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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
Put Colorful Magnetic Letters to Work With These 4 Tips!

Apr 09, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in SchoolFamily.com, Kindergarten, Kids Writing, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

Is your refrigerator covered in colorful magnetic letters? If so, put those letters to work! Magnetic letters are a great tool to help your young reader practice sight words, spelling, and reading.  In my classroom we ha... Read more
Connie McCarthy
1st Graders Suggest Top Books for Kindergarteners

Apr 03, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, SchoolFamily.com, Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

In preparation for my school’s annual “Reading Week,” I asked my 1st grade students to name their favorite kindergarten books, and tell me why they liked them. Their answers were impressive. Here are their t... Read more
Connie McCarthy
A "Synonym" is Not Something You Put on Toast!

Mar 20, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, SchoolFamily.com, School Success, Parent Involvement, Kindergarten, Kids Writing, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

 A few years ago, when I was introducing word categories to my 1st grade students, I asked if anyone knew what a “synonym” was. I called on one student who was enthusiastically waving his hand. “Oh yes... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Introduce Your Young Reader to the “H Brothers”

Mar 05, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, SchoolFamily.com, School Success, Parenting, Kindergarten, Kids Writing, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

Once young readers learn to blend letter sounds, they can easily sound out a new or unfamiliar word—that is until they encounter one of the “H Brothers!”   The “H Brothers” are consonant dig... Read more
Carol Brooks Ball
Great Kids' Books for Read Across America Day

Mar 01, 2012 - Posted by Carol Brooks Ball in Teachers, SchoolFamily.com, School Success, Parenting, Parent Involvement, Middle School, Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Homework, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School

 Read Across America Day, an annual program of the National Education Association (NEA), is Friday, March 2. Read Across America is a celebration of reading and a celebration of the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, more... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Help Your Beginning Reader Become a “Decoding Detective”

Feb 28, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in SchoolFamily.com, School Success, School Curriculum, Parent Involvement, Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

 To increase reading levels, beginning readers need the confidence to decode new and unfamiliar words.  A simple way to do this is by building on words they already know.  Teach your beginning reader the fun of... Read more
Connie McCarthy
In Praise of the Average Reading Student

Feb 07, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, SchoolFamily.com, School Supplies, School Curriculum, Parenting, Parent Involvement, Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Homework, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

I’m writing this week in support and recognition of all the wonderful young students who fall into the under appreciated category of “average” when it comes to their reading.   Average means that a chil... Read more
Connie McCarthy
5 Ways to Help Your Advanced Reader

Jan 30, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, SchoolFamily.com, School Success, Kindergarten, Kids Writing, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Gifted and Talented, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

  Last week I wrote about struggling young readers, and offered some strategies to help these children succeed.  But, what if your child is an above-level reader?  How do you keep an advanced reader challenged ... Read more
Connie McCarthy
What If My Child Isn't Reading As Well As His Friends?

Jan 23, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, School Success, Learning Disabilities, Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy

Often, when parents hear that other children their child’s age are reading higher-level books, they have concerns about their own child’s progress.    There may be several reasons why your child isn&rsqu... Read more
Connie McCarthy
Start Using Those S.A.T. Vocabulary Words Early

Jan 16, 2012 - Posted by Connie McCarthy in Teachers, SchoolFamily.com, Parenting, Parent Involvement, Middle School, Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, High School, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy, College

We were recently visiting a family friend, a young woman who's a great young mom with two active preschool children. It was impressive to hear her speak and explain things to her son and daughter. I complimented her on her gr... Read more