support your Article-A Day program is ReadWorks. The site provides article sets that include 6-9 articles related on nonfiction topics.  The articles are leveled from Kindergarten – 8th Grade. The resources can be printed, used digitally or projected on a Smartboard. ReadWorks encourages teachers to share their resources with other colleagues. 

  • Step 1: Students read an article independently. For students who cannot read independently yet, the teacher reads the article out loud twice.
  • Step 2: Each student then uses their own “Book of Knowledge” to write down, or draw a picture of, two or three things they learned from reading and would like to remember in their own “Book of Knowledge.” A classroom Book of Knowledge can also be created if the article is used in whole class instruction.  The strategy builds writing skills and strengthens the reading-writing connection.
  • Step 3: Student volunteers share with the class, in 1-2 minutes, what they’ve learned and want to remember.   

IF 10 minutes is all you need to make an impact on reading comprehension, why not give it a try?

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Gifted Learner Resources

There are MANY resources available to support gifted learners.
There are MANY resources available to support gifted learners.

One thing I quickly realized when I started teaching gifted learners was that I had to design lessons that were interesting and suitable for fast learners. I also needed great sites to find appropriate activities. 

Teachers and parents often look for resources available to meet the gifted learners in their lives. Personally, I’ve searched for information as a teacher of Talented and Gifted (TAG) students, a principal and now, as a GG. Whatever the reason, there are MANY resources available to give you information and activities for your gifted learner.  The websites below will help you meet the needs of your special learners at home and school.

Top 7 Resources for Gifted Learners

  • Hoagies’ Gifted Education:  I’ve used this site and have shared the link with many parents.  Contains an extensive list of resources for teachers, parents and students.  It also is a great resource if you are looking for a gifted and talented community for support.  One stop shopping.
  • National Association of Gifted Children: Take a close look at the Information and Publications tab for resources for administrators, parents and educators.  Be sure to use the Search Link to find your topic.
  • Smithsonian Education – One of my favorite sites to explore because it expands a general topic to meet the needs of gifted students. 
  • Mensa for Kids – The Mensa Foundation recognizes and encourages education, gifted youth and lifelong learning. Be sure to check out the Mensa for Kids’ Excellence in reading that encourages the joy of reading.  Lesson plans are available along with fun and challenging games for kids.
  • Davidson Institute for Talent Development:  Provides a FREE online community for elementary and secondary educators committed to meeting the unique needs of highly gifted students. In the section called Educator’s Guild and you’ll find lesson plans, techniques and other related topics. 
  • Bright Hub EducationSite is geared towards gifted teachers, but it’s a great resource for regular classroom teachers with gifted students. Provides tips and lesson plans for gifted students from Preschool through Grade 12.
  • Know It AllFun, Fun, Fun:  Great website to keep kids learning and having fun. Site has many lesson plans, student activities and supplemental materials.  Be sure to check out Resources.  A new link (September 2019) will be added with activities for South Carolina (SC) standards. Not to worry, if you’re not from SC. State standards are very similar. words and numbering are different).
Education is about meeting the needs of all students.
Education is about meeting the needs of all students.
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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ThreeRingsConnections’ Newsletter: July 2019

Teaching is the one profession that crates all other professions.  Unknown.  This quote honors all teachers!
This quote honors all teachers.

Seven months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All 12 July posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 7 down and 5 more to go! Have a great month!

July’s 2019 Archives

July’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite July Posts

 See some posts coming next month
See some posts coming next month
  • Gifted Learner Resources
  • Understanding IEPs Starts with Vocabulary
  • 10 Answers To Understand Your Child’s IEP

Solving Stories with Holes

"Stories with Holes" develops helps develop critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking skills can be enhanced by solving “Stories with Holes”.

When I taught TAG (Talented and Gifted) students many years ago, I often used “stories with holes” as time fillers.  Sometimes we played 20 questions to figure out the answer.  Other times, I told them the story at the end of the class so they could think about it overnight.  Often, they would come in the next day with lots of questions and possible solutions. 

Stories with holes” are word-based logic puzzles that tell a story.  However, some key parts of the information are not given. As a result, the story does not make sense.  It is effective questioning with yes or no answers that the unknown information is discovered.  

Stories like these inspire imagination, develop listening skills and enhance problem solving ability. Children have fun as they think in new creative ways to find the answer. Time to give it a try! 

Many watched the steak of brilliant orange and red as it totally disappeared leaving nothing at all behind.  What was it?

Answer: The sun at the end of the day as it set in the sky.

This month’s “Stories with Holes” (July 2019)

  1. Declan went on a safari to Africa.  He shot a tiger, a leopard and a giraffe.  Although he was only allowed to bring 2 suitcases back with him to New York City, all of the animals looked great on the wall in his house.  How did he do it?
  2. Connall’s stealing made his parents proud.  They didn’t think of him as a thief.  Why not?
  3. The pool had no water in it, but Meghan, Emily and Abby stayed in it all summer long.  Why?
  4. There once was a guy that just got on a plan and after greeting his friend, six rows back, he got arrested.  Why?
  5. A woman brought her car up beside a hotel and knew immediately that she was about to become bankrupt. How did she know?

