Encourage Math Learning

Encouraging math learning builds a child’s confidence.

It has always bothered me to encounter people that avoid math because “math learning” was not their thing in school.  However, math in the 60’s and 70’s very often the answer was either right or wrong. Very often it was thought you either got it or you did not.  So, how could you NOT have bad feelings about math?

Today’s math teaching encourages trial and error, math explanations and problem solving.  It encourages kids to give math a try and a good math teacher has high expectations for math learning. Parents can encourage their child’s interest in math.  Check out the ideas below and watch your child’s interest and confidence grow.

9 Ways to Make Math Learning Easier

  • Expect some confusion to be part of the learning process but emphasize that effort, not ability, is what counts. Math is understandable and can be figured out.
  • Ask your child what he or she did in math class today.  Ask him or her to give details and to explain.
  • Avoid conveying negative attitudes towards math.  Never tell children not to worry about certain kinds of math because it will never be used.
  • Let kids know that occupations require a sound based in mathematics. Careers in carpentry, landscaping, medicine, pharmacy, aeronautics, and meteorology all require strong math skills.
  • Give your child meaningful problems that use numbers or shapes while you are going about everyday life.  Ask the child to explain what he or she did.
  • Spend time with kids on simple board games, puzzles, and activities that encourage better attitudes and stronger math skills.
  • Point out ways that people use math every day to pay bills, balance their checkbooks, figure out their net earnings, making change and tips at restaurants. 
  • Involve older children in projects that incorporate geometric and algebraic concepts like planting a garden, building a bookshelf, or figuring our how long it will take to drive to your family destination. 
  • Encourage children to solve problems by helping them but allow them to try to figure it out themselves.    

Children’s math achievement is shaped- and- limited by what is expected of them. It is up to us to help them be successful.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

Multisensory Learning is Beneficial

All kids can benefit from multisensory instruction.

Multisensory instruction can help kids learn information more effectively because kids learn in many ways.  Some learn best with information they hear; and some when they see it.  Others when they are learning and moving; and others when they touch something. A multisensory approach means learning through more than one sensory system at the same time.  Therefore, when designing instruction, it is important to include different senses to give kids more than one way to make connections and learn concepts.

Multisensory lessons engage students on all senses at one time.  They are impactful because no matter the learning strength of each child (be it auditory, visual, tactile, or kinesthetic) it targets the learning strengths of all students at one time. It allows us to teach once and reach all our students. Therefore, all kids can benefit from multisensory instruction.

Multisensory Pathways

All learning happens through the following senses which act as pathways to the brain. These are the primary pathways to a child’s brain:

Auditory – Children who are strongly auditory learn best through the sense of hearing.  These students need to hear themselves speak what they are learning.

Visual – Children who are strongly visual learn best through the sense of sight.  These students need visuals that show the meaning of what they are learning.  

Tactile – Students who are strongly visual learn best through the sense of touch.  These students must have the opportunity to use their hands to learn.

Kinesthetic – Students who are strongly kinesthetic learn best through body movement. These students must move to focus and learn.

Are you wondering if this works?  The best answer to that question is asking “do you learn better by one of the 4 modalities”?  Most people will have at least one preference and most always can name one modality that is not their strength.  What is yours?

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

Lesson Adjustments for Special Ed Students

Lesson adjustments can help students be successful

Learning to modify lessons is hard work at first. For novice or student teachers it is one of the most difficult concepts to master.  It is best to try lesson adjustments even if you are not entirely sure it is the right modification. 

As a special educator, begin designing your lesson with the General Education student in mind. Then, reflect on the things that your Special Education student would have difficulty doing in that lesson.  Once you identify those areas, then adjust your teaching to meet those needs either by modifying the work, reducing the workload, or providing supports. This design strategy can be used to modify a student’s assessment, homework, or classroom assignment. Lesson adjustment ideas include but are not limited to:

Lesson Adjustment #1: Modify the Content

  • Provide an alternate assignment that allows a student to display their talents along with the information. 
  • Give a similar but different assignment at a student’s reading or math level. 
  • Align student interest to the content.

