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Have you got a burning education related question? We have teachers to help! Everything from virtual classrooms, resources, skill building, and student engagement. Submit your question and one of our qualified teachers will do their best to answer it via video posted on our website every month. We will be answering your questions from September-December.

Please fill out the form and send in your questions to our teachers. Answers will be emailed directly to patrons submitting the questions but we will post a video summarizing all the questions we received so our community can benefit from all the questions and answers. Click here for the form.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does my child’s assigned reading level work?  

Students are assessed to fine their instructional reading level.  The instructional reading level is the grade-level of text that is challenging, but not frustrating for the student to handle independently. Although suggested criteria vary, better than 95 percent accuracy identifying words and 75 percent or more comprehension of what they are reading, are often used as standards in judging whether or not students are reading at particular grade level expectations. 

My child is a struggling reader.  What can I do to help? 

Have your child pick out a book that looks interesting to them regardless of their reading level.  Encouraging interest in reading is often more important than ensuring they fully understand the text. Once your child has a topic or two that they really enjoy, you can work to find books of that topic in their level.  Graphic novels are another great way to engage struggling readers since they can use the pictures to help with word recognition and comprehension.   Non-Fiction books can also be good for struggling readers as their information is usually easier to interpret than a storybook.  

My child struggles with math, what can I do to help?  

Math games! Try playing games with dice or cards to help encourage subitizing (recognizing amounts without counting) skills and number recognition.  Trading card games like Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh are great for addition and subtraction practice as well as comparing numbers.  If your child is struggling with fractions have them bake or follow a recipe with you.  If they are struggling with decimals, have them practice counting out change or setting a small pretend store in the house.  

For older students, word problems are often the struggle.  Have them practice by making problems for other people (parents or siblings to solve).  Make a cheat sheet of words that fit with each type of equation, for example: “all together” implies addition while “what is left” implies subtraction”.  Have them break down the problem and follow a consistent strategy. This will stop simple mistakes and alleviate some anxiety.

My child gets frustrated and stops trying if they get something wrong.  What can I do to encourage them?  

Frustration is a normal and healthy part of learning.  One way to help children cope and accept mistakes is to develop their “Growth Mindset”.  Work with your child on celebrating mistakes and focus on effort rather than outcome when working on a task. Here are some books that help explain and build on the idea of growth mindset: 18 Perfect Read-Alouds for Teaching Growth Mindset

What does your child already do to feel good? Maybe they ride their bike, reads a comic book or texts with a friend. Next time you see them getting upset: 

  • Ask if they want to take a break with one of these calming activities. 

  • Point out that they already have ways to calm themselves down. 

  • Over time, they may turn to these coping mechanisms on their own. 

If your child doesn’t already have particular activities that calm them down, help them come up with some. For example: 

  • Grade-schoolers: “When I’m angry at my brother, I can jump on the trampoline in the basement or play with a squishy ball.” 

  • Middle-schoolers: “If I’m stuck on a math problem, I’ll listen to two songs and then try it again.” 

  • High-schoolers: “When I’m feeling anxious about college applications, I’ll go for a run.” 

How long should my child be expected or able to sit and do an activity?  

Being able to sit still and focus on an activity or assignment is a skill that is built gradually over time.  This means that younger children will have the most difficulty with sitting still and many children will have difficulty even as they get older.  Not everyone develops at the same rate but the typical times a child can sit for are:  

  • 3-year-olds: 5–10 minutes 

  • 5-year-olds: 15 minutes 

  • 7-year-olds: 25 minutes 

  • 10-year-olds: 40 minutes 

If your child is struggling to sit still, it helps to figure out why.  Do they need a fidget tool to keep their hands busy? Would a standing desk or movable chair (ball or rocking) help?  Do they need to have resistance bands or a squishy pad to push their feet on? Do they need frequent brain or movement breaks to break up the task they are doing?  Do they have a specific place to work that has less distractions?  

How do I find safe, age appropriate website for my child to use for research or learning games?  

Finding safe websites for kids can be difficult. Below is a list of websites that you can use and their different functions  

KidzSearch- Search engine with kid friendly content 

Kiddle- Search engine with kid friendly content 

Kid Rex- Search engine with kid friendly content 

Fun Brain- Education games and activities for kids sorted by grade level 

Kids National Geographic- National Geographic for kids.  Great for research projects on animals or different countries.  

Fact Monster- Information and Tools for a variety of subjects.  USA curriculum based, but general information would be useful to all students.  

SqoolTube- Educational Videos sorted by topic 

Our website also has several learning resources available with a library card such as Solaro, World Book Online, TumbleMath and Early World of Learning.  

Check out this website for ideas on how to effectively and safely do research: Kathleen Morris Primary Tech

Book lists for School Aged Readers

All of the books listed below are available at the Spruce Grove Public Library.

Pre Reading Booklist 

Great repetitive stories that young children can recreate and retell to develop their pre-reading skills.  Focus on having them understand the story and point out letters or words they know rather than reading the words directly.  Can they tell you what is happening on each page? Can they point to the pictures and the words?  Can they retell the story on their own? Can they guess what will happen next in the story? 

  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems. 
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. 
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear by Eric Carle 
  • Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin 
  • Can I Play Too? (Elephant and Piggie series) by Mo Willems 
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! by Bill Martin 
  • Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson 
  • Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen 
  • Classic fairy tales such as Little Red Hen, Three little Pigs or the Three Billy Goats Gruff  

Early Reader Booklist 

These books are great for practicing beginning reading skills such as phonics and high frequency words.   

  • BOB book series 
  • One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish by Dr. Seuss 
  • Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney 
  • I Get Dressed by David McPhail 
  • Goose on the Loose by Phil Cox 
  • That Cat Max : short  by Liza Charlesworth 
  • The Best Nest : short by Liza Charlesworth 
  • The Little Pink Pig : short I by Liza Charlesworth 
  • School by Gay Pinnell 
  • The Band by Nancy Leber 

Elementary Struggling Reader Book List 

These series and books help engage reluctant or struggling readers.  Recommended grade levels are included.  

  • Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel (Grade 1-3)  
  • Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce (Grade 2-4) 
  • Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton (Grades 2-5) 
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney (Grade 5-6) 
  • Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski (Grade 2-4) 
  • Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka (Grade 3-5) 
  • Magic Tree house fact tracker series- Nonfiction (Grade 2-6) 
  • Hank Zipzer series (Grade 4-6) 
  • A to Z Mysteries series (Grade 3-5) 
  • Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold (Grade 1-2) 
  • Timmy in Trouble by Holly Webb (Grade 3-5) 

Junior High/High School Struggling Reader Book List 

Graphic novels and high interest low readability books (Hi-Lo) that have engaging, age appropriate topics with accessible language and reading level for older struggling readers.  

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier 
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson 
  • Saving Grad by Karen Spafford-Fitz 
  • POV by Ted Staunton 
  • A Horse Called Courage by Anne Schraff 
  • Shatterproof by Jocelyn Shipley 
  • Running Behind by Sylvia Taekema 
  • Riot Act by Diane Tullson 
  • Food Freak by Alex Van Tol 
  • Instafamous by Evan Jacobs 
  • Casting Life by Holly Bennett 
  • He Who Dreams by Melanie Florence