Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Birth-36 months (infant/toddler) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Get Caught Reading

When you think about reading, what comes to your mind? For some, reading may bring back memories from their caregiver or teacher reading aloud to them. Others may think about curling up with a good book during a rainy day. Maybe thinking about reading triggers memories or trips to the library or talking about a good book with a friend over coffee.

Since 1999, the Association of American Publishers has established May as Get Caught Reading Month. Whether it’s reading for pleasure or staying up-to-date with the latest news, reading has immeasurable benefits. Reading aloud to children helps them learn how to use language to make sense of the world. Technology has also changed how materials are consumed with a transition to a digital focus. No matter what medium you choose to read, the Connection Spot team wants to encourage our readers to Get Caught Reading!

Share the resources and information below with your friends to listen to books or learn about new books for your child. We also encourage you to share pictures of you reading or your favorite books and stories!

Get Caught Reading – Activities for all ages!

Storyline Online – A fantastic resource that features celebrities reading aloud stories. Each book also has a supplemental curriculum to engage your child beyond the read aloud.

KidLit TV – KidLit TV is the place to discover great children’s books and connect with the people who create them. Explore crafts, book trailers, and more!

Librarian to Librarian – Podcasts about books for kids and teens. 

Milkin’s Book Talks – Listen to book talks to find new books for your child to read or to read with them. 

The Indianapolis Library – 100+ free video read alouds!

Age(s): 

PreK 3-5 Years (Preschool)

5 to 6 Years (Kindergarten)

6 to 8 (Primary)

9 to 11 Years (Elementary)

11 to 14 Years (Middle School)

14-18 years (High School)

Tags: 

Reading

Read-Aloud

English Language Arts

Developer:

Kevin Bower

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 05/12/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Activities Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Circle Up: Math Resource Round-Up

As a father of six, we have many birthdays throughout the year. Recently, I was ordering a cake on the phone for a birthday party for one of our children. While on the phone, my daughter asked, “Dad, what’s the formula to find the area of a circle?” I replied, “Pi “r” squared.” I thought I was on hold with the baker, but the baker stated, “No, pies are round, and cakes are square.” 

Mathematicians around the world celebrate March 14 (3.14) as Pi Day. Pi, written as the decimal 3.14, is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Click HERE for a video on Pi. The decimal is seemingly endless, and it was calculated to over a trillion digits past the decimal point! Pie is often eaten, and crafts are created to celebrate circles and the endless decimal.

As a math teacher, Isn’t pie every math teacher’s favorite dessert? I enjoy a large scoop of vanilla ice cream with my pie. Did you also know that 3.14% of sailors are pi-rates? This post could go on forever, and it’s time we stop going round in circles. Listed below are resources to reinforce, improve, or enrich your child’s math skills. 

PreK 3-5 Years (Preschool)

  • ABCya – Online math games and activities. 

5 to 6 Years (Kindergarten)

6 to 8 (Primary)

9 to 11 Years (Elementary)

  • Prodigy – A game-based learning app for kids to practice their skills. 

11 to 14 Years (Middle School)

14-18 years (High School)

  • Wolfram Math World – Detailed learned resource to help with homework assignments and studying. 

Age(s): 

PreK 3-5 Years (Preschool)

5 to 6 Years (Kindergarten)

6 to 8 (Primary)

9 to 11 Years (Elementary)

11 to 14 Years (Middle School)

14-18 years (High School)

Tags: 

Math

Problem-Solving

Developer:

Kevin Bower

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 03/10/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Activities Birth-36 months (infant/toddler) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

World Read-Aloud Day

Happy World Read Aloud Day! Today, Wednesday, February 3, 2021, is the twelfth annual World Read Aloud Day. Started in 2010 by LitWorld, World Read aloud day celebrates the power of reading aloud to stimulate your child’s imagination and foster a love for learning. The Connection Spot Team encourages families to read aloud every day with their children, but today is a day to celebrate the incredible power of reading aloud. 

Reading aloud is a significant activity a family can do with their children. It builds essential foundational skills, introduces vocabulary, models expressive reading, and helps children develop a love of reading for pleasure. Even after your child learns how to read, reading aloud to your child and with your child is a fun family activity to take you to another world. Listed below are read aloud resources to help your child develop a lifelong relationship with reading. 

Storyline Online: Storyline Online® streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Each book includes a supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.

TogetheREAD: A free resource from The Source for Learning provides monthly themes to give you ideas for having fun together as you build stronger readers. TogetheREAD includes suggested questions for you to talk about before, during, and after reading. Also, you’ll find ideas for free or low-cost family activities for everyone.

LitWorld.org: The official site of World Read Aloud Day includes activities and resources for reading aloud. 

Scholastic: View Scholastic’s collection of 100 best read-aloud books. Sort the books by age and visit the Read2MeTonight section for more resources. 

