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Connie's Classroom

Connie McCarthy
Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.


Poetry and Play for Summer Learning Fun

Jul 06, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Kids Reading, Connie McCarthy

Combining poetry and play is a great way to strengthen language and literacy skills in a melodic and lyrical way. One of my favorite poems is Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "The Swing." When my own children were young, we w... Read more
End of the School Year Reflections

Jun 27, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

Every June I am reminded what a magical year First Grade is in a child’s academic life. I’m reminded by the inspiring words of my students and their parents. "She taught me how to read and now I love it!" wrote ... Read more
Take Advantage of Your Town’s Summer Programs

Jun 16, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Connie McCarthy

Our city’s librarian came to visit our school this week. She wanted to tell the children about summer reading programs that are available, free of charge. Each child went home with a brochure explaining the upcoming p... Read more
Keep Academic Skill Sharp with a "Summer Fun Contract"

Jun 09, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Connie McCarthy

Parents want to know how to keep academic skills sharp, while enjoying the slower pace of summer. One way is to make a "Summer Fun Contract" with your child. Here’s what to do: Together, make a list of favorite summer... Read more
Publish a Memory Book with Your Child

Jun 03, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Parent Involvement, Kids Writing, Kids Learning, Fun Learning Activities, Connie McCarthy

Here is a special way to help your child remember the fun of their Kindergarten or First Grade school year. Try making a "Memory Book" together. By asking a few simple questions, you can help your child create a "published... Read more
Holiday Traveling Games for Learning... and Family Sanity!

May 26, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Parent Involvement, Kids Learning, Fun Learning Activities, Connie McCarthy

Are you traveling with young children this holiday weekend? If so, here are some easy reading and math games that will keep your children entertained, while reinforcing skills. "Rhyme Time" An adult says four words, three t... Read more
How to Help Children Increase Reading Connections

May 20, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Fun Learning Activities, Connie McCarthy

Young readers enjoy stories more when they can relate to characters, settings, or actions of the plot. Teachers call this a "self-to-text" connection. Children envision it as being "part" of the story. Making a "self-to-tex... Read more
To Repeat a Grade or Not to Repeat…That is the Question!

May 12, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in School Success, Kids Learning, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

Are you facing the decision of whether your young child should repeat their school grade? The goal of repeating a grade is to give a student extra time to grow, mature, and master grade level skills that were missed the first... Read more
Happy Mother’s Day From the First Grade!

May 06, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

I asked my First Graders to write a story about "why their Mom was special to them." We talked about writing "from your heart." I told them how their words could be better than a "million dollar gift," and a keepsake that th... Read more
Use Music to Enhance Your Young Child's Memory

Apr 28, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kids Learning, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

By the end of first grade students should know how to tell time to the hour and half-hour, on both an analogical and digital clock. This is sometimes a difficult skill for them to master, especially transitioning from a clo... Read more