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Join our bloggers as they share their experiences on the challenges and joys of helping children succeed in school.
Connie McCarthy
Frustration Free Creative Writing

Jul 14, 2011 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Parent Involvement, Kids Writing, Fun Learning Activities, Connie McCarthy

When young children first begin to write stories they often get frustrated, and need help spelling the "big words." Here is a way to help your child overcome this obstacle and let creative writing flow. You will need: A sta... Read more
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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