make the difference! Review sheets help your child prepare for tests

make the difference! Review sheets help your child prepare for tests
March 2013
Vol. 24, No. 7
Channelview Independent School District
Parents Make the Difference
make the difference!
Tap into your child’s learning
style for academic success
ll kids are born ready to learn.
But not all kids learn in the same
way. One child can read something
and remember it easily. Another may
need to hear it. And the child who
taps her pencil may actually be
helping herself stay focused. So it’s
important to know how your child
learns best.
Watch how your child tackles a
new task. You will get some clues
about how she learns best. That way,
you can help her design a study program that builds on her strengths.
• If your child is a visual learner,
she learns from looking at
images. A visual learner does
best when she can make charts
or flash cards of things she needs
to memorize. Drawing a picture
can also help her remember
important facts.
Copyright © 2013, The Parent Institute®
• If your child is an auditory
learner, she takes in information
through her ears. She does well
in a class where the teacher presents information verbally. You
can help your auditory learner do
better by encouraging her to read
aloud when she studies. That way,
she will actually hear the information. She can practice spelling
words by saying them aloud.
• If your child is a physical learner,
she needs to get her body involved.
To support your physical learner,
encourage her to get involved with
her reading. She can act out the
history lesson. She can put on a
puppet show with characters from
her chapter book.
Source: “Discover Your Child’s Preferred Learning Style,”
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, www.dlt.
Review sheets
help your child
prepare for tests
Your child has
a math test on
Chapter 13, but his
math assignments
are crumpled up in
his book bag ... or somewhere
in his room. How can you help
a disorganized child get organized to do well on a test?
Have him:
1. Create a review sheet.
Ask him what the teacher
emphasized during math
class. He should look
through the chapter and
write down the things that
are most important. He
should also look over some
of his homework math
2. Make his own test using the
information on his review
sheet. What problems would
he ask?
3. Take the test he created.
Actually doing the problems
again will help him remember how to solve them. This
will give him confidence
when he gets to school on
test day.
Source: A. Homayoun, That Crumpled Paper Was
Due Last Week, Perigree Books.
Practical ideas for parents to help their children
Copyright © 2013, The Parent Institute®
Remain positive when talking
with your child about grades
The report card came
home—and it was disappointing. You know
your child has the ability
to do well. Her teachers
have told you that every year. But
she doesn’t work up to her potential.
What’s a parent to do?
The most important thing to
remember is to keep your emotions
in check. Getting angry or showing
your disappointment just won’t
work—or help. Instead, you want to
find a way to encourage your child to
do the best she can do.
After you have had time to
“digest” your child’s report card:
• Ask your child to talk about her
grades. What does she think is
going on? Does she do her class
work in school? Is she turning in
homework? Are there things she
can do differently?
• Talk with her teacher. Ask her
if she has noticed any issues at
school. Discuss ways you can
work together to support your
• Set up a time each day when
your child will do her homework.
During that time, the TV will be
off and the computer will be used
only for studying. Set a timer for
20 minutes and let her take a short
break before getting back to work.
• Offer support. Provide help if it’s
absolutely necessary. But don’t do
your child’s homework for her. Let
your child take responsibility for
completing her work. It’s the only
way she will get the practice she
needs to succeed in school and in
“It’s one thing to show
your child the way, and a
harder thing to then stand
out of it.”
—Robert Brault
Language doesn’t have to be
a barrier to parent involvement
If English is not your
first language, you may
hesitate to get involved
at school. But studies
show that there are
many ways you can still play a big
role in your child’s education. Here
are some ways you can play a part:
• Ask the school what you can do
at home. Many of the most
important ways you can be a
partner are things you can do
in your home. Turn off the TV.
Schedule regular homework time.
Be sure your child reads daily.
• Attend conferences and other
events at the school. Don’t be
afraid to request translated
documents. Or ask a friend
who speaks your language and
English to come with you to
interpret what’s being said.
• Talk with other parents. Perhaps
you can form a group to share
ideas and opportunities for
better communication. Meet
regularly and talk about how to
partner with the school to meet
the needs of all students and
their parents.
