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    Classroom Information and Parent Resources



    Talking With Your Child
    Test Taking Tips
    Why Nightly Reading
    Class Expectations
    ABC’s of Parenting
    Multiple Intelligences Survey
    Stages of Third Grade
    Back To School Advice
    Get Kids Organized


    ppt Open House 2008 (ppt file)

    Talking With Your Child


    Talking with Kids About Their Day
    Brought to you by The American School Counselor Association.




    For ages: Four to eight

    From: Family Education Network

    The scene
    You: "How was your day?"
    Your child: "Good."
    You: "What'd you do?"
    Your child: "Nothing."

    Looking for more than one-word answers from your kids about their school day? Here are seven ways to find out what they're really up to.

    Ask specific questions
    Asking questions that only require a one-word answer will oftentimes produce just that. You can encourage your child to give something more by asking "situation-specific" questions, such as:

    • "What did you do on the playground today?"
    • "Who did you play with?"
    • "Tell me the best part of the story the teacher read today."

    Start a "names I know" list
    Have your child start a list at the beginning of the school year called "Names I Know" or "My Class." Keep it on the refrigerator. Ask specific questions about the kids on the list. Little kids can have trouble keeping track of names, and your child might want to talk to you about someone whose name he can't remember. Keeping an ongoing list serves as a memory jogger for your child and a conversation starter for you in the early weeks before class lists get distributed.

    Bonus tip: To encourage literacy, put magnetic alphabet letters on the fridge. Have your child use them to spell out the names he knows.

    Give your child time to unwind
    Think about your own after-work needs. Just like you, kids need time to decompress after a long day at school. Try not to jump right in with questions about school the moment your kids are dismissed. Give your child time to get home, unwind, and sit with a snack. You might even want to wait until dinner; that just might be the amount of transition time they need.

    Hone your kids' conversation skills
    If you're not getting the answer you're looking for from your kids, it could be that their conversation skills need a little work. Helping kids practice the art of conversation will serve them well in making and keeping friends. Show them that a good conversation begins with eye contact, appropriate body language, and a warm greeting.

    Share some of your day.
    By sharing how your day went, you're modeling for your kids the kind of information that you'd like to hear from them: "This is what I did today that I felt really good about. ..." "This is what I did today that was a little bit hard, but I did it anyway. ..." These statements naturally lead to questions that you can ask your kids: "What was one thing that you did today that was hard (or fun) for you?"

    Play a conversation game.
    Children at this age have rich imaginations and love stories. Try turning school conversations into stories. Begin by saying, "Today, I went to school and sat down right next to _________." Let your child fill in the blank. "First, we opened up our backpacks and I took out my folder and looked inside and saw ______________."

    Then try injecting a little humor: "Next, we hung up our backpacks and coats and... went right to sleep!" At this your child will probably giggle, or make a face with mock annoyance. Most likely, he'll correct you with the accurate information. Continue until you get to the end of the day, or until you're satisfied that you've heard more than your child would normally volunteer.

    Get the facts straight.
    From time to time you'll hear information that may concern or even alarm you about your child's day at school. Don't ponder the details -- ask the teacher! It could be that you and your child's teacher are using different terminology, and your child is confused by your questions. On the other hand, if your child complains about being teased or picked on, repeats a complaint with regularity, or complains of frequent trips to the nurse, there may be a real problem. Calling the teacher or school counselor is the best way to find out what's going on, and get your child the support she needs.

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    Why Can't I Skip My Fifteen Minutes of Reading Tonight?"

    Student A reads 15 minutes seven nights of every week.
    Student B reads only 4 minutes a night...or not at all!

    Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 7 each week.
    Student A reads 15 minutes x 7 times a week = 105 mins. a week.
    Student B reads 4 minutes x 7 times a week = 28 minutes.

    Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
    Student A reads 420 minutes a month.
    Student B reads 112 minutes a month.

    Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months a school year.
    Student A reads 3,780 minutes a school year.
    Student B reads 1,008 minutes a school year.

    Student A practices reading the equivalent of ten whole school days a year. Student B get the equivalent of only two school days of reading practice.
    By the end of 6th grade, if Student A and Student B maintain these same reading habits, Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days. Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 days.
    One would expect the gap of information retained will have widened considerably and so, undoubtedly, will school performance. How do you think Student B will feel about him/herself as a student?

