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January-February Edition

LRC Director's Throughts graphic

The future faculty of a new elementary school developed a list of accomplishments for which they wanted to work and gain with their students. Can you guess what rose to Number One? To be kind!

These are indeed critical times in the lives of our children. Families had to cope with the effects of COVID; schools had to pause and rearrange; parents had to assist with navigating online learning; and communities had to come together to provide food and housing. But, there is an end, a tomorrow, a future. If “to be kind” is at the top of each of our lists, we can start right now at getting on with the days and ways in which our children can thrive once again.

And, just a reminder as the First Semester of 2020-2021 comes to an end, the Learning Resource Center is poised and ready to help in any way possible so that every child (or adult) can be as successful in school as he or she can be. LRC continues to honor deeply discounted rates until the end of the school year. United Way of Central Florida has extended its allocation. In the past few months, donors have been kind and generous, building up the LRC scholarship fund so that deserving students can receive the additional academic help that they need. We Can Help!

LRC Executive Director Pamela Craven signature

Read past editions of “Director’s Thoughts”:
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020

 

My Heartfelt Christmas Thank You is for… 

LRC Director's Throughts graphic

Your friendship—joining the Learning Resource Center in its mission to continue as a provider of quality instruction and programs;

Your Loyalty and Commitment—enhancing the work of this small not-for-profit by cultivating and extending the message that LRC can HELP; and

Your Generous Support—sharing your time, talents, as well as financial resources to meet the needs of children, adults, and families in our communities:

– Although we were just short of our goal, Giving Tuesday is affording adults eager to earn their GED the opportunity to participate in critical preparation classes.

– LRC’s sorely depleted scholarship funds have seen donations in the past few days. These funds help those students whose families cannot pay for tutoring help even with the sliding fee scale amount underwritten by United Way funding.

My favorite Christmas sentiment is…

“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”

My Sincere Christmas Wish (especially this year) is…

That each of you and your families experience the Hope of Christmas and the Joy of the New Year.

May you and your family enjoy a lovely and blessed Thankful Season!

LRC Executive Director Pamela Craven signature

Read past editions of “Director’s Thoughts”:
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020

‘Tis the season to be thankful!


LRC Director's Throughts graphic
 
Although the LRC Staff and Boards are grateful 24/7 and 365 days for each and every person who shares his or her talents, time, and resources, this holiday season offers the perfect opportunity to say “Thank You” once more. As a nonprofit in a COVID-19 world, this year has been far from easy. This organization has applied for and been blessed with two Relief Fund allocations. With that support, LRC has been able to persevere in serving this community with quality academic instruction—virtually and in person safely—although to far fewer students. Parents who are facing job or food insecurity do not seek out tutoring. Schools having to spend discretionary funds for additional protection and safety are not able to offer supplemental after-school programs. However, you have provided scholarships and funding for many students who would have continued to struggle.
 
Alexander is one of those students. He had been described as non-verbal and non-social, and school officials predicted that he could not function in a regular classroom. I first met this 5-year-old crawling under a table at Camp READY!, LRC’s award-winning summer program that prepares students for that first day of kindergarten. By the next visit, with the caring expertise of the camp professionals, Alexander was gradually participating, pointing to or touching words when prompted, although still sitting by himself. By the end of the four weeks, he was saying words and forming sentences, listening and engaging with other students—he even asked to be a line leader. He entered kindergarten last fall and zoomed to the top of his class. It was with your support through United Way and LRC fundraising projects that this program was available to Alexander. This is just one of many stories we love to retell about the successes of LRC students. None of which would be possible without YOU!
 
May you and your family enjoy a lovely and blessed Thankful Season!
 
LRC Executive Director Pamela Craven signature
 
 
Read past editions of “Director’s Thoughts”:
October 2020
September 2020
 
 

LRC can help! And…YOU can help!

LRC Director's Throughts graphic
 
Halloween is not the only October date bringing thoughts of fun, but scary times.
As the first nine weeks (first quarter) of the school year ends on October 22, 2020, and the second grading period begins, blessings and concerns abound–thankfulness that students are returning safely to learning either in a classroom or on an electronic device with great Polk County educators. The concerns lie in the physical and mental health of our children, but also in their ACADEMIC health. Researchers are calling it the “COVID Slide.” They are attributing this to the loss of much direct instruction in the final three months of the past school year and reduced availability of and access to summer programs. The prediction is that many students will lose more than a year of skill and concept retention. More than ever, children who are struggling need immediate and intensive interventions to CATCH UP, GET AHEAD, and STAY AHEAD!
 
LRC is offering learning hubs and one-to-one tutoring—virtually and in-person. Look for upcoming LRC after-school programs throughout Polk County. We always have our arms outstretched for help—more highly qualified tutors and instructors, more community volunteers, and, of course, more financial resources. LRC can help! And…YOU can help!
 
