Pollocks School Holiday Homework Bingo

These are simple learning games for kindergarten one focusing on breaking down syllables the other is math but they use the same materials from the dollar store. Learning After School at our house is all about doing quick and simple games that reinforce what my son is learning in Kindergarten. These lessons or games need to be fun, active and not too long. This isn’t homework (he gets some very simple but useful homework), it’s in addition to it. What I love best about these activities is you really get to see how much your child has learned and while we play he will naturally open up and tell me about school.

  1. For both of these learning games for kindergarten, you will need a pen, some foam craft sticks (wood would be fine too) in a rainbow of colors, and green foam shamrocks.
  2. Start with the syllable break down by writing one, two and three syllable words on the craft sticks. You will want one word per rainbow color stick per shamrock. I had five one syllable, five two syllable and 5 three syllable words each.  Our list was as follows:
    1. Mop, mom, pan, run, son
    2. Color, garden, panda, super, open
    3. Umbrella, telephone, dinosaur, butterfly, elephant
  3. Write the numbers (1, 2, 3) on the different shamrocks.
  4. Play! Set out the words and shamrocks. Ask your child to clap out or break down the words into syllables and place them on the shamrock with that number. He was way faster at this than I could have imaged.  Each shamrock has one craft stick in each color. My son didn’t need the prompt but had I been doing this at his age, I would have welcomed the hint that the colors give without having to ask for help. If your child is struggling you can say “Does the number 3 shamrock have a red stick yet?” *Also there is no shame in googling “2 syllable words” or “How to break a word into syllables” as a parent it’s probably been years since you have clapped out a word.
  5. Adding in a little lesson about rainbow colors I had him place the words in proper rainbow order after he’d sorted them.
  6. This is when he said, “Ok, now can we make it math?”
  7. So I flipped the sticks and wrote out simple equations. Again making sure to have one of each color matching the answer on the shamrocks.
  8. He loved this. He decided he wanted to write the answer on each which slowed it down but I was so happy since writing is still not his favorite activity but is something he is doing in class right now. He didn’t finish all the equations. That’s OK!  15 equations is a huge amount in one go.  This game can be played over and over again.

For more Learning After School ideas check out these posts. These are a great list of learning games for kindergarten age children. You can also stop over and follow me on Facebook for other fun game ideas!

Want more great ideas for preschool activities? Check out our Build Preschool Thematic Curriculum Units!

Filed Under: Age: Kindergarten, Learning After School, Letters & Numbers, Math Activities, Reading, Reading Readiness, St.Patrick's Day | 5 Comments

 

One of the biggest indicators of success in school has very little to do with test scores or even how your child learns. It has to do with the quality of communication between parents and teachers. Recent research published in Educational Psychology has found that when parents are engaged in their children’s academic life that children are more likely to succeed, not just academically but it improves behavior outcomes as well.

According to research compiled by Education.com here are some more benefits for children and teachers:

Children

  •  Higher self-esteem and academic motivation.
  • Better grades, test scores, and attendance.
  • Cultural gaps for children from diverse backgrounds are better filled when there is a strong home-school communication.

Teachers

  • Greater understanding of families and issues facing their students.
  • Higher rates of homework completion.
  • Parents have a better understanding of the curriculum.
  • Higher moral and job satisfaction. 

So why aren’t more parents involved?

The problem is real life.

Real life is busy; we are over scheduled, have long commutes, are juggling multiple children’s schedules, and do any of us ever really leave work at work anymore? Even the most intentionally unbusy parent gets busy sometimes. Some parents don’t speak or read English and aren’t always able to rely on friends and family to translate. Emails are easy to miss and notices home often get lost on the school bus. Frankly, even with emails, it can be hard to keep it all straight even for parents like you and me who want to be involved.

 

This is why when LivingTree asked me to check out their secure application that allows parents, teachers, administrators and even districts communicate I agreed. This is a wonderful resource that is not only useful, but it’s also accessible.  There is a free app, but you don’t have to have a smartphone to be involved, you can use the free web based application as well. 

I can not stress how often the issue of language barriers is brought up by teachers I have facilitated workshops for.  It can be very tough for parents who are not native English speakers to feel connected or even welcome to be involved in their children’s school activities. LivingTree can translate the information into over 100 different languages, that right there is life changing for many teachers.

Beyond the language barriers the biggest advantage I see as a parent is the ability to sync all district information in one place. Next year my kids will be going to different schools, and I want both their info in one place with one calendar, and right now the only way I can do that is to put it there myself, but like the many parents I talked about earlier, I am so busy that just never gets done.

 

It’s not just for schools though so if you are a homeschooling parent you can use it as well, you can make your own secure network to communicate with your family or your homeschooling group. Or if you just want a secure network for your family and friends you can create that as well. 

As a teacher,  I know first hand how involved families enrich the school experience when there is continuity from school to home and back children benefit. It is rare that I agree to review a product but I felt unable not to share this, it has such potential to help parents become engaged which helps teachers teach and children learn.

To learn more about how LivingTree works visit their site here or connect with LivingTree on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Find the free app at the App Store and Google Play.

 

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with LivingTree. All opinions are my own.

 

Filed Under: For Parents, For Teachers | Leave a Comment

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