You can help your elementary school student develop an active learning mindset. Active learners understand that passively reading through lessons and textbook assignments or casually viewing tutorials and movies isn’t sufficient.
- Engage in learning by thinking deeply about the text.
- Self-monitor their reactions.
- Get clarification if their understanding breaks.
Use Lesson Resources
The Lesson Guides (Kindergarten - Grade 5) provide directions that you can use to encourage your student to think deeply about lesson concepts. If you’re working alongside your student, discuss the meaning of key vocabulary words together at the beginning of the lesson.
As you encounter those words throughout the lesson, ask your student to explain the meaning of the key words in the context of the text.
Discuss lesson objectives with your student. Help your student make meaningful connections to ideas and concepts that your student already understands.
Effective readers monitor their own understanding as they read.
- Encourage your student to periodically stop and think as you read lesson material. This can be done every few paragraphs, after each page, or after reading a paragraph with a lot of details.
- Ask your student to emphasize the why and how of what was just read or answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions. Why and how questions will help students go beyond exactly what they read and think through things on their own.
In some lessons, students are instructed to read material or watch a recording and answer specific questions. The questions are followed by a Show Answer button.
- Encourage your student to answer the question and discuss their response with you. Then select the link to read the answer.
- Discuss the similarities and differences between your student’s answer and the answer that’s provided.
- Coach your student to answer questions and check their responses as a standard practice.
Math lessons provide opportunities to check for understanding throughout the lesson. After your student completes independent work, prompt your student to compare their answer to the correct answer.
- If a mistake is made, communicate warmly that they have an opportunity to learn and remind the student that it’s normal to not always succeed on the first try.
- Let your student find the mistake and rework the problem independently as much as possible.
Worksheets, section review questions, and concept maps are found throughout lessons, with completed versions provided at the end of many lessons. Use these resources as opportunities for your student to check for understanding and as study guides in preparation for a quiz or test.
Portfolio assessments include grading rubrics for students to use prior to drafting the assessment and submitting it to the drop box.
- Use the grading rubric alongside your student to check the assessment, determine the quality of the work, then decide if the portfolio should be submitted or revised.
- Your student should take the lead in evaluating and revising their own work as much as possible before reviewing it with you, then submitting it to a teacher.
If your student doesn’t understand a new concept, work alongside them and:
- Reread the content or repeat parts of the lesson leading up to the new concept.
- Explore the topic further using another instructional tool.
- Ask open-ended questions to encourage your student to think through the concept or problem.
- Contact the teacher.
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