LRC Executive Director Pamela Craven signature
 

Fall for Learning with LRC
 
With your support, we have successfully navigated summer together concluding six fruitful enrichment camps and now transitioning to a fall lineup of opportunities. Some of which include:
 
1. Three SAT Prep courses (start dates: Sept. 8, Oct. 6, Nov. 3)
2. Two ACT Prep sessions (start dates: Sept. 21, Nov. 2)
3. One middle school Study Habits program (start date: Oct. 14)
4. GED Prep (varies by subject)
 
In addition, LRC will continue tutoring students of all grade levels, expanding services to not only provide supplemental learning to campus students but coaching for eCampus and Polk Virtual attendees with options to choose one-to-one or small group instruction (learning hub) and in-person or virtual learning.
 
Working with parents to determine the best location and catering to families’ scheduling needs enables us to offer an unmatched, customized approach best suited for parents and students.
 
Due to financial hardships faced by many, we’re extending our reduced rates through the fall semester. If you have a student who needs homework help, remediation, virtual coaching or wants to get ahead, please call us at 863-688-9477 or visit us online to get started.
 

We can help!

 
 

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It
 

Word Sliders

This is a fun, quick and easy way to make a hands-on game for reading practice. This concentrates on reinforcing, decoding and blending skills using word families. These words have a common sound, pattern and letter combination.
 
Learning & Loving It Word Slider
 

Supplies:

Paper plate, markers, paper/card stock, and scissors; optional: this reference sheet for word families if you’d like to use it
 
Learning & Loving It Word Slider Supplies
 

Creating your slider

1. Cut your paper into vertical strips about 1 or 1.5 inches thick.
2. Choose a paper plate (any size; smaller plates easier for smaller hands).
3. Pencil in two lines on plate in this fashion: = and cut slots with pointed scissors. This is where the strip will go.
4. Choose your word family, and write the common ending letters on the plate.
5. Prepare the strips with initial consonants and/or blends, leaving space between each one. (Parents can pencil in guidelines if these will be written by the student).
*Note: when working on blending sounds, even nonsense words can be used
6. Thread your strip through the slot. You’re ready to play!
 
Students can track how many words they can say on each strip for points and/or time themselves to beat their score.
 
The ultimate goal is to increase speed and fluency.
 
These manipulatives are inexpensive and easy to make. They’re also fun for children to play with! They can be used at home, in the car, at a restaurant or even at the beach.
 
Check to see the video demonstration on Facebook.
 
 
Click for additional Learning & Loving It activities!
 
 

The Learning Resource Center of Polk County unveils its 2020 lineup of summer enrichment programs for all academic levels to combat learning loss during the quarantine and prevent summer slide.
 
LRC Summer
 

Choose Your Program

Camp READY!


Kindergarten-Readiness
LRC Camp READY
 
Rising and repeating kindergartners can gain the skills necessary for school at Camp READY which features multi-sensory learning experiences in an engaging format at Family Fundamentals in Lakeland. Camp will take place June 29-July 24, 2020, Monday-Friday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. The cost is $25 for the entire month.
 
 

Super Summer Success

Elementary
LRC Polk Super Summer Elementary
 
Elementary students are able to attend Super Summer Success at Family Fundamentals in Lakeland beginning June 29, 2020. Camp will run Monday-Thursday from 1-4 p.m. through July 23, 2020 and will provide a captivating opportunity for students to improve important skills in reading and math during the summer months. The cost is $395.
 
 

Study Habits of Successful Students

Middle School
LRC Summer Study Habits
 
Middle school students will become more effective learners through time-tested strategies with LRC’s virtual Study Habits of Successful Students on July 6-10, 2020. The course’s fee is $120.
 
 

Test Prep

High School
LRC Summer Test Prep
High School students may benefit from LRC’s test preparation courses designed to help students achieve confidence while earning their best possible score. ACT Prep takes place July 13-17, 2020 and SAT Prep on July 20-24, 2020. Both will be held virtually. The cost of each full course is $470 and includes a book.
 
 

1-to-1 Tutoring

All Academic Levels
lrc 1 to 1 virtual tutoring
 
For students of all levels, 1-to-1 tutoring is always an option. Currently, tutoring services will take place virtually, but LRC is looking into conducting face-to-face sessions again.
 
 

COVID-19 Procedures

Due to COVID-19, LRC has adjusted procedures specific to each program which may include smaller group sizes, lower enrollment occupancy, social distancing regulations, temperature checks, increased sanitization and/or virtual programming.
 

Sliding Fee Scale

LRC offers a Sliding Fee Scale based on gross family income with the assistance of United Way. For questions or to enroll, please visit the Learning Resource Center online at LRCPolk.com or call 863-688-9477.
 
