How to Get Your Child Interested in Reading

How to get your child interested in reading can be challenging these days. Many children need the motion of t.v. or a video game to keep their attention or interest. But in reality, reading is the best thing a child can do to become better readers and better students. Reading is essential in life. You need to read math problems, you need to read a recipe, you need to read how to do something, and you need to read for enjoyment. So, how do you get there, enjoyment? 
As a teacher, I can tell you, reading is the best thing a child can do to keep learning and growing. When children read, they learn new words and their vocabulary grows. They comprehend better when they can create images in their mind and see the story playing out. Children's background knowledge grows too when they read. They will learn new things and new ideas. When children are exposed to new ideas, they learn more. When other ideas become introduced, they will be easier to learn.

You may think that books are disappearing these days, but that's not the case. Libraries are full of books. You are still able to check out books for free. A librarian can help you find the right book to read for your child.

Here are a few ways to get your child interested in reading: 
  • One way to help get your child interested in reading is to read aloud to them. Picture books are great for the young students. As students become school age, chapter books should be introduced. Reading a chapter book to your child will help your child become interested in reading. Research supports that when we read books aloud to children it will help them succeed in reading. When students are better readers, they will read more. When stories are read together, you are able to discuss the story events and play out the story together. If you read, the story flows faster and you can model for your child good reading tactics. Plus, you'll be able to ask them questions to see if they are paying attention to the story. Reading aloud to your child will help get your child interested in reading because you are interested in reading to them.    
  • Another way to help students become interested in reading is to host a literature circle. This is like a group of friends getting together to talk about the book. As adults, you are to read a book and then discuss it with your friends. As elementary children, it's best to read one chapter at a time and then discuss. You can do this many ways. You read a chapter and your child reads the same chapter. Then, you come together to discuss. Or you can read the chapter together. When reading together, you can see and hear how your child is reading. You can learn alot about your child when you hear them read out loud. When you come together to discuss, ask each other questions about the book, talk about the characters and start to establish the elements in a book like setting, problem, and solution. Discussion of a books helps students understand the story better, and they will hopefully be drawn in to keep reading to finish the story. One way to start this is to read a series of books, like "Magic Tree House". Start with book 1 to read together,  then read book 2, and so on. Here are some good reading series: The Magic Tree House, Ivy and Bean, Little House, Goosebumps, Boxcar Children  
  • A fun way to interest your child in reading is to find other things to read besides books. Magazines are a great way to spark some reading in your child. Many students need more nonfiction reading and magazines are one way to incorporate more nonfiction reading. Also, comic books are great to get students interested in reading. Comics are not really in book format, but they follow the same story elements a book has in it. Reading a recipe is great for reading too. Recipes make you follow directions from start to finish. If you can get your child interested in reading with magazines or comic books, these are great starts. Make sure to move over to chapter books and read a variety of material too. Sticking to one kind of reading is not always ideal. Here are some magazines to try: National Geographic for Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick Jr.
  • Writing a story and drawing pictures to match the story line is another way to get your child interested in reading. Students can write and draw their own version of the story that they just read or continue the story as if it were to keep going. Writing is another way students can get interested in reading. It's a way for them to create a story and let their imagination go. Reading and writing go so well together.  
The more children read, the better they get at it. When starting to read, it's really hard to get into it and follow a story. If a child reads everyday, they will get better at it and begin to get into it. You must practice at something to become good at it, right? Try to find a way to get your child to read more each day. Once children become interested in reading, they will become successful in school. Easier said than done, right?

