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Parent Tips

Common Core Fact Sheet

Study Smarts
Studying is a skill youngsters will need throughout their school years. Help your child study these tips.
            Start a habit. Encourage your youngster to treat studying as a daily activity, not just something he does the evening before a test. For example, he may study fifteen minutes every night for a math test on Friday. After he finishes his regular homework, he can spend a few extra minutes reviewing notes and handouts.
           Tackle textbooks. When your child has something to study, have him "preview" it to increase his understanding. He should glance over the headings, captions, photos, graphs and go to the glossary to look up boldface print words he may not understand. TIP: IF he finds a section too challenging, he could read a picture book on the topic. For a science chapter on matter, for instance, he could try "What Is the World Made Of?" by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfield.
           Mix It Up. If your youngster reviews information in several ways, he'll more likely remember it. He might use colored pencils to copy each letter of a spelling word or math fact onto a separate index card. Then he can shuffle the cards and study them in a different order each time. For extra reinforcement, suggest that he spell the word or recite the fact.

Talking About School
          After School Chats is a great way to find out what has happened during your youngster's school day.  Greet your youngster with "What's in your backpack?" questions and you'll discover a lot more about what is happening each day.  Set aside a time to discuss school events and to go through the papers in the backpack. Try to do it first thing after school when his day is fresh in his mind.  Look over his work together and talk about it. Help him feel proud of his accomplishments by making a specific comment about something he did. For instance, if he shows you a picture he drew in class you might comment about the decisions that were made that inspired him to create the drawing.  Have your child talk through math problems or science experiments to show you what she has learned. She might explain how she finds perimeter of a triangle or what ants dig tunnels, for example.

Be There!
          Regular attendance in elementary school sets up a good pattern for your child's entire school career.  Arriving to school on time is just as important. Imagine how you feel when you are late to work and have to rush to prepare and catch up for the day. That is what your child may be experiencing when she arrives late each day. Perhaps five minutes today doesn't seem like much time, but multiply that times five (25 minutes) times four (100 minutes) and soon you will discover how much time your child is loosing by being late. Show your child that school comes fisrt by trying to keep the days off for illnesses and family emergencies. Also, schedule routine doctor and dental appointments after school hours or over school breaks. Your employeer may appreciate having you present at work too!

Ticket, Please!
         Trying to find a way to limit your child's time on television or video games? Try this idea. Every week give her seven slips of paper. Each is good for an hour of television watching or video game playing. Remind her to plan ahead. For example, if she wants to a two-hour movie on Saturday, she'll need to save an extra ticket during the week.

Thinking Games
          Between school, activities, and errands, parents spend a lot of time on the go. You may want to consider playing games while driving to an activity. For example, you can teach your child to play "Would You Rather?" by offering two options such as "Would you rather live in the mountains or near the beach?" and ask which option he would chose. Then ask for an explanation why he would select that option. Another fun game is "Three Favorites", a category game when a topic is named and then the participants must identify three items that would belong. For example, "Three Card Games" where the participants may name three different games played with cards.  Another option is "What Doesn't Belong?". Take turns naming items and asking the others to explain which is the odd one out and why. Kids like this game because there can be more than one option or more than one right answer. For example, when naming an "owl", "ostrich" and "eagle", the response might be "an ostrich because it can't fly." Another person may identify the owl because "it hunts at night".

A Recipe for Respect
          Your child will learn respectful behavior by watching the way you treat others. When she makes a mistake for example, gently tell her what she has done wrong- and out of earshot of others. Also let her see you respect ideas and beliefs that are different from your own. For example, point out that you are happy a friend is voting in an election even though this person may favor a different candidate. When you see your child acting respectfully, let her know that you have noticed ("I like the way you asked your sister if you could borrow her sweater"). Your words and attention will encourage her to show respect in the future. If you see disrespectful behavior on t.v. (such as a child rolling his eyes or talking back to a parent), tell your youngster that it isn't okay in real life. Encourage her to be on the lookout for respectful behaviors in others. Can she spot respectful behaviors in others at a game or on a television show?

Math at the Grocery Store
Need to go shopping? Why not turn it into a learning experience for your child? Give him a chance to practice math skills that he is learning in school.
Weigh and Measure
           Fruits and vegetables are often sold by the pound. Ask your child to compute how much your produce will cost. For example, say you want six bananas and they cost $.54 per pound. He would multiply the weight of the bananas by the cost per pound to get the total cost.
Comparison Shopping
           Let your child help you save money and learn to be a better consumer. Aks him to read unit-pricing lables on the shelves to fidn the best value (8 cents per ounce for one brand of pasta sauce versus thirteen cents per ounce for another brand of sauce. Or he can look for the better deal: one box of cereal for $3.49 or two boxes for $6.00. So you will be saving money buying two boxes, storing one for later use.
Estimate the Total
         Ask your child to predict your bill by keeping track of what you put in the cart. With each item, he should check the price and round it up or down to the nearest dollar. as you go, he can keeping a running tally on paper, in his head, or on a calculator. These activities will provide opportunities to become a better consumer, practice estimating, enhance memory, and learn to use calculator.  When it is time to check out, see how close he was to the actual cost.

Counting Practice
          Have your youngster practice counting by 10s- but start at a number that doesn't end in zero. For example, begin counting by tens starting with 37. Try other numbers too, such as skip counting by fives, twos, threes, etc. For a challenge, try starting at a number other than zero, five, ten, etc.

Vocabulary Development
          Sometimes children struggle with new vocabulary words. They may learn to read the words, but what do they mean in context? One whay you can help your child learn new vocabulary is to post the words on index cards and include an illustration. Talk about what each word means and what it can be related to in order to remember the meaning. For instance, car tires may help a child remember that circumference is the distance around a circle so drawing a car on the circumference card may trigger an association.  Try hanging the cards in a visible area such as on the refrigerator door, on the bathroom mirror, on the closet door, etc. where they can be viewed daily. Once the word is learned, remove it, but remember to re-visit the word and its meaning periodically as a simple refresher. As he learns the words, add it to the "learned pile" so he can see his growing accomplishment. It will also help boost his confidence in school by watching his vocabulary word pile grow!

Use What You Know
Reading New Words
          Your child probably can't read a multisyllabic word such as "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". But she can use words she already knows to read new words. Here is how:  Start with your child's name. Troy, for example, might have an easier time learning "tr" words such as "train". You can use the "tr" consonant blend at the beginning of his name to teach him other blends as wells such as "cr", "pl" and "st".  Point out patterns in sight words that your child recognizes. Example: if your child knows "they", she can learn "then", "this", and "that".  "Could", "would", and "should" are three common sight words that also share a pattern. Break down syllables in a longer word such as "yesterday". Cover the entire word with a small slip of paper. Then slowly slide the paper to the right to show each syllable one at a time (yes-ter-day). This works well especially for words with several syllables.

Newspaper Fun
Matching Game

          Have your child cut out several pictures and captions from the newspaper separately. Mix up the photos and captions. Then ask your child to match the caption to the correct photo. This will help improve her comprehension skills and enhance her attention to text features when she is reading.
Scavanger Hunt
          List items in the newspaper (car ad, crossword puzzle, weather forecast) and ask your child to find and circle each one. She'll build research skills as she looks through the paper for the items.
ABC Order
          Together, find the names of the 5-10 countries, states, and cities in the headlines or stories. Let your child copy each one onto an index card adn arrange the cards in alphabetical order. This will help her practice spelling as well as enhance her geography skills.