Answers:

  1. He shot the animals with his camera.  He hung the animal’s pictures on this wall at home. 
  2. He was a baseball player and he stole 2nd base.
  3. It was a carpool.
  4. They guy said Hi-Jack to his friend named, Jack.
  5. She was playing the games Monopoly. After landing on the space with the hotel, she knew she would not have enough money to pay the rent due.

These riddle-like challenges are fun activities for children and adults alike!  Enjoy!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Gifted Learner Strategies: Good for All

All kids, including gifted students, have the right to learn something new every day.
All kids, including gifted students, have the right to learn something new every day.

My first teaching job in public school was teaching “Talented and Gifted” students.  I had differentiated instruction to meet the needs of my highly abled students before, but it was not easy. So, once I was assigned to the “Talented and Gifted” students, I thought it would be different. 

To my surprise, I leaned that although I had a few gifted students; most of the students would be considered only highly abled.  Some were certainly gifted in specific areas (math, reading). However, their strengths were different. The result was I was still designing lessons to include variations in both content and techniques.  However, all good teachers know that differentiation is necessary to meet student needs.  It’s difficult, but necessary.

3 Gifted Learner/Highly Abled Strategies

  • Differentiated Lessons – Lesson design focus should combine two types of thinking: critical thinking and creative thinking. Critical thinking involves using evidence to support a conclusion.  Creative thinking involves students learning to generate and apply new ideas.  Both skills are important to thinking and learning.
  • “Guide on the Side” Instruction – It was humbling to teach gifted students.  No longer could I be the “sage on the stage”.  Some of my kids were just smarter than me!  The truth was that I needed to do detailed planning to be able to answer and/or explain student questions.  My role quiet often, was more of a “guide on the side”. I had to learn to ask them the right questions.
  • Opportunities for Group Work – According to NAGC, research shows that enabling gifted students to work together in groups boosts their academic achievement . It also benefits other students in the classroom. When gifted students work together, they bounce ideas off one another to expand a peer’s idea. Activities that share personal interests can be eye opening for highly abled students. They may not know about the topic and become more active learners.

The above strategies can be used in all classrooms during the school year.  All students benefit from being challenged at times. However, this is difficult in the general education classroom. Teachers already have a “full plate” in meeting the various student needs. However, for gifted/highly abled students, using differentiated instruction techniques are a necessity.   All students have the right to learn something new every day. This includes both highly abled and gifted students. 

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Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Creativity is Enrichment for Kids

Think CREATIVITY and enrichment this summer.
Think CREATIVITY and enrichment this summer.

Summer vacation is here and how do we encourage kids to keep learning?  The quickest and easiest way is to pick up some math or reading workbooks and assign pages for them to complete.  Although that may be tempting, finding some activities to get kids thinking and learning is  effective to strengthen kids creativity. 

Why Creative Activities?

Creative children believe the world is full of possibilities.  They look at obstacles as challenges to find another way to the end.  This type of thinking is a valuable learning experience. It makes kids confident active learners.

Here’s a list of 5 activities that can be easily adjusted and repeated to get you started. Be creative by making changes to fit your child’s age level, interests and your time schedule. 

Creativity at Home and Traveling

  • Stock a dress up box with clothes and costumes. (Scarves, hats, belts, material) Adding accessories that go with a career like magnifying glass, helmets, stethoscope also are great.  Don’t miss out on After-Halloween sales!
  • Pantry Shopping- Allow your kids to fill a grocery bags with items (remove breakables for little ones). They can pretend to be grocery shopping, having a meal or use them to build towers or mazes. Endless possibilities!
  • Build blanket forts.  After the fun of boiling it, why not give the structure a name?  A castle, a mall, grocery store, the ideas are endless. 
  • Start simple drawings together that you can finish or color. Allow your child to start drawings for you. 
  • In a restaurant, play with small items from your purse or table items.  Items such as sugar, salt packets, straws, paper clips and coins can help to keep kids occupied while waiting for your order.  
  • Plan activities during your car ride on a schedule.  At mile markers or time, take a new activity out of your travel bag.  Include items like inexpensive books, toys, games etc.  Be strategic to give our a “GREAT” activity at times in the journey when you NEED it the most.  For older kids, they can pack their “travel bag” prior to the trip.  The trick is to schedule taking out a new item. Without a schedule, kids will use all the activities in the first hour and your trip is bound to be much less enjoyable.  Building some suspense may make even the smallest activity a little more enjoyable.  Happy Travels!

Developing a child’s creativity is lots of fun for both you and your child.  Enjoy the journey! 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Math Enrichment Problems: June 2019

Math Enrichment Problems Grades 2/3
Math Enrichment Problems Grades 2/3

Welcome to the 7th month of threeringsconnections.orgMonthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go! 

