*Read bedtime stories.
*Have your child read the grocery list as you shop.
*Write down a recipe for your child’s favorite food.
*Get excited to visit the library.
*Play a board game and have your child read the cards.
*Don’t leave home without it! Always have reading materials available to read in the car or at appointments.
*Once is not enough. Re-read favorite stories to help build fluency, speed and accuracy.
*Dig Deeper! Ask your child questions about what they just read.
*Be patient, correct gently and praise with enthusiasm
The holidays are a great time to teach children compassion and empathy for others. It is easy for children to be excited to receive gifts, but how do we develop the same enthusiasm for giving? Here are some examples of how you can involve your child in the joy of giving.
- Let your child shop for a few gifts for others using their own money.
- Do a holiday craft or bake cookies to give to neighbors or friends.
- Let your child wrap a few gifts themselves.
- Have your child make cards for others.
- Give your child the opportunity to present the gift to someone so they can see the joy it brings.
- Volunteer in a local soup kitchen or participate in Toys for Tots.
Character Counts is a program that encompasses the pillars of Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. At Rock Creek, we teach, enforce, advocate and model these six pillars. Character Counts was designed as a character-development framework that can be implemented on many levels. It works in a single classroom as well as an entire school community.
We believe character can be taught and, if modeled correctly, students will have the tools to make good moral decisions in their lives.
http://pbskids.org/ –This is a great site for kids of all ages featuring all of your kids favorite characters from PBS!
http://www.rhcbooks.com/ -Featuring Books, Activities, Games and more all surrounding your favorite Characters from Random House Books! This is a great way to make books come alive for little ones!
www.starfall.com -This is a great website for learning to read. Starfall takes your kids all the way from ABC’s to Learning to Read! There are some fun games and more that surround Phonics, Sounds and putting sounds together in words! This is great for preschoolers learning to read!
www.scholastic.com/kids/books/the-magic-school-bus/ -There are tons of Great Videos and Games about the Environment & Science. This is a great website for older children who want to learn about weather, geography and more.
www.highlightskids.com -This site has games, books, crafts and of course Hidden Pictures.
http://www.abcya.com/ -This is another great learning site for kids. There is everything from Counting Games, to Graphing, Patterns and more. Great for learning early math skills.
www.Kids.nationalgeographic.com This is a great site for exploring our world and learning all you can about the Ocean, Animals, Geography and more! There is a TON of information on this site and also some great videos, Puzzles and quizzes!
Rock Creek builds in time for students to read at school each day, but research shows that this may not be enough. Students who read at home in addition to reading at school tend to have higher test scores. Here are some ways to incorporate reading at home!
*Read the cereal box each morning
*Find a reading website or app that your child enjoys
*Look up information about a favorite subject on the computer
*Take regular trips to the library
*Start a book club with friends
*Model reading by reading in front of and to your children
Classrooms look very different today than they did 20 years ago. When you walk into a classroom today you would notice students using technology. Some may be on their smartphone, a laptop or a tablet. You will notice that students are engaged and having fun.
There are many benefits to using technology in the classroom. The first benefit is an increase in student motivation. Today’s generation is excited about using technology and catch on very quickly. Another benefit is that students are able to take a more active role in their education. Very rarely do students just sit in their chair and listen to a teacher lecture. Technology gives teachers the ability to draw students in and involve them in learning. Technology allows students to collaborate with peers as they work on many technology-based projects.
Rock Creek is taking advantage of this great tool by exposing students to a variety of technology-based experiences. With technology in the classroom, the possibilities are endless.
In school, we often use the term goals with your children. How can we help our students set realistic goals and stick to them? Consider these ideas you can also support at home:
- Make the goal specific. The target needs to be very clear for your child. Help him/her clearly articulate what it is they want to achieve. Instead of a goal to get better at reading, the goal could be to better understand what is being read.
- Set a short timeframe. Many goals fail because the time frame is too long. Set small, specific timeframes (2-3 weeks) that can be more easily monitored.
- Make a plan. Help your child figure out actions they can take to reach their goal. How will you better understand what you are reading? Will you write a summary after a certain number of pages? Will you ask questions as you read?
- Adjust the goal. There is nothing wrong with your child adjusting his/her goals. Adjusting will be more successful than quitting.
- Celebrate. Celebrate the small successes like sticking to the goal’s steps. There is something about acknowledging progress, even small progress, that propels us to keep at it and work toward the next small step along the road of attaining a goal.
Parents and teachers share the same goals for children and students; they want each individual to do their best. This will happen when parents and teachers work together. This can happen in a number of ways.
- Keeping lines of communication open between parents and teachers
- Parents help by setting aside time for schoolwork at home
- Teachers can send newsletters, create blogs, make phone calls and send report cards
- Parents can attend parent/teacher conferences to make sure that parents, teachers and students are all on the same page
- Parents can volunteer in the classroom or building
- Parents can help the teacher by letting them know about things happening at home
- Teachers and parents can work as a team to provide the best for students
Is your child spending countless hours in front of a TV or tablet? Do you wish that your child would spend their time doing other things such as playing outside, reading or doing homework and chores?
Have them “buy” their screen time instead. For every one minute they would like to spend in front of the TV or tablet, they must spend one minute doing an activity of your choice such as homework, playing outside, chores or reading. They will need to purchase their time with these minutes. Time doing these things at school does not count and banking time from a previous day does not work either. Time must be used on the day it’s earned.
Give it a try! You may be pleasantly surprised with the results!
Some children are born with an inner drive to keep trying over and over when they fail. Most children aren’t, though, and it is up to us to help them see that failing is actually the key to succeeding.
Teaching our children the word YET is key. They may come to you and say, “I don’t know how to read” or “I can’t ride a 2 wheeler” or “I can’t get good grades.” We need to teach them to add the word “yet” to the end of those sentences so they start to realize that these things take time and with the right mindset, they will happen!
Sit down with your child and list out things that they now do, that at one time they thought were hard. Have them tell you that with practice they learned to do hard things. They are able to do hard things! Using this type of thinking and dialogue around our children will teach them that by trying, failing and learning from their mistakes, they will succeed at doing hard things.