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. 

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