Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sales are great opportunities to buy books at bargain prices.
Scholastic Books at deep discounts

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale 2019 is Coming!

December 4th – 14th 

My local friends the closest location is Danbury, Ct.  (Approximately 40 mins. from Fishkill area.

Scholastic Books Warehouse offers for a limited a limited time only deep discounts on books.  This holiday you can purchase “Buy One, Get One Box” from hundreds of books, gifts,  and school supplies. There is even a Build a Box opportunity!  Refresh your school, home, and classroom libraries, and stock up on gifts for everyone.

For every item you buy, choose an item of equal or lesser value for FREE

  • Shop from a large assortment of already reduced items
  • No limits on how many items you can buy
  • Build-a-Box is included with the BOGO offer (yes, Danbury has it)
  • Perfect way to maximize school purchase orders, grants, and Title 1 funds

Coupon is $10.00 off a purchase of $100.00. OR $25.00 off a purchase of $100.00 using Scholastic Dollars.

Danbury, CT Warehouse Sale:

Weekday Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Closed Sundays

The Danbury location is a Build-a-Box event. As many books as you can fit in a box for less than $29.95.

Sign up and get coupon! Enjoy!

Most People Are Good

Positive Thoughts Help Us Through Tough Days
Positive thoughts that Most People Are Good can help get us through a tough day.

Thank you Luke Byran for performing this song and David Frasier, Ed Hill & Josh Kear for writing the song.   Some days you just need to be reminded that “Most People Are Good”.  Even if you don’t break into song; take a look at these lyrics and make it a good day! 

I believe kids oughta stay kids as long as they can
Turn off the screen, go climb a tree, get dirt on their hands
I believe we gotta forgive and make amends
‘Cause nobody gets a second chance to make new old friends
I believe in working hard for what you’ve got
Even if it don’t add up to a hell of a lot

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good

I believe them streets of gold are worth the work
But I still wanna go even if they were paved in dirt
I believe that youth is spent well on the young
‘Cause wisdom in your teens would be a lot less fun
I believe if you just go by the nightly news
Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good

I believe that days go slow and years go fast
And every breath’s a gift, the first one to the last

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks

I believe most people are good
I believe most people are good

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Motivating Your Child to Learn

Motivating Kids to Learn
Motivating Kids to Learn

Motivating kids to learn? Here’s what I learned a long time ago.  Kids don’t always do what you want them to do.  I’m hearing parents all over the world saying “that’s certainly true”. Yes, folks and you might experience it from birth to adulthood!

So, getting kids motivated to learn is sometimes a combination of timing, strategies and luck.  Check out some of the strategies below that might get them motivated to learn.   They may even think it’s their idea!

  1. Show a Love of Learning – Be enthusiastic about learning by showing interest in your child’s interests and learning new things. 
  2. Make a Game Out of It – Kids love games, so why not learn something in a game format. You can sing it, dance it out or just play a game.  Add a bit of whimsy will make you both smile. 
  3. Learn Something New Every Day – Try to teach your child at least one thing new every day. It doesn’t have to be big, just something. That’s at least 365 things!
  4. Give up control (sort of) – Power struggles can start at an early age so try giving your child choices of what they want and how they want to learn it.  Remember, you goal is to get them to learn, why not guide them some choice?  You’ve already limited their choices, so it becomes a win-win!  
  5. Encourage learning styles – Kids have different preferences and styles of how they like to learn. Knowing your child’s preferences can help engage them in learning. For young kids it’s good to give them experiences in all the different learning styles. There are 7 basic learning styles
    • Kinesthetic/Physical – Learning through movement
    • Verbal – Learning through language activities
    • Auditory – Learn best through listening
    • Solitary – Learn best alone
    • Social – Learn best in a group
    • Visual – Learn best through seeing things  
    • Mathematical/Logical – Problem solving using hands on items.

Learning becomes fun when kids are interested in learning. It doesn’t really matter if it’s dinosaurs, trucks or skyscrapers. If kids are reading, talking and asking questions they are building background knowledge and learning.  Getting them to want to learn is the trick. 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Thanksgiving Jokes for Kids

Thanksgiving jokes can add some fun to your celebration.
Thanksgiving jokes can add some fun to your celebration.

Why not add some Thanksgiving jokes to your Thanksgiving celebration this year?