Lesson Adjustment #2: Reduce the Workload

  • Put fewer problems on each page to lesson visual distraction
  • Reduce the number of multiple choices
  • Eliminate True or False questions – These questions can be extremely tricky because there is ALWAYS a language connection which makes it especially difficult for students with language-based disorders.
  • Give choice – Give the student ownership and motivation to choose which problems they will answer.  You give them all the questions and the number they must answer, and they choose the questions.  This helps motivate them to complete the assignment because they have ownership of their learning. their own assessment. 
  • Decrease the required essays. 
  • Select specific problems for them to answer and omit the extra problems put in as review problems.
  • Assign even or odd problems only.

Lesson Adjustment #3: Provide Supports

  • Allow extra time
  • Permit calculators
  • Brainstorm prior to the assignment
  • Provide a quieter setting for students to work 
  • Give a word bank to fill in the bank or to write an essay
  • Provide Guided Notes to help focus content into a document
  • Allow students to type or orally report their responses.
  • List steps to complete a task
  • Give specific examples
  • Highlight tricky or key words in questions
  • Have adult read assignment to student.

Remember that you will be tweaking your modifications throughout the year as your students make progress.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

ThreeRingsConnections.org November Posts

November posts can help kids learn at school & home

Each day we spend with kids is an opportunity to teach a piece of ourselves.

Happy November! Today’s health crisis has certainly put so many things in perspective! Family, health, and friends have become our priorities with deadlines existing but flexible. Over the past few months, I have seen my own grandchildren go from kids that go to school every day to kids that are either being homeschooled or learning virtually. The student teachers that I work with are not only learning how to be effective teachers in the classroom, but they are also learning how to teach remotely. They are learning the importance of their chosen career, ongoing learning, and adaptability. However, I wish they did not have to learn all those objectives in a single semester.

In many areas, my home state of New York included, parents continue to take the helm to be their child’s teachers and keep kids learning. Learning is happening but in a way that we never thought would be happening and in March we thought it would be temporary. Yes, it may not be the same as in school, but learning is happening. As parents continue their teaching challenge, I am hoping that my posts can be helpful.

So, as we move into the month of December, I hope our day-to-day teaching becomes more manageable and we continue to find learning opportunities all around us.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

November Posts

November’s Favorite Posts

My Favorite Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

2020 Archives

2019 Archives

Take a look at a few posts coming next month
  • Lesson Adjustments for Special Ed Students
  • Multisensory Learning is Beneficial
  • Christmas Trivia for Kids & Adults

Evidence-based Learning Strategies

Evidence-based learning strategies are effective for student learning.

There are some widely used evidence-based learning strategies that are effective for many students.  Teachers that fill their toolbox with a variety of strategies will have choices when trying to reach the varied student needs in their classroom. Check out 7 strategies with acronyms that are well known for a variety of subject areas.  

STOP (Boyle & Walker Seibert, 1997) for phonemic awareness, phonics or decoding.

Stare at the unknown word
Tell yourself each letter sound
Open your mouth, say letter sounds
Put letters together to say word

SCROL (Grant, 1993) and POSSE (Englert, 2009) for reading comprehension;
Survey the headings
Connect the headings to one another
Read the text
Outline major ideas with supporting details
Look back to check the accuracy of what’s written

DRAW (C.A. Harris, Miller, & Mercer, 1995) for math calculations;
Discover the sign
Read the problem
Answer the problem or draw
Write the answer

TASSEL (Minskoff & Allsopp, 2003) for on-task behavior during class;
Try not to doodle
Arrive at class prepared
Sit near the front
Sit away from friends
End daydreaming
Look at the teacher

WATCH (Reid & Lienemann, 2006) for study skills;
Write down assignment and due date
Ask for clarification or help
Task analyze the assignment, schedule tasks over available days
Check all work for neatness, completeness, and accuracy

SPLASH(Simmonds, Luchow, Kaminsky, & Cottone, 1989) for test taking

Skim the test
Plan your strategy
Leave out tough questions
Attack questions you know
Systematically guess
House clean

Acronyms are easy to teach for teachers and easy to learn for kids. Helping children develop a strong repertoire of reliable “brain-friendly” learning strategies are effective for student learning.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Math Learning Starts at Home

Parents can play a role in math learning.

