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Teaming Up To Support Healthy Learners

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1 Teaming Up To Support Healthy Learners
Parents Boost Learning Home School Your Child Community Grant MacEwan Elementary School Thursday, February 5, 2009 “ It takes a village to raise a child.” African Proverb

2 Family Life Makes A Difference
How can you help your child succeed? Research suggests that children who are well adjusted, happy and motivated tend to come from families with the following characteristics: Togetherness Children tend to be happy and well adjusted when they feel important and cared for. Openness and Honesty Everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts with each other. Children are encouraged to express their feelings and talk honestly about what they’re experiencing. Positive Reinforcement Family members encourage and support each other, especially during challenging or difficult times. Most of the comments made to each other in daily conversations are positive. Responsibility Parents help their children become more responsible for their actions. They help their children solve problems on their own. Tolerance Children are encouraged to share their views and offer different opinions. Parents genuinely listen to these views without passing judgment. Maturity Children gradually gain responsibilities and privileges as they grow and become more independent. The sense of accomplishment children gain from successfully meeting increased expectations helps them to mature. Involvement In Learning Parents are highly involved in their children’s learning. They provide their children with challenges and encourage them to think and learn every day. Involvement In Community Activities Volunteering as a family helps children to connect with their community and learn more about citizenship. Source: Peel District School Board (Ontario) Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.  ~Charles R. Swindoll, The Strong Family

3 What Is Homework? Scenario:
Your child comes home and you say, “What is your homework tonight?” Sometimes children may respond by saying “I don’t have any.” Have you ever heard this response from your child? If so, some suggestions for what homework can look like include: Checking their student agenda planner for homework, assignment deadlines and test dates. Reading books and magazines Reading through the newspaper Studying vocabulary (checking spelling and defining words) Organizing their binder Highlighting their notes Turning their notes into mind maps or cue cards Studying their cue cards or mind maps Playing board games or doing crossword puzzles based on their notes Parent(s) quizzing their child as well as the child quizzing their parent(s) How much homework should my child be doing? The Calgary Board of Education makes recommendations about homework. Assigning homework is up to the individual teacher, but students and parents are encouraged to set aside some regular time each evening for home study or recreational reading. The nature and amount of home study recommended are as follows: Division 1 (Grades 1-3): Parents and teachers should encourage children to read each evening. No formal assignments should be made, but from 5-10 minutes of systematic study per night is recommended. Division 2 (Grades 4-6): Formal homework assignments may be given at the discretion of the teacher. They should be within the half hour range.

4 Parents Boost Learning
Literacy For Families Helping Your Child With Reading, Writing and Oral Language At Home Your interest, involvement and support will help to improve your child’s achievement and success. The following are suggested activities that you and your child can do at home. Model Reading and Writing Have your child see you read and write in whatever language you are comfortable with. Children learn best by example. Relate reading to your every day life. For example, you can read magazines, newspapers, catalogues, menus, TV Guides, internet, crossword puzzles, maps and guides. Write letters to your child. Compliment her when she has done something well. Use cards and notes to let her know how proud you are of her accomplishments. Ask your child to write letters, shopping lists, invitations and to-do lists. Encourage your child to write a letter to a family member she has not seen in a while. When reading a book or watching TV show or a movie, ask children to repeat the plot, the story’s characters and the setting. Ask him to retell what happens in the beginning, middle and end. After you read a book/article together, ask him questions about what happened. Ask your child to tell you about his reading and his feelings about it. Work on increasing your child’s vocabulary by using and defining more difficult words in everyday speech. For older students, make sure to ask open ended questions, rather than just yes or no questions. This encourages your child to use language and vocabulary for self expression. Read, watch, listen to and discuss newspaper articles, television and radio news coverage, journals and magazines. (An article beside the breakfast bowl can do wonders to the usual “mundane” conversations.) Prepare shopping lists together and compare prices, sizes and brands. This is a great way to use the weekend flyers to find the “best” deals. Comic Strip Writing: Use comic strips to help with writing. Cut apart the segments of a comic strip and ask your child to arrange them in order. Then ask your child to fill in the words of the characters (orally or in writing) Float and Sink: Encourage hypothesizing (guessing). Use several objects—soap, a dry sock, a bottle of shampoo, a wet sponge, an empty bottle. Ask your child which object will float when dropped into water in a sink or bathtub. Then drop the objects in the water, one by one, to see what happens. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader

