With Valentine’s day right around the corner, we think combining arts and crafts with reading and writing is a perfect winter activity for students. Here are three fun ways to incorporate literacy at home, while getting in the Valentine’s Day spirit!
Harvard Graduate School of Education created a slideshow on what can parents and educators do to promote reading for fun throughout their academic development. Enjoy!
We get it: it’s cold outside, the sun goes down early, and it just feels so good to hunker down on the couch in front of the tube after work. However, there’s no reason the cold dark weather has to keep your students cooped up in front of the TV (or tablet, smartphone, etc) after school. Pediatricians heartily recommend limiting your child’s screen time, but cutting it down can be overwhelming if you don’t have a slew of activities already up your sleeve. Fear no more! Here’s a quick list of things you can do with your child that engage the brain and get you both off the couch.
Happy reading, crafting, and fort building in 2019!
Learning doesn’t just happen at school! With Winter Break coming up, now is a great time to be involved in your child’s education outside of school. Help foster your child’s creativity and academic skills at home over the holidays in ways that are sneakily educational. Here are some fun and engaging ways to keep the learning going:
It might be time for a vacation from school, but learning happens any time any place! Show your child that learning does not always have to be work; it can be enjoyable! We hope you have a wonderful winter break and holiday season!
Letters aren’t the only way that you can write! Writing is all about expressing yourself; sometimes that takes the form of complex sentences, but pictures can do wonders in expression as well! Different writing mediums and colors help inspire stories and pictures. Being creative allows a child to build their self-confidence so they can start to feel empowered as an artist and writer. If you've ever received a coloring masterpiece from a child, then you know the pure delight and pride they have when giving a creation they created from scratch!
Encourage your child to explore! Coloring with crayons or paint can help children understand color blending and a spectrum of light. These differences in sensory input will help your child learn not only their letters, but build skills in how to perceive subtle differences in the world around them.
For a great book to read with your child about writing, try Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
It’s no secret that reading to your child at home is one of the best ways to prepare them for academic success later on. In our Literacy Lab pre-K program, we start engaging with books through interactive readalouds at an early age. Indeed, most parents may think that reading books aloud is just for younger students. But did you know that reading aloud to older students can be just as important?
Here are just a few benefits of reading aloud to students young and old:
Feeling inspired? Try these tips to make your readalouds super fun for everyone:
Curious about the benefits of reading aloud? Check out this interview with Jim Trelease, the author of The Readaloud Handbook. We love using his strategies in the classroom!
Back-to-school season is in full swing! What can we do to start the school year off on the right foot? Establishing certain routines can make a big difference in helping students start a successful school year. If you are a family member, I hope that you find these thoughts useful within your own family. If you are volunteer, community member, or teacher, I hope you find some of these ideas helpful as you check-in with the students you support. There is a wealth of information out there, and these are some favorites from the couple websites listed below.
Read more below.
A growth mindset is a mathematical mindset (Excerpts from Youcubed.org)
The term “growth mindset” comes from the groundbreaking work of Carol Dweck. She identified everyone holds ideas about their own potential. Some people believe that their intelligence is more or less fixed and in math – that you can do math or you can’t. About 40% of students have these damaging “fixed mindset” ideas. Another 40% have a “growth mindset” – they believe that they can learn anything and that their intelligence can grow. The other 20% waver between the two mindsets.
Students with a fixed mindset are those who are more likely to give up easily, whereas students with a growth mindset are those who keep going even when work is hard, and who are persistent. The two mindsets are associated with different achievement pathways. The best part is that it is possible to change mindsets.
Check out this link for games that help develop math skills and support a growth mindset. https://www.youcubed.org/resource/apps-games/
As the school year nears an end and seemingly drags on in the eyes of your student, literacy may be becoming a point of contention—they are sick of it! Which is where we must remind students that literacy can not only be fun, but is in fact the foundation of so many activities they see as fun. Indeed, the basis for all television shows and movies that your student enjoys? Written stories and scripts. Their favorite card or board game? Relies on literacy to explain the game, rules and how to play. Their favorite video game? Follows written story concepts. That vacation they want to go on so badly? Not possible to plan without the ability to read details around tickets, directions and lodging options!
Literacy truly is behind the majority of activities kids (and adults) enjoy, a fact that is important to illustrate to you student when they seem to be getting burnt out with reading and writing. Of course these things are best instilled through lived experiences and it is vital to remember that literacy is flexible as reading, writing, listening, thinking and speaking are all components of literacy. See below for fun tactics that will bring literacy to life!
This blog is designed to inspire literacy learning beyond the walls of TLC. Check back each week for timely content geared towards engaging families and volunteers alike.