    Some questions to ponder:
    Which student would you expect to read better?
    Which student would you expect to know more?
    Which student would you expect to write better?
    Which student would you expect to have the better vocabulary?
    Which student would you expect to be more successful in school...and in life?

    Which student are you?

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    Classroom Expectations and Good Citizenship


    1. I will be respectful

    2. I will be responsible
    3. I will be safe
    4. I will be positive







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    Multiple Intelligences Survey

    Diana Bohmer 

    From: Family Education Network

    Ask yourself and/or your child these questions and the answers may help you discover some of his/her gifts, talents, and interests.

    Linguistic Intelligence

    Does your child:


    • Enjoy listening to other people talking?
    • Get annoyed with people who use improper English? (for example, He don't know the answer.)
    • Like to learn new words?
    • Give good directions to others so that they understand the first time?
    • Like to tell stories?
    • Enjoy reading books?
    • Have a good memory for names, dates, and trivia?

      If this sounds familiar, then your child might someday write a bestseller or become fluent in four languages.

      Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

      Does your child:


    • Like to work with computers and calculators?
    • Enjoy math class?
    • Easily add numbers in her head?
    • Enjoy doing science experiments?
    • Ask a lot of questions about how things work?
    • Enjoy chess, checkers, or other strategy games?
    • Enjoy logic puzzles or brainteasers?

      If so, then your child could one day design sky-scrapers or program computers.

      Spatial intelligence

      Does your child:


    • Prefer to draw pictures rather than tell stories?
    • Find her way around a new place easily?
    • Like to take things apart and then try to figure out how to put them back together?
    • Read maps, charts, or diagrams more easily than text?
    • Daydream more than peers?
    • Build interesting three-dimensional constructions (like LEGO buildings)?
    • Doodle a lot on notebooks?

      If this is your child, then she could grow up to paint a masterpiece or fix car engines.

      Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence

      Does your child:


    • Find activities like riding a bicycle, skating, or walking on a balance beam easy?
    • Use a lot of hand gestures and body movement when talking to friends?
    • Run, swim, and exercise without getting tired?
    • Learn to play new sports easily and quickly?
    • Like to touch something she has just seen?
    • Report different physical sensations while thinking or working?
    • Cleverly mimic other people's gestures or mannerisms?
    • Move, tap, or fidget while seated for a long time in one spot?

      If yes, then your child could develop into an expert skier or someone who amuses her friends with hilarious impersonations.

      Musical Intelligence

      Does your child:


    • Enjoy playing a musical instrument?
    • Listen to music a lot?
    • Hum or sing a lot?
    • Cheer herself up with songs when she is sad?
    • Tell you when music sounds off-key?
    • Have a good singing voice?
    • Remember the melodies of songs?

      If this is your child, then she may one day conduct a symphony or play in a steel drum band.

      Interpersonal Intelligence

      Does your child:


    • Like to work and play with other kids?
    • Understand how friends are feeling by looking at their faces?
    • Have two or more close friends?
    • Give advice to friends who have problems?
    • Have a good sense of empathy or concern for others?
    • Seem to be street-smart?
    • Seem to be a natural leader on teams?

      If you answered yes to most of these, your child might become someone's favorite teacher or the CEO of a big company.

      Intrapersonal Intelligence

      Does your child:


    • Often need a quiet place to work or just be alone?
    • Like to make collections of things that have special meaning to her?
    • Remember her dreams?
    • Display a sense of independence or strong will?
    • Have a realistic sense of her strengths and weaknesses?
    • Have an interest or hobby that she doesn't talk much about?
    • Accurately express how she is feeling?

      Sound familiar? Then your child could someday write great poetry or resist negative peer pressure and do the right thing for herself.

      Naturalist Intelligence

      Does your child:


    • Enjoy collecting bugs, flowers, or rocks?
    • Like to closely examine what she finds in nature?
    • Keep detailed records of her observations of nature?
    • Like to watch natural phenomena like the moon and the tides and hear explanations about them?
    • Become fascinated with one particular thing from nature and want to learn about it thoroughly?
    • Want to become a geologist, biologist, or some other type of scientist?

