Hello St. Giles,
I hope to see you at this week’s parent teacher conferences. I always look forward to the opportunity of talking with families about their children. If you have questions that you’ve been meaning to ask and have not got around to doing so, why not stop at my table for a conversation? I would be happy to listen, offer support, and share a positive comment about your child.
With that being said, people have asked me over the years, “What is the best way to support my child at home with reading and math?”. I have found that there is really no magic solution to that question, although the answer that I give is simple, find things in the real world to enhance your child’s curiosity and love of learning. Let me give you some concrete examples….
First, if you look in a drawer at home, you most likely will find a deck of playing cards housed inside. Why not take out that deck and play addition, subtraction, or multiplication Peace with your child? Divide the deck up in two piles, and take turns drawing a card, laying the drawn card face up. The first person who provides the correct sum, difference, or product wins that round. Continue playing until your pile runs out of cards. This game is a spin off of War, but my version is called Peace and it is a hit with my special learners.
Second, do you want your child to practice reading words that reinforce the long and short vowel sounds? Well, a quick way to enhance this is… when you are driving in the car and are stopped at a traffic light, point out words on a street sign for your child to read or have your child read a bill board advertisement to you. If your child is an emerging reader, you should read the sign first and have your child repeat the word backs to you. This will strengthen your child’s sight word visual memory.
Third, is your child studying a unit on fractions? How about making a batch of cookies over a long weekend and have your child measure out the ingredients using your kitchen measuring cups and/or spoons and point out the measurements on the instruments. Also, have your child learn how to double a recipe by multiplying the fraction by 2.
The last piece of advise I could give is to visit your local library. Encourage your child select books that they are interested in reading, sit down to read. Most teachers at our school require nightly reading logs and you could use this opportunity to read with one another. I would suggest taking turns reading paragraphs or you could simply read to your child.
And let’s not forget the importance of listening comprehension. There are audio versions of text available at the public library and on You.Tube.com. I would also recommend Learning Ally to enhance listening comprehension. This is an at home subscription, allowing families to download novels that our upper grade teachers may require at school.
Finally, to check your child’s comprehension, pose questions about something specific about the story. For example, “Why do you think the author titled the story, “Wonder” or “Green Eggs and Ham?” or “What title would you give the story, and why do you think it would be a good one?”.
As the Learning Resource Specialist at St. Giles, my door is always. Feel free to stop by my room or email me with your thoughts and questions.
Ms. Elizabeth Gallo