  1. October has 31 days.  The 15th of the month is on a Wednesday. Which of the following days of the week will appear 5 times this month? a. Friday          b. Saturday c. Sunday   d. Monday       e. Tuesday
  2. Marie only has 3 cents and 5 cents stamps. If she needs 10 cent postage, she can use two 5 cent stamps. If she needs 11 cents postage, she can use two 3 cents stamps and one 5 cent stamp.  What postage between 5 cents and 20 cents can she not make?
  3. Some numbers on a digital clock read the same backwards as they do forwards.  For example: 5:06, 12:21, 11/11.  How many students are there that do that on a digital clock from 1P.M. to 2 P.M?   (Numbers or words that are read the same backwards as forwards are called palindromes.
  4. Fifty-one bags of sugar had to be put into bags. Some are 4-pound bags, and some are 5-pound bags.  The least number of full bags necessary to hold all 51 pounds of sugar is?
  5. There are 9 equal stacks of books. One class takes 4 stacks and another class takes 5 stacks.  The class that has 4 stacks has 28 books altogether.  How many books does the other class have altogether?
  6. Nicole has a clock that chimes.  At a quarter past the hour it chimes once. At half-past the hour it chimes twice.  At three-fourths past the hour it chimes three times and at each new hour it chimes that number of times. How many chimes will Nicole hear from five minutes to three until five minutes after 4?
  7. IF 15 + A = 21, how much is 15 – A?

Answers:

  1. (a) Friday Because the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th will be on a Wednesday.  There will be 5 Fridays that month (the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st).
  2. (7 cents) She can make 8 cents, 9 cents and 10 cents.  Once she can make three in a ow, the next 3 amounts (11 cents, 12 cents, 13 cents) are made by adding a 3-cent stamp.  She can make any amount of postage greater than 7 cents.
  3. To get to the least number of bags you use as many 4-pound bags as possible up to 51.  (12 X 4 = 48) and one 3-pound bag to get to a total of 51.  Answer: Least number of bags is 13 (12 +1)
  4. There are 9 equal stacks of books. One class takes 4 stacks and another class takes 5 stacks.  The class that has 4 stacks has 28 books altogether.  How many books does the other class have altogether?
  5. IF 28 books means each stack has 7 books (4 X 7).  Then 5 stacks would also have 7 books each for a total of 35 books.
  6. (13) She hears the following # of chimes:  3:00(3), 3:15(1),3:30 (2),3:45 (3) 4:00(4)  
  7. (9) A must be 6 so that 15 +A (6) = 21.  SO, 15 – 6 = (9) 

Don’t forget to check in NEXT MONTH for more Enrichment Problems 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Math Enrichment Problems: May 2019

Math Enrichment Problems (May) for Grades 2/3
Math Enrichment Problems (May) for Grades 2/3

Welcome to the 6th month of threeringsconnections.orgMonthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go! 

  1. It was Jerry’s birthday. He bought 26 cupcakes. He gave one cupcake to each member of his class, one to his teacher, one to his principal, and one each to the two secretaries in the office. He also had a cupcake.  All the cupcakes are gone.  Including Jerry, how many students are in the class?
  2. When Donna calls Noreen on the phone the call usually lasts 12 minutes.  Last night they talked on the phone for 1 minute more than twice the time they usually spend on the phone.  Last night’s phone call lasted ___ minutes.
  3. There are 5 numbered lockers outside Brooklyn’s classroom. She opened all 5 lockers.  Then Meghan closed lockers 2 and 4. Emily changed locker 3. (That means if it was open, she closed it or if it was closed, she opened it.) Teagan changed locker 4 and Abby changed locker 5.  Which numbered lockers are still open?
  4. Some 2nd and 3rd graders entered a total of 32 poems in the Poetry Contest. Five 3rd grade students entered 4 poems each.  The 6 remaining 2nd grade students entered the rest of the poems. If each of the 2nd grade students entered the same amount of poems, how many poems did each 2nd grader enter.
  5. Lowyn added up all the single-digit odd numbers and all the single digit even numbers.  What was the sum?
  6. A pet store has only cats and dogs.  There are a total of 64 legs for all the cats and dogs. If there are 9 dogs, how many cats are there?

ANSWERS

  1. 22 students in the class
  2. 25 minutes:  2 X 12 minutes = 24 minutes and 1 additional minute
  3. Brooklyn opened locker 1 and it stayed open.  Meghan and Emily closed 2,3,4.  Teagan reopened 4 and Abby closed 5.  The only ones that are opened are 1 and 4.
  4. 3rd graders entered 20 poems (five students each entered 4 for 20 total). The 32 total poems minus 3rd grade poems (20) =12 left to be divided by the remaining 6 students.  So, each student entered 2 poems (6 students X 2 poems =12 poems)  32 = 20 +12
  5. 1+3+5+7+9 = 25 and 2+4+6+8 =20   so 25+20= 45
  6. IF we have 9 dogs with 4 legs that means 36 legs (9 X 4).  64 legs – 36 legs = 28 legs belong to cats.  Since cats have 4 legs (4 X 7 = 28). There are 4 cats.