Just as parents can help their children be ready to learn to read, they can give children a good start in math learning, too.  Developing proficiency with informal math concepts and skills are easy to do and can start before children enter school. 

Math Learning Before Children Enter School

  • Find natural opportunities to count, to sort objects, to match collections of objects, to identify shapes (while reading bedtime stories, going up stairs,  setting the table, etc.)
  • Play games such as dominoes and board games
  • Count a collection of objects and use number words to identify very small collections
  • Talk with your child about simple math problems and ideas.  (How many spoons do we need to set the table? Give me the cup with the two flowers on it.  Find the other circle on the page. Sort the blocks by shape.)

Math Learning After Children Enter School

  • Expect some confusion to be part of the learning process but emphasize that effort, not ability, is what counts. Math is understandable and can be figured out.
  • Avoid conveying negative attitudes towards math.  Never tell children not to worry about certain kinds of math because it will never be used.
  • Encourage your child to use computers for tasks like developing charts, graphs, maps, and spreadsheets. 
  • Ask your child what he or she did in math class today.  Ask him or her to give details and to explain.
  • Let kids know that occupations require a sound based in mathematics. Careers in carpentry, landscaping, medicine, pharmacy, aeronautics, and meteorology all require strong math skills.
  • Give your child meaningful problems that use numbers or shapes while you are going about everyday life.  Ask the child to explain what he or she did.
  • Spend time with kids on simple board games, puzzles, and activities that encourage better attitudes and stronger math skills. Point out ways that people use math every day to pay bills, balance their checkbooks, figure out their net earnings, making change and tips at restaurants.  Involve older children in projects that incorporate geometric and algebraic concepts like planting a garden, building a bookshelf, or figuring our how long it will take to drive to your family destination.
  • Encourage children to solve problems by providing assistance but letting them figure it out themselves.

Remember math is not just a 40 minute subject taught in school each day. Math concepts are needed for problem solving which is a lifetime skill.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

7 Websites to Support Special Education

Check out the websites filled with special education resources.

There are many special education websites that support student learning. But finding the best one can be time consuming. Check out the websites below that provide many good FREE resources to help meet the varied needs of your students.

Special Education Websites

  • National Center on Intensive Intervention

    Practical information for classroom teachers.  There are multiple resources that include strategies for reading, math, and behavior issues.  There are also instructional videos. 

  • Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports                                                         The center has extensive resources on effective school-wide disciplinary practices.

  • RTI, National Center on Response to Intervention                                                 The Center supports the implementation of RTI by disseminating information about proven and promising practices in Response to Intervention (RTI) frameworks.  

  • Reading Rockets                                                                                                                          Reading Rockets offers many strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Reading resources help struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

  • What Works Clearinghouse                                                                                            User-friendly practice guides for educators with research-based recommendations for schools and classrooms with an extensive list of effective interventions.  Topics include: students with learning disabilities, adolescent literacy, beginning reading, character education, dropout prevention, early childhood education, early childhood education for children with disabilities, elementary school math, English language learners, and middle school math.     

  • Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)                                                      CAST has online tools that help educators build options and flexibility into each element of the curriculum (goals, methods, materials, and assessments).  The extensive information will help engage all students. 

  • National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials                                        This website provides information about accessible instructional materials, and how to obtain and create alternate format materials. It also has information about hardware/software resources and specific resources wih visual impairments. 

Knowing a variety of good special education resources helps to keep teachers updated on new strategies to support student learning. 

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

How Do Kids (and Adults) Learn Best?

Use best practices to help kids learn.

