Teachers on Call

Archive for January, 2017

STEM – 5 Amazing Apps for Kids

Education and STEM learning is being transformed by technology.   Binders, notebooks and pencils are being supplemented by tablets and laptops.

With the right balance and avoiding unnecessary distractions, technology can enable increased learning for all students.  One way to utilize technology is through apps that support self-paced learning.   Apps can encourage students to be interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Although there are hundreds of STEM apps available,  here are five we would recommend to enable STEM education:

1) Swift Playgrounds: Designed by Apple, this app teaches children how to code in a fun and interactive way.  It requires no coding knowledge and is perfect for students starting out.

2) Crazy Gears: A creative, highly accessible and fun option for exploring physics and engineering.  Crazy Gears is a problem-solving game that encourages kids to think critically, problem solve, and explore physics and other STEM topics.

3) Isaac Newton’s Gravity Game: Challenge students with the amazing physics puzzles.  Young learners are able to creatively obtain and then immediately apply their new knowledge of physics thanks to an introduction to levers, ramps, pulleys and more.

4) Endless Numbers: A wonderful app for young learners to develop numeracy.  Kids aged 4 and up will interactively learn number recognition, sequences, quantities, patterns and more.

5) The Robot Factory: Kids can build the robot of their dreams using over 100 parts and nine colour schemes to choose from.

Posted in: Educational Technology

Leave a Comment (0) →

10 Ways To Celebrate Family Literacy Every Day

Family Literacy Day is almost here. It’s a fun annual reminder on January 27th that reading is an important part of a child’s development. One of the most important keys to success is to engage your child with fun and memorable activities each and every day.

Here are 10 literacy activities to grow your child’s literacy learning while keeping the whole family entertained:

  1. Aim to read with your child 20 minutes a day if possible. Engage them by reading different kinds of texts that you both enjoy. We suggest trying comics, joke books, magazines or ebooks.

  2. Create your own flash cards to help your child learn sight words. To help them gain automaticity use the cards to make simple sentences or play games like ‘Go Fish’ or ‘Memory’.

  3. Label items around the house and practice reading them with your child

  4. Reading apps can help engage your child and leverage technology.

  5. Cook together! Recipes are a fun and practical way to experience the power of reading in real life.

  6. Begin to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by reading books by Canadian authors. Ask your local librarian to help you and your child find books.

  7. Mix up your family bookshelf with a visit to the bookstore to encourage everyone to always be reading. We’ve been enjoying these books about wellness and these books to battle bullying.

  8. Gather family and friends together for a book swap. It’s a budget friendly way to grow your home library while enjoying great conversation about books with adults and children alike.

  9. Play games! A family game night with board or card games help reinforce skills such as drawing, counting and reading.

  10. Storytelling is a wonderful way to build your child’s oral literacy. Get cozy and sit around making up silly stories or retell old favourites!

Posted in: English Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

Let’s Aim to Always be Reading in 2017

Indigo Giveaway

The beginning of a new year brings with it a swirl of resolutions as we strive to motivate ourselves to live well. We’ve shared many suggestions for educational goals for your child but did you know that reading can contribute to a boost in wellness? As avid bookworms, this gives us even more reason to move reading to the top of our resolutions.

Let’s make 2017 the year we curl up regularly with a good book and as our friends at Indigo suggest, to “Always Be Reading”.

Wellness Reads For Children

Here are a few of the latest wellness reads for children:

Yoga Bunny

For ages: 3-5

This adorable book tells the story of a yoga practicing bunny who wishes his stressed out animal friends could see how yoga may help them slow down and relax. Children will be introduced to beginning yoga poses that may motivate them to try downward dog or tree pose themselves.

What is Peace

For ages: 3-5

Children are exposed to violence and stress in the news, at home or even at school. The illustrations and text will encourage them to think about what peace looks like in their daily life and in the world. This is a wonderful story to focus on emotional wellness by giving children a starting point to discuss the often misunderstood topic of peace.

Canadian Reads For Everyone

This year is an especially exciting time for Canadians as the countdown is on to Canada’s 150th birthday  and this is a great theme for your whole family’s 2017 reading material. Consider looking at books about and by Canadians as part of your reading choices. We really enjoyed reading:

The Darkest Dark

For ages: 3-7

This picture book is inspired by the childhood of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Little readers may be surprised to learn that young Chris was afraid of the dark. Parents will appreciate the lesson about conquering your fears and having big aspirations. Fans of outer space will especially enjoy a collection of photos from his youth and outer space.

And for the adults, check out Oh She Glows Every Day to start your 2017 wellness goals off right. The over 100 plant-based recipes from Canadian author Angela Liddon’s latest cookbook will have your family glowing from the inside out. We love the tips for making the recipes kid and allergy friendly, too!

For The Educator

I Wish My Teacher Knew

Based on the worldwide viral #IWishMyTeacherKnew, third-grade teacher, Kyle Schwartz shares her insights on what happened when she asked her students to fill–in–the–blank in this sentence: “I wish my teacher knew _____.” Her students answers and the resulting reflections are a powerful reminder that the life in the classroom is more than just academics and our children need a safe place to face their daily realities.

And if you want to show your commitment to reading all year long, check out the Read the North line from Indigo which include clothing and an adorable tote for books or lunches. These reading accessories are a lot of fun to encourage and promote the love of learning.

We’re excited to be giving away an #AlwaysBeReading family prize pack from our friends at Indigo.

Entering is easy below and you can win: A Read The North reading tote and a copy of Yoga Bunny, What is Peace, I Wish My Teacher Knew, The Darkest Dark and Oh She Glows Every Day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in: English Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

4 Tips for a Smooth Winter Break Transition

The holiday season is an exciting time to spend and celebrate with family and friends.  However, with all the busy activities and travel, routines are altered and school may fall on the back burner.   Parents can find it hard to transition their children back into their school routines.

Fortunately we have put together four tips to make the transition from winter break a success:

1) Build on Strong Organization Skills:  Work with your daughter or son to pack their backpack or lunch before school rather than waiting until the first day back.  If your child is older, ensure they have all their materials organized.  If your child struggles with organization skills, the break is a wonderful time to step back and work with them to ensure all their materials and papers are in place.

2) Review Fall Material:  While two weeks away from school feels like a short period of time, students can forget during that period.  Some students are fortunate to have review sessions when they return in January.  However, we would still strongly recommend setting up your own review session at home focusing on the subjects your child is weakest in first.   This also provides an opportunity during the break for parents to better assess their child’s strengths and weaknesses in all their subjects.

3) Get Back in Routine: During the break, your child’s sleep schedule will likely adjust.   Several days before school starts, focus on getting your child back in their school schedule and in particular, their sleep routine.  Otherwise, students will struggle to adjust and find themselves tired the first week back.  You can also use this as an opportunity to improve their existing school routine with a fresh start.

4) Make a List of Goals:  New Years is a time for resolutions and what better way to motivate your child than with goals for the rest of the school year.  Come up with fun and challenging goals that kids will enjoy.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

Leave a Comment (0) →