2016 Elementary Summer Notes
We’ve compiled the various Elementary Summer Notes in one place for easy reference. Please click on the class you’re interested in to jump to that section.
Happy summer! The following is a brief summary of the summer assignments for each grade. For more details regarding each of these assignments please contact the front desk as there are copies of each assignment available if needed.
Reading and Writing
Frequently read aloud to your child regardless of their reading level. If they are interested, let them “share the book” with you. “Reading” along with you helps them develop the skills to handle a book, an interest in distinguishing the marks on a page, and, through discussion, tools for understanding a text. However, don’t force your child to work on reading if they are not excited to do so—there will be plenty of time this year for them to improve their reading skills.
Allow ample opportunity for your child to write at whatever level they are able—their spelling does not need to be correct for writing to be beneficial. Not only are they working on handwriting, they are developing an awareness of the sounds in words, and the knowledge that they can express themselves in print.
Finally, include your child in the types of literacy activities you engage in—share with them a book you love, a favorite recipe you have read over and over or a letter or an email you received—we will start the year getting inspired by how people use reading and writing in their lives, and these memories will surely come into play.
Play many games with dice, cards and counting—these experiences will help your child build their number sense and early math skills.
School Shopping List for First Grade
- A backpack to transport items to and from school
- A lunchbox for Friday lunches (we strive for Zero Waste)
- A water bottle that will live in the classroom all year.
Dear Brand New Third Grade Parents:
You may find many opportunities over the summer for your child to stretch his or her math skills in everyday life. Ask your child to tell you what time it is, to count change, to help measure and cook a recipe.
When you go on a trip, show them how to calculate mileage. Get started looking for things in groups—if there are four tires on each car, how many tires are on four cars? Mastermind, Clue, Chess, Battleship, and card games, all of these are ways to have fun using math skills and strategies. It will be important for a strong start in Third Grade for your child to know their addition and subtraction facts by heart as we will be moving on to one and two-digit multiplication and division. Please help with this with flash cards and practice at home if the facts haven’t yet been mastered.
Please make sure that your child continues to read and be read to over the summer, as a child’s reading level can slip as much as a year over the summer without practice. Our summer reading project for Third Grade is for each child to read one or two biographies at their level and report on them. You can look for age appropriate biographies in the children’s section at the library. Alternately, brainstorm with your child about people they admire, look at the library website, and reserve a book about that person to pick up at your local branch. I include a biography report sheet for your use at home. This can be returned to me in the fall. For writing over the summer, writing letters to grandparents, keeping a journal of a trip, writing shopping lists or to-do lists, there are many practical and useful ways to keep your child writing over the summer months.
Your child will not need a binder in Third Grade. We hand out a homework packet on Monday, to be returned on Friday. A daypack for carrying work and personal belongings each day is all that will be needed.
Dear 4th Grade Families,
Please find the 4th grade reading list here.
In order to prepare for our return to school in August, Matt and I have a short assignment that we’d like each incoming 4th grader to complete (below).
One of the most important things your child can do to prepare for 4th grade is to begin working on their typing/computing skills. Starting in 4th grade, and increasingly as the grades progress, computer use is a part of each child’s academic work. Each child will have their own iPad with bluetooth keyboard to use during the school day (and during daycare, when necessary to complete a homework assignment). Safe, savvy internet knowledge is becoming an integral part of a balanced education. Fourth graders will begin the year learning about how technology can be used (again, safely and in a supervised way) as a research tool, and will begin to learn how to evaluate whether a website is valid and if its information can be trusted. They will complete several projects and homework assignments through online resources. They will also use Google Docs and Pages to begin composing increasingly longer written pieces throughout the year, and Keynote/PowerPoint to create presentations.
One of the best things you can do to prepare your child for these longer writing assignments is to help them become proficient typers. During the school year, each 4th grader will receive a typing.com account; if you’d like more structured summer practice, please let me know and I can set up an account in advance. You can also find fun free or inexpensive game websites such as Typer Shark, Keyboarding Games for Kids, and Free Typing Games (though there are many more great ones out there).
It would also be extremely helpful for students to practice (while supervised) other types of computer use during the summer, such as learning the basics of webpage navigation (typing in a URL, opening a new browser tab, etc.), word processing, and/or how to use a flash drive. If you’re looking for a good place to start, try the 4th grade website, which we’ll be using throughout the year! https://sites.google.com/site/sfsmelissaholman/
If your child will not have access to a computer or iPad at home, please let me know ASAP so we can figure out a way for them to complete their assignments at school.
Last - but definitely not least - please help your 4th grader keep their math skills sharp over the summer! Multiplication will be a big part of 4th grade, building on what the students have learned in 3rd grade, so keep practicing those times tables up to 12x12! There are lots of fun practice websites, such as www.aplusmath.com, and www.funbrain.com (which also has reading and spelling games). If you use an iPad, the app Rocket Math is a great way to practice. Xtramath.com and mathfactspro.com are both free and trackable practice sites as well.
