Parenting Tips: How to Cool Down School Spring Fever

Posted on Posted in Blog, Color Me Educated

Parenting Tips: How to Cool Down School Spring Fever

 
Spring fever has hit not only the kiddos but me as well.  When we are approaching the end of the soccer season and I get the announcement of rehearsal time for recitals I know that the end of the school year is also near.  But, I have to contain my happiness and remain focused because we still have four weeks left.  There’s still homework to do, projects to complete and standardized testing to ace.  So as hot as spring fever may have us panting for summer, I’m going to try and hold on to my parenting through school sanity with these activities. 

 

For the Big Kids:

Remind them about the future. For the teens in high school gearing up for AP exams, End of Course testing or perhaps the required Basic Skills they may have reached the end of their rope trying to prepare.  Or perhaps they may be like my teen more distracted with prom/formal, friends and their college acceptance letters.  I am hoping to re-set the motivation button with a college tour.  If you are unable to make it to tour the college of choice right now, have your teens feel college refreshed with these virtual college tours!
The best place to get started is ecampustours.  On ecampustours you will find 1,300 virtual tours of colleges around the nation with 360 degree views.
 

For example, you can find:

Hampton University (from ecampustours.com)

 

 
Princeton University (from ecampustours.com)

 

 

Spelman College (from ecampustours.com)

 

Yale (from youvisit.com). This virtual tour is Awesome! It includes not only 360 degree views, but a tour guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the elementary kids:

Set educational goals.  I am going to challenge the kiddos to go up a grade level in reading or math by the end of the school year. Perhaps their prize can be that they get to choose dinner every night for a week or we will take them out to the restaurant of their choice!

Reading:

  • Find books on or above their grade level (depending on your child’s needs). To do this you can ask your child’s teacher and/or get a ‘second opinion’ with Benchmark Passages.
  • Once you get your child’s reading score take a look at the reading chart below that may resemble a complicated fat-calorie intake chart (it did to me at first)? Here is a great guide on what Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) or Lexile (reading and comprehension) levels mean in terms of grade levels.
Scholastic Guided Reading, DRA, Lexile and Grade levels

 

 

  • Next, find great books to encourage reading above grade level and then ask questions about the story. 
  • Lastly, have them:
    • Retell the story
    • Discuss the main characters
    • Talk about what connections they made in the story to other things they've read, experienced or even seen on television.
 

 

 

Math:

By all accounts that I am familiar with the name of the game is to have the kiddos take Algebra I (at the very least) by eighth grade.  If they are below grade level or you believe that they’re ready to move ahead have them work on these math exercises.
Card Smarts helps children develop strategies for using numbers in different combinations using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. (from ed.gov)
Grades 3-5
 
 
What you'll need
Number cards, pencil, and paper, and pencil
What to do
  1. How many numbers can we make? Give each player a piece of paper and a pencil. Using the cards from 1 to 9, deal four cards out with the numbers showing. Using all four cards and a choice of any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, have each player see how many different numbers a person can get in 5 minutes. Players get one point for each answer. 
  2. Make the most of it. This game is played with cards from 1 to 9. Each player alternates drawing one card at a time, trying to create the largest 5-digit number possible. As the cards are drawn, each player puts the cards down in their "place" (ten thousands, thousands, hundreds, tens, ones) with the numbers showing. Once placed, a card cannot be moved. The first player with the largest 5-digit number wins.

 

 

 

License Plate Riddles - encourages reading, recognizing numbers, noticing symbols, writing, counting, and graphing. (from ed.gov)
Grades K-5 
What you'll need 
License plates, paper, and pencil
What to do
  1. While traveling in a car, or on a bus, everyone watches for license plates, focusing on one in particular for 5 minutes. The object is to use the digits on the license plate to make the largest 3-digit number possible. When a player chooses a license plate during the 5-minute watching period, they call out the 3-digit number they have made from the license plate. The person with the largest number wins the round. Try the next round so the winner is the person with the smallest 3-digit number.
  2. Let each letter on a license plate be worth the value of its position in the alphabet. A= 1, M =13, Z = 26. Each person chooses a license plate and adds the value of the letters. The person with the lowest or the highest value wins the round.
  3. For younger children, this activity can be simplified by having them find the largest single digit, or double digit, or even add all the numbers on the license plate, or just recognize digits.
 

 

For the Preschool and Kindergarten kids:

  • Create a calendar with a countdown to the end of the school year.
    • Can help become familiar with months of the year, how many days make up a month and numbers!
    • Have kiddos count days in groups of twos, fives and tens as well by making tally marks.
  • Try this Olivia, Diego or super cute Doc McStuffins calendar to get started.

 

 

Are your kiddos getting the spring fever itch?

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