McMains Crew News: September 26, 2012

Lassen Volcanic National Park Fieldwork

Wow, what a kick-off to our fall expedition! Our 4 fabulous days and 3 nights in Lassen Volcanic National Park were filled with wildlife, shooting stars, and intense geological encounters. (Crew photos are now on our blog as well as the link to your right....)

Students presented the lessons they had prepared prior to the trip and taught us about the different types of lava flows, how to identify 4 types of volcanoes, how to interpret hydrothermal features, and about the ecology of the park. We experienced the information first–hand as we crawled through lava tubes, hiked down into a cinder cone volcano, smelled fumeroles, listened to bubbling mudpots and felt the temperature of runoff from hot springs.

We had special encounters with a black bear, a red-tailed hawk and a doe nursing twin fawns! The night sky was alight with green shooting stars.

We even had a reading adventure when we read and text-coded two passages at a high school level in order to learn about the park’s ecology!

Best of all, every crewmember faced challenges and overcame them through perseverance – some emotional, some physical, some intellectual.

Giant thanks to every adult who pitched in to drive, cook, shop, hike, encourage, hug, share, and sleep outside! Talk about it taking a village!

Remember to check our Crew Blog for assignments and fieldwork schedules:

http://mcmainscrew.blogspot.com/


21 GREAT READING TIPS FOR HOME:

As your child’s first and most important teacher, you can be a powerful force in your child’s efforts to become a skillful reader. Whether your child is already a proficient reader, or is a struggling or reluctant reader, your positive encouragement can help them make continuous strides toward success.

Here are some suggestions on how you can support reading at home.

  1. Encourage your child to read for 30 minutes before going to sleep each night.
  2. Create a quiet, special place in your home for your child toread. Keep books and reading materials readily available.
  3. Help your child see that reading is important. Set a good example for your child byreading books, newspapers, and magazines. Talk about what you are reading.
  4. Be attentive to your child’s interests and developing skills. Remember to be somewhat non-judgmental about the text your child chooses: cartoons, instructions for video games, fantasy, sports, or fashion magazines can be the key to unlocking a lifetime of reading pleasure.
  5. Allow your child to subscribe to magazines based on his/her interests to encouragefrequent reading.
  6. Read and discuss newspaper and magazine articles. An article beside the breakfast bowl can provide a great alternative to the usual, routine conversations!
  7. Visit bookstores, public and school libraries regularly to find materials for pleasurereading.
  8. Turn the television off at least once a week and read as a family. Discuss whateveryone is reading.
  9. Remind your child that sometimes adults have “homework” to do as well (i.e. reading reports, doing performance appraisals, research, etc.). This will allow your child to see the connection of reading to real life.
  10. Create a family “word wall” on a bulletin board or the refrigerator. Share new words you came across in your reading and what they mean.
  11. Take reading materials with you to shared outings. Encourage your child to readwhile riding in the car, waiting at the doctor’s office, passing time between activities.
  12. If your child has an assigned reading, try to read the same book so you can havemeaningful discussions about the story. If your child is struggling to complete an assigned reading, try taking turns listening to him/her read, and reading aloud to your child, checking frequently for understanding.
  13. Ask your child about reading strategies he/she has learned at school. Have your childuse these strategies when reading at home.
  14. Encourage your child to re-read material to get a deeper understanding of itscontents. This is particularly true for non-fiction material (textbook content) andmaterial written above grade level.
  15. Discuss the importance and approach of reading for different purposes: to entertain,to inform, to persuade, etc. Reading for different purposes helps to define the speed and depth of understanding to apply to that reading.
  16. Distinguish between skimming, scanning, speed reading, and reading for deep understanding. Help your child to understand the appropriate applications of each.
  17. Encourage “engagement strategies” such as highlighting, using post-it notes, underlining, and developing questions as your child reads. These behaviors help to habitualize the process of making-meaning and to ensure your child is doing morethan reading the words on the page. Although your child should never mark in alibrary or school textbook, cutting post-it notes into smaller “flags” can serve a similarpurpose.
  18. Write notes recognizing your child’s accomplishments. A little praise can go a longway!
  19. Reward progress with a trip to the bookstore to select a special book.
  20. Consider purchasing an electronic reader (i.e. Kindle, Nook, etc.). E-readers havebecome very popular and may entice your child to read more often.
  21. Emphasize the importance of reading as a life-long habit and encourage its frequent practice.

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SELS is a 501c(3) non-profit corporation, Truckee Charter School Foundation, dba Sierra Expeditionary Learning School. Federal Tax ID: 27-1627347.

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McMains Crew 2012-13

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