The start of the new school year is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful without a plan for success. Aside from standard tips of easing into a routine and stocking up on supplies, here are three ideas to help your student engage in learning this year.
So many kids love technology and their screen time. Take advantage of the screen’s magnetic pull with some online gaming resources that allow you or the student to create content. You can find plenty of digital tools to make quizzes, crosswords, scavenger hunts and add flair to presentations. It’s a great way to help keep students interested and ready to learn – plus, it doesn’t feel like schoolwork. Meeting kids on their terms and getting their imaginations fired up is a smart way to foster keen thinking.
Examining the details in everyday life sounds dull, but it can re-ignite a spark for learning in many students. For instance, encouraging younger kids to keep tabs on changing seasons improves observational and communication skills. Activate critical thinking and boost their note-taking abilities by asking older kids to recap the main points of some of your conversations, their favourite media, or a news story. Visiting the library, local museums or community events can also open up their world and awaken new interests for any age group. Look for children’s discounts, free admission days or free passes to events that can inspire learning outside of the classroom.
Educators love to see students learning about their community. It shows they can apply different skills and put their critical thinking skills to use. So, why not get students thinking about their own community in a larger context? Do they know the number of people in their community, or how many households have kids in their age group? What about the population trends – is the community growing or decreasing? Once they have the answers, see if they have any theories or come up with some explanations together.
This kind of information, and other details about your community, is freely accessible online through census data. Relating to information because it’s about a place they experience everyday makes the information more interesting and memorable for a student. Census data can be a trusted resource for independent research or as a super tool for the next school project.
Find census data and free online data tools at census.gc.ca