Don’t forget to check in NEXT MONTH for more Enrichment Problems 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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ThreeRingsConnections’ Newsletter: April 2019

Monthly newsletter archives front Threeringsconnections.org gives parents, teachers and administrators resources to support kids.

Education is the means of developing our greatest abilities.
Education is the means of developing our greatest abilities.

Four months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All 11 April posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 4 down and 8 more to go! Have a great month!

April’s 2019 Archives

April’s Most Popular Posts:

My Favorite April Posts:

Take a look at a few posts coming next month
  • Power of Play and Young Kids
  • STEM and STEAM for Preschool Students
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Math Enrichment Problems: April Grades 2-3

Monthly Math Enrichment problems will give your child an opportunity to practice challenging math problems by trying problem solving strategies.


Practicing the problems each month will help students solve the problems easier.

Math Enrichment Problems

Welcome to the 4th month of threeringsconnections.orgMonthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies: 

  • Draw a picture 
  • Guess and Check 
  • Guess and Check 
  • Use a table or list 
  • Find a pattern 
  • Logical reasoning 
  • Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go! 

  1. Abby has 60 cents in pennies, nickels and dimes.  She has at least one of each coin.  What is the difference between the largest number of coins that she could have and the smallest number of coins that she could have?
  2. There are 18 children in Room A and 6 children in Room B.  If ____ children move from Room A to Room B, there will be twice as many children in Room B as in Room A.
  3. Amy and Ann were playing tic-tac-toe.  Amy won 4 games and Ann won 4 more games than Amy.  If there were 9 ties, how many games of tic-tac-toe did they play?
  4. A parking meter gives 30 minutes of parking for a quarter and 10 minutes for a dime.  Mrs. Jaynor feels she will need 2 hours and 15 minutes on the meter.  What is the least amount of money she should put in the meter?
  5. Brooklyn added up all the single-digit odd numbers and all the single-digit even numbers.  What was her sum?
  6. There were 9 coins on a table totaling $1.20, consisting of nickels, dimes and quarters.  Al, Ben and Casey each pick up 3 coins.  Al has 3 times as much money as Casey.  Al has as much money as Ben and Casey together.  What 3 coins did Al pick up?
  7. Find 2 two numbers that multiply to 9 and add to 10?

Answers

  1. (36) Most coins: 1D, 1N, 45P = 47 coins Least: 5D, 1N, 5P = 11 coins                             47-11 = 36
  2. (10) There are 24 total children (18 +6).  The result must be 8 children in Room A and 16 in Room B.  This can be done by moving 10 children from Room A to Room B.
  3. (21) Amy won 4 games, Ann won 8 games, (4 more than Amy) and 9 ties. 4 + 8 + 9 = 21.
  4. ($1.20) Four quarters (2 hours) and two dimes (20 minutes) would be the least expensive way to cover the time period.
  5. (45) 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 0 + 2 + 4 + 6 + 8 = 45
  6. (2Q, 1D) Al has 60cents, Ben has 40 cents and Casey has 20 cents. Al’s 3 coins are 2 quarters and 1 dime.
  7. (9 and 1) 9 X 1 = 9 and 9+1 =10
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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ThreeRingsConnections’ March 2019 Newsletter

Monthly newsletter archives front Threeringsconnections.org gives parents, teachers and adninistrators resources to support kids.

Preparing kids to think is what we do as teachers.

Three months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All 13 March posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 3 down and 9 more to go! Have a great month!

March 2019 Archives

March’s Most Popular Posts:

3 most viewed by our blog readers. Were they on your favorite list?

My Favorite March Posts:

Take a look at a few posts coming next month

  • Is your child ready for kindergarten
  • Kindergarten Screening- What do they test?
  • Kindergarten Readiness Skills
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Math Enrichment Problems: March Grades 2-3

Practicing the problems each month will help students solve the problems easier.

Practicing the problems each month will help students solve the problems easier.
Practicing the problems each month will help students solve the problems easier.

Math Enrichment Problems

Welcome to the 3rd month of threeringsconnections.org  Monthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies: 

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go! 

  1. Bob has 5 dimes and 5 nickels.  April has 2 quarters and 3 pennies.  Bob has _____ more money than April?
  2. Tommy has 4 times as many nickels as dimes. If he has 40 cents in dimes, how much money does he have altogether?
  3. Start with 6 and add 8 four more times.  What number do you end up with?
  4. Golf balls come in boxes of 3 or 5 balls.  Brian has to buy exactly 61 golf balls.  What is the least amount of full packs he will need to buy?
  5. Brooklyn’s softball practice begins at 3:15pm and last for an hour and a half.  It takes her 35 minutes to change clothes and get home.  If dinner is at 6:30pm, Brooklyn has 1 hour and ____ minutes to practice the piano before dinner.
  6. A lobster’s age in year is approximately his weight multiplied by 4 plus 3 years.  What is the age of a 5 lb. lobster?

