Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer Reading GIVEAWAY!

Summer is right around the corner, and we know that parents are actively searching for camps and activities to help prevent the "sumer slide" from affecting a year's worth of hard work. Before we reveal the goodies in our Sumer Reading GIVEAWAY that one of our lucky Instagram and Facebook followers will receive, we'd like to talk a little bit more about the summer slide and how you can prevent it.

What is the summer slide?
The summer slide is a term used to describe the backtracking that happens when students do not read over the summer. Did you know that students can lose 2 months worth of reading performance if they don't actively engage with text over the summer? That means that your student could be 2 1/2 years behind their peers by the time they enter middle school.

Hasn't my child spent enough time reading at school?
NO! Did you know that, on average, children spend 7,800 hours at home and 900 hours at school annually? You have a lot of influence over your children's interest in reading. When students enter kindergarten, close to 100% of them are interested in reading a book outside of school. By 4th grade that drops to 54%, by 8th grade that drops to 30%, and by 12th grade it drops to 19%.  What causes that drop? Many experts believe it's caused by a drop in parents reading to and with their kids.

What's the difference between reading for 20 minutes a day and reading for 5 minutes a day?
A student that reads for 20 minutes a day reads 3,600 minutes per school year, which amounts to 1,800,000 words per year. These students tend to score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests. A student that reads for 5 minutes a day reads 900 minutes per school year, which amounts to 282,000 words per year. These students tend to score in the 50th percentile on standardized tests. Sadly, a student that reads for 1 minute a day reads 180 minutes per school year, which amounts to only 8,000 words per year. These students tend to score in the 10th percentile on standardized tests. Those little bits of minutes add up, so find a way to make it part of your routine.

How do I choose a book for my child?
There's a 5-finger rule that teachers use in the classroom. Open a book to any page and ask your child to read it aloud. For every word that they don't know, put up a finger (somewhere where they can't see it). If you put up 5 fingers for one page, the book is too difficult for your child, and they should select another book.

How can I read with my beginning reader?
Here are a list of strategies that you can use:

  • Encourage your child to use their finger to track the words they are reading.
  • Read a sentence and have your child repeat it.
  • Take turns reading sentences or pages.
  • Make predictions about the story and read to find out if you're correct.
  • Read your favorite books over and over again! Repeated reading helps build fluency and reading intonation.

What can I do to help prevent the summer slide?
There are so many things that you can do to make sure your students are engaging in text this summer. Here are a few ideas:

  • Find interactive books and games on your iPad that address reading and/or phonics.
  • Show your children all of the things that you read in your daily life. This might include recipes, directions, assembly instructions, or mail. 
  • Read to your child and let them hear the rhythm of words and exaggeration and expression in your voice!
  • Play games! Some games, such as Apples to Apples, encourage reading and are really fun to play. Slap some sight words onto Jenga blocks and read a block every time you draw one.
  • Set a good example by letting your children see YOU reading. Send a message that reading is valuable and important.
  • Visit your local library! Libraries are a great place to explore, and many local libraries, such as those here in Long Beach, offer summer reading incentives. 
  • Leave books for your child in the three best places, also knows as the three Bs: bed, bathroom, breakfast table.
What are some websites with FREE resources?
What is this GIVEAWAY all about?!
Alright, let's talk about this giveaway. Having something tangible helps our tactile learners and also serves as a reminder to read. Our giveaway features the following items:

1. $10 Target gift card to be used to pick out a fun new book!

2. Retell stick: This is a stick that has one side for fiction text and one side for non-fiction text. For fiction text, students place buttons on the stick, one by one, as they tell you the characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end of the story. For non-fiction text, they place buttons on the stick as they tell you the main idea and three supporting details.

3. Reading scavenger hunt: This is a treasure map that students follow as they complete reading tasks, such as reading a book that's been made into a movie, that takes place in your favorite city, etc. How fun is that?!

4. Response sticks: These are two sets of color-coded sticks that have comprehension questions on them. The blue sticks are for non-fiction (blue = true, get it?), and include questions such as, "What was the main idea of what you read, and what were the supporting details?" The yellow sticks are for fiction, and include questions such as, "If you were interviewing the main character, what questions would you ask?" This set also includes a dice, numbered 1-6, that can be rolled to determine how many sticks your child must draw and answer that day. Throw these in a small bucket or box by their books and keep it easy!

These are items we've used in the past, and we're so excited to offer them to you in this giveaway to keep your kids reading this summer! The giveaway runs from Friday, May 22, 2015 at 8:00am PST to Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 9:00pm PST. One winner will be announced on our Instagram page within 24 hours.

