Hello all! As a Kindergarten teacher my heart breaks that we will not be starting our school year in the classroom. I know that this is the best decision to keep our students and families healthy and safe, but it is still not easy. As a teacher and a parent, I can understand how overwhelming it can be to know what to teach or how to teach. My best advice is to keep things simple. Spending time with your family and keeping them safe and healthy is most important and keeping things stress free is best. Please don’t feel like you need to spend hours a day teaching your child. Enjoy the extra time together and have fun playing games, making crafts, cooking together, playing outside etc. Here are a few simple ideas of ways you can teach your child during this time.
Read, Read, Read
This is my number one recommendation during this time. Read to your child and have your child read to you. If your child is reading independently, set a time aside each day for them to read.
This is also a great time to practice letter names, sounds and sight words if your child needs extra practice in any of those areas. You can click on the links above for ideas and games to teach letters and sight words.
A simple way for children to practice writing during this time is to keep a journal of what they are doing during the quarantine. For younger kids, including a picture is an important part of the writing process. One of the first lessons I teach my kindergarteners is what is means to write a 5-Star paper. 5- star writing means that their pictures and words have detail and they are written in their best handwriting. We work on making sure that there are spaces (finger spaces) in between words and that the first letter of a sentence is capitalized while all other letters are lowercase. If a student has trouble spelling a word I ask them to stretch it out and write down the sounds they hear.
Math isn’t as straight forward as reading and writing, but can be taught with activities and games. I am using the Common Core Standards to list out activities for each grade level. This certainly isn’t all of the math goals of early elementary, but they are important ones that can be easily taught at home.
- Practice counting objects and counting to 100 orally– Jack Hartmann has fun videos on Youtube for students to count along
- Identifying and describing 2D and 3D shapes– you could make a picture by drawing different shapes or looking for shapes in your environment.
- First graders can partition 2D shapes into 2 and 4 equal parts using the terms half and quarter and into thirds in second grade.
- Addition and subtraction– In kindergarten we start teaching basic addition and subtraction using counters. Using beans or small toys you could give your child problems to solve. By first and second grade students can figure out more complex problems (within 20 for first grade and within 100 in second grade) and fill in missing number, ex: 8+___=15
- Measuring objects– In Kindergarten we introduce measuring objects with non-standard measurements. An example is how many paperclips do we need to line up to make the length of a pencil. By second grade students are learning to use tools to measure (ruler, tape measure, yard stick etc)
- Telling time– Students begin to learn to tell time in first grade by hour and half-hour using an analog and digital clock and to the nearest 5 minutes in second grade.
- Money– In second grade students learn money and how much a dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and penny are worth.
Mystery Science is the science curriculum we use at our school. They are offering free at home mini-lessons and full lessons during the school closures. The lessons are videos with opportunities for discussions and hands-on activities. The lessons are organized by grade level up to fifth grade.
Scholastics is providing lesson for each day for 4 weeks that includes projects, reading and thinking activities. They have lessons Pre-K through 9th grade.
How are you doing at home learning during this school closure?