 How do we learn?  As I review lesson plans, I am reminded of my days teaching students in a Talented and Gifted program.  Although I was an experienced classroom teacher, it was not until I was challenged in this new role, did I truly learn how to differentiate instruction effectively, I learned to find ways to structure lessons to optimize learning, based on researched instructional strategies that made a difference in student learning. Researchers that I relied on were: Glasser, Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock. 

So, for my student teachers, check out the some VERY condensed basics in planning your lessons.

WE LEARN……

10% of what we READ

20% of what we HEAR

30% of what we SEE

50% of what we both SEE and HEAR

70% of what is DISCUSSED WITH OTHERS

80% of what we EXPERIENCE PERSONALLY

95% of what we TEACH someone else.

William Glasser

Instructional Strategies That Affect Student Achievement
CATEGORYPERCENTILE GAIN
Identifying similarities and differences, using metaphors and analogies 45
Reinforcing effort and providing recognition 34
Homework and practice 28
Nonlinguistic representations 27
Cooperative Learning 27
Setting objectives and providing feedback 23
Generating and testing hypotheses 23
Questions, cues, and advance organizers 22
Marzano, R., Pickering, D., Pollock, J., Classroom Instruction that Works, 2001

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

 

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

ThreeRingsConnections.org October Posts

October posts can help kids learn at school & home

Each day we spend with kids is an opportunity to teach a piece of ourselves.

October posts certainly seem trivial while we all live through a pandemic. It seems that I hear daily from friends, family members and readers of the many struggles they are facing in this health crisis. I am inspired by their resilience “to make it work”.

Today’s health crisis has certainly put so many things in perspective! Family, health and friends have become our priorities with deadlines existing but flexible. Over the past few months, I’ve seen my own grandchildren go from kids that go to school everyday to kids that are either being homeschooled or learning virtually. The student teachers that I work with are not only learning how to be effective teachers in the classroom, they are also learning how to teach remotely. They are learning the importance of their chosen career, ongoing learning and adaptability. However, I wish they did not have to learn all those objectives in a single semester.

In many areas, my home state of New York included, parents continue to take the helm to be their child’s teachers and keep kids learning. Learning is happening but in a way that we never thought would be happening and in March we thought it would be temporary. Yes, it may not be the same as in school, but learning is happening. As parents continue their teaching challenge, I’m hoping that my posts can be helpful.

So, as we move into the month of November, I hope our day-to-day teaching becomes more manageable and we continue to find learning opportunities all around us.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

October’s Posts

October’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite October Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

2020 Archives

2019 Archives

Check out some topics coming next month
  • High Leverage Practices (HLPs) for All Kids
  • US State Capitals Trivia
  • Six Strategies to Raise Student Comprehension

High Leverage Practices (HLPs) for All Kids

HLPs are the fundamentals of teaching

High Leverage Practices (HLPs) are a group of techniques developed by the Council for Exceptional Children and the CEEDAR Center. Designed originally as essential special education techniques, they are 22 techniques that all K-12 teachers should know and use across a variety of classroom contexts.

When using HLPs, teachers must consider the content they are teaching, the methodology and delivery of instruction. HLPs address four interrelated components of special education: collaboration, assessment, social/emotional/behavior practices, and instruction. 

Collaboration

HLP 1: Collaborate with professionals to increase student success.

HLP 2: Organize and facilitate effective meetings with professionals and families

HLP 3: Collaborate with families to support student learning and secure needed services.

Assessment

HLP 4: Use multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs.

HLP 5: Interpret and communicate assessment information with stakeholders to collaboratively design and implement educational programs.

HLP 6: Use student assessment data analyzing instructional practices and make necessary adjustments that improve student outcomes.

Social/emotional/behavior

HLP 7: Establish a consistent, organized, and respectful learning environment.

HLP 8: Positive and constructive feedback is given to guide a students’ learning and behavior.

HLP 9: Teach social behaviors.

HLP 10: Conduct functional behavioral assessments to develop individual student behavior support plans.

