Thursday, May 28, 2020

Letter to parents and students on the last day of school   

May 28, 2020
Dear Parents and Students,

I have enjoyed working with your child this year in the Learning Center and through Distance Learning.  We have all grown so much…including me!  Many of you have asked for some tips to help your student retain skills and continue learning throughout the summer.  Here are some ideas and tips to help you weave some learning into your daily activities this summer.  You can also access my blog at: for more resources than are listed here.

Reading:  Keep in mind, there are 5 essential components of reading.  1. Phonics: Sound/Symbol  2.  Phonemic Awareness: Blending/Segmenting etc.  3.  Vocabulary  4. Fluency  5.  Reading Comprehension (For more about reading: )
  • Read daily for 10 minutes per your child’s grade level.  For example, if they are in 1st grade 10 minutes, 2nd grade 20 minutes, 3rd grade 30 minutes, etc.  Attached are some reading strategies to try at home.

  • Some reading websites (may also be aps):
    • Epic: Digital reading library:
    • Learning Ally: A parent recommended this excellent resource and it is especially good for students with reading difficulties. Assistive Technology, Audio books, etc. 
    •  This is similar to the SRI reading program we have at school in that students read books and can take a short quiz on the book.  There are many activities for children to choose from. Great for young readers!
    • Scholastic Book Flix:  Username: folsomhills  Password:  bookflix; Video, audio, read along books.  Great for young readers. Put on the video then have them read along the book. 
    • Regular books!  There is nothing better than a real book in your hands and reading with your child.  The best!

  • The Folsom Public Library is closed due to the COVID-19 shutdown.  They have curbside check out, are available by appointment, have e-books available, and are still doing their Summer Reading Challenge.  916-461-6130 Check out their website:

  • Get a bridging book for your student and work in it each day.  You can get them from lots of places.  I got mine from, but you can also find them at Lakeshore Learning, Costco, and other stores.  Here are the some examples:
    • Summer Bridge Activities: 3rd to 4th grade ISBN #:781604-18820
    • Summer Bridge Activities: K to 1, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 etc.

  • A DOL (Daily Oral Language or Language Review) Book is terrific practice for capitalization, grammar and punctuation. These books give the wrong grammar, punctuation, language, and the student makes the corrections.  (I dropped off your child’s DOL and DLP books to them so they would have hard copy materials. These are good skill builders to do for about 5 minutes per day). These activities help you see where your child needs additional instruction.
  • School resources:  i-ready, Readlive (if you are set up), Clever (Benchmark, Lexia), All the Write Type, etc.  These are available through our school website.  Your child may know their username and password by heart, but if not, please get it from your child’s teacher before the last day of school.  I’m not sure how long these will be available through summer especially since we have been distance learning.  They are usually available through July. 

  • Practice the sight words!  Make flashcards and play games with the words that don’t look like they sound.  You can find sight word lists on my blog. I have sent these out many times, but if you need them again, send me an e-mail and I will send you a list.

  • Learn math facts to automaticity (memorize):  addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Flash cards, CD’s, songs, practice in the car when driving on road trips, etc.

  • Use “everyday” experiences to practice math.   For example, give your child money to pay for a souvenir on vacation.  Have them figure out the change they should receive.   Cook and bake with your child to learn about measurement. Practice telling time.  

  • If your child prefers paper/pencil math, like I do, there are also some great common core workbooks and aps you can find to keep your child thinking and calculating. 

Fun Brain

Math Playground
o    3-5th Grades
Math Fact Cafe

Arcademic Skill Builders

Practice your multiplication!

Math Fact Cafe

  • Remember writing is a recipe.  We always have the same basic ingredients of topic sentence, details, and concluding sentence.  Depending on the genre (opinion, narrative, informational), there will be other special ingredients and steps needed to get your story written. 

  • Have your child keep a journal of daily, weekly or vacation activities.
  • Have your child “retell” or write a summary about stories or books they have read or even a movie they saw. 

  • Practice using transition words, expanding their vocabulary with synonyms.

  • For Handwriting: 


    • Handwriting without Tears website for about $10 (or on Amazon and other marketplaces for various prices).
    • “All the Right Type” is a typing program available on our Folsom Hills Website. Keyboarding is becoming an important component to our curriculum and this is a great way to help your child learn this valuable skill.  Again, your child must have their username and password so please secure that from their teacher before school ends on May 28th.  