5 A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.
Follow The News: As a family, choose an important news event to follow for a day or two. Ask each person to find as much information on the topic as possible—read newspapers, listen to the radio, and watch TV news. Then talk about what everyone learned. Pro and Con: What Do You Think? Make a family game of discussing a special issue—for example, “Teenagers should be allowed to vote,” or “There should never be any homework.” Ask your youngsters to think of all the reasons they can to support their views. Then ask them to think of reasons opposing their views. Which views are most convincing? Let Your Voice Be Heard: Promote good citizenship. Help your child write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper about an issue affecting children—for example, suggest that a bike path be built near the school or that a city event be planned for youngsters. Children are citizens and their ideas are worth hearing. Play spelling and language games---like Scrabble, Boggle or Trivial Pursuit—and look for the correct spelling and meaning of words. Encourage your child to read independently. He can read magazines, newspapers, comic books or anything of his choice. Paperless Word Games The Prime Minister's Cat Start with A and work your way through the alphabet using an adjective beginning with a different letter each time. For example, the first person might say "The Prime Minister's cat is an angry cat," and the second person would respond, "The Prime Minister's cat is a beautiful cat." See how far you can get. I Spy—This game is often played using colors with young children, but with those who can read you can make it more challenging. How about "I spy, with my little eye, something that ends in L." Or "I spy, with my little eye, something that has a double letter in the middle." Aunt Annie's Holiday Another alphabet game, this one also tests your child's memory skills. The first person says: "My Aunt Annie went on a holiday and brought back [something that starts with A — let's say an apple]." The next person says: "My Aunt Annie went on a holiday and brought back an apple and a brick." And so on. Questions Pick a topic or a "scene" (for example, two teachers supervising the children at recess) and start acting it out with each person taking a turn to say a line. The catch: Each person has to ask a question. For example: The first person says, "When is recess over?" The second person says: "Why do you want to know?" The first says: "Do I have time to go to the bathroom?" and so on. A variation on this is to pick a number and allow only sentences with that number of words, rather than questions. So if the number is 3, A might say, "Recess over soon?" and B might reply, "Check your watch." Alphabet Game One person says: I'm thinking of something — naming the category, like animals or food — that begins with the letter A. Then everyone guesses. Categories can be anything: countries of the world, animals, boys'/girls' names, things you eat, body parts, places in Canada and so on. A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. George Santayana

The Name Game Have each child write their name, one letter per line, down the left-hand side of the paper. Then use each letter as the initial letter of an adjective or phrase to describe them. Alternatively, the letters can become the initial letters of words in a sentence. So Daniel might write: daring, adventurous, nice, intelligent, extra-strong, likes spaghetti in the first version, or Daring anything new, I eagerly leap. Change a Letter The first person starts off by writing down a word of between three and six letters. The next person tries to change one letter to make a new word. The next person (or the first person again) tries to change one letter to make a different word, and so on until no more words can be made. For example: games, gates, mates, mites. CAR TRIP GAMES License Plate Phrases Give each child a piece of paper, and have them write down the letters only from, for example, five license plates they see around them. They have to then use those letters in order, as the first letters of the words in a short (and ideally funny) phrase or sentence. For example, if the license is AAYC 665, you write down AAYC and the phrase you could get might be: alligators avoid yellow cars. Restaurant Legs Not good for rural highway driving, but if you are trekking through some small towns, assign a child (or a team) to each side of the car and have them look for restaurants and call out the names as they read them. They get points for the number of legs the people or animals in the title would have. For example, a restaurant called The Coach and Four scores a whopping 16 points (four horses, each with four legs), but Shakespeare's Inn only gets two. The good thing about most of these games is that they can be played co-operatively — they're more about having fun than winning — and when there is competition, children can sometimes beat the adults. "Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsiblity. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens". President Clinton

