Doing these activities at home will help make sure your child is building the skills needed to learn remotely and be ready for 1st grade.
Students should practice adding and subtracting numbers between 1 and 10. Real life story problems that get hands on are the best practice!
Here are a few examples of the types of problems you can do at home:
-When eating a snack break the whole into two groups or parts.
Questions To Ask:
"If I have 8 goldfish and break them into two parts how much do I have in each part? I have 3 in one group and 5 in the other group. What equation could you make to match this story? 3+5=8."
-When eating snack, have your child count how much they have all together at the beginning. Then pause them as they're eating to see how much they have left.
Questions To Ask:
"You had 9 goldfish and now you have 6 goldfish. How many did you eat? 3! Can you make an equation to match? 9-6=3."
-Putting two groups together or breaking them apart is great practice!
Questions To Ask:
"I have 4 red Legos and 3 blue Legos. How many Legos do I have altogether? Or I have 7 Legos. Some are red and some are blue. How many could I have of each color?"
Students should practice reading consonant vowel consonant words (CVC words).
-Students should practice segmenting the sounds they hear. You can say the word "cat" and they say the three sounds in the word "/c/ /a/ /t/"
-Students should practice sounding out and blending the sounds together of CVC words.
*CVC Words to Practice Sounding Out
-Students should practice Magic e words with long vowel sounds.
*Magic e Words to Practice Sounding Out
-Watch this fun YouTube video to remind students that Magic e makes a vowel say its name.
Students should practice answering questions about the story they read independently or with an adult.
-There are lots of amazing online resources for read alouds like Storyline Online, which has famous actors reading picture books you can then discuss.
-Students should be able to tell you who the characters are and where the setting is.
-Ask students about particular characters' feelings in specific parts of the book. "How do you think Arthur feels after his friends make fun of his glasses? How do you know?"
-Have students make connections between one book they read and another book they know or their life. "Both of these books have characters who try their best and I try my best in school!"
-Apps To Help Kids Stay Focused
-Meditation Apps For Kids
Talking to Kids About Coronavirus Fears
This is an isolating and uncertain time for everyone and it's important for all our kids to feel loved and supported by their full community! This can be challenging when they're not able to see and interact with everyone in person. Remind them of the connections they have through weekly Zoom meetings and phone calls with their classmates and teachers as well as facetimes and phone calls with family members. Just like every piece of learning, social and emotional learning looks different for everyone! Below are some ideas of how to support social and emotional learning at home:
- Create a safe space at home for your child to visit when they're feeling overwhelmed by big feelings. In the classroom, we have a Quiet Corner where kids can go when they don't want to be with the group for whatever reason (they're missing someone, they had a disagreement, they don't want to be social.) It's important that this place is different than the Time Out spot as this is not a negative reinforcement/punishment. The Quiet Corner at home can be a comfy chair, their bedroom, or it could be traveling. Mr. Connor and his mom made a Calm Down basket for his nephews that had a selection of their favorite books, markers and paper to write, word cards about feelings, reminders for calming down (take deep breaths, check in with your body, think about a happy place), and soft things to hold.
- Journaling is something that can be helpful for people of every age! If you and your family are feeling burnt out and are getting frustrated quicker than normal, try starting a journal time. Everyone stops what they're doing and writes about their day and feelings. This isn't academic writing that will be reviewed, it's for kids to learn that writing has many powers! Play some soft music and if words aren't coming just doodle and draw. After some time to sit and be with our feelings, we're often a lot better at talking about them and listening to others.
-It can be a big challenge in times like this but keeping a regular routine or schedule is really helpful! We would suggest trying to make clear when the "learning time" has started and what the expectation is for it to be completed. The important emotional piece is making these goals transparent to the kids and making sure they agree with them. Then celebrating every piece they accomplish! We love every time we receive a picture of a kid hard at work learning at home! Incentivize the hard moments of at home learning with rewards like "We can send this to Mr. Connor/Nana/your cousin!" At the end of the week in school we do a Star Work of the Week. Have your child pick out their own star work every week and hang it up somewhere special at home.
-One of the most important pieces of learning we're losing due to this closure is peer to peer interaction and problem solving. One way to support this at home is through social stories. Present an issue to your student between two fictional characters. Give them a fun backstory to engage students: "Mrs. Blueberry called me on the phone to say her daughters Rapunzel and Elsa keep arguing about who gets to use the tablet first. What should we tell them?" You can have your child write a letter to these characters or make a video of the solution. This is often a great way to address problems happening in the classroom or at home while removing the heightened emotions of personal experience.
-Sharing vulnerable feelings can help students feel more comfortable sharing their own. Small, digestible sentences followed by a light question is a great way to open up a dialogue. Saying, "I really miss seeing my friends, don't you?" is a lot easier to answer than, "How are you feeling, don't you miss your friends?" Listen and let your child talk and be okay with some quiet moments. While being vulnerable can help them share, be sure to maintain a sense of control. They don't know what's going on and can't truly grasp this situation, but they can always tell themselves that their family is in control. Avoid statements like, "I'm scared and don't understand what's happening." or, "I fear that we're all going to get sick." Instead frame things in honest but reassuring ways, "We don't know everything, but we're doing all we can to be safe and healthy."