Monday, March 16, 2020

School Closures

If your child's school closes to help control the spread of the coronavirus, you may wonder what you can do at home to help your child continue with his/her studies. Here is a list of ideas that may help in the event you find yourself in this situation.

1. If your child is in the 3rd-12th grade, the teacher(s) may have a Google Classroom or something similar. Ask your child to log in and see if any assignments have been posted.

2. Visit the school system/district webpage and look for a curriculum or standards section for parents. Sometimes the district will have this organized by 9 weeks, 6 weeks, or semester.

3. If your child's teacher provides a weekly newsletter or a syllabus, it may include current standards or topics that are being taught. There are many websites that offer free worksheets that you can print and have your child complete. A few are listed below:

4. For K-2 students, work on reading high frequency words, phonics skills, and basic addition and subtraction. For 3-5 students, they should read both fiction and non-fiction passages and practice comprehension skills using text evidence. In mathematics, they can practice multi-digit addition and subtraction, multiplication facts, division, fractions, decimals, and geometry (angles, lines, shapes, symmetry). Most of the writing your child does at school is in response to a text and will be either informational, narrative, or persuasive writing. Give your child a chance to write creatively or about a topic of interest instead. Many of my fourth graders have been making powerpoint slide shows (with photos or clipart and written descriptions) about different kinds of animals, video game characters, or other things that interest them.

5. Most teachers/schools/districts have subscriptions to learning websites. Ask your child what is used during class as a center or for extra practice. Some popular ones include IXL, Freckle, Education Galaxy, Zearn, Prodigy, and Kahn Academy. Many of these have a diagnostic screening or test and provide questions and problems that are individualized for your child.

I hope these suggestions ease any worries about your child missing instruction at school. Hopefully many of you are just able to take an extended Spring Break and won't miss many school days. Take care and stay well.

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