Answers

  • Answer: (22) 50 cents + 25 cents = 75 cents.  50 cents + 3 cents = 53 cents.  75 cents – 53 cents = 22 cents.
  • Answer: ($1.20) Tommy has 4 dimes and 16 nickels.  4(10) + 16(5) = $1.20
  • Answer: (38 ) 6 +8 =14, 14+8 = 22, 22+ 8 = 30, 30 + 8 = 38  OR 4 X 8 = 32 and add the original 6 = 38
  • Answer: (13 boxes) 61 divided by 5 (the larger sized box) = 12 packs and 1 ball from a box of 3.  This will give him 61 golf balls with 2 left over.
  • Answer: (1 hour and 10 minutes) Practice begins at 3:15 and ends at 4:45pm.  It takes 35 minutes more to change and get home which makes it 5:20pm. She can practice the piano before dinner from 5:20pm to 6:30pm.
  • Answer: ( 23)  5 X 4 = 20 +3 = 23 years old

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Math Enrichment Problems: Jan. Grades 2-3 

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3   December 15, 2018

Math Enrichment: How To Encourage?  December 13, 2018

Encouraging Independent Reading

The strong correlation between Independent Reading and academic success is a good reason to encourage your child to read independently.

Independent reading is an easy and effective way to reinforce the joy of reading.
Independent reading is an easy and effective way to reinforce the joy of reading.

The most critical skill for success in school or in life is the ability to read well. Children who are interested and motivated to read tend to do more independent reading. Take a few minutes to look at some quick and easy ways to encourage your child to read independently.

What is Independent Reading?

Independent reading is an easy and effective way to reinforce the joy of reading. Independent reading is the type of reading a child does on their own with minimal to no assistance from an adult. For young readers, independent “reading” is little more than looking at the pictures in a book

Why is Independent Reading important?

Research shows that there is a strong correlation between Independent Reading and academic success.  Independent Reading has been found to develop extensive vocabularies, builds stamina, develops problem-solving skills, strengthens comprehension and helps kids learn how reading works. Students have also shown to help students score higher on achievement tests and have greater content knowledge than those who do not. With all that research, why wouldn’t teachers and parents encourage Independent Reading?

Ways to Encourage Independent Reading at Home

Teachers are aware of the importance of Independent Reading, but some find it hard to find time in their daily classroom schedules. The balancing of high-stakes testing and increased grade level expectations have resulted in many teachers assigning students to read independently at home.  This request has made families play a critical role in supporting independent reading. This role may seem daunting for some parents, but don’t worry, you may be readier than you think.  

  • Find books that are “just right” – A “just right” book means students should be able to read their books with at least 95% accuracy without adult help. This ensures that the book is not too difficult to read independently, and the child will experience success.  If you are unsure of your child’s independent reading level check your child’s last report card or ask your child’s teacher.
  • Role modelsParents are more likely to raise kids who are frequent readers when they are readers. It’s important for students to see you prioritize reading for yourself. Read different things and explain to your child your reading choices.  Highlight that reading can be done anywhere for enjoyment or information. 
  • Encourage reading for enjoyment – Children will read more if they choose a book they enjoy.  Set up a collection of reading materials that includes some of their favorite topics, authors or characters. Make it easy to find different topics and types of texts, such as non-fiction books, fictions, magazines and newspapers, poetry, etc. A bonus of reading different topics is that kids will be better able to understand the variety of subjects in school.
  • Talk, Talk, TalkGive children an opportunity to share what they have read with you.  This encourages them to read more and helps reinforce what they have learned. Try partner reading in which you both read for 5 minutes independently (time can be longer depending on child age and interest) and then share what you read.   
  • Pack some books in their suitcase – Send some “just right” books with kids when they visit friends and relatives. Encourage your child to share their reading adventures. Kids will love sharing their reading ability and relatives will love to hear them read. A perfect match! 
  • Use spare moments wisely:  Carry something in your handbag or car for your child to read when you find yourselves with a few minutes to spare.  Waiting in doctors’ offices or car rides are great opportunities to read.  When your child is finished reading ask simple questions about the book such as:
    • What did you like or not like about the book?
    • Who was the main character?
    • What was the main idea?
    • How did the story begin or end?
    • What was your favorite part?
    • What part didn’t you like

Independent Reading lays the foundation for becoming enthusiastic lifelong readers. Adding a focus on Independent Reading in your home, for even a short period of time each day, can be effective to strengthen your child’s reading ability.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Math Enrichment Problems: Feb. Grades 2-3

Practicing the problems each month will help students solve the problems easier.

Practicing the problems each month will help students solve the problems easier.

Math Enrichment Problems

Welcome to the 3rd month of threeringsconnections.org  Monthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies: 

  1. Draw a picture
  2. Guess and Check
  3. Use a table or list
  4. Find a pattern
  5. Logical reasoning
  6. Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go! 