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Happy Reading.
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Self Grading Quizzes in Google Forms

During distant learning at home, I've been trying to find other ways to bring you resources to use for remote learning or for classrooms going paperless. If you purchased any products from me, begin to look for an update. I'm uploading many of my task cards into Google Forms creating Self Grading Quizzes for Google Classrooms. I've updated a few resources already and will continue to do so. I've added Google links to already existing products and I've also created the links for individual purchase for those classrooms going paperless. Now you'll be able to purchase the printable task cards with the Google links together or with the Google links only. Click the picture below to see all products updated to Google Forms at my TPT store. 
 Google Forms List
Using Google Forms is easy when using Google Classrooms. Just copy the link into your Google Classroom. From there you'll be able to assign students the links to take a pre or post assessment or just to practice a skill or reinforce learning. The self-grading quizzes are easy to assign and there is no grading. Google does it all. Instead of using printable task cards, use the Google links to practice skills and strategies. 

Here are the few products I've updated and added links to them. Do you own any of them at TPT? All you have to do is download it again and the links will be added. I have changed the cover on a few and updated the clipart. You might need to click on it to see if you own it at TPT.
 Candy Jar Fractions DIstance Learning
 Addition and Subtraction Task Cards Distance Learning Google Forms Addition and Subtraction 2 Digit Numbers
 Improper Mixed Fractions Fraction of a Set Word Problems
 4 Kinds of Sentences Distance Learning
 Compare and Order Fractions Distance Learning Coin Counting Task Cards

I have more items switched over to Google Forms than listed above. 
Click the picture below to see all products added to Google Forms at my TPT store:
 Google Forms for Google Classroom
I'm still learning about Google Classrooms and I have more programs and apps to learn. Stay tuned for other products to be updated.

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Dollar Deals for the Elementary Classroom

How many teachers love a dollar deal? I could spend hours at the dollar store or in the dollar section at Target rummaging through the office supply section looking for some cheap and cute items for my classroom. Everybody loves to find a deal whether you need it or not. I have some fun resources for the K-5th grade classrooms that only cost $1. You will find math, reading, and writing resources that are super cheap. I've listed the products below with a description for each one. Click the picture below to see all my dollar deals at my TPT store.
 Dollar Deals

These are my dollar deals:

 Candy Jar Fractions Dollar Deal
Candy Jar Fractions is a great deal. This has 3 Google links. The links are in Google Forms creating 3 self grading quizzes all about fractions. Students count the candy in the jar and form a fraction from the pieces in the jar. These are a great review for learning fractions. Each quiz has 10 candy jars. 
 Superhero Punch Cards
Superhero Punch Cards are great ideas when dealing with behavior management. Tape one of these cards to each student's desk. When you see them acting good, punch their card with a hole punch or mark it with a stamp. When students fill up their card, they turn it in for a small prize like a new pencil, or a piece of candy. This pack also comes in "Star" theme instead of the superhero theme. Click the picture on the left to read more about these punch cards. 

 Equal Groups Task Cards
Equal Groups Multiplication is great for students that are beginning to learn about multiplication. These task cards make multiplication look easy. Even 1st graders can count the groups and learn the concept of multiplication. This set has 20 task cards and a few recording sheets. These are great for math centers. This pack also comes in a holiday theme for Valentines Day. 
 States and Capitals I Have Who Has Game
Have you ever played, "I have, who has?" This is a great class game to keep everyone on their toes and pay attention when it's their turn to show their card. This pack is all about the states and capitals of the United States! All 50 states and capitals are included plus the Capital of the United States. This is a fun game to play over and over again and to keep the students involved in learning. This game is great for review too. 

 A Jar of Winter Games
During this winter season you will not want to miss out on these eight games you play with 2 dice. Students will be practicing their addition facts. There is also a game board dedicated to fractions. These have a cute winter theme. Each game is simple to learn and will keep your early finishers busy while they brush up on their math skills. These games also come in a spring theme too. I also created a St. Patrick's Day theme using multiplication facts instead of addition facts.  

 Build a Sentence Pack
Build a Sentence has a pack of 20 worksheets. Students build upon a simple sentence and make it better by adding details to it. These are great when students are learning to make their sentences come to life but also not make them too wordy. These are also great for learning sentence structure and to practice writing sentences.  

