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The countdown to summer is still going! Eight weeks left in the New Jersey school year and this week has three very fun days 🥳

For this week’s #motivationmonday, let us not take for granted the power of reading words in a list rather than always having kids read from a text. Reading words in-text is a wonderful teaching tool that builds grammar, syntax, and vocabulary skills, which are all very important. However, kids need a variety of reading experiences and opportunities to help build their skills. This is why I like to circle “back to basics” with word lists or even words on flashcards! Isolating words is highly effective to ensure that the chid not only can decode them with automaticity, but also has full understanding of the word’s meaning and how it applies to their life (and the content at school they are learning about). All of these diverse activities, when done in repetition, promote their extensive vocabulary which then leads to the ultimate overarching goal: successful reading comprehension. Offering a variety of reading activities is an educational technique that is a great way to keep them engaged and ensure maximum intake of material.

This week’s #TutorTipTuesday is focused on L blends. Make sure your students (especially elementary students) can hear, say, and read the different types of L blends. A good way to do this is to provide examples of the different L blends (i.e. bl, cl, fl, gl, pl) within words in a list. This should be practiced in reading, spelling, pronunciation, and phonemic awareness drills. You can also make this skill tactile by using the “say and trace” method, which should be incorporated AFTER the child locates the vowel sound FIRST in the word.

I want to take pause here to recognize a very special group of teachers - the kindergarten teachers! This Wednesday, April 21st, is National Kindergarten Day! In a child’s life, their early education lays the foundation for success in later years. Kindergarten teachers work methodically and sometimes painstakingly to assure that students have the compounding knowledge they need to succeed! The pandemic has made this an exponentially harder feat, and adding the obstacle of teaching five-year-olds over computers instead of in-person is just mind-blowing. However, this extraordinary group of people has been pushing through to ensure that future generations are sharp and prepared! Thank you kindergarten teachers!

EARTH DAYYYY 🌎 That’s right, April 22nd, is Earth Day! Often, we do not fully appreciate this perfect planet on which we live. We have everything we need to survive because our Earth provides it and gives an environment conducive to our bodies❤️ This week, to show appreciation to our home, research tips to live more sustainably, to keep our planet beautiful! Here are a few:

  • Save energy. By using less energy, you can help to reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Eat less meat. This does not mean go vegan/vegetarian, but consider eating meat just once per week.

  • Use reusable alternatives, like a washable water bottle or a metal straw.

  • Go paperless. Use email instead of sending a letter.

  • Recycle and reuse! If your area offers recycling options, make sure you participate!

  • Grow your own produce. Having a garden can be beneficial for children’s development (learning responsibility, patience, AND science) and is beneficial to your immediate environment.

  • Donate unused items for reuse! This is good for the planet and for other people who may not have the means to buy retail.

Finally, April 23rd is National Picnic Day! Since we spent all yesterday appreciating our planet, why not spend some time in nature! Preparing and packing for a picnic is a great exercise in Executive Function. Have your students/children make their own sandwich, pick their own fruit, drink, and snacks, and set up a blanket to eat. Don’t forget the napkins, plateware, and of course the bug spray! Whether it be in your backyard, in the park, or on the back of a truck, celebrate being outside in the fresh spring air! Let it refresh you so you can keep crushing your goals!

Have a great week!

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