Parent enrichment: 
  • Books:  I have a personal library of books with ideas about learning.  Here are a few books and websites to help you enrich your own knowledge and may give you more ideas about how to help your children learn. 
    • Overcoming Dyslexia, Sally Shawitz M.D.
    • The Nurtured Heart Approach:  Transforming The Difficult Child, Howard Glasser, MA and Jennifer Easley, MA, Self published by Howard Glasser, e-mail-, 1998
    • All the Math You’ll Ever Need:  A Self-Teaching Guide, Steve Slavin, John Wiley and Sons, Inc, 1999
    • Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?:  A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, Carol McCloud and David Messing
  • Websites:

Research shows children sharpen memory and improve focus using mind games and tools like mnemonics (poems, songs, games) or “tie” their new learning with something they already know (existing knowledge).  There are lots of language arts and math games you can play with your children.   Family game night with fun games like UNO, Pictionary, Yatzee, card games, etc. are a wonderful way to spend time together and help your children learn.  Arts, crafts, music and movement help children learn so many different skills in a fun way.  Do those things or sign your kids up for the activities that interest them. 

I cannot copy and duplicate many materials due to our paper shortage and budget constraints.  If there is something in particular you need, let me know ASAP and I will do my best to get it for you. 
I set up my blog in response to the COVID-19 shutdown of schools.  I have scanned many resources for you to access as you like.  To access the blog:  The best way to contact me is through e-mail during the school year. 

I hope you enjoy your well deserved summer break.  May it be filled with making lots of new memories.  Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.  For those of you moving on to the middle school, I will miss you and hope you will visit sometime.  I will see the rest of you in August!

Very warmest regards,

Teri Fields, M.A. SpEd                                                            
Education Specialist, Mild/Moderate                                      
Folsom Hills Elementary School  
916-294-9135 ext. 121

*Note:  Special thanks to Patty Braun, Empire Oaks Resource Teacher, Jeanne Cramer, SJ Gallardo Classroom Teacher, and Jenae Cooper, parent for contributing resources and ideas for this letter. 

***Special extra kudos and thanks to Tina Magorian and Jennifer Lim for being the best teaching partners ever. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

To my students and parents,                                                                                                              

I'm posting this letter from April 25, 2020 as a reminder of a plan to help you with distance learning. I gave a copy of this letter to many of you with your hard copy materials, but forgot to post it here.  It's still a good plan and I hope you are all following it.  Relationships and routine are the keys to success in everything.  

I have been working with many of my students on various assignments and projects.  I have also been available to work with students individually via telephone or teleconference.  I'm here if you need anything.  Just give me a call or an e-mail.  

We are entering the last days of school. We have 8 days left.  As we are winding down, I hope you are hanging in there and can get through your last assignments and will continue with the routines I gave you throughout the past two months. Sticking with the routine when you are at home can be difficult.  I will be posting some ideas to carry you through the summer months.  Please watch for those ideas in a future posting. 

This has been the weirdest time ever!  We don't get to have our end of the year party or fun activities we usually have to close out our school year.  There are lots of changes happening and lots of unknowns.  One thing we know is that you are resilient and will adjust.  You have been adjusting, working hard, getting close to your parents and families, zooming with your teachers and friends, and experiencing all kinds of new things.  If this is the "new normal" then we will continue to adjust and "go with the flow'.  Although the "new normal" is somewhat scary and painful, it's also a time of great growth. 

No matter what the new school year will be like, I can't wait to see you all person....or through zoom.....or however it all happens.  Please remember we can get through anything together and we will rise above anything that comes our way.  

Lots of positive vibes, elbow bumps, virtual hugs, high fives in the air, and lot of rainbows, are wished to you all.  

Mrs. Fields 

Hello from Mrs. Fields, 
                                                                                                                                                                   April 25, 2020

Welcome to more information about distance learning. We are delivering some printed materials to you today. We are finding it has been easier for our students to have a combination of on-line tools and printed tools to help them stay on track. 
Relationship, routine, and movement are important at this time.

