Round Up Of Tips, Ideas, And Activities
During the summer, there are lots of opportunities to do activities that blend academics and fun. This helps kids to practice and maintain concepts and skills already covered and also gives them chances to see how these concepts matter in real life.
Here is a round up of different tips, ideas and activities that I have shared in the past that I feel are still relevant and worth revisiting.
Math is often thought of as lots of calculations, worksheets, equations and critical thinking activities, but in fact, math is used in almost every decision and action that we make on a daily basis. Math is everywhere around you. We use math for most activities without even realizing it. In my blog post Tips For School And Home:How To Help Primary Kids With Math, I suggested a few different activities for sorting and classifying, measurement, estimation, time, geometry, fractions, and basic operations.
In Math Real Life Activities For Children I talk about math in the kitchen, math in the workshop, shopping and math, and working with money. These are only a few ways that math can be connected to real life situations at home as well as at school.
Language Arts - Reading and writing are only a couple of the components of language arts. In my blog post Tips For School And Home: How To Help Kids With Language Arts, I share several different suggestions and activities for the various aspects of language arts.
It is important to note that language development starts at home and then is refined at school. There are many different ways to promote language development with reading, writing, and oral communication activities. I shared ideas and resources for phonics and vocabulary development, reading, writing, and oral communication in the above mentioned post.
If you are looking for more ideas that will help with reading and writing for students that struggle in these areas, check out the following posts:
Motivatiing Reluctant Readers
Tips For Helping Struggling Writers In The Classroom
Just take a look around you and think about the various things you see and the things you do and if you start to analyze them, you will be amazed at how they involve science. Science is involved in every aspect of our lives. At school, kids are introduced to some of the basics, and various experiments and investigations are done. At home, more of these types of activities can happen and deeper learning can be accomplished.
In my blog post, Tips For School And Home: How To Help Kids With Science, I break science down into different categories to help with providing a broad glimpse into the world of science. Hopefully, this will inspire kids to look further and continue to learn about the marvels around them.
You will find some tips and ideas for chemistry, biology and life sciences, earth science, and several different areas of physics.
Science Ideas For School And Home also gives some more ideas and possible activities that might be fun to try.
Social Studies is the study of people and their relationships to other people and the world. For young children, it starts with family and then spreads out to community, regions, provinces, states, or territories, and from there, to countries and the world.
It can be broken up into 5 different categories: geography, history, culture and society, civics and government, and economics. I wrote 2 posts last year because there was so much to cover.
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Social Studies talks about geography, history, and culture, heritage and traditions and gives some ideas and possible resources that might work.
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Social Studies Part 2 This blog post focuses on the rights and responsibilities of people and regional leaders, relationships between people and the environment, multicultural awareness and diversity, and the interactions of First Nations people and early settlers.
Social Studies Ideas And Activities For Outdoors also provides some tips and activities for learning more about the area where we live and the surrounding environment.
In my final instalment, Tips For Summer Support: How To Help Primary Kids, I focus on finding creative ways to do academic activities to make learning fun during the summer break.
Well there you have a selection of tips and activities for the various academic areas that can be used to help kids keep learning throughout the summer while they are enjoying their holiday break.
I hope that these tips and ideas have given you some inspiration for ways to keep the learning going while having fun during the summer break.
Summer Break Is Here
Most teachers are exhausted and need to take a break. Kids are also needing a break, however, it is important to remember to find a balance between taking a break from school and continuing to practice skills and concepts learned throughout the year.
Thinking about doing school work may seem daunting, but there are many ways to make academics fun during the summer.
Summer Learning Opportunities
Some places have some great summer camps and summer school activities available for kids. Not all of these options are available for all kids because of cost, but there may be some that are available in your area. The public library may also have activities and programs available for the kids.
Where I live, we are fortunate because there are many different summer school activities happening in our school district. These courses are available to any of our students for free, so it opens the door for all kids to participate. My daughter-in-law is doing a session on science and art and she plans on getting outdoors to do science activities in the nearby forest and at the beach as part of her activities. What a great way to take what has been learned into the real world. Many other sessions also involve academics and sports or other real life experiences.
Connecting academics and fun activities helps to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the summer. This really makes a difference when they return to school. I think we have all experienced something like the "summer slide" when we have not used a skill for a long time. I think this is especially true during the time we spent doing everything differently because of the pandemic.
Now that we are approaching a summer that is more in character with what we were used to, we need to reacquaint ourselves to the types of activities and experiences we used to take for granted.