2 • Elementary • Parents make the difference! • March 2013
Are you helping
your child develop
‘word power’?
Knowing just the right
word to use can give a
child real power. The
number of words a child
knows is actually related
to his ability to think. Helping children learn new words will help them
succeed in school.
Answer yes or no to the questions
below to see if you are giving your
child “word power”:
___1. Do you talk about words?
When reading books, discuss the
meaning of unfamiliar words.
___2. Do you use new words for
familiar ideas? “Let’s clean your
room by categorizing your toys.”
___3. Do you play word games such
as Scrabble together as a family?
___4. Do you have a “Word of the Day”
when everyone tries to use that word
at least three times during that day?
___5. Does your child have a personal dictionary where he writes new
words and their meanings?
How well are you doing?
Each yes means you are giving your
child word power. For no answers,
try those ideas from the quiz.
make the difference!
Practical Ideas for Parents to Help Their
Children. ISSN: 1046-0446
For subscription information call or write:
The Parent Institute®, 1-800-756-5525,
P.O. Box 7474, Fairfax Station, VA 22039-7474.
Fax: 1-800-216-3667.
Or visit our website:
Published monthly September through May by
The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc., an
independent, private agency. Equal opportunity
employer. Copyright © 2013 NIS, Inc.
Publisher: John H. Wherry, Ed.D.
Editor: Rebecca Miyares.
Writers: Kristen Amundson & Susan O’Brien.
Illustrator: Joe Mignella.
Copyright © 2013, The Parent Institute®
Set the stage for a successful
transition to middle school
If your child will
graduate from
elementary school this
year, congratulations!
The move to middle
school is exciting and rewarding—
and will be easier by preparing now.
At school, teachers are already
getting students ready for this big
transition. At home, you should do
the same thing. After all, research
shows there’s a strong connection
between parent involvement and
student success!
To support your child’s progress
and independence:
• Learn about the middle school
ahead of time. Visit the school.
Read its website regularly. Ask for
a tour. The more comfortable you
and your child are at the school,
the easier it will be to adjust.
• Build school spirit. Learn about
the school’s clubs, teams, classes,
colors and mascot. Talk about
your child’s interests. What exciting things will he learn and do in
middle school?
Encourage important habits.
Your child should stick to a daily
homework routine and practice
staying organized. These skills will
be critical in middle school and
Ask for advice. Research summer
activities for rising middle schoolers,
such as library reading programs.
Ask the school for suggestions
before the school year ends.
Stay informed. Attend events for
new students and families. Join
the parent-teacher organization
and ask about volunteer opportunities. Introduce yourself to staff
and other parents.
Keep communicating. Talk with
your child about his concerns and
hopes. Solve problems together.
When middle school begins, keep
in touch with teachers, too.
Is your child being bullied?
The time to take action is now!
It’s hard to learn math
facts if you’re worried
about what’s going to
happen to you during
recess. You can’t concentrate on reading skills if you’re
thinking about the mean thing
someone just said about you.
Kids who are being bullied often
struggle in school. So if you suspect
your child may be a victim, here are
some tips:
• Don’t wait. Although about half of
all kids are victims at one time or
another, bullying has a real impact
on a child. If you suspect something, talk with your child about it.
• Learn as much as you can. Ask
your child who she sits with at
lunch. Who does she play with at
• Teach her how to respond. Help
her practice saying something
like, “That’s bullying and I want
you to stop.” If she can, have her
stick with friends. It’s harder to
pick on a whole group.
• Contact the school. Let the
teacher know what’s going on.
Bullies often wait until they are
away from adults to take action.
• Boost her self-esteem. Get her
involved in activities that make
her feel good about herself.
Q: I am a single parent and I work
full-time. My fifth grader is asking for a cell phone. I must admit
I would feel better if I knew he
could reach me in a crisis. Still, a
child in fifth grade seems really
young for a phone. What do other
parents do?