Fall Write About It Worksheets
Write About It has 15 worksheets to write a simple paragraph. These worksheets have the theme of fall, but could be used all year round too. Students use the picture on the worksheet and write about it. They answer who, what, when, where, and why about the picture. Students will write paragraphs with ease when using this product. 

 Letter Writing Practice
How many of your students need to practice letter formation? Some of my students make their letters a weird way or just don't know how to do it properly. This mini-alphabet book has enough practice for your beginners to writing their letters. This pack has a letter to practice writing on a half page to save paper. Assemble all the pages into a cute mini book. These will be easy to store and simple to take out at a moments notice to practice writing letters at anytime.  

 CVC and CVCE Cut and Paste Worksheets
These sort cvc and cvce words has 10 worksheets. CVC words are like mat and rat. CVCE words are like mate and rate. Students use the worksheets to cut and paste words in the correct category. These are great for beginning readers. Click the picture to read more about this dollar deal. 

Everytime I add a dollar product to my store, I will add it to this blog list as well. Check back later to find some more dollar deals. Pin the dollar deal button at the top to stay tuned.

My pinterest board is full of dollar deals. It's worth taking a look. Click the picture below to be taken to my Pinterest board full of dollar deals. 
 Dollar Deals for the Classroom
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How to Add and Subtract on a 100 Chart

How to add or subtract on a 100 chart is a piece of cake! It's really helpful for students who need a boost in counting by 1s and 10s. You do not need to worry about regrouping or borrowing either. All you need are some 2-digit numbers and a 100 chart. Once students become proficient in using the 100 chart to add, they will not need the chart. They'll know how to do it in their head! 

Let's practice. Let's say you need to add 53+29. Find 53 on the chart below. I know that 29 has 2 tens and 9 ones. I start at 53. Add 2 tens which puts me at 73 and then add 9 ones. That will land me on 82. 
 Free 100 Chart
If I was more advanced, I would start at 53, add 30 because 29 is closest to 30 and subtract 1. But for beginners, they do not think that way. 

The 100 chart is also great for subtraction. If I had to subtract 83-25, I would start at 83. I know that 25 is 2 tens and 5 ones. I would go back 2 tens which would put me at 63. I would count back 5. That lands me at 58.

Most students need extra practice in subtracting. Working on a 100 chart will help students begin to see patterns, notice numbers, and start to have a good understanding in number sense. They will be proficient if they can do it all in their head with no 100 chart in front of them. 

Click the 100 chart above to download for free. 100 charts will come in handy when adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers. Students will need to know how to add 1s and 10s when adding or subtracting. Here is a blog post about adding 1s and 10s. Students will also need to know their tens and ones and the value of each number too.     

I have a few 2 digit numbers to practice this skill. Click the pictures below to see more. I have also updated these task cards and added Google links for Self-Grading Quizzes. Use the Google links to assign to students in Google Classrooms. Or use the printable task cards to practice adding and subtracting on the 100 chart. 
 100 Task Cards using 2 Digit Numbers Add 2 Digit Numbers Subtract 2 Digit Numbers
 2 Digit Add Subtract Task Cards Add and Subtract 2 Digit Numbers 2 Digit Numbers Task Cards
 2 Digit Word Problems 

Here are some other 100 charts you may like for the classroom:
Laminated 100 Chart
100 Chart - Set of 10
Wooden Hundred Chart

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Educational Ideas for Kids Stuck at Home

If your students or kids are stuck at home because of school shutdowns, during long holiday breaks, during the long summer break, they're sick for a long period of time, or for homeschoolers, kids will need some ways to keep themselves busy. I have over 20 ways that will keep students busy at home using educational ideas. Most of these ideas can be done independently and will use very little material. I also linked a few ideas where you can purchase these ideas but ALL of these ideas listed below can be done without purchasing any products listed. They are ONLY suggestions.

