Posts Tagged ‘parents’
Improve Reading Skills Part 4 - WritingAs a parent you have a large responsibility. You need to not only care for your child, you also need to watch over their education and be sure they learn with ease. Reading, writing, and spelling can be difficult for many kids. But as a parent, you do have the power and ability to help your kids improve reading, writing, and spelling skills. Now what I mean here is that you as a parent can help your child improve reading skills whether they have an identified learning disability, dyslexia, ADHD, are falling through the cracks or are gifted.
4 Easy to Implement Activities to Improve Reading SkillsTheir are 4 easy to implement activities that each take just a few minutes a day to improve reading. 1. Improve reading fluency in 5 minutes a day 2. Improve spelling and learn the 8 ways we put letters together to make words 3. Improve reading comprehension by playing a reading comprehension game 4. Improve writing skills using specially designed graphic organizers I've already talked about how you can help your child improve their reading fluency in just minutes a day. I've already talked about how you can help your child improve their spelling skills in just minutes a day. And, I've talked about how you can help your child improve their reading comprehension by playing a game with them. so, today I’m going to talk about the fourth activity which is helping your children improve their reading – and that is by helping them with their writing skills.
The 4th Activity to Improve Reading SkillsThe fourth activity to help your kids improve reading skills is to help your kids learn how to take notes with the graphic organizers found in Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills. These fill-in-the-blank graphic organizers make note-taking, paragraph writing, and essay writing easy. As a parent, I hated watching my son struggle with a writing assignment. I’m sure you feel the same way. One of the best things I found to do to make this note-taking and paragraph writing or even essay writing easier was to create graphic organizers that were easy for him to fill in. Then he wasn’t staring at a blank sheet of paper anymore. It was so much easier for him to fill in the blanks and within about 10 minutes he’d have his notes done. His life became easier and my life became easier too. We didn’t have the ‘homework wars’ going on anymore. You know, I’ve had students bring me their notes over the years that they had done in class when they needed help writing their paper from them. The sad thing was, they couldn’t make heads or tails out of their notes even though they used a ‘webbing’ system when they did them. The notes were just too hard for them to follow. That is why I created the graphic organizers the way I did, so students whether they had perception problems or not would be able to utilize the notes they took. It isn’t enough to take the notes. You need to be able to utilize them after you’ve taken them. Donna Walker Tileston, author of What Every Teacher Should Know About the Brain states, “Approximately 87% of learners either need to see the learning or do something with it. Using visuals with the learning will help students take in the information more efficiently, but even more important, it helps them to develop their own methods for organizing content.” Using pictographs, charts and graphs, graphic organizers, and note-taking models is the way to do this. So, give the graphic organizers from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills a try. I created them in such a way that once he filled them out he’d actually be able to use them for study guides or for help in turning notes into paragraphs or rough drafts into final copies.
4 Activities to Improve Reading Skills
(Part 3 - Reading Comprehension)As a parent you do have the power and ability to help your kids improve their reading skills. Now what I mean here is that you as a parent can help your child whether they have an identified learning disability, dyslexia, ADHD, or are gifted. There are 4 easy to implement activities that each take just a few minutes a day to improve reading.
- Improve reading fluency in 5 minutes a day
- Improve spelling and learn the 8 ways we put letters together to make words
- Improve reading comprehension by playing a reading comprehension game
- Improve writing skills using specially designed graphic organizers
Improve Reading Skills ActivitiesThe first activity you can do to help your child improve reading skills just takes 5 minutes a day - reading fluency. The second activity which is helping your children improve reading skills is by helping your children improve their spelling skills (about 12 minutes). The third activity is to play games with your children. The key here is to play games that are specifically designed to improve reading comprehension. So, the third activity is playing a reading comprehension game. That’s right, game playing! Playing The Comprehension Zone, a reading comprehension game, teaches your kids how to read for the main idea and details or sequence what they read does the trick. So many children struggle with reading comprehension, specifically finding the main idea of what they are reading or finding details that support the main idea or for sequential order. This can be daunting for some students, and not just those students with LD, dyslexia, or ADHD. You don't have to have a learning disability to have difficulty with reading comprehension! Even gifted children sometimes struggle with reading comprehension. Think about how difficult note-taking is when you don’t have a clue about the main idea of what you read. Typically you either stare at blank sheets of paper or you copy everything down, not knowing how to pick out the important information.
Play Reading Game to Improve Reading SkillsTo be able to play a game and learn, practice, and reinforce the skill of pulling out the main idea and the details or putting information into sequential order at the same time is quite something. Additionally, this reading game can be played for both reading comprehension or listening comprehension. One of the beauties of playing games that improve reading skills, teach, and reinforce skills is that you are in a relaxed state when you are playing. Leaning is retained more efficiently when your body is not in a tense fight or flight state. Using games to learn skills is a way to learn in a non-threatening way. Games even help and encourage learners to stay interested and they often work happier and longer without even realizing it. Lee Su Kim states: 'There is a common perception that all learning should be serious and solemn in nature, and that if one is having fun and there is hilarity and laughter, then it is not really learning. This is a misconception. It is possible to learn a language as well as enjoy oneself at the same time. One of the best ways of doing this is through games.' 'There are many advantages of using games to improve reading skills in the classroom: 1. Games are a welcome break from the usual routine of the language class. 2. They are motivating and challenging. 3. Learning a language requires a great deal of effort. Games help students to make and sustain the effort of learning. 4. Games provide language practice in the various skills- speaking, writing, listening and reading. 5. They encourage students to interact and communicate. 6. They create a meaningful context for language use.' Creative Games for the Language Class 'Forum' Vol. 33 No 1, January - March 1995, Page 35 So, be sure to include games like The Comprehension Zone in your family’s activities. Your children will benefit from them. And, you will be spending quality time with your children and be helping them improve their reading comprehension skills at the same time.