Teaching kids to appreciate jokes is a great opportunity to laugh together as a family.  Why not take some time to be silly this Thanksgiving and enjoy a laugh (or eye roll).  Happy Thanksgiving!

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Gladys.
Adult: Gladys who?
Kid: Gladys Thanksgiving. Aren’t you?

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Harry.
Adult: Harry who?
Kid: Harry up, I’m hungry!

Q. Why did the farmer run a steamroller over his potato field on Thanksgiving Day?

A. He wanted to raise mashed potatoes.

Q. What is a turkey’s favorite dessert?
A. Peach gobbler!

Q. Why did the police arrest the turkey?

A. They suspected it of fowl play!

Q. What do you call it when it rains turkeys?

A. Foul weather!

Q. What smells the best at a Thanksgiving dinner?

A. Your nose

Q. Why do pilgrims’ pants always fall down?
A. Because they wear their belt buckles on their hats!

Q. Why did the cranberries turn red?
A. Because they saw the turkey dressing!

Q. What did the turkey say to the computer?
A. “Google, google, google.”

Q. What kind of music did Pilgrims listen to?
A. Plymouth Rock.

 Q. What’s the best thing to put into pumpkin pie?
A. Your teeth

 Q. What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving?
A. The letter “g”.

Q. Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
A. The outside.

Q. What do turkeys and teddy bears have in common?
A. They both have stuffing.

Q. Where does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?

A. In the dictionary

 Q. What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede?
A. Kid: Drumsticks for everyone on Thanksgiving Day!

Q. What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter on Thanksgiving Day?
A. “Quack! Quack!”

Q. What key has legs and can’t open doors? 

A. A turkey.

Q. Who isn’t hungry at Thanksgiving?
A. The turkey because he’s already stuffed.

 

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

Other posts related to this topic:

  • Jokes for Kids Develops a Sense of Humor

Math Thinking Skills: Primary – November

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.

Some students in the Primary Grades need additional math activities that goes beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  This month we’ll look at some problem solving involving counting body parts.  (really, we’re looking at early multiplication which is repeated addition)

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)

Math Thinking Skills: What Comes Next?

Question One: 3, 6, 9, ___, ___. ___ What numbers go on the lines?

Question Two: 8,10,12, ____, ____, ____ What numbers go on the lines?

Question Three: Declan started his trip to Poughkeepsie on Sunday with spending money of $20.00. Each day of his vacation he spent $3.00.  On Thursday morning, he boarded the train to go back to NYC.  He had not spent any money that morning.  How much money does he have remaining from his original $20.00? Since he had not spent any money on Thursday, how much money does he have left?

Question Four: 2, 5, 9, 14, ____, ____, ____.  What numbers go on the lines?

Question Five: 5, 50, 500, 5000, 50000 ____ What is the next number in this sequence? 

MATH THINKING ANSWERS

Question One: 12, 15, 18, Counting by 3’s starting at 12.

Question Two:  14, 16 18.  Counting by 2’s starting at 8.

Question Three: $8.00 remaining.  He spent $3.00 on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday for a total spent of $12.00. 

Question Four: 20, 27, 35 The difference between each number on the line increases by 1, starting with a difference of 3 between 2 and 5.

Question Five: Each number is multiplied by 10. Look carefully and you’ll see that each number adds another 0. 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Thank you, Veterans

Thank you veterans for your service
Thank you veterans for your service.

When we attend public events in South Carolina, we witness an outpouring of respect for veterans. Whether it’s an outdoor concert, a ballgame or a theater performance; there is always a few minutes set aside to recognize veterans in the audience. Sometimes it’s a general announcement but other times it’s highlighting by years of service or the branch in which they served. As each one stands to be recognized they are humble and appreciative of the recognition. Yes, folks for me, it’s always a “goosebumps on your arms” moment.

In a world where there seems to be fewer heroes, veterans are on my list. I salute your courage and your sacrifice. Thank you from an American who truly appreciates your willingness to serve our country.

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

Reading Strategies for Parents

Parents can review reading strategies taught at school at home.
Parents can review reading strategies taught at school at home.

The State of Tennessee believes that by teaching reading strategies to parents, parents can help their child at home.  They’ve got it right.  Of course, parents want to help their kids.  Why not give them some basic information? Yeah Tennessee! 