Here is my list of ideas:
  1. Play games like Monopoly and Yahtzee that teach a skill like money or addition. Play games that teach a strategy like Chess or Connect 4. Stay away from the video games as much as possible. Video games do not help the brain advance forward or learn new things. Board games and strategic games enhance our brains. Click here to read a blog post I wrote about how we should be playing games with children.
  2. Find some paper and staple together to make a journal. Use a notebook or 3-ring notebook, anything will work for a journal. You can do a ton of things in a journal. Write down 10 things you did that day, make a "To Do" list and stick to it, write sentences using the letters in your name, write a paragraph about your day, write poems, or write your opinions and thoughts down. Anything goes. Just write! Click below to see ways to get students to write differently everyday. There are over 80 ideas to journal about. These prompts are great for any grade level. 
     Mini Writing Journal
  3. If you get grocery ads, have students plan out a meal or a party using the food in the grocery ads. Have them calculate how much it would cost to plan a meal or even a party. Pick out 10 items in the ad and multiply them by 6, 7, or 8 to practice multiplication. Use division to find out how much each unit is in the pack. If you get 10 drink packs for $4.87, how much is each one? Students can make a list of items in the ads to categorize by fruits, vegetables, meats, junk food, drinks, ect. Grocery ads can be used in a variety of ways.
  4. Research the state or country you live in. There are hundreds of places to research. Once you finish one, start another. Find the state bird, state flower, population, rainfall, climate, and/or historic places of each state. Make a book about each flag for all the states or countries. If you don't want to do a state, then research an animal or person. There are hundreds of ideas to choose from. Research Reports can be done on any subject or person and are never ending. My Mini-Reports, below, will help students get started. These are great for research or final presentations. There are 4 reports to choose from; Biography, Country, State, and Animal.  
     Mini Reports Bundle  Mini Animal Report Mini Country Report
  5. READ, READ, READ. As a teacher, I cannot stress enough how IMPORTANT it is to read. You learn a lot when you read. You comprehend, pick up new words, sequence in your mind, and make predictions. Reading helps in ALL subject areas. The more you read, the better you get at it! Practice reading all kinds of genres too. 3rd graders and up should be reading chapter books and nonfiction material. Just sit down and read. If students are out of school, they should be reading at least 60 minutes a day. Complete a book report when finished reading a book or write a summary of each chapter you read. All you need are paper and pencils to describe the story. Stories always have a who, what, when, where, why, and how in them. Students could also come up with questions about the story and then answer them too. Book Talk, below, is loaded with over 90 pages of ideas to do with books. It keeps the conversation going about any book they are reading.  
     Book Reports and Graphic Organizers
  6. Let your kids help you follow a recipe by measuring ingredients. Students will learn a lot when they see cups, 1/2 cups, 1/4 cups and measuring spoons. Find recipes they would be able to make and have them write the recipe out on a recipe card. They can make an album of their favorite foods and start saving recipes. Some will need help in the kitchen but there are many recipes kids can make that don't require the stove, oven, or using a knife to cut. If you don't want them in the kitchen, use the measuring cups and teaspoons to play with. They can fill a tub with water and measure using bowls to see how many 1/4 cups can make a 1/2 cup?
  7. Find some worksheets or review books geared to their grade level to complete. You can find many workbooks at Costco or Sam's Club or even Walmart and Target. I've even found them at the dollar store. Assign pages for them to do everyday. Here are some of my popular worksheets: 
     Fraction Worksheets 3 Digit Place Value Worksheets Multiplication and Division Worksheets
  8. Watch a tv program or show and then write a summary about it. Include characters, the setting, the problem in the show, and how it was solved. Write a sequence of events; what happened first, second, and so on.
  9. Make a calendar of the month. Put in important dates, appointments, birthdays, ect. Get to know the calendar. Know how to spell the days of the week, months, and holidays too. Know how many days are in each month, how many weeks are in a month, and days in the year. Click the picture below to start learning the calendar.  
     Learn the Calendar