      If your answer is yes, then your child could become an expert on paleontology or discover new ways to save the whales.


      Based on Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory.

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      Ages and Stages: Third Grade


       Brought to you by the American School Counselor Association

      From: Family Education Network



      Is your eight-year-old on track? Below are some general development milestones to help you understand your child's progress over the school year. Keep in mind that every child is different and may not fit perfectly into this framework.

      Where They Are
      The average eight-year-old is explosive, excitable, dramatic, and inquisitive. She:

      • Possesses a "know-it-all" attitude.
      • Is able to assume some responsibility for her actions.
      • Actively seeks praise.
      • May undertake more than she can handle successfully.
      • Is self-critical.
      • Recognizes the needs of others.

      Where They're Going
      School isn't just academics. Your child's teachers are also helping him grow socially. At eight-years-old, your child is learning how to set goals and understand the consequences of his behavior. You can help by encouraging him as he:

      • Explores the relationship of feelings, goals, and behavior.
      • Learns about choices and consequences.
      • Begins setting goals.
      • Becomes more responsible.
      • Learns how to work with others.

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      Back to School Advice
      Back to School in Six Easy Steps

      Dr. Kyle Pruett  

      From: Family Education Network

      Summer Changes

      Back-to-school struggles still surprise many parents. After all, kids go back to school every year -- why don't they know what to expect? Well, consider this:

      The growth rate of kids is so fast that going back to the previous year's routine can seem pretty stale.
      Kids either dread or look forward to a new school year depending on what they remember from last year. Expectations are nearly everything.
      What's it like to go back to school? Imagine a job change for you. Your kids also may be in a new building this year, which makes it even harder to feel comfortable.

      #1. Get a Grip

      Your relationship with your children has a great effect on them. So it's important not to act too crazed about the return to school. Build in extra time, put irrelevant projects on hold, stay rested, and try to stick closer to your kids. Dads need to listen up, too. Many jobs seem to pick up at this time of year, and it's easy to get sucked down by the undertow.

      #2. Case the Joint

      Even if your child knows the school well, it still feels good to get reacquainted. My third-grade daughter was always crabby until she saw her classroom, thought about the schedule, met her teacher, and picked out her clothes. Your kids may enjoy getting a "sneak preview" with another child from her school or class. Call before you go, since school buildings may be open the Saturday before opening day.

      #3. Don't Clean the Slate

      Fresh starts are so promising that we tend to overdo them. This may seem like a great time to clean up, sort out, and set new ground rules for family life. Chores are reassigned, allowances renegotiated, and afterschool sports and activities scheduled. While change is good, the timing requires some reflection. Too much too soon can make even the most cooperative child balk. Focus on the start of school, and revisit the other issues after your kids feel more settled.

      #4. Be Reassuring

      Tell your kids that they'll be fine! Before school starts, encourage them to reconnect with school buddies they may not have seen over the summer. This may take some brokering, depending on the particular social appetite of your child, but it's money in the bank for reducing fears of isolation in the new classroom. If they want to, let them take part of their sticker or baseball card collection to school (with the teacher's approval). Listen to their worries and don't minimize, dismiss, or try to talk them out of them. These fears are real to your child.

      #5. Set the Stage

      Shopping for supplies and clothes should be fun, but overdoing this can be boring and a little scary to kids. Spend time thinking together about quiet time and reading and work space in the house. Choose special places, like corners of rooms, or certain tables or chairs, to show your kids that you'll help them find space where they can do the things that matter, like reading and homework.

      #6. Meet the Teacher

      Your child is still young enough to feel comforted by an open communication between parent and teacher. In fact, when parents and teachers have regular discussions about school and home events, kids feel a more trusting connection with the school as a whole, and tend to try harder both socially and academically. Check-ins about new or recently lost pets, family moves, births, and deaths can help a teacher fathom something in your child that might otherwise seem mysterious. Most good schools would rather know sooner than later if you are worried about your child's school experience.


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      Help Kids Get Organized




      From: Family Education Network

      Ten Ways to Help Your Kids Get Organized

      Developing good organizational skills is a key ingredient for success in school and in life. Although some people by nature are more organized than others, anyone can put routines and systems in place to help a child "get it together." Here's a list of strategies that you can use to help your child get -- and keep -- his life under control.