 

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It
 

Rolling the Dice with Learning

The sound of rolling dice has brought excitement and fascination to human cultures for thousands of years. Each time you roll a pair of dice, you are keeping alive an ancient tradition that began long before recorded history.
 
Archaeologists can’t pinpoint the first human who threw dice, but they do know that dice-throwing appeared all over the populated world. The first dice throwers were not gamers; they were religious men who used the dice to tell the future. Those dice were made from fruit pits, pebbles, seashells and bones of animals.
 
Dice today can be found in all shapes and sizes–marked or unmarked. However, the most common dice are cubes with six sides or faces.
 
For centuries, dice have been used for religion, recreation and teaching. They are one of the sneakiest ways to teach number sense, arithmetic, algebra and probability.
 

Dice War

Dice War is a fun game for all ages, but especially suited for younger children. Children often move from math class to math class without a firm foundation of number sense. Why does it exist? What does it mean? How can it help? Dice War gives practice in using numbers as symbols–representations of something else. Numbers help us describe and control our world.
 
There are many variations of Dice War, but here are a couple of variations.
 

    Same and Different:
    Each player takes turns rolling four to ten dice. After rolling, the player matches the dice that are the same, then records the number of matches they found. The next player then takes their turn. The player who reaches the preset total (such as 20) first is the winner.
     
    Patterns and Sequence:
    Each player rolls the dice (two or more is fun), puts the faces of the dice in ascending or descending order, then adds the dots of each die and records the total. Again, the winner is the player with the highest score.

Pig Dice

Pig teaches strategic and critical thinking. To play, you’ll need a die, pencil, paper and two or more players. The objective of the game is to be the first player to reach 100. On their turn, each player will roll the die, count the number and record it. If the player rolls a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, they may choose to roll again. The catch is that if the player rolls a 1, their score from the round will be canceled and their turn will end. The player may choose to keep rolling, if they wish, as long as they don’t roll a 1. The strategy of the game is to know when to stop rolling to keep your score. This game teaches children to take turns and share while also practicing basic math skills such as counting, addition and probability. Sometimes just rolling the dice is not the best solution. The more you roll the die, the greater your chance at getting a 1.

Lu-lu Dice

Lu-lu Dice is a simple math game that originated from Hawaii. The game uses a cup and four paper discs. To make the discs, cut out four circles and divide them into fourths by drawing a “+” on each one. On the first, color one dot either in the center or in one of the quadrants. On the second, color two dots in two of the circle’s quadrants. For the third, color a dot in 3/4 of the quadrants. On the fourth, color a dot in each quadrant. On your turn, put the discs into the cup, shake them, and then dump them onto the surface area. Count your dice that are turned up. Each player gets two turns. Put your discs back into the cup, and then shake, dump and count them again. Record your score. The max score possibility for a turn is 20. The next player takes their turn. The game continues until a player reaches 100.
Incorporate probability practice by looking at how many ways a certain score can be obtained and how many turns a player would need to reach 100 if they had all the faces up on each of their tosses throughout the game. Ask players to keep track of how many points they’ll need before they reach 100.

Roll & Retell

Unlike the aforementioned activities, Roll & Retell puts a little extra excitement into the sometimes boring practice of identifying and reflecting on story elements.
 
The player rolls the die and answers the corresponding question according to their retell sheet. If the same player rolls a number for a question already answered, he or she rolls again.

Roll & Write

When asked to write something–a story, a paragraph, a poem, often we hear the excuse, “I don’t have anything to write about.”
 
Roll & Write puts the fun back into creating a tale from the imagination. Children can write their own options to correspond to the initial instructions. Using a template with prompts or creating your own, the player then rolls the dice and using a prompt with that corresponding number first to come up with the setting, then rolls again for the character, and then once more for the plot.
 
 
Enjoy discovering the fun in academics using these dice games!
 
Click for additional Learning & Loving It activities!
 
 

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It
 

Telling time with your own clock

This clock activity is a great one for teaching children how to tell time. Use it to talk about time in the future or to discuss how long it takes for something to happen with older children.
 

Supplies:

Paper plate, construction paper, brad, (optional thumbtack), ruler, scissors, marker, pencil
 
LRC Clock Supplies

Constructing your clock

    1. Mark your paper plate in quarters (use a ruler for accuracy) by adding a dot in the center, top, bottom and each side.
    2. Write you 12 on the top dot that you made, then proceed by adding the 3 to the right side, 6 at the bottom, and 9 on the left
    3. Fill in the remaining numbers numbers in between your 3, 6, 9, 12.
    4. Mark four minute hand marks in between each number.
    5. Using the construction paper and a pencil, trace two hands for your clock. One should be shorter (hour hand), and one should be longer (minute hand).
    6. Use your scissors to cut out each hand from the construction paper.
    7. Stick your brad through each clock hand as well as through the center of the plate, then fasten.

