The K5 Learning Blog urges parents to be pro-active in helping their children reach their full academic potential.

K5 Learning provides an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.

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# K5 Learning Blog

What are compound words?

Compound words are two or more words which are put together to make one larger new word. This new word has a new meaning. For example, the word barefoot is made up of two words: bare and foot.

Compound words fall into three different categories: closed compound words, open compound words and hyphenated compound words.

Practice! Practice! Practice! That’s what it takes for students to learn their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables. Rote drill is the way many of us learned our math facts. Remember how our teachers timed how fast we could present the latest times table in front of the whole class?

Accuracy and speed are the goals, but does repetitive rote learning have to be the only way for students to learn their math facts? Let’s find some new ways for your kids to learn their math facts.

First, you’ll need some math facts flashcards. Lots of sites have free printable flashcards. You can just search for them online. Or just use ours.

Now to the games.

*Our book reviewer, Sheila Welch, has selected four books your kids will want to read this summer.*

**By Sheila Welch**

Whether on a beach or in an air-conditioned library, children will enjoy these four books for summertime reading.

A BARGAIN FOR FRANCES is an “I Can Read Book” Level 2, written by Russell Hoban with pictures by Lillian Hoban. It’s as appealing as the charming, familiar picture books about this human-like badger family. When Frances is about to go play with her friend Thelma, Mother suggests that Frances “Be careful.” Past playtimes with Thelma have not gone well for Frances. But armed with her mother’s forewarning, Frances is careful. She comes up with a clever plan and manages to save not only her self-respect but also her friendship with Thelma.

What books should your kids read this summer? What are the latest and greatest titles that they’ll enjoy? Perhaps they’ll be interested in entering a summer reading challenge. Look no further. We have summarized the top reading challenges and book lists from our favorite organizations.

## Scholastic

Scholastic has put together great lists for different age groups as part of its summer reading challenge. The theme this year is “Be a Reading Superhero”. Here’s their list.

Why is algebra so hard? Math experts say it’s because of the big leap students take from the concrete world of arithmetic (2 + 5 = 7) to the abstract world of algebra (2 + 5 = 3 + x – what is x?).

It’s not just the shock of dealing with letters, but also the type of thinking that those letters represent.

Often students are taught algebra as a study of procedures and rules. However, kids forget the rules. So is there another way? The short answer is – yes. We need to help students make sense of the rules and show them how to use a variety of strategies to solve algebraic problems. Here are two such strategies:

- Balance scales

- Bar diagrams

It can be hard to know what books are too hard for your child to read and which may be too easy. Here’s our guide to helping you choose the books that are at the right level.

## Measure your child’s reading level

Your child’s teacher may already know your child’s reading level, so that’s a good starting point. If the teacher is not sure, there is a handy quick assessment you can do at home using the San Diego Quick Assessment of Reading Ability.

Two-step word problems can be difficult to solve as the student needs to work out what should be solved first and then determining and solving both steps. Most two-step word problems that involve multiplication have a multiplication step and an addition or subtraction step.

The easiest way to solve these problems is visually with bar charts to aid the student.

Let’s start with an example that involved a multiplication step and a subtraction step.

In this example, the multiplication step comes first and the subtraction step second.

A girl has 7 lollipops and she has 5 times as many candies. How many more candies than lollipops does she have?

## Summer learning

The human brain is like a muscle – it needs regular exercise to stay in shape. So when those lazy summer days come around, we need to make sure our kids don’t forget what they have learned over the last 10 months of school.

Knowing what preposition to use can be hard, especially when they come in confusing pairs, where kids easily exchange them for each other. Here are some of the most common preposition pairs that confuse kids:

among / between

around / about

beside / besides

from / of

in / into

like / as

on / onto

Here’s a quick review of each pair and some example sentences.

Finding the total number of something when you are given the fractional part can be tough for students. Most students are taught how to solve this by working backwards, but using a bar model might actually be easier for kids who have not worked through these problems before.

The bar model shows them visually how we work backwards to get to the total.

Here’s an example:

Samantha bought a pair of shoes for $36, which was 2/3 of her money. How much money did she have initially?

In this problem we know the part is $36, but we don’t know the total. Divide the total into three parts and mark the two parts that are $36.

- 1 of 36
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