When the state of Tennessee set a goal in 2007, to increase literacy skills for children across the state, they decided to enlist the help of parents.  The Tennessee State Improvement Grant document was created to support family members to help their children at home.  The document outlines reading strategies for parents to use with their child at home.  

Although this document was created over 10 years ago, it is still a good document to help families. The information has good ideas and is user-friendly.  It is also a great refresher for new teachers, student teachers and classroom substitutes. The overview includes:

  • Five Areas of Reading Instruction 
  • How to Choose the Right Book at the Right Reading Level
  • Vocabulary Building Strategies
  • Reading Comprehension Strategies

Sometimes, we just need a little help from our friends. Thank you Tennessee!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Store for Used Books Poughkeepsie Library

Used Bookstore at Poughkeepsie Library: Boardman Road branch
Used Bookstore at Poughkeepsie Library: Boardman Road branch

Great opportunity to fill your bookshelves at home or in your classroom. The book store has a selection of over 20,000 high-quality used books, cds, dvds and audiobooks. Books are organized and sorted to make shopping a breeze.

Entrance to the Friends’ Book Store is on the south side of the building – just look for the blue awning.

Store hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.

Telephone: 845-485-3445 x 3423

Cash, checks (with valid ID) and MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards are accepted.

Follow them on Facebook too to check out special sales and events:

Poughkeespie Library Bookstsore

Threeringsconnections.org  Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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ThreeRingsConnections’ Newsletter: October 2019

Thinking is the hardest work any one can do –
Henry Ford

Ten 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 October 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: 10 down and 2 more to go! Have a great month!

2018 Archives

October’s Most Popular Posts

As regular readers know, at the end of each month I share the three most popular posts from the last month. I thought people might find it interesting to see what everyone else was looking at. Enjoy!

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!

  • Concepts of Print (COP)in Daily Reading
  • Teacher Motivational Quotes
  • How to Help Highly Advanced Readers
Coming Next Month
  • Online Safety: Free Classroom Resources
  • Math Thinking Skills: Primary – November
  • Scientist of the Month- Benjamin Franklin

Concepts of Print (COP)in Daily Reading

The Concepts of Print (COP) assessment was created by Marie Clay (1993), The assessment includes items to assess a child’s knowledge of both print and written language skills. These two skills work together to help children learn to read and write.

Many students entering kindergarten understand that a book tells a story (the print has meaning). However, very few understand “how print works”. Concepts of Print (COP) skills involves kids knowing parts of a book (using the correct terms) and understanding the letter/writing concepts included. Since many parents and teachers read to children daily; why not add a few of the COP skills.

Concepts of Print (COP) in Daily Reading

Point to the Following Parts of the Book

  • Front and back of the book.
  • Binding.
  • Top and bottom of a picture.
  • Title Page.
  • Author’s Name (define that the author writes the book).
  • Illustrator’s name (define that the illustrator draws the pictures).

Show How to Read a Book

  • A sentence is read from left to right.
  • Pages are read from left to right.
  • Point to each word while you read.
  • Read pages from left to right.
  • A story has a beginning and end.

Words and Writing  in Books: Basics

  • A capital letter is at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Words and sentences have capital letters and lower case letters.
  • Point out 1 word in a sentence, Point out 2 words.
  • Point out that a word is made up of a group of letters.
  • A comma explains to the reader  that it tells the reader to pause or slowdown.
  • There are punctuation marks at the end of a sentences (period, question mark, exclamation mark) Explain that the marks tell the reader how to read.

Research: Clay, M. M. (1993). An observation survey of early literacy achievement. Heinemann, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801-3912.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Jane Goodall: Scientist of the Month

As parents and educators, we know we must teach our kids skills to support scientific thinking. But, how do we encourage kids to explore science? Why not, share stories about Jane Goodall? Scientists, like most kids, are curious and want to know answers. The great thing about studying scientists is there are many branches.  So, there surely is a topic to motivate all kids. Seems like a perfect match! 

October Scientist of the Month: Jane Goodall 

1934-present
1934-present

Jane Goodall is an anthropologist that is best known for studying chimpanzees in the wild.  Growing up, she loved animals.  One of her favorite toys was a toy chimpanzee. Jane started studying chimpanzees in 1960 and continues to do it today. Jane made some important discoveries.