Instructional

HLP 11: Identify and prioritize long- and short-term learning goals.

HLP 12: Systematically design instruction toward specific learning goals

HLP 13: Adapt curriculum tasks and materials for specific learning goals.

HLP 14: Teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies to support learning and independence.

HLP 15: Provide scaffolded supports.

HLP 16: Use explicit instruction.

HLP 17: Use flexible grouping.

HLP 18: Use strategies to promote active student engagement.

HLP 19: Use assistive and instructional technologies

HLP 20: Provide intensive instruction.

HLP 21: Teach students to maintain and generalize new learning across time and settings.

HLP 22: Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.

I believe HLPs are the fundamentals of teaching.  They are high leverage: not only because they matter to student learning but because they are basic for advanced skill in teaching. With expectations for student performance increasing over the years, it seems only common sense that (HLPs) can be effective for ALL students.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Great Resources for High Leverage Practices

Other posts related to this topic:

ThreeRingsConnections.org September Posts

September posts can help kids learn at school & home

Each day we spend with kids is an opportunity to teach a piece of ourselves.

September posts certainly seem trivial while we all live through a pandemic. It seems that I hear daily from friends, family members and readers of the many struggles they are facing in this health crisis. I am inspired by their resilience “to make it work”.

Today’s health crisis has certainly put so many things in perspective! Family, health and friends have become our priorities with deadlines existing but flexible. Over the past few months, I’ve seen my own grandchildren go from kids that go to school everyday to kids that are either being homeschooled or learning virtually. The student teachers that I work with are not only learning how to be effective teachers in the classroom, they are also learning how to teach remotely. They are learning the importance of their chosen career, ongoing learning and adaptability. However, I wish they did not have to learn all those objectives in a single semester.

In many areas, my home state of New York included, parents continue to take the helm to be their child’s teachers and keep kids learning. Learning is happening but in a way that we never thought would be happening and in March we thought it would be temporary. Yes, it may not be the same as in school, but learning is happening. As parents continue their teaching challenge, I’m hoping that my posts can be helpful.

So, as we move into the month of October, I hope our day-to-day teaching becomes more manageable and we continue to find learning opportunities all around us.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

September Posts

September’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite September Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

2020 Archives

2019 Archives

Check out some topics coming next month
  • Brain Breaks in Learning
  • US State Flags Trivia: Part II
  • Stories with Holes
  • Fifth Grade Standards for Learning
  • Learning Games and Websites & Apps
  • Academic Vocabulary Grades 1,2, and 5

November Learning Activities

November learning activities gives relevance to historical dates.

For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general knowledge. Knowing these dates can help parents and teachers engage students in valuable learning activities. Check out November  learning activities.

November 2020

3 Election Day (US) – Do a voting activity

9 The first giant panda was collected alive in China in 1927. – Look at the giant pandas through the live cam at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.

11 Veterans Day (US) – Write a letter to a veteran to thank them for their service.

12 Elizabeth Cady Stanton born (woman’s rights advocate)1815 – Read a story about Stanton and talk about women voting

13 World Kindness Day – Write about an act of kindness or do an act of kindness.

15 America Recycles Day – Create an art piece out of recycled materials

18 Four standard time zones for the continental USA were introduced, 1883. -Research what they are and find them on a US map.

20 Universal Children’s Day – Draw a picture of what you think you will be doing in 2040

26 Thanksgiving (US) (4th Thursday in November) – Make some Thanksgiving placemats

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

NYS Museum: Online Resources

NYS Museum is now ONLINE. Visit and Learn

The NYS Museum has launched the Portal to Online Educational Resources & Activities that brings together many of the museum’s resources.  Check out the links to the popular virtual “filed trips,” digital collections, online resources, and many fun activities for kids.   The Portal provides opportunities for educators, caregivers, and students looking for engaging and educational activities to do at home.

The portal resources and activities will be updated often.  Also included on the site is NYS Learning Standards supporting online lessons and content-created publications.  Virtual activities are coming soon!  Check it Out!

