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By K5 Team
posted Mar 2 2015 - 11:31am

factoringWhat is factoring?

Factoring is like taking a number apart. The factors of a number are all those numbers that can be divided evenly into that number. Factors are either composite numbers (a natural number that is not prime) or prime numbers (a number whose only factors are itself and 1, for example 3).

Why is it important to learn factors?

Factoring is used in algebra, which is used in pre-calculus, and later in calculus. Factoring is used to help simplify complex equations by breaking them into smaller parts. It’s important that students learn about factoring from an early stage using simple numbers, as later they will need to apply the same practice to much more complex equations.

By K5 Team
posted Feb 20 2015 - 10:17am

phonemesBy Laura Payne

Why is English spelling so difficult? Consider the following example that has been used since 1855.

What does ghoti spell?
It might never cross your mind that it could spell fish. Here is how:

gh = the f-sound from enough
o = the short i-sound from women
ti = the sh-sound from action

By K5 Team
posted Feb 18 2015 - 10:55am

By Sheila Kelly Welch

the right wordHave you ever found your mind reaching for a word but you can’t quite grab it? If you’ve turned to a thesaurus for help, then you’ll love this book, an unusual biography about a fascinating man – doctor, scientist, and lover of words. THE RIGHT WORD: ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS, written by Jen Bryant and illustrated with Melissa Sweet’s whimsical, detailed illustrations captured two recent awards: the Sibert Award (best informational book published in 2014) and a Caldecott honor (for the illustrations). Although this is technically a picture book, the subject and the visually sophisticated illustrations will be appreciated best by children over eight years old.

By K5 Team
posted Feb 16 2015 - 10:55am

By Dr. Patricia Deubel

focus troubleParents might say that their children are reading very well and developing a good vocabulary, yet when it comes to reading a math text their children are having comprehension problems.  What parents might not realize is that reading a math text is different from reading texts in other subjects.  Having taught math for 30 years, I know  that students often don’t read the text because they have never learned how.  They jump right in to doing homework problems because they rely greatly on explanations from their teachers for how to do those. 

By K5 Team
posted Feb 12 2015 - 3:39pm

two peas

By Laura Payne

Metaphors and similes - each of these figures of speech play an important role in everyday life. Unfortunately, learning about them, and learning how to tell which is which, can be quite tedious for students. It might help them to know that they have actually been using metaphors and similes almost all of their lives.

Metaphors and Similes in Everyday Life

Much of what children know is learned through the use of metaphors and similes because we explain unfamiliar concepts to children by comparing them to concepts they already know. This is the everyday aspect of metaphors and similes for example, when a child asks what a wolf is, and you respond that a wolf is like a dog, but it lives in the wild, you are using a simile.

Metaphors and Similes in Language Arts

When it comes to Language Arts, metaphors and similes are used to add descriptive flair to speaking and writing. They are a great tool for “showing, not telling” which is what instructors strive to get their students to do.  Here are some examples:

By K5 Team
posted Feb 8 2015 - 10:40am

math word problemsDoes your child fear math word problems? He or she is not alone. When words take over, it seems like all logic goes out the window. Do not fear, there is a process. Using some simple steps, your child will master how to translate words into numbers, and easily solve those equations.

Solving a math word problem involves four steps:

1.    Read through the question and set up a word equation (we’ll show you how in a minute).
2.    Put numbers in place of the words to set up a regular math equation.
3.    Now, solve the math equations.
4.    Focus on answering the problem the question asks.

The easiest way to show this process is in a few examples. The most important part is not to try to get to the answer too fast, but rather to write down each piece of information. One solution will leads to another, and then another.

By K5 Team
posted Feb 5 2015 - 1:31pm

By Laura Payne

Him and me went to the store.                    Lisa walked by Nancy and I.


Do either of the above sentences sound a little off? They might to some but not to others.

Children often struggle with the grammatically correct usage of subjective and objective pronouns in compound subjects and objects. This is not surprising when you think about pronouns in terms of their linguistic labels. It might be easy for an adult to understand that when there is a compound subject, only subjective pronouns should be used, and when there is a compound object, only objective pronouns should be used.


By K5 Team
posted Jan 30 2015 - 11:21am

contractionsBy Laura Payne

When children add contractions to their vocabulary, confusion and spelling mix-ups often follow. Because many common contractions sound the same or similar to already learned words, children tend to write the words they know even when the meaning they are looking for is that of the contraction.

Here are some contractions that are frequently confused with another word or words:



By Asa
posted Jan 27 2015 - 10:41am


It’s all in the numbers:



Student A



Student B


Student C

posted Jan 22 2015 - 9:36am

too to two

By Laura Payne

It is never too early to help your child learn to properly use confusing word pairs and groups. The English language is full of them, and many of the confusing words are ones that children learn in elementary school, so what better time to start than now. There are several things you can do to help your child better understand the differences between similar words.