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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.

Celebrate Spring With Stories and Common Core Activities

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Celebrate Spring With Stories and Common Core Activities

Warm weather is coming, and seasonal books, with fun and easy connecting activities, are a great way to celebrate with your young child. A variety of springtime books are readily available at your local library or on an e-reader. Here are two of my favorites, plus simple activities that extend the learning and promote Common Core skills.

Book and Activity 1:

  • Together read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
  • When reading is done, go outside to see whether you can find any caterpillars. Let your child be a scientist. Look closely at the caterpillar. Use a magnifying glass, if available. Note size, body segments, and legs.
  • When back inside, cut the bottom part of a cardboard egg carton in half lengthwise. Turn it over to make a caterpillar’s body. Paint or color it. Add cut pipe cleaner or toothpicks as legs and antennae.

Book and Activity 2:

  • Together read It Looked Like Spilt Milk, by Charles G. Shaw
  • Talk about the different cloud shapes your child might see, referencing the book.
  • On a sunny day, take her outside to look at the puffy clouds and let her find any shapes that are the same as or different from the ones in the book.
  • When back inside (or outside if weather permits), have her rip white construction paper into different “cloud” shapes of her own design. Paste them onto a blue piece of construction paper for her own “spilt milk” clouds.

Relating stories to children’s real-life experiences helps them make a Common Core “self-to-text” connection, greatly increasing their understanding of details and settings in the stories.

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