  1. If 1 chicken can lay 3 eggs in 4 days, how many eggs can 3 chickens lay in 8 days?
  2. A machine takes any number fed into it, adds 9 and then subtracts 1.  Abby fed the number 10 into the machine.  When the answer came out, she fed that number back into the machine.  What final number came out of the machine?
  3. At the pet shop there were 7 puppies in one cage and 5 kittens in another cage.  How many more feet (paws) were there in the puppy cage than in the kitten cage?
  4. Donna, Jerry and Noreen and ken collected empty soda cans to return for deposit.  They received 5 cents for each can and received a total of $2.  Donna collected 18 cans, Jerry 9 cans and Noreen 20 cans. How many cans did Ken collect?
  5. A passenger train has 297 passengers aboard. There are 45 passengers in each of the first 4 cars of the train.  Each of the remaining 3 cars has an equal number of passengers.  How many passengers are there in one of those cars?
  6. If     X   – 4 – 2 = 5, how much is  X + X?          +
  7. IF a + 11 = 35, how much is a – 11?

Answers:

  1. (18)        If 1 chicken can lay 3 eggs in 4 days, then 1 chicken can lay 6 eggs in 8 days.  Three chickens can     lay 18 eggs in 8 days.
  2. (26)        10 + 9 – 1 = 18, 18 +9 -1 = 26
  3. (8)          7 puppies have 28 paws total and 5 kittens have 20 paws total.  There are 8 more paws in the puppy cage than in the kitten cage.
  4. (53)        To get $2 for returning cans that are each 5 cents, 40 cans had to be returned.  Adding Donna’s cans (18) + Jerry’s cans (9) and Noreen’s cans (20) the total # cabs together are 47 leaving Ken to return 53 cans.
  5. (39)        45 passengers X 4 cars = 180 passengers.  Since the total passengers were 297-180 that leaves 117 passengers divided equally into 3 cars.  That means 39 passengers in each of the remaining 3 cars.
  6. (22)        To make the statement true:  11 must go in first box so that 11-4-2 = 5 and therefore, 11 + 11 = 22.
  7. (13)        a = 24 and therefore 24-11 =13.

Don’t forget to check in NEXT MONTH for more Enrichment Problems 

threeringsconnections.orgOther posts related to this topic

Math Enrichment Problems: Jan. Grades 2-3 

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3   December 15, 2018

Math Enrichment: How To Encourage?  December 13, 2018

Enrichment in Class? Is Your Child Being Challenged?  December 4, 2018

Highly-abled students need attention too!  September 17, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day!

On this Valentine’s Day, a great big Thank You to all the teachers who LOVE to teach and teach kids to LOVE learning. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you to all the teachers who LOVE to teach and teach kids to LOVE learning.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3

Math BannerMonthly Math Enrichment

Welcome to the first month of threeringsconnections.org  Monthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I will post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Which Strategies Will You Use? 

When solving math problems  try one of the 6 common strategies listed below:

  1. Draw a picture
  2. Guess and Check
  3. Use a table or list
  4. Find a pattern
  5. Logical reasoning
  6. Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Enrichment Problems – Here we go! 

  1. Teagan’s brother is now 8 years old, two years ago she was old as he is now. How old will Teagan be in 5 years?
  2. Declan spent 18.00 on baseball cards.  This is twice as much as Meghan and Lowyn spent together.  Meghan spent $4.00.  How much did Lowyn spend?
  3. Marian, Cole, Kelly and Donna were invited to a party.  Marian did not arrive last. Kelly arrived after Cole but before Donna.  Kelly did not arrive right after Cole.  Of the 4 of them Marian was the ____ to arrive.
  4. Abby bought as many 24-cent hair ribbons as she could with her $5.  How much change did Abby receive.
  5. Matt has 35 quarters in his collection.  If he puts 7 quarters in each row, how many rows of quarters will he have?
  6. Chris is Kelly’s brother.  Chris has one brother.  Kelly has twice as many sisters as brothers.  How many children are in the family?
  7. Connall eats breakfast at 6am and lunch at noon.  When it is ____ it is twice as much time until lunch as it has been since breakfast.                            a)     7am                          b)   10am                      c)  8am                      d) 5pm

Math Enrichment Problems- Answers:

  1. Teagan is now 10 and in 5 years she will be 15 years old.
  2. Half of $18 is $9.00. Meghan spent $4.  Lowyn spent $9 – $4 = $5.00
  3. 2nd.  Kelly had to be 2nd or 3rd (after Cole but before Donna),.  Since Kelly  did not arrive right after Cole, Cole arrived first, Kelly 3rd and Donna last.  That leaves Marian to arrive 2nd.
  4. She bought 20 ribbons 20 X .$24 – $4.80.  $5.00-$4.80 = $.20.
  5. 35-7= 28-7 = 21-7 =14-7 =7-7 =0  there will be 5 rows 0f 7 quarters.
  6. If Chris has one brother than Kelly has tow brothers.  Since she has twice as many sisters as brothers.  Kelly has 4 sisters.  In the family there is a total of 7 children.  The seven children are Kelly’s 2 brothers + her 4 sisters + Kelly.
  7. c) 8am is 4 hours from noon and 2 hours from 8am