Relationship:  Please keep open lines of communication open with us!  Your classroom teacher, and learning center teachers are here for you.  If you work with a speech/language therapist or occupational therapist, they are here for you as well.  We are all trying to get materials into your hands to help you.
Routine:  If you have already created a routine that’s working for you, please continue doing that.  If you need help with a routine, here is our recommendation:

Classroom Routine:

  • ·        Do at least one ELA assignment your classroom teacher has assigned through Schoology.  For example:  Read pages in your Benchmark text, annotate, and take notes.
  • ·        Do at least two pages of math.  This means the Reteach page and the Practice page each day for the lesson your teacher has assigned.
  • ·         Math facts:  Learn them to AUTOMATICITY.  That means MEMORIZE them. 

Learning Center Routine:

  • ·         DOL (Daily Oral Language): Do one to 5 activities (Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri) per day
  • ·         DLP:  (Daily Language Practice:  Do one to 5 activities (Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri) per day
  • ·        Strategies for Comprehension:  Do 1-3 strategies per week.  There are 12 strategies. They are short. If you do 3 per week, you will have learned all the strategies by the end of the school year.
  • ·         Math: Do one word problem or a page of math in the Interactive Math Packet (If you have one)


  • ·         Readlive: I’d like you to log in at least 2-4 times per week and practice your reading
  • ·         i-Ready: Reading and Math
  • ·         Other lessons assigned through Google Classroom or Schoology by your Classroom teacher or Ms. Tina.
  • ·         Explore the websites I sent out the first week of our closure.  Examples:  Kahn Academy, Book Adventure, etc
  • ·         Explore and use the school websites:  All the Write Type, Nitro Type, Lexia, Other aps available through Clever
  • ·         Check Mrs. Fields blog for more ideas, updates, and messages.
  • ·         Read a book and write about it. Do a book report, book summary, journal, etc.


Get out and move every day. Take a walk, a run or a bike ride. You can even walk around your house.  Get up and stand at least once per hour………every 15 minutes might be better for you. 

We miss you and think about you every day.

Elbow bump,
Mrs. Fields, Mrs. Lim, and Ms. Tina

Monday, April 27, 2020

Fourth Grade Opinion Writing Assignment
Text:  Developing a Nation  Unit 7 Grade 4

Articles:    The Open Road (Historic Route 66)
                   Building the Transcontinental Railroad
                   The Oregon Trail

Due: 05/01/2020
Please share your final essay via google docs with your teachers

Essay Prompt:   "In your opinion, which of these pathways did the most to connect people and places?"

Data Gathering Graphic Organizers:   

Blank Organizer  (Data Gathering)

Student Brainstormed Organizer  (from zoom meeting 04/24/2020)

Mrs. Fields' Organizer

Pre-Planning Organizer (Blank)

Pre-Planning Organizer (Transcontinental RR) (from zoom meeting 04/27/2020)

Pre-Planning Organizer (Route 66) (from zoom meeting 04/28/2020)

Zoom meeting on 04/29/2020, discussed introduction and conclusion.

The writing process:
  • First we will write the Reason/Evidence Paragraphs (The Middle)

  • Next, we will write the Introduction Paragraph  (The Beginning)

  • Lastly, we will write the Conclusion Paragraph (The End)

We will be using the Mneumonic:  OREO  (Opinion, Reason, Evidence, Opinion (Restate)

The Actual Assignment:  

What you are learning? – How the Oregon Trail, the Transcontinental Railroad, and Route 66 connected communities across North America.

What you need to do while you are learning? – Make a list of the different ways each pathway helped connect communities across North America.

What you need to do next? – Look at your list and pick the pathway that did the most to connect people and places.  Use the graphic organizer (provided in google classroom/ reading support) and fill it out.
Lastly – Take the information from your graphic organizer and write a 5 paragraph essay:

Essay Prompt:   "In your opinion, which of these pathways did the most to connect people and places?"

What the end product should include if possible:

Your goal is to write 5 well written paragraphs (a minimum of 5 sentences each).   Aim to include 1-2 pieces of text evidence from 2 sources (any of the stories from this unit 7 text) in each of your 3 body paragraphs. Your opinion should be clear. Try to use language that will persuade your reader. Good luck and I can't wait to read these!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Math Review and Practice                          3rd Grade

These lessons are from a book called "Common Core Math 3 ways.... for 3rd Grade".  I have scanned the lessons in groups.  These lessons would be good for reviewing the 3rd grade concepts from the entire school year and to learn new concepts. The last file has math fluency practice, tools, resources, and the answers.  Use the lessons however you want and need to improve and solidify your math skills.  This is supplemental material to support the Scott Foresman Curriculum adopted by our district. It is not meant to replace the math curriculum being taught in the general education classroom.

Unit 1 through 5 ( Numbers and Operations in Base Ten: Using Place Value to Round Whole Numbers; Estimate Sums and Differences; Add Whole Numbers; Subtract Whole Numbers
Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Solve Two-Step Word Problems)

Unit 6 through 11 (Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Meaning of Multiplication; Properties of Multiplication; Patterns in Multiplication; Multiply by Multiples of ten; Meaning of division; Fact Families for Multiplication and Division)

Unit 12 through 17 (Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Solve Multiplication and Division Problems; Use Multiplication or Division to Find the Missing Number
Number and Operations-Fractions: Understand Fractions; Fractions on a Number Line; Equivalent Fractions; Compare Fractions)

Unit 18 through 23 (Measurement and Data and Geometry: Time to the Minute; Grams, Kilograms, Liters; Measure Length to the Nearest Quarter Inch; Make and Use Pictographs; Make and Use Bar Graphs; Understand Perimeter)

Unit 24 through 27; Math Fluency Practice, Math Resources, Answer Key  (Understand Area, Find Area; Quadrilaterals; Partition Shapes)

Distance Learning is Happening

Wowie!  I'm so impressed at how everyone is working hard and figuring out Schoology, Zoom, Readlive and all the other on-line resources.  Our kids, parents, and teachers are amazing and resilient.  I wish I could post pictures, examples, and names of people who are really rocking this home schooling situation. On the other hand, it's also been quite challenging, frustrating, stressful, and sometimes feels very overwhelming to many of us.  A friend of mine from Alaska sent me this letter that was posted on an on-line post, and I just have to share it with all of you today.

April 17, 2020

Don't stress about schoolwork. In September, I will get your children back on track. I am a teacher and that's my superpower.  What I can't fix is social-emotional trauma that prevents the brain from learning. So right now, I just need you to share your calm, share your strength, and share your laughter with your children. No kids are ahead. No kids are behind. Your children are exactly where they need to be.  

With love, 
All the teachers on planet Earth  

I want to thank all of my parents and students for being patient with me and all of us as we navigate this very unprecedented time together.  I do "direct" (face to face) teaching all day, every day, so this on-line learning is a huge learning/teaching curve for me as well.  Many of my students and their parents are computer whizzes and many are not.  Even when I understand the technology, it has been difficult because my hardware and software has many gliches, roadblocks, security, etc. that prevents my activities from running smoothly.   I'm sure you all have the same issues.  I tell myself to "just keep swimming."

I want to communicate today some of the activities I have done and am working on to try to support you and your children.  This plan changes almost daily, so the plan may be different tomorrow.

I have posted many resources on this blog and will continue to post materials I think might help you.
I have sent many e-mails to parents and I'm trying to not to overwhelm parents and teachers.
I have collected, compiled, scanned, and copied many materials.
I have put out materials on my porch, for pick up, and have delivered many of the printed materials I have for you.
I've set up this blog.  If you can't immediately get access, request it and let me know if your don't get it.
I've received the basic training on Schoology and Zoom.
I'm working on getting my classes set up in Schoology, PowerSchool, Google Classroom etc. I've had some glitchy issues that I'm still working through.
I have asked Ms. Tina to help support you.  She is AWESOME!  You may be hearing from her through Schoology, email, or whatever means available.
I have been trying to continue with our IEP schedule and reschedule IEP's that have been missed. (This is a full time job in itself and is keeping me busy).
I've sent out this list activities as a guideline for you and your parents to follow using the printed and/or the on-line materials:

  •      Practice your sight words every day (Read, Spell, Read) If you are in the Sonday program, i have sent the list of words.  If you are not in the Sonday program, practice the Benchmark, SIPPS, or whatever words assigned by your teacher.  
  •      DOL (Daily Oral Language) Do the one your teacher gives you or the one I gave you,           whichever one is available to you. 
  •      DLP (Daily Language Practice) These are grammar activities.  I only have it available for 3rd and 4th grade.  
  •      Strategies for Comprehension:  I have these posted in groups of 3 lessons for each grade level.  If you do 3 strategies per week, you will have all 12 strategies learned by the end of the school year. 
  • Readlive:  Not everyone has this, but if you are a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader in my program, you have it.  I've sent your parents passwords.  I've also posted all the information about Readlive on this blog.  
  •      Math:  Do your reteach and practice lesson every day.  Your classroom teacher is assigning this daily and they are giving tests.  Do your best!!! 
  •      Additional Math:  I have posted some materials on this blog.  Some great review materials are Common Core 3 ways.  I only have this for first and third grade.  
  •      Math Fluency:  If you don't know your multiplication and division math facts, now is the time to practice, learn, and memorize them.  There are also math fluency materials;  Rocket math, Teddy Bear math, Math minute etc. 
  • If you want more......there is a plethora of activities for you.  I will repost the list of websites.  There are lots of things available on the School and District Website.  Remember there is:  i-Ready math and reading, Brain Pop, All the Write Type, Nitro Type, Lexia, Epic, News ELA and more. 
  • I have a small library of books on my porch, organized by Lexile Level, if you want to come get a book to read.  
  • Learn your math fact (Multiplication and Division) to automaticity.  

You should be logging in to Schoology every day and checking on what your classroom teacher is assigning and when they are holding their zoom meetings etc.

I don't want to give you all extra work.  I do want you to have a routine and have some structured activities available which is why I have sent e-mails with a schedule or checklist of things to do.  I have delivered or made available some printed materials for you.  It is my hope that you can do some of the printed materials to "warm up" and to supplement their "on-line" activities.

Also, I welcome your feedback.  Please share with me your successes, your frustrations, your questions, your concerns, and let me know what I can do to help you.  Remember if you are feeling frustrated, stop doing what you're doing, take a break and come back to it later.  You have choices to do as much or as little as you can to make this work for you and your family.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Mrs. Fields' Thought and Question for the day:  

How are we going to continue working towards our student's IEP goals during Distance Learning?  

We're going to do it the same way we do when we're at school.  We break the learning down into smaller pieces and strategies.  First, we look at the goals we've written for your child.  Then we apply strategies that will help them with each goal.

Let's start with Reading Comprehension goals.  We read for understanding and to learn new things. There are strategies we can use to get better at reading comprehension.  I usually write goals regarding learning how to distinguish, identify, and apply comprehension strategies. Here are some of the strategies we teach towards goals:

  • Identifying the Main Idea 
  • Identifying the Facts and Details
  • Sequencing the story or events 
  • Cause and Effect 
  • Compare and Contrast 
  • Making Predictions
  • Finding meaning in text (Vocabulary) 
  • Author's purpose 
  • Interpreting Figurative Language 
  • Finding the differences in real versus make believe 
  • Facts versus Opinion 

I was able to go through my materials and find some books I have with lessons for each Strategy of Comprehension.  THERE ARE 12 STRATEGIES.  I have scanned the lessons for grade levels 2 through 5.  I have listed these lessons on the Reading Comprehension Section of this blog.  I have been scanning new lessons and updating them on that page.  Please look below for your grade level and lessons. 

During distance learning, please consider learning one strategy (one lesson) per day or 3 strategies per week until the end of the school year.  These are very short lessons with only about 4-6 questions at the end of each lesson.

If you don't have a printer or don't want to print the lesson, just read the passages and questions on the computer then keep track of your answers on a piece of paper.  You can hand in your answers to me when we return to school.  That way I can monitor your progress.

What you can do to help yourself?  

One Lesson, one strategy per day is all I ask.  Just do it!  Have fun with it!  It will keep you on track to meet your goals and help you grow.  Part of the growth mindset is to set goals for yourself.  Set a goal to complete all 12 strategies and get going!

We want to keep moving through our lessons as best as you can.  Don't worry too much because we can catch up on all of these strategies next year.  I'll be cheering you on!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Tips For Parents 

I often hand these out in SST or IEP meetings when parents ask, "What can I do to help my child at home?".  Here are some ideas: 


Reading Fluency

Reading Comprehension

Behavior/  Fostering Independence 

Excerpt from "Life in the Family Zoo" book:

MIFF Techniques (Management, Involvement, Feedback, Focus):