7 Helping Your Child With Math At Home
Math For Families Helping Your Child With Math At Home Teachers help build children’s mathematical thinking at school. Families help build it at home. Research shows that an ongoing partnership with families can help children develop math understanding. Teachers and parents help children view themselves as able learners of math through using real objects and encouraging them to talk about their learning. Promote Math as Thinking, not Memorization -Praise your child when she thinks for herself, or when he figures things out by himself; “Great job using a new way to figure that out.” - Try not to emphasize memorizing. Although some parts of math need to become automatic through memory work, children need time for mathematical thinking and reasoning – don’t rush it; “Take your time.” - Ask your child to explain how he figured things out, what she was thinking. This helps children realize that you value their thinking; “How did you know that?” Keep in mind that memorizing does not always mean understanding and that math is about making sense. Talk About Math Ask questions that encourage your child to: - use math language, including words such as add, subtract, equal and the names of shapes; - explain his or her thinking; “Tell me how you know that” or “How did you get that?”; - sequence and plan; “What are you going to do first?”; - count; “How many buttons are on your shirt?”; - compare; “Which leaf is biggest?”; - use logical thinking; “There are four children coming to the party. How many treats do we need?”; describe the world; “What shape is the moon?”. Talk about math as you show your child how you use math in your life. For example, to: - measure for recipes, sewing, and woodworking; “I need one cup of sugar”; - estimate amounts of paint or wallpaper or to hang pictures; “I want to put this picture 10 centimeters above the other one”; - use the clock to be on time or plan ahead; “If the party is at five o’clock we need to leave in half an hour”; - read schedules for television, bus or movie times; “The movie starts at seven o’clock, so we’ll be home before bed-time.” "I hear--I forget, I see--I learn, I do--I understand". Gennady V. Oster

8 Everyday Math Family Activities...
That Support Student Understanding Young children learn best through working with objects and by having “real” experiences. Real experiences are those that can happen naturally while doing day-to-day activities around the house and in the community. Children need to make sense of math by doing, seeing and talking about mathematical connections with their lives. Children who learn to make sense of math in this way build a strong base in working with numbers. Estimation Estimation is using what you know to make a guess that makes sense. Estimation is an everyday skill. Questions to Ask - How do you know? - Does that make sense? - If you don’t know, how can you find out? - Is there another way to find out? - How many _____do you think there are? - Which one has most, is longer, is heavier? Things to Do Estimate first and then find: - something that is longer, shorter, lighter, heavier, than _______ - how many crayons end-to-end would go from the couch to the fireplace - how many blocks will fit in this box - which will take longer, to walk to the door or write your name - how many minutes before your food comes after you order - how many pennies it will take to cover a book Patterning Patterning is seeing repetitive cycles, events and images that are predictable. Questions to Ask - How do you know? - Does that make sense? - If you don’t know, how can you find out? - Do you see a pattern? Tell me about it. - What will come next? Things to Do - Look for repeating patterns on cloth, wallpaper, or clothing. - Look for repeating patterns in time (e.g., seasons, months, or daily routines). - Listen for patterns in songs and clap or dance the rhythm. - Start patterns with blocks, beads, playing cards, or toys and get children to make them longer. - Count by 10’s, 5’s, and 2’s. "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere". Chinese Proverb