Try some of the problems today with your child.   Once solved, create for them a similar problem by changing the numbers.  This gives them an opportunity to try the problem again to reinforce their  new skills.  This strategy helps them solve the problem easier each time which will build their math confidence.  Enjoy!

threeringsconnections.orgOther posts related to this topic

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3    December 15, 2018

Math Enrichment: How To Encourage?  December 13, 2018

Enrichment in Class? Is Your Child Being Challenged?  December 4, 2018

Highly-abled students need attention too!  September 17, 2018

 

 

Understanding is in the Questioning

Understanding is in the Questioning

Good questioning is asking the right questions that will help you know whether your child understands a new concept. The trick is to find ways that allow children to apply their new knowledge.  The bottom line is to ask the right questions.

Blooms Taxonomy

Good questioning should be in every teacher and parent toolbox. For deeper understanding questions children should be asked questions that shows they can apply their knowledge. Often  children can recall information but are not able to explain their answers. Using question stems based on Blooms’s taxonomy helps strengthen children’s thinking skills.

REMEMBER (Level 1) Knowledge recognizing and recalling

  • What do you remember about _____?
  • When did ___?
  • Where is ___?
  • Why did ___?
  • How would you define_____?
  • Who were ___?
  • Which one ___?

UNDERSTAND (Level 2) Showing comprehension by stating the new information in own words.

  • How can you describe ___?
  • What would happen if ___?
  • What is the main idea?
  • How would you express _____?
  • What can you infer from _____?
  • How would you compare/contrast ___?
  • What did you observe ___?

APPLY (Level 3) Showing how the new information can be applied to solve a problem

  • What other way could you choose to ___?
  • How would you demonstrate ____?
  • Why does _____ happen?
  • What actions would you take to solve ___?
  • How would you change ____?
  • What examples can you find that ___?
  • How would you modify ____?

ANALYZE (Level 4) Breaking down an idea into parts to show relationships among the parts.

  • Discuss the pros and cons of ___?
  • What explanation do you have for ___?
  • What can you infer_____?
  • What ideas support/validate ___?
  • How would you explain _____?
  • Why do you think ___?
  • What is the problem with ___?
EVALUATE (Level 5) Making informed judgments about ideas based on information learned.
  • Can you state the most important idea of  ___?
  • What criteria would you use to assess _____?
  • State your opinion of  ___?
  • Data? Did you use data to evaluate _____?
  • How could you verify _____?
  • Looking at information, how did you use it to prioritize _____?
  • Rank the importance of ___?
CREATE (Level 6) Information is synthesized or brought together to build relationships for new situations.
  • Create a song that explains ___?
  • Thoughts on how you would revise _____?
  • What would happen if ___?
  • Can you devise a way to ___?
  • What could you invent? ___?
  • How would you create a plan to ___?
  • What alternative would you suggest for ___?
  • How would you explain the reason ___?

Source: Vanderbilt University: Center for Teaching

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ThreeRingsConnections Blog Content Sept./Oct.

I was recently talking to a friend  about some of the posts on the blog and realized that it would be good to create a Table of Contents for quick access. Yeats quote So here it is!  All the postings for the September and October in a single post. One Stop Shopping!  Enjoy!

Topic Link
Grants Keats (Ezra Jack) Mini-Grant Opportunity

Trips for students from Target Due: Oct. 1st 

Grants for Trips in Hudson Valley

FREE Pet for Pre-K -Grade 9 Classrooms

Student Teaching Student Teacher Characteristics

Student Teacher Refs: Are VIP

Math Numeracy in Early ChildhoodMath Activities for Young Children for Under $10.00

100 Chart for Math

“Math Walks”: Time to “Walk the Talk”

Math Problem Solving and Young Children

Literacy Why? Reading to Babies?

Picture Walks Promotes Reading

5 Parts of Reading: Completes the Puzzle

Concepts of Print Support For Parents

Library Suggestions for Preschool Classrooms

Reading, Writing and Preschool?  Oh MY!

phonological-and-phonemic-awareness-6 (8)

Early Literacy and Common Core in Preschool: How Do they Fit Together in Our Classrooms?

Books Before Kindergarten: 1000?

Good Resources Early Learning Newsletter: U.S. Dept. of Ed.

Magazines: 2 Free for Educators

Best Reading Resources for Teachers

Video Resources Every Kid Needs A Champion

Change Happens… Now What?

Gifted Talented/ Enrichment Mysteries to support critical thinking

Minute-Mysteries: October   

2-Minute-Mysteries: November

Highly-abled students need attention too!

