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Avery Middle School

Greetings AMS Families!
As another summer break is just a few days away, I wonder how many of our parents/guardians plan to have their middle school student(s) playing video games all summer until school starts up again? I hope the answer is zero! Below is
an article from the Edutopia website titled “Seven Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss” (Barbara Dianis; June 11,
Summer is upon us once again, and parents are beginning to plan for their children's days without a school
schedule. Dreams of days filled with family, friends, freedom and laughter are in students' heads as they say
goodbye to another school year. However, a nonacademic summer can cause students at every grade level to
digress two to three months in their academic skills. Half an hour to an hour set aside daily can help students
close learning gaps and perform at higher levels during the upcoming school year. Summer is an ideal time
for students of all ages to strengthen their academic skills while still having plenty of time left over for summer activities.
1. Make Time for Learning
Set aside time for your student to read each day during the summer break -- 15 to 30 minutes per day is all it
takes! During the summer, students have more time to read for enjoyment, which also offers a great opportunity to preserve and strengthen their reading skills. Your summer activities should include taking your children or teenagers to the public library to check out books of interest and/or any summer reading groups
they'd like to join.
2. Learn and Practice Affixes
Children and teens of all grade levels can improve their reading and spelling skills by learning affixes. Most
multi-syllable words include prefixes and suffixes added to a base word. You can find a list of affixes and
their meanings in a dictionary or in many online sources. To make this practice appealing, turn it into a
game! Students can create flashcards of prefixes and suffixes. On the reverse side of each affix flash card,
they should write the meaning. All children love guessing games and can point out what they think the affix
means. You can also use this game to help them learn new vocabulary words.
3. Develop Math Skills
Though it may not seem fun to them at the time, working on just three to four math problems per day during
the summer can prevent students' mathematical skills from getting rusty. They can look at it as a daily challenge that they must complete, or a daily "to-do" to proudly check off their calendar. Parents can purchase a
math workbook for their child's academic level at most bookstores. Working on just a few problems daily (or
more, if your child enjoys math) can help students of all ages close the gaps in their math skills, preserve
what they learned during the previous school year, and prepare for the next.
4. Improve Reading Comprehension
To help your children better understand what they're reading, consider offering them a reading comprehension workbook to work on several minutes daily. These can be found at teacher supply stores or many online
outlets. Students of all grades and ability levels can benefit scholastically by working with material that offers
self-quizzes and high-interest stories. This practice helps develop their fact-retaining and inference-making
5. Review and Build Grammar Skills
Review the past grade level's grammar concepts, and begin to work on the next school year's concepts. During the summer, students benefit from weekly reviews or pre-learning two to four lessons. Find workbooks
geared to their grade or skill level, and encourage them to check their work using the answer key provided.
Even if they make mistakes on their answers (and who doesn't make mistakes?), finally filling in the correct
answers will reinforce their grammar skills.
6. Encourage Creative Writing
Creative writing is a great way to improve your children's written language skills while giving them a fun and
imaginative activity during the summer! Have your student write a creative paragraph each week. As a parent, you can help by assisting him or her with choosing a "topic" (such as a family vacation, special outing or
holiday memory) to write a paragraph about. Students can also benefit from using a thesaurus and changing
several common words to more interesting words. This will make their writing more interesting while learning
great new words at the same time.
7. Focus on Specific Skills
Pinpoint the subjects your child had the most trouble learning the previous school year, and make sure to fit
in some practice in these areas. Summer is an ideal time to set aside just 15 to 30 minutes a day for helping
your student on areas of difficulty. Again, use every resource available to you! Parents are not helpless when
it comes to their child's education. Online resources and teacher supply stores offer a wide variety of learning
materials, workbooks, computer games, and other types of games to reinforce and strengthen scholastic skills.
Students may wish to play learning games with their friends to help make the time fly by and make learning
more fun.
Over the summer, students and parents who practice the above tips can see great strengthening and improvement in scholastic skills, and avoid digressing two to three months in learning. Summer learning can be fun
and challenging at the same time. Students may find learning to be more fun as they become more capable of
meeting scholastic challenges and overcoming any learning weaknesses. By implementing a summer plan and
igniting your child's passion for learning, he or she can enjoy a renewed sense of academic self-esteem and
dignity -- wonderful benefits of learning not to be "counted out."
Have a great summer, Scott Nicotero