Shortcuts to Deeper Learning

Parental confession time: I don’t always interact with my children when they are doing ScootPad. For me, it’s time to get other things done around the house, with my child wonderfully engaged in thinking and learning. And the point of ScootPad is to provide independent practice across multiple areas. I love that about the platform, but as a mom who limits screen time, I still feel guilty for “plugging in” my children and not interacting with them.


As much to lessen the guilt as to enhance learning, I make a point to sometimes stretch myself beyond the usual “great job,” or “uh huh” reply they often get when they announce they have done well on a practice. So at times, I come over and look at the fireworks, or sit with them and review together what they got wrong, and why.


But sometimes, I don’t want to walk over to the other room where they do the practices. I want to sit in my chair and still enhance their thinking. Call it parental exhaustion, or summer laziness, or both. But to allow me this flexibility, I am starting a list of “across the room questions” to be able to ask them that will start a conversation and extend their thinking, without me needing to go anywhere at all. Interaction enhanced, guilt lessened, learning extended: win-win-win!

Beginning ideas:

  • What was easiest about the practice?
  • What was hardest?
  • What new vocabulary did you come across?
  • What questions did you have while reading one of the passages?
  • Did any of the passages teach you a new fact or make you think in a new way?
  • Ask an inference question about one of the topics in the reading passages.
  • Was there a new math skill that was introduced this practice?

I’d love ideas for others!


Dr. Michelle Anthony

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