Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter 3/26/10 - Father-Daughter Read-a-thon

Grade: 1st-2nd

March 26, 2010 | Grades 1&2

In This Issue: Never-Ending Story, Basketball Odds, Wanted - Women in Math and Science

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, KideosThe Never-Ending Story
When Jim Brozina's youngest daughter, Kristen, entered fourth grade, he suggested they read together before bed 100 days in a row. "The Streak" was his way of stretching their nighttime ritual beyond the age that her older sister had decided she'd outgrown it. Upon reaching 100, they changed their goal to 1,000, then kept going until they reached 3,218 nights in a row.  

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Reading & Writing
  • Challenge your child to embark on a reading streak with you. 
  • Set a reasonable time period during which you will read together every day.
  • Make a list of books that you both are interested in reading.
  • Once you finish a book, ask your child what he or she liked about the book. Is there anything that he or she didn't like? 
  • Suggest your child keep a reading journal. For each book, have an entry that answers Who, What, Where, When, Why. Include a brief summary and identify favorite books.  
  • Encourage your child to draw favorite characters.

Hear The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other old favorites read aloud.
Learning Tips
: Writing About Books, Answering Who, What, Where When, Why and How
Game: Make Your Own Short Story

Bracket Blowout Blows Up
The 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament has been mad. Top teams bounced out of contention early on, throwing off fans' carefully calculated brackets. Against huge odds, Alex Hermann, 17, had a perfect bracket after the first two rounds. Alex, who has autism, credited his math skills. On Thursday, Butler's upset against Syracuse ended Alex's winning streak.

Activity Ideas - Math
Tell your child that the term "seed" indicates a team's ranking, with No. 1 being the best. Usually, it can be a pretty good predictor of who will win; but during the NCAA Basketball Tournament—this year's especially—upsets are just a part of the madness. 

  • Together with your child, look at the upcoming matchups. (Find an up-to-date bracket at ESPN.) Tell him or her to predict which team will win, based on its seed. ( #1 seed Duke vs. #4 seed Purdue: Duke is expected to win.)
  • Suggest that you look back at some of the earlier brackets, to find the biggest upsets.

Math, Science Need Women

A recent study determined that men still outnumber women in math and science careers. Part of the problem is that stereotypes and cultural bias persist, but likely not for long—the study revealed that more women are pursuing doctorates in science, technology, engineering and math.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Share this with your child: The report included research showing that girls' performance suffers from any suggestion that they do poorly in math. As such, teaching girls about how stereotypes hurt performance can diminish such effects.

  • Define the word "stereotype" for your child. Talk about ways to prove stereotypes wrong. (By providing examples to the contrary.)
  • Together with your child, research women scientists and mathematicians past and present
  • Remind your child that you are using nonfiction materials to learn about these women. Discuss the difference between nonfiction and fiction.
  • Have your child choose one woman he or she thinks is especially interesting. Help him or her write down several facts about the woman. 
  • Suggest he or she give an oral report telling family or friends about the female scientist or mathematician.
Learning Tips: Report on a Factual Topic

Game of the Week
Counting Money Game Classroom

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