Celebrate World Read Aloud Day with your child by reading a book, or encourage your child to read to you. Share in the comments below your favorite book to read aloud or a book that was read to you. 

Age Levels: 

  • Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)
  • Pre-K 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)

Tags: 

  • Read-Aloud
  • Reading
  • Listening

Developer:

Kevin Bower

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 02/03/2021

Categories
News

2020 Reflection

It’s safe to say 2020 was an arduous year. The end of the year is a time to reflect on the challenges, learnings, accomplishments, and goals for the new year. This year has been challenging, but after some reflection, the Connection Spot Team realized how equally wonderful it’s been to provide our followers with activities and resources.

The Connection Spot Team looks forward to continuing to share free “user-friendly” resources and activities with new-found energy and passion in the new year. Listed below are five of our top posts from the year. We wish all of our followers a happy and healthy new year.

The Calm Spot

STEM at Home

Expressing Gratitude

The Importance of Play During Stress

Toilet Paper Roll Slides

Categories
News

Happy Holidays

The Connection Spot Team would like to wish you all the joys of the season and happiness throughout the coming year. We take time to reflect upon the good things that we have during this season, like our support from you. The Connection Spot Team is thankful for the opportunity to share resources and activities with our followers. May your holidays and New Year be filled with joy.

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Activities Birth-36 months (infant/toddler) PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Computer Science Week

December 7 through December 13 is Computer Science Week, and it’s also when the Hour of Code global movement is held. We are saturated with on-demand content, and it’s important our children are not just technology tourists. We want to encourage our children to create, innovate, and problem-solve with technology. 

The purpose of Computer Science Week and the Hour of Code is for children to learn new skills, open doors to new possibilities, and enjoy the experiences. Increasing everyone’s access to coding skills and resources helps to break down barriers and stereotypes associated with computer technology.

The Connection Spot Team wanted to share coding activities for both “plugged-in” and “unplugged” experiences without screens to engage our children. 

Code.Org – Coding activities are broken down by grade-level for families. There are also “unplugged” activities to complete your child to take a break from screen time. 

CS Unplugged – Coding activities without using devices.

STEM Education Guide – A fantastic resource for unplugged activities. 

Coding provides an opportunity to foster a love of learning with your child. Both you and your child can learn how the devices work that we use every day. Be sure to share in the comments about your favorite activities for coding. 

Age(s): 

PreK 3-5 Years (Preschool)

5 to 6 Years (Kindergarten)

6 to 8 (Primary)

9 to 11 Years (Elementary)

11 to 14 Years (Middle School)

14-18 years (High School)

Tags: 

Coding

Developer:

Kevin Bower

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 11/25/2020

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Birth-36 months (infant/toddler) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Expressing Gratitude

Our current climate is challenging for families as the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc worldwide during this holiday season. Focusing on seeing beyond our challenges and concentrating on what we are grateful for is often at the forefront during November. This time of year ignites our passion for gratitude and encourages us to give to others. 

Relationships and a focus on providing resources to our community is the bedrock of the Connection Spot Team. We are grateful to have the opportunity to share activities and resources on our site to support, enrich, and empower the Connection Spot community. Expressing gratitude is an important character trait to develop for all ages. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives and take time to show appreciation and return kindness. Thus, we wanted to share activities and resources for our Connection Spot community on gratitude.  

Reading books about gratitude or making connections to gratitude is a fantastic way to connect younger children to the concept. Check out this post from Mindfulamazing with titles and discussion ideas.

Encourage your child to write, type, or video record a thank you note to share with someone special. Your child could thank a teacher, coach, family member, neighbor, or the postal worker delivering packages to your door.

Older children may be interested in researching and learning more about gratitude. The Greater Good gratitude site is an excellent place to begin the research. Your child could share their findings with the family through Zoom or Google Meet or share it on social media to foster more discussion about gratitude. For a homeschool project, they could create a presentation on their findings on the benefits of gratitude. 

Natural Beach Living has a fun idea to engage in a gratitude scavenger hunt, which is perfect for socially distanced fun. Team up with your family at home to complete the challenges, or compete with extended family through Zoom. GooseChase is a scavenger hunt app your family can download to participate. 

The website, Positive Psychology, also has 13 gratitude exercises and activities.  Parents will find some of these exercises geared towards themselves while others geared towards their kids. 

The simplicity of gratitude and expressing thanks disguises its immense influence. How are you fostering a culture of gratitude and expressing thanks? Comment here or on one of social media sites.

Age(s): 

PreK 3-5 Years (Preschool)

5 to 6 Years (Kindergarten)

6 to 8 (Primary)

9 to 11 Years (Elementary)

11 to 14 Years (Middle School)

14-18 years (High School)

Tags: 

Health and Wellness

Social Emotional Learning

Developer:

Kevin Bower

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 11/25/2020