 
Learning & Loving It Clocks

Clock activities

    1. Set the clock, and have students tell you what time it shows.
    2. Ask the student to show you a specific time such as 2:30.
    3. Try asking the student to show you a specific time in increments of five minutes to single minutes.
    3. Ask a specific time using phrases like “quarter past”, “half past”, “quarter to” or “on the hour”.
    4. Discuss different times of certain events or routines and have the student show you. Examples of this would be bed time, breakfast, lunchtime, etc.

Older children

    Have older students add or subtract time. Example: “It’s 3:00 p.m. In forty-five minutes, what time will it be?”
    “If you’re at your house at 4:00 p.m., you need to be somewhere at 4:30 p.m., and it takes five minutes to get there, what time would you need to leave?”

 
Check to see the video demonstration.
 
Click for additional Learning & Loving It activities!
 
 

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It
 

Magical Learning with Puppets


 

Supplies: Paper, pen/markers/crayons/paint, scissors, glue/tape/stapler, popsicle stick/tongue depressor/paint stirrer, book of choice

 

    1. Choose a book to read together.
    2. Draw or print the characters from the story on the blank sheets of paper. The child may decorate the characters with markers, crayons, paint, etc. if they wish.
    3. Cut the characters out.
    4. Staple, tape or glue the character to a wooden popsicle stick (or tongue depressor, paint stirrer, etc.).
    5. Repeat this step for each character that you have creating a stick puppet for each.

 

Using your puppets

    Share a favorite read aloud with your child and follow up with a discussion about the characters in the story. (We’re using Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle). Can the child name all of the characters in the story?
     
    Explain to the child that he or she will use crayons (or markers or paint) and paper to create a special character that will be made into a stick puppet.
     
    Provide the materials. Assist the child in cutting out the finished characters. (“Scissors Snip”). Tape or glue or staple the stick onto the back of their characters to make the stick puppet.
     
    Encourage your child to use their stick puppets to act out the story or to tell their own stories. Stick puppets can even sing and dance—like in “This Old Man (he played one)” or “I Know an Old Lady (who swallowed a fly).”
     
    You may even want to create a puppet theater to use with the stick puppets. Let the child decorate and old white sheet with markers to use as a curtain or backdrop. Encourage the child to create scenes on the sheet from the story that he or she is about to tell with the stick puppets. Props can be made from tiny boxes, empty thread spools, small fabric scraps, or tiny doll pillows for beds.

 

About Puppets for learning

    Today, puppets can be used to teach a variety of things. Let’s take a look at some of those things.
     
    Kindergarten
    Puppets are simple effective tools for delivering information. When puppets are incorporated with play-based learning, children retain knowledge more effectively and efficiently. The puppets then become tools for sharing or retelling what they have learned or observed. Puppets are a delightful way to encourage children to exercise their language skills. Use a puppet to introduce a story. When the story is finished the puppet can discuss it with the children. The puppet might ask, “can you help me make up a new ending for my story?”
     
    Primary
    Children can benefit from puppets through oral and language skills development. When a puppet speaks, children can listen, identify, and understand different words and phrases. The act of speaking out loud is much different than thinking the thoughts in your head. So, when children are required to answer questions, the puppet can act as support—when the puppet speaks all attention is on the puppet not on the child. This gradually nurtures confidence.
     
    Middle School
    Puppets can be used to analyze characterization in a short story or novel, as well as act out a historical event. Another benefit of puppets with this age group revolves around the developing the child’s social skills. They begin learning how to interact with the different personalities of their peers. By exploring different communication techniques using puppets, students can apply the same strategies to regular conversations.
     
    Higher grades
    Students in higher grades can use puppets in a more profound way. Using a puppet “transforms getting caught in the headlight into shining in the spotlight.” They can aid in acting out Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar, debating a complex issue, or showing a difficult process, such as a science experiment.
     
    Puppets can break down barriers and encourage students to discuss very difficult issues when found in literature or in everyday life—such as bullying, abuse, drugs, and cultural and physical differences. Many students are very uncomfortable with deeply personal topics, and puppets can be that “mask” to advance ideas or express issues without feeling vulnerable.
     
    Over the centuries, puppets have remained a powerful form of communication between people. For students, puppets are a gateway to opening up the mind and inviting knowledge in. Kids’ imaginations can run wild, and without knowing it, they are developing essential skills needed for everyday life, just as they did thousands of years ago.

 
 
Click here to see the video demonstration and reading on Facebook.
 
Click for additional Learning & Loving It activities!