It’s hard to believe that we are in the final days of the school year!
Next week’s newsletter will include a lot of important end of year information, including supply lists, suggested summer reading lists, and ways to stayed engaged and become involved next school year. You will most likely not receive a class newsletter from your child’s teacher next week, but you will receive a community newsletter.
This week’s cover photo showcases the fourth and fifth grade staff of the Janney Jaguar, the student newspaper. Your child received a copy of the newspaper in this week’s THT. The newspaper contains many engaging stories. Congratulations to the staff and teacher sponsors! You might have noticed that the cover story mentions Janney Days, a book written by members of the Janney community that tells the story of Janney’s unique history. More information on how to purchase the book can be found in the PTA letter below.
Finally, on June 16th the Tenley Triathletes will compete in a kids’ triathlon in Bethesda. The race serves as a fundraiser for JUST TRYAN IT. This organization provides financial assistance to families in treatment for pediatric cancers, and one of the organization’s STARS is former Janney student Abby Furco. Please consider joining the team or coming out to cheer on Abby and members of the Janney community on June 16th.
Tonight’s newsletter contains an announcement regarding Janney+ staff departures, and the weekly student support services column written by our school psychologist, Dr. Margaret Mallory.
I look forward to seeing you at our Community Meeting TONIGHT at 6pm in the cafeteria.
It has been a wonderful year filled with fun and learning. The Janney+ Program has the good fortune of employing tremendous staff members that have served the community well with their service, hard work and dedication. A big thank you to all of them!
With the closing of each school year, it is difficult to say goodbye to staff. In particular, the Janney+ Executive Board would like to thank our departing Executive Director, Lynn Bauer, and Language Program Director, Celine Legein, and wish them well in their new opportunities.
We are excited to announce that Marybel Escada, a Janney+ language instructor since September 2013 and the current Assistant JELP Program Director, has accepted the position of incoming Language Program Director. A native French speaker, Marybel has taught French as a second language to young children for 15 years.
The Executive Board of Janney+, a Janney parent-led non-profit, will conduct a thorough search to identify an Executive Director who can build upon the strong foundation and continue the legacy of excellent programming here at Janney. In the meantime, if there are any questions or concerns, please contact the Board Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Janney+ Board
Student Support Services Column
The time that the kids have been waiting for is finally around the corner – Summer Break. Please allow yourselves and your children time to decompress from the academic rigor to which your children have become accustomed. While we want to ensure that our students are prepared for the challenges that come with their advancing grade level, we also want to make sure that there is time built into the schedule for fun and frolic. Enjoy those vacations to the beach and to see family (whether local or abroad), the time spent at camp, or simply winding down at home. The time goes by fast!
That being said, in an effort to address the slide in academics that is inevitable during the summer months, there are ways to sneak in academics that are fun and enjoyable for all. The best way is to incorporate learning in everyday activities. I’ve compiled some tips from various writers from GreatSchools.org. This week’s suggestions are literacy-skills focused; next week’s newsletter will contain suggestions for math skills.
To Enhance Literacy Skills:
Have your child read the directions for how to play a new game.
As you prepare a meal for the family, find a recipe and have your child write what you need and how much before you go to the grocery store. Then have your child help you find what’s needed in the grocery store and subsequently read the recipe aloud as it is being prepared.
Play the Synonym game.Your child gets points for every synonym he/she can come up with. Ask your child, for example, “What’s another word for couch?” While he/she are likely to suggest ‘sofa’ or ‘futon,’ help him/her build vocabulary by adding ‘divan’ and ‘settee.’
During the family vacation, encourage your child to create a scrapbook that can be a lasting souvenir of family adventures.Collect postcards, brochures and menus from restaurants and tourist attractions. Then encourage your child to write descriptions of the places you visited and tell stories about your family’s experiences.
Play the Sentence Building game.For example, start with a flower and ask your child the color of the flower.Then ask them to create a full sentence (“The flower is red”). Ask for more information about the flower. If your child says that the flower has green leaves, help them incorporate that detail into a sentence: “The red flower has green leaves.” Keep building until your child has created a long sentence – for example, “The red flower with green leaves grows under the trees in my backyard.”
Watch TV with the sound off and closed captioning on.
Engage in simple Science experiments:How long does it take an ice cube to melt outside in the summer heat? In the refrigerator? In an air-conditioned room? Have your child write their predictions and the results. You can even help your child develop a graph of the results.
For younger students, to promote vocabulary, play the Alphabet Game during road trips: One person chooses the right side of the road, and the other chooses the left. Call out objects that you see in alphabetical order. The first person to get to the letter “z” wins.
Take advantage of audiobooks via Learning Ally – it has the largest library of human-read audiobooks (not a monotonous computer generated “voice”) featuring literature, popular fiction and curriculum-aligned titles.Your child can follow along with the text on a computer or a tablet since words are highlighted as they are spoken – this can enhance both reading fluency and vocabulary.
To enhance fluency, make your own audiobook. Practice reading a favorite story with your child until he/she feels comfortable and familiar with it. Then record him/her reading on your cell phone or computer. Playback the recording so your child can hear how he/she sounds, and then do it again until he/she is happy with the result. When you have a polished version, present it as a gift to a friend or grandparent.
Set aside time each day to read. Track the books your child reads and reward him/her with a special activity or treat when he/she reaches certain milestones (e.g., every 5th book).
Join the Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge – kids can enter their summer reading minutes online, unlocking digital rewards as they complete weekly reading challenges, and they can access book excerpts, videos, and other summer exclusive content.
To enhance comprehension, after reading a few paragraphs of a story, ask your child if he/she can predict what is going to happen next. Discuss how he/she came up with his/her predictions and check them once you start reading again to see if he/she’s doing a good job of understanding the story. If his/her prediction is close to what actually happens next, your child will know that he/she’s following the story well. If his/her prediction is way off, he/she will know to reread some parts again.
For younger children, if the book has pictures, encourage your child to look at them carefully for clues.