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Wildcat Summer Challenges

Summer slide is the phrase used to describe the slide backwards that many children make in reading  and math skills over the summer. It’s possible for a child to regress 2-3 months back in terms of reading level, meaning they could start school in September at the same reading level they were at in April of the previous year.

Summer slide can happen to even the brightest kids, and it doesn’t need to be over a long period of time – even a couple of weeks away from school can soften skills.

You can combat summer slide by encouraging your child to devote a small bit of time each day to keeping up skills. Reading for as little as 20 minutes a day can keep the dreaded slide at bay and may very well increase reading skills over the summer.

Check out the Wildcat Math Fact Challenge and Reading Challenges Below.  

Math Fact Challenge

If your child completes 25 days of practicing math fluency and completes their log they will earn an extra recess and a chance to participate in a Math Throwdown.

Practicing facts regularly will prepare students not only for the assessment, but for their overall math studies. Learning math facts is essential to doing well in math. Learning independent study skills is essential to doing well in school. This is an ideal time for children to learn to develop study skills by practicing math facts. Your children’s job is to practice. Your job is to support them and to make sure they have the tools to succeed.

To prevent this “summer slide” each student will be required to complete skills practice each week and record his or her time on the tracker that is provided.  If your child is entering:

TK/Kinders – He or she should practice counting objects.  They should practice touching the item, saying the number and sliding it or moving it to a separate pile. 

First Grade – He or she should have an understanding of sums and differences, simple pattern skills, single digit addition and subtraction.

Second Grade – He or she should have an understanding of sums and differences, simple pattern skills, single digit addition and subtraction, and ordering numbers.                       

Third Grade – He or she must be able to fluently add and subtract numbers from 1-20.  He or she should have an understanding of sums and differences, simple pattern skills, single digit addition and subtraction, ordering numbers and beginning multiplication, and basic word problems.

Fourth Grade – He or she must be able to fluently multiply and divide numbers from 1-10.  Students should have an understanding of place value, ordering of fractions and basic word problems.

Fifth Grade – He or she must be able to fluently multiply and divide numbers from 1-10.  He or she should develop fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, comparing fractions, multi-digit multiplication, division and subtraction across zeros.


Online Activities These websites offer printable work as well.

Students can always practice with flashcards or orally in the car, dinner table, at the dentist, etc.

After your child has completed at least 10 minutes of practice, for 25 days, they need to record their work on the log and turn it into the office.

Log:  MathLog



Reading Challenge:  8 BOOKS or 1,000 PAGES IS ALL IT TAKES!

All students are assessed in reading/ language arts within the first two weeks of school.  Assessments are done in order to find a child’s just right reading level for instructional support.  As parents, the gift you can give your child is continued reading support throughout the summer.  Reading on a daily basis will help them to at least maintain their current reading level, enabling them to jump right into their new curriculum in the fall.  Studies show that children slip back at a much faster rate than they move forward, and summer typically is a time when children spend less time visiting books.  One specific study, out of the Harvard School of Reading, showed that children who read 8 books (at the child’s just right level) over the summer break actually improved their reading levels when assessed at the beginning of their new school year.   Reading is the foundation of all other curricular areas – science, language arts, math, everything! 


Please continue to read with your child this summer.  The Livermore Public Library has a summer reading program.  It is a great program that includes prizes to motivate children throughout the summer.  Visit the library to sign up.  Barnes and Noble has  a reading program called “Imagination Destination” where children can earn a free book for reading eight stories this summer.  Finally, is a free online reading program that is similar to Accelerated Reader – where you can track your child’s comprehension and they take short online quizzes after reading a book.   


We also highly recommend a book to parents called, 7 Keys to Comprehension, How to Help Your Kids Read it and Get, by Susan Zimmerman and Chryse Hutchins (ISBN 0-7615-1549-6).  The book is written by reading teachers and specialists just for parents.  It is an easy read that will give you the language we use in class and allow you to engage in challenging book discussions with your children this summer.  Please consider purchasing this for your home library – you will be able to reference it for all the years of your child’s education.


Turn the TV and video games off a little and encourage some fun summer reading.


                          “The more you read, the better reader you become.

                              The more you read, the better writer you become.

                              The more you read, the better speller you become.”


By reading “8 just right” books or 1,000 pages this summer, your Wildcat can earn a “tasty” surprise next fall.  Please complete the log and return it to the office by Wednesday, August 21st.   Enjoy your summer - and keep reading!


****TK/K/1st can participate by logging the books that are read aloud to them AND/OR practicing their site words and letter names and sounds. 


 Reading Log:  ReadingLog