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Summer Fun Learning Collection

Dear Parents,

The 2014-2015 school year is just about over and what a successful one it has been. Each day was full of meaningful activity and with the continuation of our School’s philosophy and the new additions and changes to the program, all students’ achievement was notable.

The heat of the sun is almost here and with the summer months just around the corner, we wanted to provide you with some ideas on how to keep your child’s mind, body and spirit engaged while out of school.

Please review this list of ideas. We hope you will enjoy implementing them with your child! We will be in our offices most of the summer, so if you wish to talk about the implementation of any of them, please feel free to call us!

We will miss all of the children and will be so happy when the new school year arrives! Warm regards,

Arvi Balseiro Cheryl Rogers Tracy Ross

Head of School Principal Laura Cushman Academy Director Summer Skills Math Workbook

Keep your math skills sharp by completing the required math workbook that you will receive in a few weeks. Remember to cut out and use the manipulatives that are in the back of the book. Bring the completed book to your child’s teacher on the first day of school.


Turn off the television and computer and engage in physical activity: Physical activity develops the students’ sensory system which later leads to academic and social success. It also helps prevent the silent epidemic of childhood obesity. If your child is able to join a summer team such as for swimming or softball, or play outdoors in Cushman’s camp or at home, it is a wonderful way for him or her to develop teamwork and collaboration skills. Learning the values of helping, sharing, listening, respecting, and participating are all highly important life skills.

Time to Imagine

Very often, television, automated toys that don’t evoke interaction, and computers occupy very important time in young children’s lives. There is not doubt that if they didn’t have them, they would be less passive and would have the opportunity to be imaginative. When given the space and encouraged to create, children will entertain themselves naturally, without adult intervention or sophisticated equipment. Creativity simply comes from being in a place where it is allowed to happen... spontaneously. During the summer, children should have lots of opportunity to physically move, interact with other children, develop curiosity and create. When given the opportunity to take advantage of the full use of ones senses, children are at ‘play.’ Remember that

daydreaming and imaginative play promote the child’s perceptual maturity, emotional growth and creative development. TV inhibits each of these and interferes tremendously with children learning how to play.

Make plans: Let your child help you schedule his or her day, plan a meal, or assign chores. This helps children structure their activities and learn to meet deadlines.

Create a job:Encourage your child to create his or her own job. Children can pet sit, or even take care of your neighbors’ plants while they are on vacation. These activities help children learn about responsibility and financial literacy. Older children can even babysit. You can take a babysitting course offered by the Red Cross.

Learn from the community: Miami is full of exciting historical landmarks and sites that are stimulating such as Vizcaya, the Barnacle, and the Everglades National Park. We also have museums such as the Bass Museum in Miami Beach or places to learn about animals and nature such as the Metro Zoo, Fairchild Tropical Garden, or Jungle Island. These are great family locations that will provide a lot of discussion opportunities for you and your child.

Tech Savvy? Create a summer Podcast or video! If you are tech savvy, it would be great fun to have your child document his or her summer experience through a video or Podcast. Have your child give oral descriptions of where he or she is as well as any comments. This is a great way to build oral language as it requires the child to synthesize his or her information. If you do, please bring it to school upon your child’s return because we would love to see it!



Help your child develop his or her reading skills and love of reading... all while having great fun!

! Create cozy spots for reading. Look around your home and find a little nook that would make for a good reading spot. You just need good lighting, some pillows and stuffed animals, and of course, reading materials.

! Provide a variety of high interest reading materials. With your child, look at the books you already have in your home and select some to place in the new reading nook. Include comic books, children’s magazines....anything that your child can read! Have a special bucket that these books can be stored in.

! Take your child to the library and sign him/her up for the summer reading program. If your child is eligible, get him/her a library card. In this manner, your child can develop a sense of ownership and will want to return to the library again.

! If you are planning a family trip this summer, ask the librarian for

suggestions on reading materials about this location. For example, if you are planning to visit Thomas Edison’s summer home, encourage your child to read a biography (at his/her level) about Edison or study one of his inventions.

! Read as a family. After dinner, sit down and read a good book aloud. Consider reading a classic together—maybe one that you enjoyed as a child. By listening to great stories, your child may become encouraged to read one on his/her own. In this way, your child will also grow to appreciate fine literature.

! Subscribe to a children’s magazine. Children enjoy reading a variety of reading materials. The Children’s Television Workshop publishes educational magazines including Sesame Street Magazine. The National Wildlife Federation publishes Ranger Rick and My Big Backyard. Others children enjoy include Highlights. ! Visit the bookstore. See below.

! Take a reading vacation. If you plan traveling this summer, contact your

destination’s Chamber of Commerce or Hospitality Center. Ask them to send you brochures or flyers. This will prepare your child for the wonderful adventure that awaits him/her! Also, if you are visiting a place that has books set in that

location, read that book together as a family prior to that visit.

! Online reading. This site provides a variety of free stories to read online. Reading Aloud

Reading to your child nightly is a very important time for children to develop vocabulary and hear and learn about voice inflection, natural pauses, and the different genre.

Through questioning strategies as you read, you child will also develop analytical thinking patterns as he or she begins to understanding basic story grammar.

Barnes and Nobles Summer Reading Program DESTINATION IMAGINATION! Stop by Barnes and Nobles and sign your child up for their summer reading program. This is a wonderful opportunity for your friends and family to become involved with the


development of your child’s love for reading. Through this program, young readers are provided with the chance to earn free books!

Use this valuable experience to encourage your child to develop his or her own reading preference, examine with you the various genres and the difference between fiction and non-fiction, nurture vocabulary and analytical skills and motivate them to extend their reading through the summer.