  • Personalities were seen in chimpanzees, just like people. 
  • People aren’t the only ones that make tools. So do chimpanzees! Jane observed them using a piece of grass as a tool.
  • Chimpanzees are meat eaters.
  • Chimpanzees communicate through various ways including through sounds, touch, body language, calls and facial expressions.

Quotes Made Famous by Ms. Goodall

Above all we must realize that each of us makes a difference with our life. Each of us impacts the world around us every single day. We have a choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place – or not to bother.

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

Jane continues to study chimpanzees in Africa.  She has won many awards and has written many articles and books.  There have also been documentaries made about Jane’s work with chimpanzees.

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

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How to Help Highly Advanced Readers

Ideas to help you and your advanced readers.
Ideas to help you and your advanced readers.

How do you meet the reading needs of a child that is 2 full grade levels above the rest of your students in class? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can be very difficult for a classroom teacher.  Of course, you must differentiate for the advanced reader, but how do you do that for 1 child when the others are at least 8 levels below your precocious reader?  Here are some ideas to help you and your advanced readers.

4 Ways to Help Advanced Readers

  • Find their interests- The sooner than you find their interests, the sooner you can help them find appropriate books for themselves. Like all readers, it is important that they be encouraged to read books that they will find challenging but approachable.
  • Guided Reading Group of 1 – One person does not a group make!  So, how can you engage your advanced reader in a discussion group?  Putting them in a regular guided reading group with students reading multiple grade levels lower than them will be of limited value to them. Perhaps there are other children in another class that can help form a group.  A classroom volunteer can also be a wonderful reading buddy. 
  • Student Driven Independent Reading The Schoolwide Enhanced Model Reading (SEM-R) approach allows a student to read a book at their own interest and reading level and check in with the teacher during scheduled reading conferences. The SEM-R approach is flexible enough to be used with individual students or a small group of students as needed. 
  • Skill-based groups – A popular way of meeting the needs of your gifted reader is to consider using some skill-based groups.  Although the reading level may be different, a skills group can review and reinforce skills that your gifted reader may find valuable. In order to become even better readers skill development is necessary.   

As a teacher, your gifted readers need you just as much as the other students in the class.  They just may need your attention in a different way. 

Other posts related to this topic:

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

Math Thinking Skills Primary: October

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.

Some students in the Primary Grades need additional math activities that goes beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  This month we’ll look at some problem solving involving counting body parts.  (good practice in repeated addition which is…… multiplication). 

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)

Math Thinking Skills: Count Them Up

  1. Abby went to see the animals on a farm in Wappingers Falls. She saw 20 chickens.  How many chicken heads did she see?  How many legs do the chickens have all together?
  2. Teagan went to the Bronx Zoo.  She saw a tree with 9 monkeys.  How many fingers did the monkeys have all together?
  3. Connall has a dog and a cat.  If the dog and cat wore animal shoes, how many shoes would Connall have to buy?   
  4. In Emily’s family there are 3 children and 2 adults.  How many heads do they have all together? How many legs do they have all together? How many fingers do they have all together?  How many eyes do they have all together?
  5. Meghan loves spiders.  She saw 4 spiders in GG’s garage.  How many legs do the spiders have in all? HINT: You must know how many legs spiders have.
  6. Lowyn saw 5 Ladybugs on the peonies in GG’s yard.  When she counted all the legs on the Ladybugs, how many legs did she count?  HINT: You must know how many legs ALL INSECTS HAVE.
  7. The spiders were planning to have a dance party.  It was going to be a big party and they were only going to allow 102 spiders to attend.  IF all the spiders went to the party, how many dance shoes will they have to order?  If the dance shoes only come as a pair, how many pairs of shoes will they have to order for all 102 spiders to have dance shoes?

ANSWERS

  1. 20 heads and 40 legs
  2. 90 fingers because each of the 9 monkeys have 10 fingers.
  3. 8 shoes (4 for the dog and 4 for the cat)
  4. 5 heads, 10 legs, 50 fingers, 10 eyes
  5. Spiders have 8 legs.  4 spiders = 8+8+8+8 = 32 legs
  6. Ladybugs are Insects and insects have 6 legs.  6+6+6+6+6= 30 legs
  7. Spiders have 8 legs.  102 spiders = 102+102+102+102+102+102+102+102=816 legs OR 408 pairs of shoes Each spider would get 4 pairs of shoes for their feet. 
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Hour of Code

An Hour of Code is a movement to introduce students to the basics of computer science.
A movement to introduce students to the basics of computer science.

