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   We’ve had a great year and learned a lot!  As summer approaches, we wanted to give you some suggestions to help your child practice the skills and strategies that s/he has learned this year.  

   The Metuchen Public Library has a wonderful summer program and many enticing books to help practice reading and comprehension strategies.  If s/he doesn’t have his/her own library card, consider getting one.  Having your own library card is a powerful thing!  Barnes and Noble also has a summer reading program where the prizes are free books!

     Talk to your child about what s/he is reading.  You don’t have to know every detail in the book, but a conversation about what s/he finds interesting or how it relates his/her own life can demonstrate comprehension.  Summer is a great time for family read alouds, too.

   Ms. Anderson's family likes to play games on long trips in the car.  “My Candle’s Out” is a fun game that can emphasize story structure, character, setting, problem/solution, etc.  Here’s how to play:  Someone begins a story, tells a little and then says “My Candle’s Out”.  From there the next person continues the story just a little more, and then s/he says, “My Candle’s Out”.  Everyone who is playing gets one or more turns to add on to the story until someone chooses to create an ending.

   Mrs. Zaleck’s suggestion is to create a story train.  One person starts the story on an index card.  Another person comes along and hops onboard and adds to the story, a detail about the setting or a character.  The story continues as people visit your home and add onto the story.  Please only allow one index card per person. Some suggestions for a story include an adventure, a fantasy, a mystery, realistic fiction, or historical fiction (great way to tie in reading).  This is a wonderful way to keep kids reading and writing over the summer.  One year, my family took up an entire kitchen with the story we wrote.  

    Travelling is a great time to explore the history, geography, flora and fauna, and weather of an area.  Google can even teach you a lot about wherever you go.  If you go to the beach, have your student teach the family what they learned at Sandy Hook.

   Don’t forget math skills.  Cooking is a great way to practice using fractions.  Our websites have many links to fun computer games that are great for fact practice and other skills we worked on this year, too.  The better they know their facts, the easier it is to apply them to new skills next year.

   Finally, don’t forget to take some time for your child to relax and recharge before fourth grade.  Have a wonderful summer!