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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
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
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
Connie McCarthy
8 Simple Ways To Encourage Your Child’s Literacy

Sep 03, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kids Reading, Connie McCarthy, Back to School

It’s widely known that parents who are actively involved in their child’s reading activities can significantly increase their child’s literacy. Here are eight simple strategies you can use to encourage good ... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Activities To Help Kindergartners Understand Numbers

Aug 27, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kindergarten, Kids Math, Connie McCarthy, Common Core Standards

Two Common Core math skills that your kindergarten child will be required to know by the end of the school year are: Count to 100 by ones and tens Counting forward within the known sequence (instead of having to always sta... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Today's Students Need Upgraded Schools

Aug 20, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Technology, Connie McCarthy

Educators and parents agree that purposeful and appropriate use of technology is terrific for both students and teachers. The use of technology, including personal devices, can be very helpful in supporting implementation of ... Read more