I’ve heard about it. I’ve supported the teachers in my school to try it. Now… it’s time for me to sit down for an “Hour of Code”. OK friends, maybe longer than an hour!

The Hour of Code movement is a grassroots movement that has already introduced over 100 million students worldwide to the basics of computer science. The program was started to give every student an opportunity to try computer science for one hour. In an hour anybody can learn the basics of “code” by participating in computer science activities.  Computer science helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity.  All skills that are important to pursue a 21st century career path. Our elementary school first participated in an Hour of Code in 2015 during Computer Science Education Week (held in early December each year).

Today, Hour of Code activities are available year-round (tutorials and activities). The one-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages.  The tutorials are self-guided, and all materials are free of charge. Planning guides are easy to read and available for every age and experience-level, from kindergarten and up. Schools can enroll their class and enjoy the fun. The tutorials work on all devices and browsers and there are also unplugged activities for groups that can’t accommodate the tutorials!  Code.org is the ultimate resource if you are learning about an Hour of Code or you are already working on it with your kids.

Hour of Code: One Hour Later….

Well, it was longer than an hour but……I worked on an activity to code my characters to dance! See Dance Party. No experience necessary, easy to do and fun! Can’t wait to have my grandkids try it!

Thinking about giving it a try?  Computer Science Education Week 2019 will be held December 9-15. Be part of the largest learning event in history. Certainly, worth a look. However, it you can’t wait until December, try some of the links. Have fun!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Historical Dates: Oct. & Nov. 2019

Including Historical Dates in lessons gives relevance to learning.
Including Historical Dates in lessons gives relevance to learning.

For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general knowledge. Knowing these dates can help teachers engage students in conversations and students may even be impressed  by their teachers historical knowledge!

Knowing historical dates provides opportunities for students to learn history and build their general knowledge. Take a look and impress your students!

October

Fire Prevention Week (October 9- October 15)
National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – October 15)

Oct. 4 World Smile Day

Oct. 8 Yom Kippur (10/08-10/09)

Oct. 9 Fire Prevention Day

Oct. 9 National Bring Your Teddy Bear To School Day

Oct. 14 Columbus Day

Oct. 25 Make A Difference Day (10/25-10/26)

November

Nov. 5 Election Day

Nov.. 11 Veterans Day (Observed)

Nov. 28 Thanksgiving

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

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Great Calendar Resource

ThreeRingsConnections’ Newsletter: September 2019

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela

Nine 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 September  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: 9 down and 3 more to go! Have a great month!

September 2019 Archives

September’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite September Posts

See some posts coming next month
See some posts coming next month
  • The Grand Canyon for Kids
  • Hour of Code
  • 3 Writing Strategies to Use Evidence

Comprehension Questions: Grade 2-3

Asking the right comprehension questions will support a child's reading ability.
Asking the right comprehension questions will strengthen your child’s reading.

For teachers and kids, the beginning of the school year means “Reading Assessments”.  We test to see if our students’ reading levels have increased, remained the same or decreased over the summer.  However, although we get an independent reading level, we know that the reading level may not always be 100% accurate.  Asking the right comprehension questions can help kids be better readers.

The following Behaviors/Skills and Questions can be useful when working with students who are at an independent reading level from K through N.

Knowing the skills and behaviors at levels above and below a student’s level will help teachers and parents ask better questions to support comprehension. This strategy can help our students on their independent reading level as well as our Review/Reinforcement and Enrichment students.  

Comprehension/Behaviors Skills (F & P Levels K/L)

  • Uses dialogue to understand characters 
  • Infers cause and effect by understanding characters and events
  • Understands how problems and events are related
  • Searches for information to confirm predictions
  • Use evidence from the story to support their ideas or thinking
  • Makes predictions based on prior knowledge and the text
  • Predicts the solution to the problem
  • Identifies important ideas in the text 
  • Makes predictions based on character traits

Comprehension Questions (F & P Levels K/L)

  • Retell the story in detail
  • Who is speaking?  How do you know?
  • Does what you just read remind you of anything?  How does this help you better understand the text? 
  • Describe (character’s name) in detail.
  • What happened?  Why did it happen? 
  • What in the story makes you think that?
  • What do you think will happen next?  Why?
  • What caused (problem or event) to happen?  How do you know?
  • What do you think (character’s name) will do?  Why?
  • What is important for me to know?  Why?