- Reading Fluency using Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills…and Yes…it only takes 5 minutes to do. Sally Shawitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia states, "I urge parents to make fluency training their number one priority."
- Take a weekly trip …to the zoo, a local park, the pool, the river, a local factory…and afterwards as a family write down what you did and what your favorite part was…using the fill-in-the-blank forms from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills and create a booklet to keep for all of your weekly trips.
- Do some nature activities such as listening to outdoor sounds, nature rubbings, shape hike, incher hikes … again use the fill-in-the-blank forms from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills to describe what you found or did.
- Activities to do at home like making puppets and putting on a puppet show. Bake cookies together, have a backwards day where you eat dinner in the morning and breakfast in the evening, do add-on-stories. Again write down your favorite things or worse things about the activity.
- Have a Game Night or a Game Day…choose learning games…they are fun as well as work on skills. Some great ones are The Sentence Zone (play & learn sentence building and grammar while having fun) , The Comprehension Zone (play & learn reading comprehension and listening comprehension), or the Math Zone (play & math calculation practice).
- Read books together…and write a review or report on it, or have a review night where you all act as book reviewers of the book you read.
* 1 large paper grocery bag
* Red tempera paint* Black marker or black tempera paint A. Cut a large paper grocery bag open along the seam (this will be the back of the costume). Then cut a neck hole in what was the bottom of the bag. B. Cut an arm hole on each side of the bag. C. Paint a large red circle (using red tempera paint) on the front on the bag. Let the paint dry. D. Draw or paint a black line down the center of the circle and draw black spots on both sides. E. To make cute antennae, wrap two pipe cleaners on a plastic headband. Make loops at the top. 3. Make sock puppets, use old socks, felt pieces for tongue, buttons for eyes, cut the plastic rings that hold soda cans together for ‘glasses’, cotton balls, etc. Put together a skit or play with several puppets. Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
I've written often about how we learn by seeing, hearing, and doing. But, we also learn through the olfactory system, smell.
In fact, smell actually plays an intricate part of our lives, of our sensory world, in the way we act. The process of recognition of a place is accomplished by our sense of smell. Think about this for a minute. The dentist's office has certain smells related to it, so does the doctor's office. Our homes smell wonderfully inviting when we've been baking or cooking a delicious dinner. We like to be in our homes when they smell good. A movie theater has another smell, as does a candy store. On the other hand, there are places we don't enjoy being at as much, due to the odors. For instance a locker room after a sports event can be full of odors we don't want to be near.
So, what does this have to do with learning? Our sense of smell adds an additional component to learning; it incorporates another sense so the brain is activated with an emotional and biological stimulus. Any time our brain is activated in multiple ways learning is affected, either positively or negatively.
Classrooms can have a variety of odors in them. Most of the time they are good odors. But, sometimes they aren't. For example, when a classroom has just had new carpeting put in, there is usually a pretty noxious odor from the make-up of the carpet. Some severe educational consequences can occur due to this.
When the olfactory system is inundated with noxious odors such as formaldehyde that is out-gassing from carpet, children can suffer health, mood, and behavior problems that undermine school performance and productivity. Children can become allergic to their classrooms from carpet out-gassing.
This actually happened to my daughter when she was in the 4th grade. Her class was moved into a new portable classroom during the second month of the school year. The carpet did not have time to 'outgas'. My daughter came home every day with uncontrollable coughing. She would get some relief at home by morning, and go back to school. By the time she came home again she was worse than when she left in the morning. I took her into the doctor after the 2nd day and then every day for an additional 3 days. We couldn't figure out what was going on. So I went with her to school to see if I could see anything there that was causing the problem. Upon opening the classroom door I almost keeled over. The odor was horrific! And, at that time I was an asthmatic. I immediately started wheezing. I knew what the problem was.
So, we had to educate the school about the problem. We actually gave some solutions to help the carpet odor dissipate quickly. Unfortunately, they didn't quite follow the suggestion [sprinkling the carpet every day after school with baking soda and then vacuuming it up every morning before school]. Instead they placed an open box of baking soda in the classroom. So my daughter ended up wearing a mask whenever she was in the classroom for nine weeks. After nine weeks the carpet odor had finally neutralized and she didn't need to spend her days wearing a max.
The reason I'm sharing this is not so much what happened to my daughter, because she had an extreme reaction to the carpet out-gassing. But the rest of the class was also affected. The absentee rate of students and the teacher in that class due to respiratory problems was higher during that time period than the rest of the school. The behavior of the students in the class during that time frame was also awful. So did maximum learning take place during that time? Of course not.
Other environmental issues that can affect learning
Children can even become allergic their schools when construction is going on from all the molds that are stirred up during the construction. Also classroom pets can create havoc with children. Sometimes children don't even know they have an allergy to pet dander and they end up being stuffed up in the classroom, which affects their ability to hear clearly. Some children respond to pet dander by becoming restless or irritable. So, you want to check and see if the classroom has a pet. Sometimes the behavior problem you child is having is NOT due to their not following directions, but is due to being allergic to pet dander from the class guinea pig.
So, when we are looking to create an optimal learning place for our children, let's keep in mind it's not just the hearing, seeing, and doing. It's also the smells we smell that lead us to places where we feel good and safe and secure. When we feel good, safe, and secure, we learn with ease. So, let's create good smelling classrooms to help our children thrive in learning situations!
Learn about the 3 roadblocks to reading, writing, and math success.
Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET