Friday, May 20, 2016

Technology - Sites and Apps to Avoid the "Summer Slump"

While most summer days are spent enjoying the nice weather and playing with friends, there are always a few days that the weather doesn't cooperate. These are perfect days for students to spend some time using some of the educational apps and sites they've used at school. We provide our students with many different online services for math and reading.

Some of these services include:

- IXL allows students in grades 2-8 to practice math anytime! It is available online and on iOS and Android devices. They already have a login so they can continue the progress they've already made at school.


- Dreambox allows kindergarten and first grade students to practice math. Dreambox is available online and have iOS and Android apps.



- Big Universe allows students to access a large collection of books online. There are also apps available for iOS and Android for reading on the go!



Many other resources can be found on the Richmond School website. There are many fun resources that students are familiar with that will be available to them all summer long!

RtI - Fun Educational Activities for the Summer

With summer right around the corner, here’s an article from Education World that provides 25 fun ideas of how to keep your child’s brain active. The activities span all different subject areas and provide a variety of hands-on experiences. Here are some of our favorites:
  • Make homemade Bubble Solution and experiment with such unique Bubble-Blowing Tools as strings, milk containers, and garbage can lids.
  • Catch a firefly and then go to The Firefly Files online, or read a book, such as Fireflies by Sally M. Walker, to help your child learn more about them. Then invite your child to complete the Education World Firefly Facts worksheet.
  • Start a rock collection. Collecting Rocks, a Web site by the U. S. Geological Survey, offers advice to help the novice collector gather, identify, and store neat rock specimens. The Audubon Society Pocket Guide Familiar Rocks and Minerals North America will help children identify and label the rocks and minerals they find.
  • Hang a white sheet outside at night and shine a light on it. Observe the variety of insects it draws. To identify some of those nighttime visitors, see The Orders and Selected Families of Insects or read the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders.

Literacy - Encouraging Children to Read a Variety of Genres

Why is it important for children to read a variety of books and stories?  There are several good reasons.  The exposure to different authors and genres of books can give your child insight into other cultures, worldwide locations, and new vocabulary.  For instance, science fiction books may have different vocabulary and settings than we find in mystery books.  
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Discuss different genres of books with your child and explain the reasons why reading a wide variety of books can be beneficial.  
  • Take your child to the local library and allow him/her an opportunity to select different genres of books on their own.  If your child has a hard time making a selection, then you and your child can ask the librarian for suggestions.  The more input your child has in the selection process, the more willing they will be to try something new.


  • Offer to read a genre of book along with your child that he or she has not yet tried. Whether a child is 5 or 12, he or she will enjoy sharing a story with you.  Make it exciting.  Children may try reading different genres simply because they look forward to spending quality time with you.
  • Ask your child’s teacher for suggestions on how to gently introduce new genres to your child.
  • Again, if your child is extremely resistant to trying a new reading genre, that’s okay.  Be glad that your child enjoys reading the books he/she likes for now, and try again at a later date.




From the article: “Why Children Benefit From Reading a Variety of Books” Written by: Dr. Felecia Nace, Family and Community Relations Office, New Jersey Department of Education http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/articles/life/books.htm