Teachers on Call

Archive for May, 2016

Transitioning to Post-Secondary School Workshop

Transitioning to post-secondary is a challenging time in a young adult’s life and the decision making is best started in grades 11 and 12.

In support of mental health awareness month, we’re pleased our Director, Joanne Sallay, will be joining Springboard Clinic for a free workshop, Mapping Success For High School And Transition To Post-Secondary.

Joanne will be discussing how tutoring can be a proactive strategy for the post-secondary years as consistent, ongoing support helps students master areas where they may not be as strong and provides academic enrichment. Tutoring also supports organization and study skills that can foster good learning habits in the later years.

Also sharing their expertise on creating individualized plans for student success are community partners York University’s Learning Services and City Academy. This promises to be an interesting discussion – bring your questions!

Date & Time: Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm

Location: Toronto Public Library, Gwen Liu Meeting Room Northern District (Yonge and Eglinton)

This is a FREE workshop, but seating is limited, so please rsvp to info@springboardclinic.com or call them at 416 901 3077. For more details visit the event page. We encourage parents and students to join.

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Simple Strategies To Prevent The Summer Slide

Over the summer, a decline sometimes referred to as “The Summer Slide” can occur in your child’s academic abilities. Regular practice must take place to develop and strengthen skills. Think about athletes and musicians; they routinely practice their crafts to be able to play with ease.

Summer is a great time for kids to get ahead and build upon the gains they made in the school year. Here are four simple ways to prevent the summer slide:

Read every day

Children of all ages should read every single day for at least 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted time. It’s okay to be flexible on the reading material as each text engages a different set of skills but we recommend putting at least one chapter book on the summer agenda. If your child is a beginning reader, be sure that most of their independent reading are with books at their appropriate level (simple books that they can read themselves) as this helps them put their reading strategies to work.

Set up a routine

Sit down with your child and prepare their summer schedule together. If your child is not in camp, we recommend booking time to review and practice academic concepts in the morning when they have the most energy; this also leaves the rest of the day open for planned activities and unscheduled fun. If your child attends day camp, try sticking to your established school year homework routine.

Connect with your child’s teacher

Before school ends for the year, make an appointment to visit your child’s teacher. Try to do this as soon as possible, as the end of the year is often a hectic time at schools. Ask about your child’s progress and find out if there are any areas of concern as well as if your child is at the provincial grade-level standard for each subject. The teacher will likely have suggestions on how you can best support your child over the summer. Take advantage of the extra time and book a tutor if needed.

Keep learning fun

It’s summertime so feel free to bend the usual rules a little if your child can handle the change. Let them take their reading outside, play Scrabble on the deck, or use an online app to practice their math facts. There are many opportunities for educational and fun excursions in the warmer weather. Take in outdoor plays, go camping, visit a farm, or enjoy a movie under the stars. The more children experience in the world, the more background knowledge they have to draw upon to understand new concepts when they head back-to-school.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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8 Questions To Ask Your Child’s Teacher This Spring

We’re now in the heart of the spring stretch with the end of the school year upon us. Summer break is almost here.

Once the academic year has concluded, parents will receive their child’s report card and review feedback from the entire year. For many families assessing academic progress in the summer months can leave unanswered questions and uncertainty on preparation for the next grade level.

This is why parents should consider having a proactive discussion with the teacher prior to the end of June. This dialogue may help students finish this calendar year with a boost, be engaged over the summer and start off stronger in September.

The Teachers on Call team has put together these questions as a starting point and guide to kick off the conversation:

1) How was my child’s progress and achievement throughout the school year?

2) What areas went well and where is there opportunity to improve?

3) Do you have any specific comments about my child’s development?

4) Are there any areas where my child is not at grade-level?

5) How was my child’s interaction with peers and classmates?

6) Are there any areas of concern to watch and share with next year’s teacher?

7) What are some recommendations for the following school year?

8) How can I continue to support my child’s learning over the summer?

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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5 Tips To Foster Positive Relationships

As parents and educators we want to foster an environment of kindness and caring to help children feel safe to learn and play. We asked our team of teachers for their best tips on simple things we can do at home or school to promote positive relationships:

Share Personal Stories

Parents, family members, and teachers can share personal stories from their lives about courage, compassion, and friendship. Invite your kids or students to share their kindness stories with you.

Make a Kindness Contract

As an educational activity, adults can guide students in making a kindness contract. This works especially well in a classroom setting, although it also works at home with younger kids. Encourage students to come up with a roadmap of rules on how to treat others. They can sign the contract and hang it on display to be viewed daily as a constant reminder.

Read Books About Kindness

Books are a great tool to give children the words to go along with their emotions and situations. They can remind children that all people are important and that everyone’s voice is valuable. Start here with four books to battle bullying and then head to the library to find more books about kindness and caring.

Be Mindful of Jokes

Encourage positive language amongst peers. Sometimes kids don’t realize that their jokes and language can be hurtful to others, including their friends.

Create a Caring Book

Each day, have the class create a book about a different student. Each child will write and illustrate one page of the book, telling something they like about the student. This works especially well for younger students. The children can take home the book to share with their families and reread it after a difficult day to remember all the kind things their classmate’s think about them. You can even make this book at home but have each family member write something kind about each other.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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