9 Numbers are all around us and we need to know how to use them.
Counting and Numbers Numbers are all around us and we need to know how to use them. Questions to Ask - How many are there? - How do you know? - If you don’t know, how can you find out? - Does that make sense? Things to do for Counting - Let your child see and hear you counting. - Count everything – touch each thing while counting. - Use number rhymes and songs. - Set the table. Ask: How many forks are needed? - Play board games. - Play dice games. Have the children say the numbers. Things to do for Numeral Recognition - Play card games. - Find numbers on signs, in newspapers (e.g., find all the 3’s). - Use magnetic numerals. - Make play dough numerals. Things to do for Sorting - Sort the laundry. - Put away the cutlery and toys. - Arrange books (e.g., sort by size or subject). - Collect items to use for sorting (e.g., buttons, rocks, nuts and bolts, or beads). Sort them using muffin tins or egg cartons. - Sort playing cards or dominoes. Things to do for Ordering—size, height, length, number - Use nesting toys. - Ask which flower is the tallest or shortest. - Order various materials by length, volume, size (e.g., ribbon, buttons, lids, pieces of paper). - Use playing cards or dominoes. Things to do for Number Concepts - Find out how many _____there are (e.g., doors in your house, red cars on the street, cups on the table, red lights on your trip to the store). - Tap your finger ____ times and have your child tell you the numeral or point to the number on a numeral card. - Make groups of 3, 4, 5, 6 things. - Make “8” as many ways as you can (e.g., 4 and 4; 5 and 3; 2 and 6). - Match numeral cards with the correct number of things (e.g., numeral 8 card with 8 objects). - Look at dominoes and find all the ones that have a total of ___ dots. Spatial Thinking Understanding where things are in our world and how they relate to each other helps us makes sense of our world. Questions to ask - What do you see? - What would happen if______? - Can you tell me why______? Things to do - Recognize dot patterns on dice without counting them (e.g., let children call out the numbers on the dice). - Conduct a shape search playing “I Spy”; “I spy something that is round.” - Build with blocks. Make designs with shape blocks. - Play shape tickle (e.g., draw shapes on your child’s back so that she or he can identify them). - Play with puzzles and games involving fitting shapes into a space. - Make jigsaws using pictures and then put them back together. - Make a map of your bedroom, your house, or your neighborhood. - Practice position words by having a treasure hunt—follow clues like over, under, above, below, next to, beside. - Put cutlery into the right space in the tray.

10 Additional Activities That Foster Math Skills At Home
Prepare shopping lists together and compare prices, sizes and brands. This is a great way to use the weekend flyer to find the “best” deals. Look at advertisements together and estimate how much money you can save if you buy different brands. For example, compare prices of clothing at different stores or sports equipment at stores for sporting goods. This is also a great way to teach your child about finding good prices. Collect coupons and see how much you can save. Play logical math games, or work with a calculator and the computer. Graph a variety of data, perhaps on family gas consumption, time spent watching television, time spent on the internet or time spent listening to CDs and other music. Discuss the graph. Newspaper Math Look for specific number ranges such as all of the numbers between Your child can look for odd numbers, even numbers, prime numbers, multiples of three, etc. The possibilities are endless Newspaper advertisements and coupons can teach the skill of budgeting. Look through grocery ads together, making a list of all the items you need to buy. See if your child can locate which stores sell each of the items for the lowest cost. Grocery Store Math Ask for help weighing the produce. Ask your child to estimate how much each item weighs, then check these estimations. Have your child keep a tally as you pick up items, and see how well they’ve added prices and estimated total cost when you get to the checkout. This exercise is for children who have already grasped the concept of addition. Start with a small amount of purchases, then gradually work your way up to larger-sized shopping trips. Traveling Math: Search for numbers while you drive. Ask children to find the numbers one through 10, 20, 30, 40 etc. from license plates, street signs, addresses, even billboards. They can also include numbers that are spelled out. -When on longer car rides have your child estimate how far you’ve traveled, how many more miles to your destination, and how long it’s going to take you? This can teach them to estimate time and distance.

11 Tips For Parents On Raising Physically and Emotionally Healthy Children
Given the many challenges that parents and families face today, raising children to be physically and emotionally healthy can be a daunting task. Provide unconditional love and express love both physically and verbally. • Enforce rules for the child and use removal of privileges and other forms of discipline that do not belittle, harm, or reject the child. • Model behavior that you would like the child to display. • Praise the child for his or her accomplishments. • Encourage the child to try things and do things on his or her own with minimal adult help. • When language is developing, acknowledge and label the child’s feelings and encourage the child to express his or her own feelings and to recognize feelings in others (for example: sad, glad, sorry, happy, mad). • Use developing language to reinforce aspects of resilience to help the child face adversity: for example, “I know you can do it” encourages autonomy and reinforces a child’s faith in his or her own problem-solving skills; “I’m here” comforts and reminds the child of the trusting relationships that he or she can rely on. • Offer explanations and reconciliation along with rules and discipline. • Encourage the child to demonstrate empathy and caring, to be pleasant, and to do nice things for others. • Encourage the child to use communication and problem-solving skills to resolve interpersonal problems or to seek help with them. “The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun." Napoleon Hill ( )