Comprehension Skills (F & P Levels M and N)

  • Searches for information to confirm predictions
  • Identifies important ideas in the text
  • Notices descriptive language Summarizes the text
  • Describes characters’ traits, feelings, and motivation.  Uses this information to make predictions
  • Demonstrates changes in perspective as events unfold
  • Pays attention to the author’s craft
  • Expresses clear opinions to agree or disagree with the text
  • Rereads and closely monitors their understanding
  • Uses a variety of strategies when meaning breaks down

Comprehension Questions (F & P Levels M/N)

  • Does what you just read remind you of anything?  How does this help you better understand the text?
  • Summarize the story or text
  • Describe (character’s name) in detail.
  • What happened?  Why did it happen?  
  • What in the story makes you think that?
  • What caused (problem or event) to happen?  How do you know?
  • What do you think (character’s name) will do?  Why?
  • What is important for me to know in this text?  Why?
  • How does the author help to create a picture in your mind as you read?
  • What do think about this text?  
  • How do you know when you do not understand what you are reading?  What do you do?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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School Age Readers and Writers Activities

Reading and writing activities at home to help young readers.
Reading and writing activities at home to help young readers.

School Age Readers and Writers – (5 to 9-year-olds)

  • Give your child encouragement when he or she is doing homework or a writing assignment. Remind your child that writing involves several steps like panning, composing an initial draft, revising, and final editing. No one does it perfectly the first time.
  • Read different types of books to expose your child to different types of writing. Kids love a variety of fiction and non-fiction formats including plays, chapter books, series books, books with sequels, short stories, diaries and logs, and graphic texts.
  • Create a writing toolbox — Find a special box and fill it with drawing and writing materials. Think of everyday opportunities for your child to write —the family shopping list, thank -you notes, birthday cards, or sign on the bedroom door.
  • Ask your child to read out loud what he or she has written.
  • Create a book together — Make a handmade book together by folding pieces of paper ion half and stapling them together. Your child can write his or her own story, with different sentences on each page. Ask your child to illustrate the book with his/her own drawings.
  • Show your child how to summarize a story in a few sentences, for example, or how to make predictions about what might happen next. Both strategies help a child comprehend and remember. After reading a story together, think out loud so your child can see how you summarize and predict.
  • Pick books that are at the right reading level —Help your child choose reading materials that are not too difficult. The goal is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences
  • Partner Reading – Take turns reading aloud to each other. Whether it’s a page or a sentence, it’s another way of getting a couple minutes of reading fun.
  • Have your child read aloud to you every day. 
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Preschool Readers (2 to 5 years)

Activities for Preschool Readers (2 to 5 years)
Preschool Readers (2 to 5 years)

Preschool Readers (2 to 5 yrs.)

Learning to read is not easy and takes time.  Many parents wonder on the best ways to help their kids learn to read.  With 8 grandkids under 9, we have various levels of reading going on in our family. Ranging in age from 7 months to “newly 9” we have readers of all sizes and abilities.  

I created the following list to make it a little easier for my adult children to have a few “reading ideas” to help their kiddos. Reading is very comprehensive and therefore, there is a wide range of activities at each level.  The important thing to remember is reading builds on foundational skills.  Therefore, each level is important for reading success.  Don’t worry if your more advanced reader wants to do a lower level.  Even advanced readers can continue to learn and grow from some of the Preschool Reader activities. Last week we started with our series with Very Early Readers (Birth – 2 years).  This week we continue with Preschool Readers (2 – 5yrs). 