To enter: 
1. Follow me on Instagram @kidsunderconstruction
2. Tag a friend on my Instagram post in the comments
3. Like our Facebook page 
4. For an extra entry, share the link to this post on your Facebook page

Good luck and happy reading!

Monday, May 18, 2015

campCORE: KUC's full-day summer camp for elementary students

Ssshhhh! Don't tell the children that they are actually learning anything during these camps! We walk a fine line between learning and having fun, so you can send us your kids knowing that they will have fun while they keep their minds active all summer long!

Kids Under Construction is excited to offer a full-day academic camp this summer! We know that many of you are looking for day camps for your kids this summer, and we think that campCORE is the perfect camp for parents that want their students to use their minds and have fun. You can enroll your students for a day or for the whole week, so we're hoping that your youngest students will join us.

What is campCORE?
campCORE is a full-day academic camp that helps keep students' minds alert using some of our most-loved games and activities. Students will create (C), observe (O), report (R), and explore (E) their way through some of our most-loved games and activities while reviewing common core standards to prepare for next year.

Who can enroll in campCORE?
We invite students entering grades K-5 to enroll in campCORE this summer. We are able to accommodate a wide range of students in these camps because students will move through a variety of stations that are grade-level appropriate for them.

What kinds of activities do you have planned for campCORE?
We've taken some of our favorite games and activities that we use to help students achieve common core standards and put them altogether in this camp. Here's a sampling of some of the activities we have planned:

The week of August 10th is BASEBALL WEEK! Baseball means popcorn, soda pop, snacks, and good ole fashioned fun. We will read about some of the players, calculate some statistics, and enjoy cracker jacks for a snack. One of the math activities that we will play is called popcorn math. Students get a bag of "popcorn" and practice math facts, compare numbers, and more.

Who doesn't like a delicious bag of chips with their hot dog at the baseball stadium? During baseball week, we use Cheetos to learn about how bugs and insects pollinate plants. Did you know that the cheese coating on Cheetos is sticky like pollen?

After reading about some of baseball's greatest heroes, we'll review some of the new vocabulary that we've learned with a fun game of muffin tin toss. 

You can't sit through a game without some soda pop to enjoy alongside your hot dog and chips! Some of our younger students will practice counting syllables by sorting words printed on bottle caps, while some of our older students will practice arranging numbers (including integers and fractions) from least to greatest. 

The week of August 17th is GAMES WEEK! You know that games are fun, but did you know that games are a great way to practice important skills? We will have all kinds of fun bowling, building with Legos, and playing board games (with a twist) like Candyland. One of the reading activities that we will play is called Candyland comprehension. Students pull a color card, and depending on which color they pull, they will have to read a short passage and answer a comprehension question. So for example, if a student pulls a purple card, they will have to identify the main idea of a short reading passage. Passages are anywhere between 5 and 8 sentences long, and we have them at a variety of reading levels. 

We turn our patio area into a bowling alley and attach all kinds of activities to them. We've used them to attach writing prompts, math facts, science review questions, and lots more.

Who doesn't love Legos? Our youngest students use them to make letters, spell words, and practice counting. Our older students use them to create multiplication arrays and calculate areas and perimeters.

Every week is jam-packed full of fun activities and tasks that students will have fun with. When you register, we will contact you to find out more about your student so that we can plan their activities.

What does a typical day look like at campCORE?
Camp starts at 9:00am and ends at 2:00pm. Here's our daily schedule:

9:00-9:15a : OPENING
9:15-10:15a : math centers
10:15-10:30a : SNACK
10:30-11:30a : reading rotations
11:30-12:00p : LUNCH
12:00-1:00p : group science activity
1:00-1:15p : BRAIN BREAKS
1:15-1:45p : enrichment (Spanish, art, engineering, history, writing, memory)
1:45-2:00p : CLOSING

What are the weekly themes for campCORE?
Every week of campCORE has a different theme. For example, all of our math centers for baseball week (8/10) will have something to do with baseball. The theres are as follows:

WEEK 1 (7/6-7/9) : candy
WEEK 2 (7/13-7/16) : oceans
WEEK 3 (7/20-7/23) : CSI
WEEK 4 (7/27-7/30) : planet Earth
WEEK 5 (8/3-8/6) : wild animals
WEEK 6 (8/10-8/13) : baseball
WEEK 7 (8/17-8/20) : games
WEEK 8 (8/24-8/27) : the human body

How much does tuition cost for campCORE?
Tuition for campCORE is $345 per week or $95 per day. You can enroll for just one day, or you can enroll for the entire week! If you know you've got a crazy week coming up sometime this summer, or a day when you need your kids out of the house, give us a call!

Are you as excited as we are?! There are no tests, no quizzes, and no homework, so campCORE is pretty much like the best day of school ever. Except that it's not school. And you can sit next to your friends.