Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Learning

I made this aiming it at parents

Summer vacation is here for many of you, while some others have a few more days to go until their vacation starts.  Please be sure though it is not a vacation from learning!   I hope that this article will assist you in helping your child continuing to learn over the summer, while having fun!  Since my 10 years of experience in education has mainly been in the primary grades (K-3), that will be my focus for this article.  Here are some ways that you can keep your child engaged at while at home this summer:

Reading
  • Please make sure that your child reads for at least 20-30 minutes daily (can be broken down into smaller amounts).  It is also important that you include time to: read to your child, read with your child, and have your child read to you.  They can also read to pets or stuffed animals too!  In addition, they can spend some time listening to reading (internet sites or audio books) which helps them to become better readers as well.  I will blog at another time with some great websites for this.
  • Check out your local library!  Although rereading books is very important for students developing fluency, being engaged in reading is very important as well.  Before you go, have your child make a list: topics that they want to learn about, favorite authors, and any books that have been on their wishlist.

Writing
  • Some children naturally love writing, and others...not so much.  You can help engage them however!  Sometimes buying a special journal will help make them want to spend time writing in it.
  • Stationary can be an excellent way for children to see a purpose, and to practice writing to family and friends who live anywhere. They can practice their writing skills electronically too by e-mailing.
  • Stickers and stamps can also be great incentives. Many teachers (including myself) use them in the classroom.  You can have your child choose a few to make a picture about, and then have them write about their picture.
  • Going grovery shopping?  Have your child help to make the grocery list, and then mark items off after you find them in the store.
Word Study
  • Most districts in this area have similar expectations when it comes to being able to spell words.  Most districts expect that students leaving kindergarten know the first 25-30 words on the "Fry List," first 100 by the end of 1st grade, first 200 by the end of 2nd grade, and the first 300 by the end of 3rd grade.  I will include more ways to practice at home on a later blog.
  • There are a lot of fun ways that children can practice these words at home!  Talking paintbrushes and "painting" water words onto the sidewalk is one way.  They can also take sidewalk chalk and write them out as well.
  • If your child likes technology, Spelling City is a great website where their are pre-programmed list, or you can customize a list with the words that your child needs to practice.
  • This site also offers a variety of ideas to practice those words at home over the summer. 
Math
  • Xtramath is a fantastic website which pre-tests your child on their +,-,x, and / skills (it starts with addition and then goes from their as needed).  This site keeps track of which facts your child knows, and then in small amounts, teaches them new facts until they master them.  One session take about 10 minutes a day, but you can do it more often than that.  I know that it really helped my 1st graders this year to develop their fact fluency!
  • Review shapes and go on a shape hunt around your community with a camera.  You can then make the pictures into a "all about shapes" book  integrating literacy.
  • Practice counting...you can print off/copy multiple sheets and have your child set a goal for how high they will be able to count by the end of summer.  It is important that they can do it both orally, and in writing.
Science
  • This is a great time to try out some science experiments while at home!  This site has some great ideas!
Social Studies
  • Explore your community!
  • Discuss the different goods and services that are provided around the community.
  • If you travel at all, compare and contrast your community with the community that you visit.  Some children enjoy making scrapbooks about their travels as well which integrates writing.
Additional Summer Learning Resources
HAPPY LEARNING!  :)

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