Questions & Answers
A: For those who remember the
days when a family had one phone
(and it was wired to the wall),
today’s cell phone culture can be
unnerving. But more than onethird of kids in elementary school
already have cell phones.
The key is to decide whether
your son needs a phone, whether
he can handle the responsibility,
and whether it will work for your
Ask these questions:
• Why might he need a phone?
Safety is a big reason many
parents want their child connected. You might want your
child to reach you if there’s a
problem. Remember, there
are different kinds of phones—
you could get one that is only
programmed to call a few
numbers, including yours.
• What are the school rules
regarding cell phones? Many
schools do not allow cell phones
to be turned on during the day.
They’re just too distracting for
learners. Be sure your child is
willing to follow the school rules.
• What limits will you set? How
much can your child talk? To
whom? Is he prepared to have
you check his phone to read his
text messages? What happens if
his minutes go over the limit for
a month?
—Kris Amundson,
The Parent Institute
March 2013 • Elementary • Parents make the difference! • 3
Copyright © 2013, The Parent Institute®
It Matters: Reading
Strategies can
improve reading
Reading helps kids gain
knowledge throughout
school and life. And
how your child reads
makes a big difference.
Students need to persevere—even
if reading is difficult—and think
about what they read.
Encourage your child to:
• Prepare. Before reading, your
child should scan the material.
What does she think it will be
about? What does she hope to
learn from it?
• Ask questions. While your child
is reading, she should ask herself
questions such as, “Do I understand this?” “What is it about?”
“What happened?”
• Solve problems. If your child
doesn’t understand a word,
sentence or concept, she
shouldn’t give up. Rereading
helps. So does sounding out
words. Parents and teachers can
offer hints, too.
• Summarize. After reading, your
child can make a “map.” Write
the story’s title and surround it
with five circles. In each one, fill
out the who, what, when, where
and why of the story.
• Test herself. She can use review
questions at the end of chapters
to reinforce information. She can
even make her own practice test.
• Discuss readings. Quiz each
other on facts—and share
opinions, too. “Did you like the
ending?” “Why or why not?”
“What was your favorite part?”
Source: J. Light and D. McNaughton, “Reading Comprehension,”
Penn State Literacy Instruction,
Research identifies five reading
skills you can teach at home
esearch shows there are
certain skills children must
learn for reading success. Teachers
work on them at school, but it
helps to practice them at home,
too. They include:
1. Recognizing and using sounds.
Talk about how words are made
of parts. Separate them into
pieces. For example, bat is made
of “bbb,” “aaa” and “ttt.”
2. Understanding that letters
represent sounds. Look at
printed letters. Name their
sounds. Also notice pairs and
groups of letters, such as br.
What sounds do the two letters
make together?
3. Knowing a lot of words. The
more words your child knows,
the more he’ll recognize and
comprehend. Try to use new
words often—and repeatedly.
Make sure their meaning is clear.
4. Using comprehension strategies. This involves thinking about
reading materials. Ask your child,
“What is the story about?” “Can
you retell it in your own words?”
5. Reading quickly and correctly.
Learning this skill takes time! The
more experience your child has
with reading, the easier this will
become. Simply reading together
will make a big difference!
Source: “The Five Essential Components of Reading,” U.S.
Department of Education,
Take a trip to the library to
transform a reluctant reader
Experts believe all
kids can enjoy reading.
It’s just a matter of finding the right materials.
Before your next library
visit, brainstorm about:
• Your child’s hobbies. She might
find an irresistible book about
soccer, video games or cooking.
Ask the librarian for suggestions.
• Types of materials. Would your
child like a mystery? A how-to
book? A biography? Consider
4 • Elementary • Parents make the difference! • March 2013
• Activities. See if your local
library hosts read-aloud times,
or has reading-related computer games for kids.
• Company. Kids who “don’t
like” to read often take pride in
reading to others. Bring along a
younger sibling, a grandparent,
or a favorite stuffed animal.
• Alternatives to books. Your
child might prefer shorter
materials, such as articles,
comics or recipes. All of these
count as reading!
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