Teaching (General) Add Effective Questioning to Toolkit

Use Your Words Daniel Tiger

3 Words to Help Expression

Fostering Creativity in Kids

Behaviors (7) Predict School Success?

Special Education Resources Fostering Creativity in Kids

Speech Language Pathologists

2-Minute-Mysteries: November

2 minute mysteries to support critical thinking
This month’s 2 minute mysteries help support critical thinking for young kids

2-Minute-Mysteries are stories that can be solved with close examination of the clues in the story.

  1. Chris was enjoying a bowl of chili at a restaurant in Montreal.  Looking into the bowl, he saw a fly.  He informed the waiter and asked for a new bowl of chili.  When the waiter brought him the new bowl, he tasted it and accused the waiter of bringing him back the same bowl.  Why did he think that?
  2. Uncle Bug’s baseball bat company sells baseball bats for $25.00 each. This month there is a sale 2 baseball bats for $36.00. He said he makes the same profit either way but that it is a good sale.   How much profit must he make on each bat when he sells them at the regular price of $25.00.
  3. Kelly is walking down the street dressed in black.  There are no lights on anywhere and no moon.  A car without its lights on comes down the street and avoids hitting her?  How did that happen?
  4. You walk into a room with only one match.  You must light a lantern, a stove, the pilot light on the water heater and a fire in a fire place.  What do you light first?

three rings connectionsOther posts related to this topic

Mysteries to support critical thinking

Minute-Mysteries: October   

Answer Clues:

  1. What else did Chris know about the soup?
  2. Use the problem solving strategy of making a table.  Be sure to include examples of buying the bats at the full price.
  3. When is the story happening?
  4. What 5 items do you know you have in the room?

 

Answers:  (Well you asked for the answers, here they are!)

  1. Before Chris found the fly, he had put salt on his chili.  When the chili returned, it was bland.
  2. The profit on each bat must be $14.00.  Since he makes no extra profit on the second bat, he must be selling it at cost.  With the price of each bat $25.00 the cost is $11.00 with $14.00 profit.  Selling 2 bats at $36.00 means that the total cost of 2 bats is $22.00 leaving $14.00 as the total profit.
  3. Kelly is walking down the street during the day.
  4. The first thing you have to light is the match.

Fostering Creativity in Kids

Fostering Creativity in Kids and Love Doing it!

When I was a teacher of the talented and gifted we administered the Torrance Tests of Divergent Thinking as one of the admission tests. Points were given if kids expanded some basic squiggles into creative drawings.  Kids loved the test and always wanted to do it over. IF they did take the test again, they probably would have done better.  Why?  Because after the test I had shown them how they scored Therefore, they learned how to score better the next time.

Talented and Gifted Admission: A Good Idea?

A Torrance retest would be a perfect example of learning, but could I use the results to test creativity? I’m not sure.  The example showed that creativity is a skill can be developed. So, what about the kids who scored high on the original test?  Was that inborn talent or had they had opportunities to develop their creativity prior to testing?  Perhaps they had experiences that gave them the confidence to try different challenges where there was no right or wrong answers.

Bottom line is that parents can foster creativity in their kids.  Fostering a child’s creativity through art and music is a common idea.  However, creativity and problem solving can be seen in all areas.

10 Ways to Promote Creativity in Children

  • Give kids lots of unstructured playtime to let their imaginations be unlimited.
  • Provide resources to let them explore. (Ex. paper, pencils, boxes, old clothes for dress up, straws, newspapers, blocks, Legos) Let them look around and find things to use.
  • Give them flexibility to make choices and think of solutions.
  • Help them learn words associated with creativity by asking questions. Ex. What would happen if? What could you do with that?  Any ideas that might be possibilities? Let’s think of possible solutions.
  • Applaud their creativity! Remembering that there is no right or wrong.  Allowing kids to express themselves with acknowledgement helps to build confidence to try new things.
  • Allow them to make rules to a game. They’ll experience whether they work or not. When they don’t let them change them again.  Problem solving at its best
  • The focus of creative activities should be on process: generating (vs. evaluating) new ideas.
  • Remind them it’s ok to make mistakes. You don’t want them to be afraid of failure. Adults make mistakes too!
  • Encourage divergent (different) thinking. I used to challenge all my first-grade classes to find 100 ways to melt a snowball. It was a struggle, but they always did it.  Wow, those kids were creative!
  • Show kids creative ideas. In other words, something that will trigger “out of the box thinking”.

The photo attached to this post was taken by my husband on a golf outing.  He thought it was unique and knew I would share it with some of my grandkids. But he didn’t know that I would use it as the focus photo of a post on creativity!  Who would ever thinking of carving and painting  a scene on a tree?  So, maybe, you won’t paint on the next tree you see, but I bet you’ll think of this photo the next time you see an entwined tree trunk.  Now, you’re being creative.

Thanks to Griffon Ramsey, for the creative inspiration from “Bad Day on the SS Normandie” (2017)