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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Easy Summer Math Practice!!!!

     One word ZEARN!!!  Yes Zearn has summer packets for grades K-5. So your child can review or spring forward. Also, you can signup for FREE as a student or adult. Here is a quick overview of Zearn:
     My daughter loves it and it's really great because, she can now start exploring 1st grade skills while reviewing kindergarten skills. Zearn also helps to build fact fluency, vocabulary, and most of all rigor.  I am an educator so I did signup as  a teacher. You can too if you are homeschooling your children. As a teacher, my daughter can see video lessons. The lessons start with math blast, then learning lab, tower of power and finally a bonus.  After she is done with her lesson online, then she works the problems from that lesson in the summer packet.
    I encourage you to discuss what's going on while watching the video lessons. This is to ensure your child understands the concept and you can quickly correct misconceptions. Also during independent practice I simply read the directions and I allow her to do it on her own even if she struggles. After she is done we go over her work. And that's it. 

5 Reasons Why your Child should struggle:

1Struggle helps them learn how to learn.

There is a difference between regurgitating materials on an test vs. understanding the process of learning. Students who aren’t given the opportunity for independent learning don’t acquire the skill of HOW to learn and how to examine a skill from different perspectives. The teacher stands in the way of the student’s natural curiosity.

2. Independent learning focuses on the process and not just the answer.

The process of learning is exciting can be interrupted when the focus is on getting the right answer. Instead we should focus on the right process. Our children can develop a growth mindset that failure is not the end and it helps you to grow. 

3. Intrinsic Motivation.

The world isn’t going to cheer us all on always. When things get tough, students will develop motivation from within than motivation from the external. At some point in the learning cycle you want the student to be actively engaged in the learning process themselves so that they can get that sense of gratification. They will realize that the right answer they got was because of the work they did themselves. Even if they make mistakes, they will still be able to evaluate which part of the process didn't work.

4. Independent learners are more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.

Some of the most honest people on the planet are children. They are very aware of their weaknesses. You know this because as soon as you release them to do a few problems on their own they will raise their hand and say, "I can't do this." or "This is too hard." So I always tell them complete the problems you know first. This builds their confidence to try the problems that are harder.

5. Students learn how to teach others.

Students love being the teacher or the expert. They develop communication skills and confidence in knowing that they are great at something and others look up to them. The other students can also chime in with questions or more explanation. They can even give advice on alternative ways to solve problems. This is definitely a win-win and cooperative learning at its best.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Care Packages for Quarantine

Here are some highlights of care packages I made for my students during COVID-19.  I received funding from Donor's Choose to complete this project. My students eyes lit up when they received their packages. It was time consuming but it was so worth it. I really had fun with this project!!!  Here is what was packaged for them.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Music Fun in Quarantine!!!

    Who doesn't love music? No one. Music comes in different styles, genres and for different age levels. Music was my most loved past time growing up.  It provokes strong emotion and lifts us up. It changes any atmosphere at any giving time. Music has the ability to bring 1000s of people together at concerts. It also has the power to speak out against social injustice.  Music can express love, joy, hurt, and pain. It can also be therapeutic in nature or a dose of reality. It is timeless because, it never gets old. Music changes the tone in my classroom by bringing joy and laughter to my students. Here are some reasons why you should incorporate music and movement during quarantine.

 Movement:  Music gets you moving. Get some much needed exercise in with your kids while on lockdown. Movement improves heart health. While on quarantine, I have been sitting down too much.  One site my daughter loves to go to for music and movement is GoNoodle. It is fun and has many different options.

Brain: Music and movement regulate neurological functions. Music stimulates the brain and prepares it to store meaningful moments in the long term memory. Quarantine does not mean the party stops in our home.  You can even shoot a video of your self and send to family. You can also do a Zoom music party with extended family members in real time. How exciting is that?

Mood: Music and movement can promote a better mood. Movement and laughter releases endorphins in the brain.  These feel-good chemicals increases energy and boost concentration. Our mental health matters at all times. I refuse to let this quarantine change the atmosphere in my home or get us down.  We can live in the moment and be happy for absolutely no reason.

Play:  Your child will look at music and movement as play. Children love to play and they love when you change it up. You can also use different genres of music. You can also listen to music in a different language.

Learning Concepts:  Because, music and movement helps the body to release endorphins. The endorphins in turn increases energy and concentration. It's the perfect combination for keeping your child's attention in learning. Also GoNoodle has music and movement with learning concepts embedded in the songs. Let's Play Music has 150+ songs for young children to sing and dance to.