Importance of Learning During the Holiday Breaks

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During the winter holiday break, many students and parents take the opportunity to step back from their crazy schedules and focus on their families and being able to enjoy each other’s company. Just like with summer break, it is essential to continue to involve students with different aspects of academia to keep their wondering minds ahead of the game. It is important to stick to routines such a student’s bedtime and daily responsibilities. Being able to stick to the daily routines helps alleviate any difficulties when students return to school in the new year.

There are many ways where students can take a step back from the classroom but still do a tremendous amount of learning within the household. Taking a bit of time each day to read aloud to your child or have them read independently provides students with ways to increase learning, specifically in the comprehension and vocabulary area. This time also enables parents and children to spend quality time together. These learning moments enable parents to connect the home environment to the classroom. Reading and analyzing texts that are grade level or above provide students with deeper understanding of text.

There are other resources outside of the household where students can learn and challenge themselves over the break. Some of these resources include supplemental education, museums or planetariums, and workshops geared towards students. Enrichment programs provide students with challenging yet simplified subjects areas and museums or planetariums making learning fun and hands-on. Museums not only teach students about science and history but make learning a fun, hands on process. Students are involved with aspects such as IMAX movies on planets and nature and look at the evolution of ancient history, bringing those history textbooks to life.

For students to want to learn, you want to make learning fun. Students should take initiative rather then feeling like they must do something because they are being told to do so. Get involved in the learning process with your children. Just as brain drain could happen over the long summer months, it can also happen throughout the winter break. Focus in on what students enjoy doing and make it a fun experience with the ability to learn new things. Sign your children up for culinary classes, technology workshops or different crafting opportunities. Take them to the zoo or aquarium and allow them to experience learning all about the animals and nature all around us. Remember, for learning to be effective, it must be fun.

Mathematics Tip- Back to School

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Although the school year is already underway, some children may still be finding it hard to transition from summer mode to back to school. According to a Scholastic’s teacher survey data, 98 percent of teachers cited family involvement and support as being key to student success. Although it might be hard to be physically present at school events at times, there are other great ways to be involved in your child’s education.

Though you may not able to be physically present in school, there are many other ways that you can get involved in your child’s education. One way is by practicing basic facts Immediate recall requires practice and time for practice in the school day is often limited. Orally presenting facts promotes mastery more effectively than worksheets. There are a lot of great times to practice math facts including driving or waiting. Secondly, you can play games. Games are a great way for children practice mathematics skills and develop strategic thinking, while also promoting positive parent-child relationships. Thirdly, you can help your child see that math is all around them. If you point out how mathematics problems are a part of everyday life, children will be able to understand the value of mathematics.

You also need to know that being prepared for the future nowadays requires being able to do more than simply computing facts or carrying out procedures. You may be thinking that math is different now than when you were in school, and that is true! The available careers are very different now than they were 20 years ago. Of course, children need conceptual understanding and procedural fluency, but they also need to know how to apply this knowledge to solve problems. Try to include problem solving techniques as often as possible in daily conversations.

Having your child in Eye Level is a great start to giving your child a head start. Through Basic Thinking math, your child is gaining the necessary computation skills to succeed. Since Eye Level also provides Critical Thinking math, your child will apply those skills in problem solving situations. Continue being involved in your child’s education and he will succeed

https://www.nctm.org/News-and-Calendar/Messages-from-the-President/Archive/Diane-Briars/Back-to-School_-The-Time-to-Engage-Parents-and-Families/

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/meghan-everette/10-tips-family-engagement-school-year/

Practical Actions to Unleash Originality

Adam Grant offers 5 practical actions to unleash originality that you can take. The following extract is taken from his bestseller.

1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or schools. Then Have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 

2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people-it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child so something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you _________.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people-they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 

3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong-and to avoid the action in the future. 

4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 

5. Create novel niched for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on their role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice-children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original idea instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a difference frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?