NYS Museum Resources

  • 360 Degree Virtual Field Trips
  • Regents Room of the State Education Building
  • The Replica Liberty BellThe Rotunda Murals
  • Teacher Guides & Activities for Students
  • NYSM Women of Science Programming
  • Women’s Suffrage Resources
  • Fun Activities
  • NYSM Videos
  • The Rotunda at NYSED

Brain Breaks Help Everyone

Brain Breaks are effective in learning.

We all know that we sometimes need just a few minutes to take a short break to help us get focused.  Sometimes, it is for a cup of coffee, a cookie or to check our phones.  It helps us catch our breath and gives us another opportunity to start again. Did you know that your breaks are call Brain Breaks? 

Smart teachers know that kids need short breaks in learning.  Sometimes, called Brain Breaks, they are short, physical activities that are interspersed with periods of focused academic work.  Research shows that shorter blocks of instruction are more effective for many kids, with younger kids maxing out after about 10 minutes and older kids lasting up to a half-hour or more. Adding short breaks can help improve students’ attention, retention of information, creativity, and efficiency.  Adding some breaks can be fun, make them a definite MUST in every classroom.

6 Benefits of Brain Breaks

  1. Improves focus by lessening frustration and boredom
  2. Provides physical activity
  3. Adds some fun into learning
  4. Gives a sense of accomplishment by completing an assignment
  5. Helps use up extra energy
  6. Give kids (and adults) something to look forward to

Brain Breaks and Remote Learning

Now that many schools have started remote learning once again, there is even more reason to give kids some much needed breaks from computer screens.  Since kids are missing the physical activity of a classroom, Brain Breaks are must.  Think simple.  Try jumping jacks, stretches, yoga poses or jogging in place for a short quick break.  If you want to extend your break a few more minutes add a dance party, take a short walk, play a boardgame or do a household chore.

Although short breaks during classwork or homework are beneficial be sure to plan carefully. Be sure your breaks are not too much fun or too lengthy or you might have kids not want to get back to work!

The length of Brain Breaks and the topics depends on your child’s age and interest levels.  So, choose things that YOUR child wants to do as a Brain Break.  Create a list of ideas so that you or your child can choose their own Brain Break.  Do not be afraid to let your child add to the list (of course with parent approved)

Remote learning is creating many challenges for parents, teachers, and students.  Why not add some Brain Breaks into your schedule to make learning easier and less stressful? Teach your child that you too, need Brain Breaks.  Show them that being able to drink a HOT cup of coffee is what makes you happy.  Enjoy your Brain Break!

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • Lesson Fillers in the Classroom
  • Lesson Filler Activities

Learning Games for Kids

Education games can be great review activities for kids.

I am not a big fan of kids on the computer, so you can guess my thoughts on remote teaching this semester! However, we are all learning to adjust in these pandemic times. There are, however, some great review and reinforcement learning games that will keep kids engaged and having fun. Check out the games that I listed below. They are teacher-created, and Grandchildren approved.

5 Great Learning Games

PBS Kids Games

I have recommended this site in different posts, but it is worth the mention again.  Games are organized by subject area and have many popular literature characters included.  Who does not like Curious George or The Cat in the Hat?

Funbrain

Created for kids ages preschool through grade 8.  Interactive games that develop skills in reading, math, and literacy. 

Academic Skill Builders

Online educational video games in language arts, vocabulary, thinking skills and math. Repetitive, timed learning drills that give scores. 

Mr. Nussbaum

Greg Nussbaum, a teacher created the site with a wide variety of learning games that are organized by subject area and grade level.  Although it looks like there are no games for preschoolers, there are!  Filter to the lowest level.  I found some alphabet games that are appropriate for kids as young as 2!  Teachers it can be used on a tablet and is a great resource for interactive whiteboards.  

ABCYa.com

Educational games and activities for elementary students (lower grades) to learn language arts and math.   Teacher-created and recommended by New York Times.