The Importance Of Review After A Break
Let's be honest, not many of us remember the math and science concepts we learned in school unless we are using them now or we have been revisiting them for teaching. That doesn't mean we can't review them and do a refresh for our brains. Languages are the same. They become rusty if we don't use them for a long time. It's like we go into a "memory fog".
When I stopped teaching music in French, I didn't use my French for several years. It took some time for me to feel comfortable using it again. Once I got going, it did come back and I was able to go into my grandson's classroom and start volunteering there. I also tutored some middle school late immersion students. During the pandemic, I haven't been using it, so I feel that I will need to refresh again, but it will be much faster this time.
Kids also forget what they have learned if they don't revisit it often. It sometimes feels like they need to relearn almost everything when they return after a long break. That is why it is important to do some sort of review teaching as we begin a new term with them. Reviewing old skills and concepts before introducing new ones may sometimes feel like it takes too much time, but without it, many kids will be left behind because they won't truly be able to understand the new concepts. In the long term, that review that is done when they return will reap many benefits down the road.
Last year, I wrote a series of blog posts of tips for supporting primary kids during the summer. Next week I will be doing a roundup of different teaching tips and ideas for summer. In the meantime, check out my related posts at the end of this blog posts for some ideas.
If you are just wrapping up your school year, I hope you have a wonderful and refreshing summer break. If you are part way through your break already, I hope it has been relaxing or adventurous and that you have been able to recharge as you prepare for a new school year in a few weeks. Happy summer everyone!
Preparing For The End Of The Year
The end of the year is quickly approaching and there are many different emotions happening for teachers and students. Some people are looking forward to the school year being over and others are dreading it. Some are anxious because they have so much more to cover and so little time to do it. Others are trying to fill the days with activities that keep kids engaged as their attention wanes.
I remember being in the staffroom as the year was ending and there were countdowns on the board. One teacher used to have a roll of toilet paper with the number of teaching days on it. She would tear off a page each day.
I was one of the ones who wasn't counting the days because there were so many things I still wanted to accomplish before the year ended. It wasn't just curriculum, but other activities. I felt rushed when I saw the days counting down. As much as I was looking forward to a summer break, I didn't want the year to end because it meant saying goodbye to my students.
How Summer Activities Will Help Avoid Bigger Learning Gaps
It is a different situation this year because teachers are so burnt out dealing with the challenges of teaching during a pandemic. Not only have they been juggling the online/in person situation, they are dealing with the realities of all the academic challenges that have faced them this year.
I was fortunate enough to be able to finally go in and help some students last month. I saw some of the challenges first hand as teachers struggled to meet the wide range of academic and social needs of the kids. It was very evident that distance learning worked well for some and didn't work at all for others.
In order for the gap to close, it will be important for learning to continue throughout the summer break. The reality is that for some kids, this is not going to happen. The gap will be even greater in the fall when they return to school. This means that we will have to look at our teaching with a different lens. We can't just teach to the curriculum or the test. Too many students will be left behind if we do.
Last week I talked a bit about using differentiation and accommodations in the classroom to help students to move towards the levels needed and expected for their grade level. This week I would like to talk more about what kinds of things can be done to help kids continue learning throughout the summer.
I realize that some school districts are finishing up now and others have another few weeks to go, but in my mind, it is never too early to think about ways to extend learning.
How Summer Slide Can Be Avoided With Real Life Activities
I strongly believe that the best learning happens when it is connected to real world situations and daily life experiences. That is one of the reasons I tend to use projects for some of my assignments throughout the year.
I also think kids need to know why they are learning different skills and concepts. When they are given real life examples, they can see the purpose in what they are learning and it will make more sense to them.
Technology is like a two-edged sword. Although it is great for many things, it also has negative side effects when used too much, especially by kids. It can cause a lack of attention to things happening around them, and it can interrupt potential in-person social connections. Communication and partner activities can also be affected.
I think that the summer time is a great time to unplug and get outdoors. The weather is generally better and the days are longer. There are so many different activities that can be done outside. It is not necessary to take a vacation in order to have fun. There are lots of ways to enjoy learning and doing just where you are.
Tips For Summer Learning
Last year, I focused on the various subject areas and gave some suggestions and tips for how to continue learning during the summer. You can check them out for more ideas.
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Language Arts
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Math
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Science
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Social Studies
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Social Studies Part 2
Tips For Summer Support: How To Help Primary Kids
I hope you will find some time for yourself as you prepare for the end of school and summer break. Hopefully, you will find some helpful tips here to make summer learning work for your students.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.