Preschool Readers (2 to 5 years)

  • Discuss what’s happening, point out things on the page, ask your child questions
  • When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
  • Talk about print everywhere. Talk about written words you see in the world around you and respond with interest to your child’s questions about words.
  • Ask your child to find a new word every time you go on an outing.
  • Watch My Lips – Encourage your child to watch your lips and mouth while you make certain sounds. Have your child think about how his/her own lips and tongue move. You can say something like, “Can you feel how your mouth moves the same way at the beginning of the words sun, snake, and sour? Watch my mouth while I say them.” Exaggerate the letter s when saying the words.
  • Play sound games— Give your child practice blending individual sounds into words. For example, ask “Do you know what the word is? m-o-p?” Say the sound each letter makes rather than the name of the letter. Hold each sound longer than you normally would. This will help your child recognize the different letter sounds.
  • Trace and say letters while saying the letter’s sound at the same time. Use a pan filled with rice, sugar or beans to involve touch, sight and speech.  
  • Play word games — Use a dry erase board to play word games with your child. First, write out a word like mat. Then change the initial sound. Have your child sound out the word when it becomes fat and then when it becomes sat. Next change the final sound, so the word changes from sat to sag to sap. Then change the middle sound, so the word changes from sap to sip.
  • Punctuate your reading.?! -. Discuss how punctuation on a page represents ways of speaking. You can say, for example, “When we talk, we usually pause a little bit at the end of a sentence. The way we show this pause in writing is to use a period.”
  • Dig deeper into the story — Ask your child about the story you’ve just read together. Try questions that require your child to draw conclusions. Say something like, “Why do you think Clifford did that?” A child’s involvement in retelling a story or answering questions goes a long way toward developing his or her comprehension skills.
  • Tell family tales — Children love to hear stories about their family. Tell your child what it was like when you or your parents were growing up or talk about a funny thing that happened when you were young.
  • Storytelling on the go — Take turns adding to a story the two of you make up while riding in the car. Either one of you could start. Start with a beginning middle and end and work up to a longer story. A fun activity that stretches the imagination!

Every minute counts in becoming a good reader. Why not set a goal to try to do at least one activity a day? Be prepared to have days when it doesn’t get done. It’s only a goal. Most of all, enjoy the special time with your child.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Skiing: Free or Really Cheap in Northeast

Check out Free Snow passports to get kids skiing in the Northeast.

New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania

Time to Schedule Some FREE SKIING!

When you think of winter in the Northeast you can’t help but think of SNOW.  Whether it’s school delays, shoveling, or road conditions:; native New Yorkers (like me) can’t help but think of the negatives involved with the beautiful, fluffy, white stuff.  So, how about thinking about the bright side of snowy days? 

How does free (or almost free) skiing for kids?  Let’s face it, skiing can be expensive and ski resorts want to get families on the slopes. So, if you have a 3rd through 5th grader you are in luck.  Check out the links below and see if you can jump on this great bargain.  A pretty good deal if your child is an avid skier or just wants to give it a try. Be sure to check out the websites, there are some requirements associated with the offers. They are certainly worth a look!

New York

The Kids Learn to Ski or Ride Passport is the perfect program for those who do not ski or are true beginners. With the Learn to Ski or Ride program, a child receives a lift ticket, lesson and equipment rental free* at all participating ski areas. There are over 20 ski areas throughout New York State participating in the Learn to Ski or Ride program. Once you receive your Passport in the mail, you can start hitting the slopes! Reservations at ski areas may be required. *$27 processing fee applies. Must show proof child is in 3rd or 4th grade.

Pennsylvania

Any child in the 4th or 5th grade can ski or ride for FREE at all participating ski areas in the state of Pennsylvania (when accompanied by a paying adult.) Just fill out the application on the back of this flyer, mail us a copy of your 4th or 5th grade report card for grade verification, a 2″ x 11/2″ color photo, plus $35-$40 non-refundable processing fee per child. We’ll mail you your 4th & 5th Grade Snowpass containing one FREE LEARN TO SKI/BOARD PACKAGE (beginner lift, lesson & rental package) to any one area of their choice and 3 FREE LIFT TICKETS for each of the participating Pennsylvania Ski Areas listed on our website. 4th and 5th grade Snow Pass

New Hampshire

Ski New Hampshire alpine and cross-country ski area member contributes one free lift ticket or trail pass for your fourth or fifth grader to enjoy New Hampshire’s scenic ski trails this winter. That’s 32 days (or nights) that your child can get outside and explore this season for just $30 upon grade verification. This program is open to 4th and 5th graders from near and far–not just New Hampshire residents! The 4th & 5th Grade Snowsports Passport will be delivered to your email inbox once you’ve provided proof of eligibility. Look at website for exclusion dates.