Thank you for a great year, Cranberry Families! We hope your summer vacation will be a great time to relax and enjoy your family. Our teachers have worked so hard to help your children grow academically, socially, and emotionally, and we hope you will be proud of your children’s skills and excited by their stories about all they have learned.
We all look forward to many things about summer, and the break from the routine is quite welcome! Keep in mind that learning doesn’t have to stop over the summer and there are fun and easy ways to keep it going. Regular practice with reading and math can help your children retain important skills, and overcome the “brain drain” that sometimes results in summer learning loss.
Of course any summer work is up to you as a parent; if you are interested, here are some ideas:
Reading every day is FUN, and fluent reading is the single most important factor in academic success.
- Please try to find a way to incorporate reading into your child’s daily routine – even 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference in their later achievement.
- Also, we highly recommend reading together as a family. You can choose picture books, or you can choose a chapter book and read a little bit each day. Your children will love listening to the story and discussing it with you, and this is a huge support for their vocabulary and comprehension.
Here are various summer reading programs you can sign up for where you can earn books and prizes:
- THIS BOOK IS COOL! – Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (gradelevelreadingsuncoast.net) This is a program where your PreK-3rd grade child receives 20 free books! Cranberry is a Title I school, and every single student is eligible for this program! Sign up today!!!!!!
- Beanstack: Reading Challenges and Personalized Recommendations Sarasota County Libraries has a reading challenge where students can earn prizes as they read more and more!
- SSYRA - FAME: FLORIDA ASSOCIATION FOR MEDIA IN EDUCATION (floridamediaed.org) The Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) is given to 15 books at different age groupings each year. These are consistently high interest books that children love – if you are looking for a book to read as a family or if your 3rd-5th grade child is looking for books to read on their own, this is a great place to get recommendations. You can scroll down the site and find the lists from previous years for more ideas as well.
Getting fluent with math facts is a huge help to students in math throughout their lives. Different people require different amounts of practice to get solid - even practicing a few minutes a day will add up. This year we are hosting a summer math challenge for our incoming 3rd – 5th graders. If they get a “green light” on Reflex at least 30 days over the summer, they will get some prizes when we come back to school. But of course the real prize will be the confidence and ease they gain in math. 😊
See Reflex Summer Math Challenge instructions that have been sent home and are also posted here on our website.
There are also numerous apps or flashcards that you can use, or you can create your own practice sheets (and answer keys :) at this web site: Math Facts Practice
General expectations by the end of each grade:
1st - practice addition and subtraction facts up to 10 (2+4; 10 - 3)
2nd - master addition and subtraction facts up to 10 (6+ 8; 17 - 9)
3rd - practice multiplication facts up to 10 (2 x 4; 5 x 6)
4th - master multiplication and division facts up to 10 (7 x 5; 54 / 6)
5th - be able to do 20 problems in one minute for any operation
For those of you who find iReady useful, please feel free to keep letting your children complete lessons. Their accounts will stay active until July 22nd. The staff will not be checking the program, but you can use it at will.
Let’s keep the kids moving this summer! Some of them have shared goals of learning to ride a bike, and we know we have many talented athletes at Cranberry. Swimming, biking, playing games with their friends, and doing organized sports are all so beneficial for our children. Exercise is good for your body and good for your brain, so keep those growing bodies active as much as you can!
One of the best parts about summer is the unstructured time – your children may be looking forward to a break from alarm clocks and the morning rush. However, as times are changing, we notice that more and more of our children are gravitating towards electronic devices. There’s nothing wrong with downtime, but we encourage you to keep an eye on the amount of time your children are spending on electronics, as this is often a very passive form of entertainment. Spending time playing with others and doing family activities are extremely beneficial and we wanted to encourage you to build in expectations about screen-time limits and alternative sources of fun.
Also keep in mind the importance of online supervision. We have an incredible group of families and students at Cranberry, and we deeply appreciate the beautiful children you send to school here each day. Each generation has its own challenges and one of the big ones we see currently is the outsize influence from online resources. We know you are so careful with what your children are exposed to, and we appreciate your oversight in the online world as well. No one wants a stranger raising our kids, and that is a big reason why we encourage you to continue to be that “parent looking over the shoulder” when your children are on their devices. We are all in this together!
Finally, the biggest reason children end up on their devices is boredom. We all have such busy lives, but in reality our years with our children go by very fast! We wish you a summer filled with precious moments of fun and laughter, making memories that will last a lifetime.
We can’t wait to hear all your stories when we come back together in August.
Lots of love,
Your Cranberry Family