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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Using Cooking to Enhance Your Child's Reading Skills!


Cooking may not be your forte or you may be a person that is so good in the kitchen that you could win a baking competition.  Years ago as a young wife I did not have a long list of items I could prepare.  In fact my husband and I have many funny stories about the craziness that happened in the kitchen while I was learning to cook.  After years of practicing and experimenting, along with learning from others, I can cook for a small family or even up to 400 people in a commercial kitchen. 

Without instructions in the form of recipes or information off a website, it would be difficult to turnout a great meal for our family and friends.  In a similar way, we follow instructions or a recipe for student success.  Reading is a key to a successful tenure as a student, no matter what grade your child is currently in.  As a parent or grandparent you may be wondering how to support your child as they learn to read or improve their reading skills. 

One way to keep your child interested in reading while you are reading to them, or they are reading a book, is to identify options from the story for your work in the kitchen.  Teaming up with your child in the kitchen is a good way to support not only their cooking skills, but reading, mixed in with a bit of mathematics!   For example, the book “Dragons Love Tacos” talks about why Dragons eat tacos and how hot sauce makes them snort smoke.  Your cooking lesson could begin with tacos and spread to the condiments and other supporting items for the meal.  When your child helps you search for and read recipes, they will learn so much about various types of food and how to measure the items.  You can even sneak in a bit of math when talking about ½ cup or ¼ teaspoon.

If you are interested in reading Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham to your child, it is a fun time to make eggs, whether they are green or regular.  Even if you did not make green scrambled eggs, you could talk about adding green food coloring to other recipes like cupcakes, tropical fruit punch or pancakes.  It will be so much fun working with your child and helping them to learn how to read the recipe, cook and bake.

Each March Columbia School District celebrates Reading Month!  Our students will be focusing on reading this month and will be bringing home interesting ideas of how to make reading more fun.  Give your child the gift of reading by creating extraordinary ways of encouraging them.  Remember: Reading if the key to success!  If you are interested in learning more about Columbia School District email me at Pamela.Campbell@myeagles.org or call 5175926641.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Math Can Be Fun! Let's Try Fractions!


Math can be fun!  Columbia School District teachers use mathematics each day and help acquaint their students to information that will provide connections to everyday occurrences.  Sometimes students have a difficult time when they first learn about fractions.  You can make your child’s understanding of fractions deeper and more common sense.  Being able to see and experience fractions and their use through examples will help your child gain confidence. 

Each day we use fractions in many ways.  When we go to the grocery store, we experience fractions.  When we split a candy bar in half with our child, we are using fractions.  As the parent or grandparent, we can keep a list of how we use fractions in our daily duties and experiences.  Help your child keep a list of the fractions he or she uses in their daily activities.  Your child may list that he or she had an extra half hour of recess, or he or she only drank one-third of his or her milk at lunch.  In addition to a list or tabulation of how they use fractions, they may want to illustrate the examples.


To help your child learn more about fractions, you may play a game.  Gather ten pennies.  Put out three of the pennies on a piece of paper.  Ask your child to draw a circle around 1/3 of the pennies.  Try various combinations, such as 2/5 or 3/7. 

Another game can be played with paper where you draw various fractions.  Begin by drawing a circle and split the circle into thirds.  Ask your child to color in 2/3 of the circle.  Draw a rectangle and split it into five equal parts.  Ask your child to fill in 1/5 or 3/5 of the drawing.  You may continue by experimenting with various fractions.

For the next game you will create a set of cards with fractions written on them.  You and your child will put one fraction on each card, ¼, ½, ¾, 1, 1 ¼, 1 ½, 1 ¾, 2.  Mix up the cards and challenge your child to put them into order. 

By practicing, playing games, and connecting the use of fractions with everyday activities and experiences, your child will learn that fractions are ordinary and help us explain various relationships and interactions in everyday life.  If you are interested in learning more about Columbia School District or any of our programs, call 5175926641 or email me at Pamela.Campbell@myeagles.org .