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Study Tips

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General Study Tips
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Set aside a specific time each day that your child will work on homework and studying.  This may be different for each child.  Some children are able to study best as soon as they get home from school.  The material is fresh in the minds and getting studying done first frees them up for the rest of the evening.  Other children may need to take a break after coming home from school and may study best after a small snack or even dinner.  Find a consistent time that works best for your child (and your busy schedules) to study and work on homework.

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Find a quiet place for your child to study. 

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Use your time wisely.  Only study the material that your child does not yet know.  It is good to review every now and then, but do not spend a great amount of time studying things that your child has already mastered.  Move on to more challenging material.

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Focus on the positive.  Help your child see that they are making progress by pointing out the things that they do know and that they can do.  Encourage them to continue their progress and develop ways that they can improve. 

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Have fun!  Help your child study the basics such as core words and math facts in fun and different ways.  Instead of going through a deck of flashcards one by one in the traditional way, try playing card games with them. 

 

The following tips are more specific tips to help your children with daily study activities in language arts in math.  Please note that your child is supposed to be studying their core words and math facts every day, even if it is just for 10 minutes.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but 10 minutes for 7 days a week adds up to more than just one hour long session.  It is a lot more "do-able" for both you and your child as well.  Also, your children are asked to spend 20 minutes every day reading.  Even though this is supposed to be a leisurely reading time, it is quite valuable.  Reading outside of school not only helps children to develop improved reading skills, but it also helps children develop an appreciation for reading as a leisure activity.  This is essential in helping children to become lifelong readers. 

For study tips regarding specific assignments or tests, please see notes in the newsletters.  You may also receive other information that is sent home.  If you have specific questions, please feel free to ask. 

 

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Word Study
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What should students be able to do?  By the end of 3rd grade, all students should be familiar with the 3rd grade set of "core words".  These are words that students often encounter in their daily reading and writing.  Students should be able to recognize these words in the reading with ease and should also be able to spell them accurately in their daily writing. 

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Where can I find these words?  All family members will be given the 3rd grade list at the beginning of the school year.  If you would like another copy, please feel free to ask and I can send another one home with your child.  You can also find the third grade core word list as well as other graded word lists by clicking here.

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How do I help my child learn these words?  Each week, your child will be studying five of the core words.  Spend a little bit of time each night reviewing these words with your child.  Use flashcards, play word games, do word hunts.  What is important is to simply spend time with them.

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What if my child already knows these words?  Students will have the opportunity to pretest to determine if they already know them.  If that is the case, your child will most likely be given a set of more challenging words to study.

 

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Reading   
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Your child is assigned to read 20 minutes (outside of school) every day.  This 20 minute reading experience can be you reading to your child, you reading with your child, or your child reading to you or themselves.  Either is fine.  Here are some tips on how to best use that time.

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Allow your child to read what is interesting to them, but encourage them to choose materials that are appropriate -- not too hard, not too easy, but just right.

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When you are reading with your child and they make a mistake on a word or run into a word that they don't know, help them to make sense of it.  Instead of just telling them the word or asking them to "sound it out", ask them things like:
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What would make sense here?

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What patterns do you see in the word?

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What other words can you use to help you figure this one out?

These are much more effective in helping children figure out unfamiliar words.

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Talk with your children about what they are reading.  This does not mean grilling them with 20 questions about characters, setting and plot development!  Simply ask your child to tell you about their favorite part.  Ask them what they like about what they are reading or what they don't like.  Have a leisurely conversation. 

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Have fun and show your children what a pleasurable activity reading can be!

 

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 Math Facts
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It is important for students to be able to calculate basic math facts quickly and efficiently in order to do more complex math problems.  In order to help your children become more proficient with their math facts, it is best to study a few facts at a time.  Instead of going through an entire deck of subtraction flashcards over and over every night, choose just a few facts to focus on each day.  Help your child to develop a deeper understanding of those facts.  For example, don't just read 12-7=5 off of a card -- write it out, say it out loud, demonstrate it with household objects.  Help your children to really internalize the facts. On the next day, review them and then go on to another small set of facts.