It’s so easy to earn a free book! Just follow these simple steps:

! Read any (8) books of your choosing. This can also include ‘buddy reading (you and your child reading together. Your child can read any book....not just those purchased from Barnes and Noble... library books, books borrowed from friends, or books from your own home library.

! Record  them  on  the  Barnes  and  Noble  Summer  Reading  Journal.  

! Bring  your  completed  Reading  Journal  to  a  Barnes  &  Noble  

! Choose  your  FREE  book  from  their  list.  

Feel free to visit the Barnes and Noble site!

Enjoy these websites for free online books:

** In addition to this reading program, please also feel free to contact Mrs. Montero (Cushman’s media specialist) for additional reading recommendations.


Start a journal, diary, or scrapbook: These types of activities encourage children to write, organize their thoughts, and spur creativity. You can start simply with a notebook and pencil. Have your child spend 10 minutes a day writing about his or her daily fun! Of course you can also create more elaborate journals or scrapbooks. Craft stores, such as Michaels in Aventura, have a vast selection of scrapbook materials.


Your child is not too young to simply play! While always thinking what is best for young children and the many kinds of opportunities we can offer them, play continues to be the most important activity for them. Play is the activity that is freely chosen by the children. Through play, they choose what they want to play with, how they use it and exactly where this play experience takes them. Through play, children explore their relationships and the world they live in. Play encourages children to be flexible as they


learn to adapt to the challenges they may encounter. When providing your child with play opportunities, remember the following:

! Play provides opportunity for taking risks and meeting challenges within a safe environment.

! Play should be active...not passive. Children should be busy doing! ! Children should be able to play in their own way.

! There are not necessarily any products or results to show at the end. ! Play is simply FUN!


Take out the water colors or tempera and brushes and provide your child with the artful avenue of expression! You may even want to get an easel so your child feels like a real artist! Remember… let your child select the colors of his or her choice when painting☺ Learn about Volunteerism

Help your child to become involved in an organization of interest or passion by becoming a volunteer. Volunteering as a family is a wonderful way to share common interests and goals while learning the importance of giving of oneself.


! The Grocery Store: The grocery store is one of the best examples of a place where math is real.

1.) Getting ready for shopping: To develop an awareness of cost discounts, have your child help you look through the paper to find and cut out coupons. This also helps your child develop fine motor skills. Your child can organize them by classifying them for you. If your child can add larger numbers, have him/her determine how much money will be saved on various items.

2.) Take your child grocery shopping: Estimating and adding up the grocery bill helps your child practice his or her math skills. Let him or her choose the fruits and vegetables that he or she learned about through our gardening program this year and allow him or her to show you how to make healthy choices.

3.) Weighing in: One fun place to try out estimation and measurement skills in the grocery store is the produce section! Help your child examine the scale. Explain that pounds are divided into smaller parts called ounces and that 16 ounces equals a pound. Gather the produce you are purchasing. Have your child estimate the weight of each item. Then compare against the real weight. If you are purchasing two items such as peppers and potatoes, ask your child which would weigh more, 6 peppers or 6 potatoes? Be creative with your questions!

! Become a Statistician! Does your child love baseball? Have him or her keep a summer log of the stats of his or her favorite players. Help your child compute and then compare ERAs, RBIs and other percentages.


! Fun with Geometry: The neighborhood and stores are full of geometric shapes. Take your child on a walking tour of an area. Have him/her notice the different shapes. Other questions you can pose are: Which shapes have flat sides? Which have circles within them? Have your child do a scavenger hunt... looking for pyramids, rectangles, fractions, objects with parallel or perpendicular lines, symmetry, etc.

! Fractions in Every Day Life: Fractions can be loads of fun and they can be found all over the house! Next time you order pizza, have your child notice the ‘whole’ pie. Ask... How many equal parts are there (slices)? How many equal slices are equal to half of the pizza? If we shared the pizza, would you rather have 1/8 or 3/8? So....then which do you think is more...1/8 or 3/8?

Fold paper towels or napkins into large and small fractional parts. Start with halves and move to fourths, eighths... etc. Use magic markers to label them. Fruits are a delicious way to see fractions. Use an apple cutter and cut the apple into its equal parts. Now do the same with a grapefruit or orange... If you have a sweet tooth, fractions can be seen in Hershey’s bars too! Enjoy eating your way through fractions!

Have your child make sandwiches....cutting them in halves and fourths. Pack them up and spend an afternoon in the park!

! Measuring while Cooking: Have your child cook with you this summer. Use a variety of measuring tools and let your child measure out the amounts needed. Cooking is a wonderful way to establish a hobby together while having fun and learning!


Not only will cooking be a fun way to spend time with your child, but he or she will develop math skills and learn to appreciate other cultures! Each week select a different ethnic recipe to make. Then show your child this location on a map. Use each experience to talk about why people eat different foods and how people are different in other ways. You can even read books about the country your food is from. Plan a vacation: Going on vacation? Have your child help plan it out! Once you select the destination, have him or her figure out the cost of hotels, transportation, entertainment and food. Make it more challenging by giving him or her a budget! Get puzzled: Play Sudoku or Scrabble with your children. These types of activities encourage children to think and solve problems. Find Sudoku puzzles or Scrabble on the Web or in book and game stores.


Purchase puzzles & LEGOS and let them be ‘works in progress.’ Have a LEGO and/or puzzle family night and enjoy designing, building and completing them together as it takes ‘teamwork!’

Remember that puzzles are a wonderful way for children to learn to solve problems while gaining a tactile and visual sense of where one thing is located in relation to another. Puzzles are a great way for the family to become involved and through them, meaningful conversation will emerge.