      1. Use checklists.
      Help your child get into the habit of keeping a "to-do" list. Use checklists to post assignments, household chores, and reminders about what materials to bring to class. Your child should keep a small pad or notebook dedicated to listing homework assignments. Crossing completed items off the list will give him a sense of accomplishment.

      2. Organize homework assignments.
      Before beginning a homework session, encourage your child to number assignments in the order in which they should be done. She should start with one that's not too long or difficult, but avoid saving the longest or hardest assignments for last.

      3. Designate a study space.
      Your child should study in the same place every night. This doesn't have to be a bedroom, but it should be a quiet place with few distractions. All school supplies and materials should be nearby. If your young child wants to study with you nearby, too, you'll be better able to monitor his progress and encourage good study habits.

      4. Set a designated study time.
      Your child should know that a certain time every day is reserved for studying and doing homework. The best time is usually not right after school -- most children benefit from time to unwind first. Include your child in making this decision. Even if she doesn't have homework, the reserved time should be used to review the day's lessons, read for pleasure, or work on an upcoming project.

      5. Keep organized notebooks.
      Help your child keep track of papers by organizing them in a binder or notebook. This will help him review the material for each day's classes and to organize the material later to prepare for tests and quizzes. Use dividers to separate class notes, or color-code notebooks. Separate "to do" and "done" folders help organize worksheets, notices, and items to be signed by parents, as well as provide a central place to store completed assignments.

      6. Conduct a weekly clean-up.
      Encourage your child to sort through book bags and notebooks on a weekly basis. Old tests and papers should be organized and kept in a separate file at home.

      7. Create a household schedule.
      Try to establish and stick to a regular dinnertime and a regular bedtime. This will help your child fall into a pattern at home. Children with a regular bedtime go to school well-rested. Try to limit television-watching and computer play to specific periods of time during the day.

      8. Keep a master calendar.
      Keep a large, wall-sized calendar for the household that lists the family's commitments, schedules for extracurricular activities, days off from school, and major events at home and at school. Note dates when your child has big exams or due dates for projects. This will help family members keep track of each other's activities and avoid scheduling conflicts.

      9. Prepare for the day ahead.
      Before your child goes to bed, he should pack schoolwork and books in a book bag. The next day's clothes should be laid out with shoes, socks, and accessories. This will cut down on morning confusion and allow your child to prepare quickly for the day ahead.

      10. Provide needed support while your child is learning to become more organized.
      Help your child develop organizational skills by photocopying checklists and schedules and taping them to the refrigerator. Gently remind her about filling in calendar dates and keeping papers and materials organized. Most important, set a good example.

      Adapted from "Tips for Developing Organizational Skills in Children" by the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CCLD). Call 1-888-478-6463 for important resources and information about learning disabilities.

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      Test Taking Tips 

      Standardized Test-Prep Kit
      Howard I. Berrent  

      From: Family Education Network


       Last-Minute Tips

      It's that time of year again. Kids all over the country are sharpening their #2 pencils and sweating in nervous anticipation. Whether your child has a standardized test coming up in a few days or a few weeks, these last-minute, test-prep tips and strategies will help him relax and do his best.


      • How to Prepare
      • Test-Taking Strategies
      • Easing Pre-Test Jitters

        How to Prepare

        Remember, your child's teacher has most likely been doing some test preparation in school, so don't worry -- your goal is not to cram a year's worth of learning into a few days, but to familiarize your child with the test. At this point in the test-prep game, the most you can really do at home is help your child become familiar with the format of the test he's going to take and prepare for the day. Here are some prep activities you can try:


      • Buy a practice book that imitates the actual test as closely as possible. Most practice books indicate which tests they imitate on their covers.


      • Have your child take one or more of the timed practice tests in the book so that she becomes comfortable with the length and design of the actual test.


      • Go over the answers with your child. If time and patience allow, go over all the answers -- right and wrong. Have your child review some of the questions so he understands why he got the question right, or what he needs to do to get it right the next time.


      • Look for weak spots in your child's test and then concentrate on those areas in the test prep book.

        If your child's test is less than a week away, forgo reviewing his answers in detail and concentrate on helping him learn some test-taking strategies.