12 Technology Supports Learning
Technology is global. It is a tool to be used in your child’s education. Surf the Internet with your child and explore the many websites that offer learning opportunities: (Go to students for the drop down menu and choose online libraries for resources that support reading, writing and math) (search engine, great for research) (a fun way to practice your math facts) (help with solving math problems) (covers an amazing array of subjects) (answers your questions within hours!) (search engine) (over 5,000 learning resources) Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and Homework Help Your first stop for internet resources to help complete your homework assignments. Over 5000 carefully selected resources to assist with your homework problems Kid's games, animals, photos, stories and more Searches educational sites Find the best K-12 homework resources organized by subject and grade-level. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever". Mahatma Gandhi

13 When Your Child Reads To You....
Reading aloud to your child has many benefits. • It increases your child’s vocabulary. • It helps your child build an understanding of how books work. • It helps your child learn that reading is a pleasurable activity. • Most important of all, it provides an opportunity for you to spend quality time with your child! Read different types of books such as: • Picture books • Information books • Nursery rhyme and poetry books Before Reading • Make this an enjoyable time for you and your child. • Be enthusiastic about reading the book. • Make sure your child is comfortable and can see the book easily. • Look at the cover of the book and read the title. Ask your child, “What do you think this story might be about?” • Discuss connections between the book and your child’s experiences. While Reading • Take time to talk about the pictures in the book. • Use expression and read in a natural speaking voice. • Stop occasionally to talk about the story and develop understanding. For example: - “What do you think might happen next?” - “How do you think that person feels?” - “That was funny!” • Talk about the meaning of unfamiliar words. • If your child hesitates at a word, give him/her time to solve the problem alone. Wait at least ten seconds before saying anything. After Reading • Talk about the story. For example: - “Did you like it?” - “What did you like best?” - “Why?” “Why not?” - “Did the story remind you of other stories we have read?” - “Did the story make you think of anything that has happened to you?” • Ask your child if he/she would like to read the story again. Familiar stories enable your child to join in with the parts of the story they know. SUPPORT • When your child reads a word that doesn’t make sense ask, “Does that make sense?” Encourage him/her to look at the pictures to think about what would make sense. • When your child reads a word that is incorrect but makes sense, ask, “Does that word look right?” Encourage her/him to look at the letter combinations rather than sounding it out letter by letter. • When your child says nothing, prompt him/ her to skip that word and read on to the end of the sentence. Or begin again at the start of the sentence. • If your child is still stuck after two tries, tell her/him the word. • If your child is unable to read the text, encourage him/her to echo some of the words as you read them. COMPLIMENT Compliment your child when she/he: • corrects a mistake. • makes relevant comments about the book. • asks questions about the book. • reads correctly after being helped. • reads smoothly – it sounds like talking. Compliment your child for reading with you.

14 Shout Out For Volunteers
He goes by Shout, but unlike x k - jpg Shout, shout, let it all out 300 x k - jpg                                          Shout Out For Volunteers Prior to 6:45 we need 2 volunteers to set up the refreshment table. (Leslie will purchase the beverages and snack for the evening) 1.______________ 2. ___________________ Babysitting ____________ ______________ Facilitators to lead small group discussion with parents regarding the tools/strategies of what homework can look like. (Parents will be provided with a copy of the handout which has activities that aid in the fostering of literacy, math and social development skills.) 1.________________ 2._______________ 3. _______________ T E A M Together Everyone Achieves More

15 Notes Activities compiled in this resource are borrowed from the Peel Region Board of Education and Achieve. For further information go to:


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