Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ways Parents Can Help with Spelling

There are many ways parents can help their child at home. The most simple and best way is to always make sure your child reads for 15-20 minutes daily. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand so reading at home will also help to strengthen your childs writing skills.

I have been tutoring a first grade student. His parents were very concerned about his spelling because he could verbally spell words correctly, and then on his spelling test he would miss the word. I asked them if they had him write the word. Now, I am totally against just making a child write a vocabulary word repeatedly. So please know when I encouraged them to do this I meant using his finger to "sky write" the word in the air, write in salt, making the words out of wikki stix or playdoh, etc. and also connecting a picture or clip art pic with the word if possible. Or having him act the word out. Just something so he could experience making the word and not just orally reciting the letters. 
It was like a giant light bulb went off! They now work with him on more than just verbally spelling the word. We have seen progress!!
This week someone shared this infographic on Facebook on ways parents can help their child at home with spelling: Keep in mind with number one you want to make it interactive--not a drill-n-kill spelling activity!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Heart to heart

{Heart I drew outside one day.}

I bought some Sweetart conversation hearts to use for math and science this week. My husband ate them. He is Cookie Monster’s less known brother, Candy Monster, by the way. I need to get some more because I saw this great idea for measuring distance by making a candy catapult from Stir the Wonder. I have everything to make it, just need to get that candy!

I have also been hearing a lot about the new alphabet conversation heart candies. I am thinking we could use these for making words!

Here are some other neat Valentine classroom and crafty things I have seen recently~
Heart Shaped Animals Craftivity
You could add a writing extension!

A salt dough keepsake is always a fun craft parents adore. And working with dough helps improve fine motor skills!

 Handprint craft ideas. Again, I encourage you to add writing along with the craft. It maximizes the learning opportunity!

 Valentine snack ideas! I really like the pretzel with jelly heart arrow snack. I bought some jelly hearts at the dollar store the other day. You could make this healthier by using fruit or homemade fruit rollups rolled up onto the pretzels.

 Teacher gift idea or good non-sugary gift to give to students! A few years back for Valentine’s I gave my students each a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. It was very inexpensive since they come in 5 packs at Dollar Tree. I make them tags that said, “Valentine, you make my heart glow! Love, Mrs. Winkle”. 

Check out these cool FREE printables to stick in lunch boxes and/or make Vday coupons. I found them at Craftaholics Anonymous.

Like most of my posts, I have to include some Valentine humor!

And I now on to non-heart stuff...
I saw this genius teacher hack for keeping crayons at tables/centers. Have them sorted by color in popsicle molds!

I learned from this graphic the best way to make a really fast paper airplane. I think my son Harrison would like doing this and then we could measure the distance with a tape measure or something.
Oh, and I found an awesome physics lesson idea using Angry Birds!!! You can read it in detail HERE.

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