National Geographic Kids

Over 100 fun, engaging and interactive science games and quizzes. 

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.


Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Lesson Filler Activities

Lesson filler activities can be FUN!

Lesson filler activities are great learning opportunities whether a lesson finishes early or our students just need a Brain Break.  Finding ones that engage students that require little little or no preparation is great.  But finding ones that are FUN…. even better!  Check out these ideas:

10 Lesson Filler Activities

Mystery BoxHave a shoebox ready with some items that can be put in for students to guess what is inside.  Limit the number of questions that students can ask and be sure that the questions can only be answered with a “yes” or “no”. Encourage them to use all their senses. Once they figure out what the item is, open the box and let them see it.

Sticky NotesCreate sticky note “pairs” by writing pairs of words (opposites, compound words, vocabulary word and meaning, math problems) on post its. Distribute a post-it to each child and have students find their “match”.  An alternative activity is to distribute the post-its around the room and have one student match all the pairs.  Add a timer to add to the challenge.  

Current Events – Read a headline aloud and ask the child what they think the story was about.  Adaptations is reading the headline independently and/or working with a partner to discuss the story possibilities.

Sign Language – Kids love learning sign language.  Show kids some basic signs and have them practice with each other.  Need link

Follow the Directions – Create a list of 3-5 step directions.  Read a set of directions aloud and then ask children to do the activities in order.  Ex. Stand up, say Happy Birthday, touch your head, turn around, sit down.  Be sure that you write the directions down because they are easy to forget! 

I have a Number – Prepare a setof cards from 1 to 50 with math problems and 50 different answers.  Examples:   I have a 5, who has this number plus 10.  The child with 15 says, I have 15.  Who has my number minus 12?  I have 3.  Who has my number plus 25?  I have 28.  Who has my number minus 2?  I have 26.  Who has my number plus 20? 

The Price is RightHave them play the popular game show by guessing how much an item costs.  Show them a flyer with items and cover the cost. For younger students you may have to give them a range that it could cost until they understand prices.

What’s My Number?  Write a number on a piece of paper and tell students you are thinking of a number between ____ and _______.  For younger students, using a number line to add their guesses will help them understand greater than and less than.

Give me FiveChallenge students to name five things that are alike.  Choose a student to answer and if they get the 5 items, they can call on the next person to try another challenge.  For students playing alone, set a timer to see how fast they can do it.

__Things Found on a ____Name a place that students are familiar and ask them to name things they would find there.  Ex:  Things on a boat, on a farm, at the zoo, in the kitchen etc.

Next Month: 10 more lesson filler activities

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Second Grade Standards for Learning

Second grade standards

This resource consolidates all New York State second-grade learning standards into one document (2019). It was intended to be used as a reference tool by teachers, specialists, and administrators responsible for designing programs for second grade students. However, during the current COVID-19 crisis, it is helpful for homeschooling families and parents supporting remote learning.

The Learning Standards are end of year expectations rather than a curriculum, assessment, or a set of teaching strategies. The resource provides a uniform format for learning standards in all content areas to make it easier for users to read and understand. Users that are looking for a higher level of detail can find it at New York State Education Department’s website. The site provides additional background information and shows learning progressions across grades.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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COVID-19 Learning Resources

 New COVID-19 FREE Resources
Learning Resources to help during COVID-19 home learning

COVID-19 Learning Resources

Who would think I would still be posting COVID-19 Learning resources 5 months later than my first COVID-19 post? But we are here, once again, with schools closed, delayed or virtual and millions of families impacted. Parents are stepping up to “homeschool” their children and are using home packets and online resources. For many, this is still unfamiliar territory and an added element to their already full plates.

For those parents scouring the internet to find additional activities or to support schoolwork, here are some websites to get you started. Keep checking back for additional posts.

KnowitAll.org

A FREE online collection of educational resources designed specifically for classroom use. The site includes nearly 9,000 multimedia resources to include mobile-friendly videos, audio resources, photo galleries, and interactives.

