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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
Turn the Night Sky Into Memorable Summer Learning

Jul 02, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Connie McCarthy

Summer is a wonderful time to teach children about the night sky. It’s great fun to identify and observe the various constellations of stars. Incorporating a child’s natural curiosity with a clear and dark evening... Read more
Connie McCarthy
My Year Mentoring New Teachers

Jun 25, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, Connie McCarthy

This past school year, I was offered a special opportunity. Instead of returning to my 1st grade classroom, I was selected by the Rhode Island Department of Education to be an “induction coach” for first-year teac... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Improve Subtraction Skills With a Fun Pennies Game

Jun 18, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Kids Math, Connie McCarthy

An interesting yet easy game to enrich “mental math” subtraction skills is “Penny Hide and Seek.” It uses visual and hands-on practice to help young children quickly and easily remember simple subtract... Read more
Connie McCarthy
A Fun “Mental Math” Addition Game for Summer (or Anytime)

Jun 11, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Kids Math, Connie McCarthy

Summer is a great time to practice improving “mental math” skills through games. The "Counting On" game is a great activity that uses visual, auditory, and hands-on techniques to help your child instantly solve ad... Read more
Connie McCarthy
10 Important End-of-Year Questions for Your Child’s Teacher

Jun 04, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Reading, Math, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

End-of-the-year progress reports usually come home on the last day of school. This often leaves parents with unanswered questions about what the report really means. Parents may wonder just how well prepared their young child... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Fun Educational Games To Play When Traveling

May 28, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Summer Learning, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and a time when many families start traveling. Although there are plenty of electronic devices and mobile movies to keep young ones occupied while traveling, try alternating som... Read more
Connie McCarthy
An Easy Way To Improve Math Fluency: Count Backward

May 21, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kindergarten, Kids Math, Connie McCarthy, 1st Grade

Parents are well aware of the importance of reading fluency. However, early math fluency is equally crucial. Simply put, math fluency means fast and automatic retrieval of math facts from memory. For young students it should ... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Don’t Let Language Confuse Young Math Students

May 14, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kids Math, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy, 2nd Grade, 1st Grade

When teaching the value of double-digit numbers in my classroom, I noticed that my students often became confused with 11, 12, and the rest of the -teen numbers. This was a puzzle to me, and I was determined to solve it. Afte... Read more
Connie McCarthy
More New Words for Your Child’s Word Bank

May 07, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Reading, Kids Learning, Connie McCarthy

This month’s words for your child’s word bank involve consonant blends and consonant digraphs. Simply put, consonant blends consist of two or three consonants used together in words, where each letter sound is d... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Do a “Reading Survey” With Your Child

Apr 30, 2013 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy, 2nd Grade, 1st Grade

There is a strategy that teachers use in classrooms to identify various interests in student reading. It’s a concept that parents can easily incorporate at home called a “Reading Survey.” Teachers use a Read... Read more