Break almost upon us! Long holiday breaks are great for spending time with family, eating great food, and relaxing. It is a great for our kids to step back form all the hard work they've been doing at school and feel proud, but it can be hard on a student's learning if there is a total break from from anything educational. Fortunately, being on break doesn't mean that learning stops. I always think of the advice: "Learn something new everyday."
Reading is hands down the best thing your child can spend time doing to keep their learning growing. Make time for family reading at night, or read a book to your child before bed. Kids learn so much from watching and imitating, that seeing you as a parent reading can be very powerful. These can be fiction books or nonfiction, and really try to find some "just right books" for your child. Just right books are also called "Goldilocks" books because they aren't so easy that your child will get bored, but not so difficult that your child gets frustrated. You can use the Lexile information from your child's NWEA scores as a starting point to find just right books. You can even download the app Overdrive to check out free library ebooks from the comfort of your home!
Some teachers or schools have RazKids available for their students as well. RazKids is a inclusive leveled books and assessment program where kids can earn stars for reading and correctly answering questions about reading. It's fun and provides some cool incentives for kids to read. There is a link to the RazKids site in the Links for Families section of this website.
Math practice is also very important. iXL is available to all k-3 students at Brandon! Their slogan is "Practice that feels like play!" iXL is a great way to practice math facts and concepts. It offers quick bursts of practice with tutorials for questions answered incorrectly. iXL also has a incentive component that provides kids with some fun short goals to keep them engaged. There is link to iXL under the Links for Families section of our site.
I hope everyone has an awesome break full of learning!
Hour of Code, Hour of Code, Hour of Code! It's so exciting to hear those three words mentioned from the teacher prep area to the Kindergarten classroom at Brandon. Everyone is trying the Hour of Code. If you aren't familiar with the Hour of Code, it's an initiative that's part of Computer Science Education week. The goal of the week is to expose people of all ages to computer science, an ever increasingly important field.
We've been using the code.org as our starting point for our kids in the elementary buildings. The kids go through a series of puzzles to get the popular Angry Birds to capture the evil pigs. These puzzles have code "under the hood" and teach kids about loops, logic, and language to use with a computer. There are some great offline lessons too that help students learn computational thinking, binary representation, and other vital computer science skills. Check out the video below for more information about the Hour of Code from some technology heavy hitters.
Instructional Technology Coach