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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.


Does Memorization Have a Place in a Modern Classroom?

Nov 12, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Memory, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

Most adults remember learning their times tables and to this day can easily tell you what 7 x 8 equals. Many can also name all the Great Lakes by recalling the acronym “HOMES.” When spelling, I always remember &ld... Read more
Use Pennies To Teach Common Core Math Skills

Nov 05, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Preschool, Kindergarten, Kids Math, Connie McCarthy, Common Core Standards, 1st Grade

Young children love pennies. So make them part of math comprehension. Use pennies to help young students practice math skills in a simple yet memorable way. Here are four easy ways to use pennies to help reinforce important C... Read more
A Simple Sequence for Helping Children Write Stories

Oct 29, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kids Writing, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

Young students can be reluctant story writers, even when they are good readers. However, understanding a simple sequence often gives them the confidence to give writing a try. This is a basic writing sequence that’s bee... Read more
The Five Steps to Phonemic Awareness

Oct 22, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Reading, Connie McCarthy

“Phonemic awareness” is a term often used when children are beginning to read. You might hear this term at a parent conference or PTO night. Simply put, phonemic awareness is the ability to hear sounds in spoken l... Read more
Common Core Review for Kindergarteners and 1st Graders

Oct 15, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Parent-Teacher Conference, Kindergarten, Connie McCarthy, Common Core Standards, 1st Grade

Right now most school districts are six to eight weeks into the new school year. That’s a long time for a kindergarten or 1st grade student! It’s also a time when many schools are scheduling first parent conferenc... Read more
The Importance of Conversation With Young Kids

Oct 08, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Vocabulary, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

Have you heard of the 30-million word gap for children? Psychologists Betty Hart of the University of Kansas and Todd Risley of the University of Alaska did a study of oral language. They observed 42 diverse families over a p... Read more
Ideas To Increase Fine Motor Skills in Young Students

Oct 01, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Motor Skills, Kindergarten, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy, 1st Grade

My post last week outlined the connection between gross and fine motor skills and activities to improve gross motor success. This week, my focus is on fine motor skills, and simple activities to help your kindergarten or 1st ... Read more
Practicing Gross Motor Skills Can Improve Learning

Sep 24, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Motor Skills, Kindergarten, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy, 1st Grade

For the most part, all learning is sequential, which means that we build on known skills to acquire new ones. This is especially true for young children, who are developing gross and fine motor dexterity. Gross motor skills i... Read more
Helping Kids Connect Numbers to Words

Sep 17, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kids Math, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

Often young students have no trouble doing simple addition and subtraction number problems yet, have little understanding of what the numbers actually represent. Most 1st graders know that 2 + 2 = 4. However, when given those... Read more
Make Learning Fun With Classic Childhood Games

Sep 10, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

“Play is the work of childhood,” Jean Piaget, a noted psychologist, once said. Fall is a great time for young children to still enjoy the “business of playing,” outdoors. It’s also a time to easi... Read more