Parent's Corner

Back To School Night Presentation
Here is a copy of the Power Point I used on September 10th.  This way you can see the links clearly. 

Reading Tips

  • Be sure to have your child reads every day (even on the weekends)!  Reminder:  Third graders at Valle Vista should read a minimum of 150 minutes per week!
  • Before reading, and periodically as your child reads through a book, encourage him/her to make predictions about what will happen next, how characters will react, how the story end, etc.
  • Ask your child and have your child come up with on-the-surface and under-the-surface questions about the reading.
    • On-the-surface questions are ones where you can see or touch the answers in the text or pictures.  For example:  Who are the characters?  schoolbooksWhen is the story taking place?  Where is the story taking place?  What happened in the beginning, middle, and end?
    • Under-the-surface questions are those that students have to "dig into their brains" to figure out.  For example:  Why did the main character say that?  How does the character feel when this happens?
  • Help your child clarify difficulty words or concepts as they arise.  Encourage them to check the dictionary, reread the text, and use context clues.  If available, use online resources to help answer questions your child has regarding content information.
  • Periodically, have your child summarize the story.  Ask:  What has happened so far?  What happened in the middle?  How did the story end?
  • Act out the story/  Get your child up and interacting with the story.  Have him/her choose a character and pretend they are that character.  Read with that character's voice or maybe even dress up like that character.   You could choose a character, too.
  • Have your child read an Accelerated Reade leveled book and take the quiz on the computer at school.  To figure out the AR level of a book, visit AR Book Finder.  After selecting parent, type the book title in the box and then click go.  When the book options come up, match the title and author to the book you have.  The book level (BL) will appear in the fourth line.

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Writing Tips

  • Write daily!
  • After reading, have your child write a summary about the story, describe his/her favorite part of the story, or what will happen now that the story has ended.
  • Prompt your child to stop mid-way through a book and write a new ending.  Afterwards, have him/her read the end of the story and see how it really ended.
  • Cut pictures out of magazines and have your child write a story about the picture.  Start with who is in the picture, where is he/she, when is it, and what's happening.  Then, have them write a middle and an end.  Each section (beginning, middle, end) should be about one paragraph long.
  • Get a spiral notebook, journal, or staple some paper together and have this be your child's journal.  He/she can write anything imaginable in it.  A story, an expository paragraph about what they learned or did that day, a poem, a list of words, story ideas...anything!  This is your child's place to write whatever he/she wants.
    • It can be a personal journal for their eyes only, a journaljournal that's shared when he/she wishes, or one that's openly shared.
    • You could even make a response journal; you write a comment back to your child every so often.  This way you are modeling correct grammar, spelling, and mechanics without directly correcting your child's writing.

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Math Tips

  • Practice math every day!
  • Make math practice a game.
    • Flashcards:  Make a set of multiplication and division flashcards for multiples of 0-10, separate them into two piles, flash one to your child, have him/her flash one to you.  If the correct response is given, that person keeps the card, but if an incorrect response is given, put the card back in the mix.  Whoever gets more cards wins.
    • Memory:  Make a set of cards with an expression on them, like 6x7.  On another set of cards, write the answers, like 42.  Mix them up, turn them face down on the table, turn two cards over, keep the matches and go again or return the non-matches, and take turns.  Whoever has more matches wins.
    • Frog:  Write math vocabulary words (could be frogdone with facts, too) on some cards.  Spread them out on the floor.  Say the meaning of a term and your child has to jump on it.  This practices math and reading at the same time in a fun, energetic way.
    • Throw-up:  Hold the cards you made from frog in a pile.  Show one card to your child and wait for his/her response.  If the response is correct, throw the card up in the air and let your child try to catch it before it hits the ground.  Careful...the cards tend to fly everywhere, so do this in an open space.  If an incorrect response is given, discuss the correct response and return the card to the pile. 
  • Review the math pages that come home with your child.  They come home daily, so this is a great opportunity to refresh their minds on easy and difficult concepts throughout the chapter.  Have your child correct any errors, complete miscellaneous problems, or "teach" you the concept of a given lesson.
    Check out the math series online.

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General Tips

  • Talk to your child.  Ask about what he/she learned and did at school. 
  • Read the newspaper with him/her.
  • Encourage him/her to ask questions, conduct experiments, and explore topics of interest. 
  • Challenge your child to explain things to you; have them tell you the "why" and "how" behind things and events.
  • When they ask you questions, don't give them the answer.  Ask what they think first and then research the answer to the question online or at the library.
  • Have a set of supplies read at home, not in your stationery2child's backpack.  This way your child will be able to complete homework and projects successfully without having to ask you for something every two minutes, and noting will get lost or traded at school.  Scissors, sharpened pencils, an eraser, crayons or colored pencils, glue sticks, and a highlighter make a great set!  Store these supplies in a pencil box, shoe box, or recycled can.
  • Make a homework routine that is followed every day.  Give your child a quiet place to work on homework that is the same every day.  As soon as the homework is complete, check it over, and have your child put it in his/her backpack.  This will make your afternoons run more smoothly and mornings much less hectic.  Ultimately, remember that your child's homework is exactly that, your child's.  Please help with difficulty problems and drop the occasional reminder to pack it away, but don't make his/her work our responsibility.