  10. Have the students make an agenda of what they are going to do for the day. They should incorporate time which will help them learn about the clock. How many minutes will it take to get these tasks done? Use the clock to write in how much time it will complete each task. For example, from 7:30-7:40 eat, from 7:40-8:00 get dressed and brush teeth, from 8:00-9:00 a.m read. Stick to the schedule. When students know what their day looks like, they will be organized and motivated to complete tasks likes chores or school work. It's good for them to make their own schedule but you can help.  
  11. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Write down things you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. When they get home, write sentences about each feeling or sensory. Take a walk on another day. Compare what you see from day to day. Write about what was the same or different from each day. Make a Venn Diagram to show the comparisons. What are other things you can compare?
  12. Find a picture on your phone for them to write about it. They should be using paragraph form to write about the picture, or they can write captions for the picture. They should include a who, what, when, where, and why for each picture. The packs below extend more writing. Click the pictures to learn about each one.
     Story Writing Pack Write About It Worksheets 
  13. Write a letter to someone in your family or to your friends. Stuff the letter into an envelope, address it, put a stamp on it, and mail it. Or just deliver it to their bedroom door and tape it to their door. Everyone loves to get letters.  
  14. Students can pick out 20 words from a book they are reading and find the definition of each word and write them in a sentence. Many dictionaries are online or using a real dictionary would also be great. Make a crossword puzzle for your vocabulary words, put them in ABC order, separate them from syllables, and/or separate from long and short sounds. You can do a lot with a list of words.
  15. Write directions for a game you play or come up with a new game to play. Students can write step by step instructions on how to play the game and the materials used to play.  
     How To Writing Pack
  16. Write directions on how you go to school, or to a friends house, or to the store or mall. Pretend you are GPS and instead of saying the directions out loud, write them down. You can find google maps of each city and state online. Once you teach them how to read a map, they should be able to write down any directions to any place. This will help them learn about their neighborhood and state too.
  17. Have them measure all the rooms in the house. Get out a tape measure and find the area and perimeter of each room. Make a map of your house listing all the measurements for each room. Measure in inches, centimeters, and/or feet. Then, they can order the rooms from smallest to largest. This pack below has some fun ways to use area and perimeter by building rooms.
     Area and Perimeter Build a Room 
  18. Make a list of ways to help people. Once finished, have them draw or make a posters of the items on their list. Make posters about life skills or ways to be a good reader or writer. Anything goes.  
  19. Make a set of flashcards on paper or index cards. What do your kids need to work on? Math facts? States and capitals? Vocabulary words? Students can write the word or fact on one side of the card and the answer on the back. Flashcards are great for kids to do independently. They are self-checking and keeps the learning going and active.
  20. Count coins. Empty your purse and pockets and get students to practice counting coins. Have them make word problems using money too. For example; If I have 2 quarters and 3 dimes, how much money do I have? Or if I have $0.36 and spend 2 dimes, how much money will I have left? I have a set of coin counting worksheets and I have a FREE money board to help students count coins. Click the pictures below to read more about them. 
     Coin Counting Worksheets  FREE Money Boards
  21. Know those high frequency words (HFW)! Students should be able to read and spell the HFW by 5th grade. There are so many ways to use these words. Write the words in a sentence, use the words to write a story, put 10 words in abc order, look up each word in a dictionary, separate the words by vowel sounds or nouns, verbs and adjectives. Get creative. Write the words on little sticky notes and post all around the house.  Have students go around the house to find all the words to read. Let students look in newspapers or magazines to find words and cut them out. This pack of high frequency words go all the way to 1,000!
Hopefully there are some ideas you can start using right now to keep kids active and learning at home no matter what the situation is arounds us. Below is a Choice Board of the ideas above. Click the picture to download for FREE!
 Choice Board Educational Ideas to do at home
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