Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Learning

Well, it's summer already, and summer vacation is a day away for me.

Being a teacher. . .I should probably encourage a little learning/study time over the summer. And I do! The following is something that I've enclosed in and end of the year packet for my students (So . . . in reading it, you will find that most of it is intended for the upper elementary level. But--there are some websites that are very applicable to lower grade levels as well!)

I realize that many of my "points" are adapted from websites and the like, but if you intend to reproduce this, please credit it to Susan @ My Humble Words (and insert blog website). Thank you, kindly!

Interested in a Little Learning this Summer?

Here are a few ideas of how learning can continue in the summer. Short learning sessions throughout the summer can be very productive and very fun! The following activities are some ideas that enhance learning that could be done at home:
* Explore a summer reading program at your local library.
* Use a children's cookbook to read and follow directions to make favorite foods. Directions in cookbooks can be simplified by numbering them to assist with sequencing.
* Encourage child to read the newspaper. Some newspapers have special pages for children. *Encourage reading of any type. Reluctant readers might enjoy books on tape to listen to as they read.
* Read to the child and talk about the book or stories.
* If possible, have child read books that could be used for book reports next school year.
* Improve vocabulary by learning three new words a week. Post the words on the refrigerator and talk about them each day. Encourage vocabulary improvement through use of "Word a Day Calendars."
* Have the child write post cards to grandparents or friends. Make "child size" post cards using 4X6 cards. Divide one side in half using a dark line. Make lines on one side for the address and lines on the other side for the message. Have the child draw a picture on the reverse side or cut one from a magazine.
* Older children could write in a journal each day. Encourage two or three sentences. Read about places that the student will visit on vacation. Have the student write about them in a letter or journal
* Write a letter to family or friends. Reluctant writers benefit from filling in the blanks or dictating the letter to an adult and then copying it.
* Use computer games to learn math facts, improve reading and vocabulary.
* Listen to math facts on tape or CDs (this can even be done in the car).
* Match or sort coins depending on child's age or add random sets of coins
(Adapted from

Some websites to explore for Summer Learning:

"Parents and families are the first and most important teachers. If families teach a love of learning, it can make all the difference in the world to our children."-Richard W. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education

Reading Activities
A LIFETIME OF READING -- Encourage lifelong reading. Read with your youngsters by taking roles in stories and acting out dramatic poems. Whenever possible, tape record these sessions. Then listen to and enjoy these performances together.
STREET SMARTS -- Put reading skills to practical use. Gather bus and subway route maps and schedules to a special place in your area -- the zoo, a museum, a football stadium. Let your child plan a trip for friends or family. Figure out the travel time required, the cost, and the best time to make the trip.
TV AND THE WORLD -- Connect current events to TV viewing. Post a world map next to the TV set. Watch the TV news with your children and have them locate world news spots. Keep reference books such as dictionaries close by.
Writing Activities
PICTURE STORIES -- Develop imagination and creativity. Have your children select four or five pictures from magazines and newspapers, and put them together to tell a story. Ask your children to number the pictures -- 1,2,3, etc. First, ask them to tell the story with the pictures in numerical order. Rearrange the pictures & tell a new story.
WRITING INSTEAD OF TALKING -- Exchange notes instead of words at different times during the day -- when getting up in the morning, at dinner, or at bedtime -- or whenever the noise level becomes too high.

Math Activities
A TRIP TO THE SUPERMARKET -- Plan ahead with the 3 R's. Ask your child to choose a dish to prepare for a meal -- a pudding, a salad, a sandwich. Have your child check to see what supplies are on hand and then make a shopping list. At the supermarket, let your child select the food on the list. First, your child decides which items are the best buys and makes selections. Also have your child write the price of each item on the list and if possible figure the total, checking the prices against the sales receipt.
ON THE MOVE -- Sharpen math skills on trips. Use even short trips around town. For example, at the gas station, ask your child how much gas you needed and the cost. On the highway, ask your children to read the signs and check the different speed limits. Then ask them to watch the speedometer readings and notice how fast or slow the car is going. Have your children estimate distances between cities and check the estimates on a road map.
NEWSPAPER MATH -- Use the Weather section to check temperatures across the nation and the world. This is good geography practice, too. Discuss baseball and football scores and averages on the sports pages. Who are the high scores? What are the percentages?

Social Studies Activities
A CLOSER LOOK -- Help your children become aware of family responsibilities. Make a chart of family chores, including the name of the person responsible, the days and time required, etc. Discuss changes or improvements of these jobs.
HISTORY TIME LINE -- Record history at home. Stretch a roll of shelf paper along the floor. Use a ruler to make a line about three feet long. (Use a separate sheet for each child.) Ask your children to fill in the important dates in their own lives, starting with their birth.
THE FOREIGN TOUCH -- Travel abroad at home. Visit ethnic shops, food stores, and restaurants in your community. Before the trip, have your children find on a map different countries you will "visit." After the trip, encourage your children to talk about what they have seen.
(Adapted from

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