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How can I help my fifth-grade son sharpen his critical thinking skills?

The key thing is to engage him in conversation. Talk about books, movies, video games, sports or anything else that interests him.

Opportunities for critical thinking and skills building (especially math) occur throughout the day. Involve your son in problem-solving tasks appropriate to his skill level. He might estimate the cost of items in your cart at the supermarket, calculate the tip to leave when you are at a restaurant, or help with dinner by reading a recipe and gathering the ingredients.

Involve your son in dinnertime discussions and elicit his opinions about events in the news. This is also a great time to ask about his day at school and what he is learning.

Implementation

How can I help my children prepare for the Common Core?

Here are some great ways to help accelerate your children's learning:• Read aloud to them... more

What does CCR mean?

CCR stands for "College and Career Readiness." A CCR anchor standard is a skill that a... more

Learning Support

How can I help my fifth-grade son sharpen his critical thinking skills?

The key thing is to engage him in conversation. Talk about books, movies, video games, sports or... more

How can I make the most of a family trip to a museum or historic site?

Let your child choose a place that he or she would like to visit. Then look for resources online... more

I think my son might have a learning disability. What can I do to help him?

The first step is to identify specific areas where your son is struggling. Is he slow to pick up... more

English Language Arts/Reading

My seventh grader would rather watch TV than read. How do I make reading enjoyable while also getting her to read more often?

It's possible that your daughter isn't eager to read because the selections just aren't engaging.... more

Can you tell me what DRA, AR, Lexiles and other reading measures mean?

These measures come from computer-generated programs that approximate a child’s reading level... more

Can you recommend resources to help my child improve her handwriting?

Handwriting is considered by many experts to play a crucial role in brain development and... more

What does the DRA level on a book mean?

The Developmental Reading Association (DRA) provides an assessment that measures a child's... more

What is an Accelerated Reader score?

Accelerated Reader is a product used to encourage students' independent reading. Students'... more

Math

Where can I learn about "spiral math" and other concepts in order to help my first grader with math homework?

In a spiral curriculum, the mastery of various concepts comes from spreading the learning over time... more

Where can I find a book that teaches the new Common Core Math?

You can get an introduction to the Math standards for each grade level, including an outline of... more

Where I can I find examples of first-grade Math problems?

For this answer, we turned to Matt Friedman, Education Editor for Scholastic's Math and Science... more