For additional math support or extension (for students looking for math challenge work), there are two more options which might be worth considering. One is The 4th Grade Summer Math Skills Sharpener workbook. The workbook costs $20 and can be ordered online at http://summerskills.com/store/index.html. The second is ALEKS, an online math program. We recommend breaking it down by working 30 minutes per day, 3 days a week for 1 month, though it can be done at your own pace. Students who want to review and reinforce 4th grade topics should sign up for the LV-4 course. Students who want more of a challenge can try the LV-5. A membership can be purchased for $20 at: http://www.aleks.com/homeschool/buy_aleks_now
Your 4th grader will need to build a Homework Kit. This is a backpack and a folder that should come back and forth to school every day, and set of home supplies that can be used to complete homework assignments, such as a ruler, scissors, pencils, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a quiet place to work. Encourage them to always keep their supplies in the same place and put them back when they’re done using them - this will help their homework go much more quickly!
If you have any questions before school begins, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com Otherwise, have a terrific summer break, and get ready for an exciting 4th grade year!
Please write us a letter and send it before the first week of school (so we can read it and get to know you a little bit before then). You can leave it in Melissa’s mailbox at school or mail it to:
Melissa Holman-Kursky and Matt Wyatt
The San Francisco School
300 Gaven Street
San Francisco, CA 94134
In the letter, we would like you to answer the following questions in full sentences. Please feel free to add anything else you’d like us to know!
- What books from the summer reading list did you pick?
- Please choose one book and tell us how you felt about it/whether you enjoyed it. Describe why or why not. Use as much detail as you can!
- What are your favorite and least favorite things to do at school? Why?
- What do you like to do outside of school? Why?
- What have you been doing this summer?
- What are your academic and personal goals for 4th grade? (For example: an academic goal would be working on multiplication tables; a personal goal might be learning to compromise when working with a partner.)
- What are you looking forward to most in 4th grade? Why?
- Is there anything you are nervous about? If so, what is it?
- Finally, please tell us your favorite school-related memory. It can be from any year.
We look forward to reading your letters and getting to know you better in the fall!
Melissa and Matt
I hope students have ample opportunities to write this summer! Whether it’s grocery lists or choose your own adventures or letters to each other, I want writing to be part of their everyday routines. I would love for students to keep a summer journal in which they record their stories, musings, and secrets. The following assignments are required:
- I LOVE getting mail, so please write me a letter telling me about yourself! This is your chance to tell me anything you want about yourself before the school year begins. If you want some suggestions of things to talk about, you can answer the following questions: What’s your family like? What are you up to this summer? If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? What’s your favorite book? favorite movie? favorite place outdoors? favorite food? favorite ice cream flavor? What are you really, really good at?
My address is:
The San Francisco School
300 Gaven Street
San Francisco, CA 94134
Make sure to include your return address so I can write you back!
- I’ve attached a list of fun writing prompts and would like you to choose THREE and try to write at least a page each. You should read through your work and make at least three changes in pen (no need to draft a final copy). These are due the first week of school and can be handwritten or typed.
One of the best things you can do to prepare your child for these longer writing assignments is to help them become proficient typers. Students already have the typing.com accounts that they used in 4th grade, which they can use for continued practice. You can also find fun free or inexpensive game websites such as Typer Shark, Keyboarding Games for Kids, and Free Typing Games (though there are many more great ones out there).
Math is everywhere treasure hunt: Students should make a list of real world math problems that come up over the next couple of months. The minimum number of problems is five (and there is no max!). They should write up the problem, making sure to give all the information necessary to solve (they do not need to solve it themselves). These should be actual REAL examples and my hope is that this is something they are adding to throughout the summer. This will be due the first week of school. Here are three real examples from my summer so far:
- While at the airport in Mexico, Talia learned that one US dollar is equal to 18 Mexican pesos. She exchanged $20. How many pesos should she get back?
- Talia had 300 pages of reading to finish for class and she had 8 days to do it. How many pages should she read each day if she wants to split it up evenly?
- Talia is making cookies for a fourth of July party and the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar. She is tripling the recipe. How many cups does she need?
Please help your 5th grader keep their math skills sharp over the summer! I would like students to enter 5th fluent with their times tables up to 12x12. There are lots of fun practice websites, such as www.aplusmath.com, and www.funbrain.com (which also has reading and spelling games). If you use an iPad, the app Rocket Math is a great way to practice. Xtramath.com and mathfactspro.com are both free and trackable practice sites as well. If you are going for a screen-free summer, good old flashcards are also an excellent choice!
For additional math support or extension (for students looking for math challenge work), there are two more options which might be worth considering. One is The 5th Grade Summer Math Skills Sharpener workbook. The workbook costs $20 and can be ordered online at http://www.summerskills.com/summer_skills_books. The second is ALEKS, an online math program. We recommend breaking it down by working 30 minutes per day, 3 days a week for 1 month, though it can be done at your own pace. Students who want to review and reinforce 5th grade topics should sign up for the LV-5 course. Students who want more of a challenge can try the LV-6. A membership can be purchased for $20 at: http://www.aleks.com/homeschool/buy_aleks_now
I hope you have all had a chance to peruse the fabulous summer reading list that Dr. Miguel Lopez put together. If not, I have attached a copy here. I would like students to read three chapter books over the summer. I am requiring that they read One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia as we will be reading the sequel next year. This book tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them. This would be a great book to read together as there is ample opportunity for discussion.
The other books are student’s choice. I highly recommend they choose from the summer reading list; however, if none of those feel just right, here is another great list of popular 5th grade books. I will be asking them on the first week back to write me a short summary of the books they chose.
Just for fun
In case boredom strikes…..Summer fun checklist
Posted July 13, 2016