LeaningWhy.org

FREE K-12 Project-Based and One-to-One lessons vetted and editable to meet your needs.

PBS LearningMedia

FREE standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans aligned to PBS

Early Elementary

Find elementary resources and lessons.  Videos, games and activities aligned to state and national standards.

PBS KIDS Learn

Multiple resources to help support learning at home.

PBS Parents

Sign up for a FREE for a free weekday newsletter with activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home.

PBS KIDS Games

Wide collection of games that are searchable by subject area.

PBS KIDS Apps

Searchable by skills and age level.

 Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Math Milestones in Grades K-2

Math milestones in grades K-2
Math milestones in Grades K-2

Kids start learning math the moment they start exploring the world.  Kids develop their math skills at different rates, but there are some math milestones in grades K-2 that most kids hit ROUGHLY in those grades. Each skill—from identifying shapes to counting to finding patterns—builds on what kids already know.

Kindergartners (Age 5 years)

  • Begin to understand basic time concepts, like morning or days of the week
  • Add by counting the fingers on one hand—1, 2, 3, 4, 5—and starting with 6 on the second hand
  • Identify the larger of two numbers and recognize numerals up to 20
  • Understand the meaning of words like unlikely or possible
  • Copy or draw symmetrical shapes
  • Start using very basic maps to find a “hidden treasure”
  • Follow multi-step directions that use words like first and next

First and Second Graders

  • Know the difference between two- and three-dimensional shapes and name the basic ones (cubes, cones, cylinders)
  • Count to 100 by ones, twos, fives, and tens
  • Do basic addition and subtraction up to 20
  • Read and create a simple bar graph
  • Predict what comes next in a pattern and create own patterns
  • Recognize and know the value of coins
  • Write and recognize the numerals 0 to 100, and the words for numbers from one to twenty

Don’t forget that THESE ARE BALLPARK AGES. Don’t worry if your child does not yet have all the skills listed for their age group.  Every child is different and progress at their own rate.  Your child is on a lifelong learning journey with many stops along the way.  Enjoy the journey and see where they have been and where they are going.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Math Milestones for Preschoolers

Math milestones are generally reached ABOUT the same age.
Math milestones are generally reached ABOUT the same age.

Kids start learning math the moment they start exploring the world.  Whether it is shapes, counting or finding patterns, little ones are constantly building on what they already know and hitting some major math milestones.  

Kids develop their math skills at different rates, but there are some math milestones most kids hit around ROUGHLY the same age.   Each skill—from identifying shapes to counting to finding patterns—builds on what kids already know.

Babies (0-12 months)

  • Start to understand relative size (baby is small, parents are big)
  • Begin to understand words that describe quantities (more, bigger, enough)
  • Begin to predict the sequence of events (like setting the table means dinner is coming soon)
  • Start to understand basic cause and effect (tickling makes you laugh)
  • Begin to classify things in simple ways (play with toys, eat food)

Toddlers (Ages 1-2 years)

  • Match basic shapes (triangle to triangle, circle to circle)
  • Explore measurement by filling and emptying containers
  • Begin reciting numbers, but may skip some of them
  • Understand that numbers mean “how many” (using fingers to show how many years old they are) 
  • Start seeing patterns in daily routines and in things like floor tiles
  • Understand words that compare or measure things (under, behind, faster)

Preschoolers (Ages 3-4 years)

  • Start predicting cause and effect (what will happen to the ground when it rains)
  • Uses spatial awareness to put puzzles together.
  • Recognized shapes in the real world
  • Start sorting things by shape, color, size, or purpose.
  • Compare and contrast using classifications like size, gender, height
  • Count to at least 20 and accurately point to and count items in a group.
  • Understand that numerals stand for number names (3 stands for three)

Don’t forget that THESE ARE BALLPARK AGES. Don’t worry if your child does not yet have all the skills listed for their age group.  Every child is different and progress at their own rate.  Your child is on a lifelong learning journey with many stops along the way.  Enjoy the journey and see where they have been and where they are going.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic: