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