LS Summer Suggestions from the Learning Specialist

Greetings from the Lower School Learning Specialist’s Office!

It’s almost here—the lazy days of summer! You can almost feel the girls’ excitement as we approach the end of May.  The halls are abuzz with plans for camps, vacations, and no morning alarms! I think we all are looking forward to a little less structure in our days.   

As a learning specialist, my vision of a perfect summer includes at least  20 minutes of reading a day, journaling, practicing math, and a lot of swimming and playing.  Research shows that students who read over the summer gain important reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward, losing up to two months of what they learned while in school.  Neuroscientist Sally Shaywitz presents notable statistics about the benefits of reading a minimum of 20 minutes a day for all readers.

Student A

Student B

Student C

Reads 20 minutes daily

Reads 5 minutes daily

Reads 1 minute daily

3600 minutes a school year

900 minutes a school year

180 minutes a school year

Exposed to 1,800,000 words

Exposed to 282,000 words

Exposed to 8,000 words

90th percentile

50th percentile

10th percentile

In addition, daily reading is important to vocabulary development.  Books offer a much wider, more interesting, and more complicated set of vocabulary than those found in conversations or on a  screen.

As a reminder, here is the link to our Reading Bingo and summer journaling that  Ms. Schwartz created for our school-wide summer reading.

Let’s make sure to give math some summer love, too!  Just as students benefit from reading throughout the summer, regular practice with problem-solving, computation, and math facts will strengthen and maintain mathematical gains made during the school year. We recommend that you try to integrate 15-20 minutes of math activities into your child's day. For targeted grade-level practice, the Math Skills Sharpener workbook is a good choice. If you decide to purchase this workbook, please order the grade level your daughter just completed.  Board games, logic puzzles, and card games are great ways to have fun while strengthening fact recall and strategic thinking.   Additionally, your daughter’s IXL and Everyday Math online accounts will be active throughout the summer. Please email LS Math Specialist Sarah Coste  if your child has lost her login/password.  Above all else, let’s keep the girls exploring numbers and thinking about math in the world around them!

Summer is a time for fun, relaxing, camp, and vacation; thus, you may not always hit these daily goals. However, the more you try, the higher the reward in the fall.  I wish you all a beautiful summer filled with joy, laughter, and fun (and, of course, reading, writing, and math).

All the best,

Susan Bentley
Lower School Learning Specialist