        Test-Taking Strategies

        Here are the answers to kids' most common questions about test-taking strategies:

        Q: Should I guess if I don't know the answer?

        A: In many cases, the answer is yes. Most tests don't take off points for answering incorrectly; they just don't add any! However, there are tests that do penalize students for giving a wrong answer. One such test is the SAT1 College Boards.

        If you aren't sure about whether this applies to your child's test, ask her teacher, school counselor, or principal. It's a good idea to know this before the test is given and to make sure your child knows as well.

        Q: What should I do if I'm stuck on a question?

        A: Skip it. Your child can always return to the question once he's answered those he's more sure about. But advise your child to be careful about filling in the answer sheet. It may seem obvious to skip that line on the answer sheet when you skip the question, but in the more intense atmosphere of a testing situation, it's easy to forget to do this.

        Q: How can I avoid skipping a line on the answer sheet?

        A: Too often, kids find themselves at the end of a test, with two or three answer choices left to fill in on the answer sheet! It can be a nightmare for kids to go back and see where they went wrong, while keeping an eye on the ticking clock.

        Here's how your child can avoid this situation: If your child is given blank pieces of paper to use as scrap, she can use the straight edge of one of those papers to keep her place on the answer sheet. Have her practice bubbling in an answer sheet before the test, so she can get used to moving the paper down a line with every question answered. If your child is not given scrap paper, she can use her extra (unsharpened) pencil to perform the same task.

        Easing Pre-Test Jitters

        It's normal for kids to get nervous before a significant test. This is actually a good thing. That adrenaline boost can be helpful, but it can be hard to obtain and maintain that perfect level of nervousness. If your child is overly worried in your opinion, try these tips:

        Reassure your child
        Tell your child that the test will be used to evaluate how well a school or school district is educating its students. It's important for kids to have a sense of the broader context.

        Put the test in perspective
        Explain that test scores are looked at along with many other pieces of information in determining your child's achievement level. Her grades and progress over time, for example, are also very important. This may be a big test, but it is still just one test!

        Take a deep breath
        If your child is a very nervous test-taker, have her do deep breathing exercises before the test. She can take a deep breath and count to ten. Then have her take shorter deep breaths in between passages or sections of the test -- counting to three only. This exercise is fast and simple, but it really works!

        Discuss what to expect
        Go over with your child when and where the test will be given. Make sure she knows what will generally be covered on the test and roughly how long it will take to finish it. Your child's school will probably send home a letter before the test with much of this information.

        Make sure he gets his rest
        Make sure your child will be comfortable and alert on the day of the test. He should get a good night's sleep the night before and a light breakfast the morning of the test. (A heavy breakfast can make you sleepy.)

        Dress in layers
        Have your child dress comfortably in layers so that he can take clothes off or put them on, depending on the temperature of the room.

        Pack a snack
        Even if your child doesn't normally have a snack time during the school day, he may be allowed to have one if there's a break during the test. Pack him a light nutritious snack, but avoid salty foods that may make him thirsty later in the testing session.

        Finally, tell your child that the test will have some difficult questions on it. All of the questions are not supposed to be easy. Explain that he may not be able to answer all of the questions, and that's expected. All he can do is try her best, and that's okay!




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      A B C 's of Parenting



      Ask your child about the school day.
      Begin your child's day with a nourishing breakfast.
      Congratulate your child for doing well.
      Discuss homework with your child.
      Encourage your child to read.
      Find a quiet place for your child to study.
      Give your child responsibility.
      Hug your child to build self worth.
      Include your child in making simple family decisions.
      Join a library with your child.
      Keep your child on a sleep and exercise schedule.
      Limit TV viewing by selecting programs with your child.
      Make the time you spend with your child special.
      Notice and discuss changes in your child's behavior.
      Offer to help your child organize school papers.
      Provide your child with good role models.
      Question the activities your child shares with friends.
      Respect your child's right to have different opinions.
      Share an interest or a hobby with your child.
      Take time to listen to your child.
      Urge your child to say "NO!" to unwanted touching.
      Visit places of interest with your child.
      Work with your child to set up rules of behavior.
      Xerox and save important records or articles.
      Yield results by encouraging your child to do better.
      Zoom through these ABCs again and again!

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