Bone up on the best study skills, as more frequent and challenging exams are a hallmark of 3rd grade.
In 3rd grade, regular classroom tests become more frequent and more challenging. During the year, your child's teacher will introduce test-taking strategies in class, including how to read directions and follow them carefully. He must also learn to express his ideas clearly and manage his time. At home, study and read together to help him master the necessary skills.
Why This Year?
The main reason for increased testing may be that your child can now use higher level thinking skills — the ability to describe, explain, and make educated guesses based on what she reads. By 3rd grade, your child should have a basic knowledge of core subjects and the ability to read at grade level. Formal testing is the best way to see what she has a handle on and what needs more work.
Another reason for the increase in formal classroom testing, say teachers: the No Child Left Behind legislation. Teachers need to make sure that tests not only monitor ability, but help students master the test-taking skills essential for assessment in the spring. Those springtime standardized tests help determine whether your child can go on to 4th grade.
Top Testing Troubles
For many students, failure to carefully read and follow directions is the number-one test blunder. If your child is a struggling reader, he may have trouble interpreting directions correctly. To help at home, read with your child daily and practice following directions together. Similarly, many 3rd graders also struggle to provide an adequate answer based on the directions. Another challenge is staying focused on their work and pacing themselves during the test. Many children believe that finishing last means that they are not as smart as their classmates. So they rush, lose focus, and are more likely to provide incomplete or inadequate answers. If your child experiences this problem, her teacher may try moving her to an area away from friends or at the front of the class, sitting with her to encourage focus, or soothing anxiety by allowing extra time to complete the test.
Reinforce Study Skills at Home
While your child may be able to do homework on her own now, it is unlikely that he will be able to take on the task of studying alone. Top strategies:
Before and After a Test
Start by knowing what the test will cover and what format it will be in, so you can help your child prepare properly. Most teachers will do some form of review in class to help your child prepare. If you or your child has questions after the teacher has announced the test, don't be afraid to speak up. In addition to reviewing key material together, do a few practice tests with your child. His teacher may provide these, or you can create your own.
To continue reading please click on the link: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/study-skills-test-taking/ready-set-test
DID YOU KNOW?
Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school. • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read.
• Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
• Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
• Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Child in 2nd grade? Try these tricks to unlock your 2nd grader's natural love of learning.
While every child is different, kids often share some common traits. Tap into this typical 2nd grade passion to help your child master new skills and become successful students.
2nd Grade Children Love: Making things
How It Helps Learning: Whether it's an arts-and-crafts project or a batch of chocolate-chip cookies, 2nd grade children love expressing themselves visually through step-by-step projects. They are also strengthening their fine motor skills through actions such as measuring, cutting, taping, and stapling.
Motivating Activities in 2nd Grade:
To read more of this article and find similar ones for other grades please click on the link: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/motivate-school-success/motivate-your-child-2nd-grade
After a full day at school, the last thing your child probably wants to do is writing or math. Here's how to help him focus and finish.
Homework was not going well at my house. My 8-year-old son, Jamie, would spread his papers out on the kitchen counter and start bouncing on and off his stool. Then he'd be "dying of hunger." Next he'd try to convince me that he had already done his reading at recess. Forty-five minutes could go by, and he'd have written only one spelling word in his notebook. And more often than not, evenings ended with tears -- his and mine.
I tried being more involved, then less involved. I took a lenient approach and also a firm one. But nothing seemed to help him tackle his work efficiently. Finally, I consulted an educational psychologist, who met with Jamie, then with my husband and me, and finally with the three of us together for a few "homework coaching" sessions. Here are the strategies I learned from her, along with tips from other experts, which have made a major improvement in the homework situation -- and frustration level -- for both Jamie and me.
To read more please click on the link: http://www.parents.com/kids/education/homework/homework-hassles/
School's back in session. Help your child minimize the fear factor.
By Gina Shaw
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD
Remember the last time you started a new job? You were probably a little stressed and anxious about how things would go. What would your boss be like? Would you get along with your coworkers? How would you handle the commute?
Your child has similar worries about a new school year -- plus, she's a kid and hasn't gone through as many of these transitions as you have. "One of our biggest fears as humans is the unknown, and starting a new school year involves a lot of unknowns," says Laura Markham, PhD. She is a clinical psychologist and author ofPeaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.
Markham says that with a little understanding, parents can help children take their new-classroom (and even new-school) fears and turn them into excitement.
Help your child bond with his teacher. "Kids need to feel connected with their teacher in order to focus in class, learn, and be happy going to school," says Markham. If your school offers an orientation program or back-to-school night, take your child and introduce him to the teacher. Try to get a photo of the new teacher from a school newsletter or web site, post it on the refrigerator, and "talk to the teacher" from time to time.
Learn the ropes. Switching to a new school? Ask the office if you can visit during the last weeks of summer. "Even if you can just spend 2 minutes introducing yourself, letting your child stick her head in the library, and play on the playgrounda little, that's big," says Markham.
Use books to start conversations. Go to the library and look for back-to-school stories -- there are many, aimed at different age levels.
Please click on the link to continue reading and find similar articles: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/back-to-school-anxiety
Sports are a great way for kids to have fun, stay fit, improve skills, and make friends. But it's not always fun and games out on the field or court. The pressure to succeed can be overwhelming — and that can lead to a lot of frustration and tears.
In some cases, sports pressure is self-inflicted. Some kids are natural perfectionists and are just too hard on themselves when things don't go their way. But more often than not, the pressure is external: Kids try to satisfy the demands of a parent, coach, or other authority figure and end up feeling like winning is the only way to gain the approval of the adults they respect.
Either way, how kids learn to cope with sports pressure — and what the adults in their lives teach them about it, either directly or indirectly — not only affects their performance and enjoyment of the sport, but can have a lasting impact on how they deal with similar challenges throughout life.
How Stress Affects Performance
Stress is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it prepares the body to rise to a challenge with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness. On the other hand, too much of it can exhaust a kid's energy and drive, leading to sports burnout.
Events that provoke stress are called stressors, and they can be positive (such as trying to impress a college scout out on the sidelines) or negative (trying to play a game after the sudden death of a friend or loved one).
How to Help
Parents can probably spot the difference between their child's good and bad stress simply by noticing kids' game-time interactions. For example, is your child focused and ready for action or is nervous energy getting the best of him or her? How does your child handle mistakes? Is he or she a good sport or do emotions get out of control? Of course, some of this has to do with your child's personality. Like adults, some kids are naturally more adept at remaining calm under pressure.
What may be a little harder to spot, though, is the role you and other trusted adults might play in your child's handling of stressful situations. For example, parents who place a lot of weight on their kids' sports accomplishments run the risk of adding to a child's stress.
Of course it's good for your kids to see you taking an interest in their activities, but there's a fine line between encouraging a child and pushing too hard. Overzealous parents tend to overreact to mistakes, game losses, and skipped practices, which often causes kids to do the same. And when kids beat themselves up over mistakes, they're missing an important opportunity to learn how to correct problems and develop resiliency.
Similarly, check your sideline behaviors. Words have incredible power, so use them carefully, especially when you disagree with coaches and umpires. Praise specific good efforts by your child and other players, even after a loss, and offer criticism constructively and not in the heat of the moment. Make sure your child knows you understand that a game is just a game.
Playing sports can impart many wonderful life lessons — valuing teamwork, overcoming challenges, controlling emotions, taking pride in accomplishments — but only if you stay out of the way and let your kids learn them. In fact, by taking a step back, you're showing your kids that you trust them to handle situations on their own.
To read more please click on the link: http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/sports_competition.html#
The Ansonia & Derby Early Childhood Councils