Sprinkle in Learning, All Summer Long

Riding bikes, playing catch, eating popsicles, tossing water balloons, running barefoot! Everyone loves summer’s rites of passage and all children deserve to experience them. In addition to spending lots of time playing and exploring outdoors, children can continue learning with a little bit of support from the adults in their lives. Does this mean hours and hours at the kitchen table doing school work? Not at all. Instead, a pinch of ‘academic rigor’ can be sprinkled in to each day in such a way that kids won’t even realize they’re learning. They’ll just think that they are having fun! If you’re an educator, here are a few ideas for you to share with parents and families to help them keep the learning momentum going -- stress free -- all summer long!

Get involved in community activities.

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Splash Into Summer

With summer break right around the corner, it’s time for teachers and families alike to start planning activities that will keep kids thinking, creating, and learning in fresh, fun, summertime kinds of ways. Let’s be honest, no adult wants to hear ‘I’m bored’ all summer long, and no child wants to feel bored, either! As much as kids may say they want a break from the structure of their school days, the truth is that most kids do better when they have some sort of daily routine, sprinkled with lots of joy, of course.

No matter how old the children in your life are, there are gobs of ways for them to stay happily active and engaged. So whether you’re a parent or caregiver searching for things to do, or a teacher sharing ideas with families before the end of the school year, check out our bucket list of activities that will help everyone splash into summer.

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Science of Reading

“There is nothing permanent except change.”

No, this quote wasn’t coined by your school superintendent, building principal or grade level team leader, although it surely could have been. It was actually first stated by Heraclitus of Ephesus, an Ancient Greek philosopher who, believe it or not, never taught in an elementary school! Anyone in education would surely agree that teachers are the most flexible of people…ready to embrace change on a daily basis. Sometimes the change is imposed, yet other times, we seek out change ourselves. For example, when we see a colleague using a new strategy or concept that we haven’t tried before, we often find ourselves looking forward to incorporating the new idea, or parts of it, into our own instruction. Yet when larger movements like Science of Reading come along, there is less of a “oh, I like that neat little idea…maybe I’ll give it a whirl in my own class” type of vibe, and more of a total shift in thinking and teaching.

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Express Yourself

Bottling up feelings is never a good idea, and today’s children would likely need multiple warehouses filled with gallon upon gallon to store theirs in! There’s no doubt about it, we are living in an increasingly stressful world, which is why it has never been more important to get our students talking about their feelings.

Carving out time for kids to verbally express themselves during the school day not only builds mentally stronger young people and shows that they’re cared about; it also better prepares them to tackle future problems on their own. Studies have even found that after expressing their feelings in a structured & meaningful way, students are then more likely to be interested in and successful with content area learning. 

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Can We Talk?

Have you ever peeked your head into a bright, cheerful preschool classroom and walked away thinking things like ‘They’re just so darn cute!’ or ‘They have such fun, playing all day!’ ?

On one hand, you would be (mostly) accurate … the children are adorable and there definitely is time carved out for play (which, by the way, is children’s work). On the other hand, look (or should I say ‘listen’) a little closer, and you’ll notice that as children are playing house, painting pictures, building blocks, and looking at picture books, they’re also – ideally - engaged in conversations with one another.

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Recent Posts
Splash Into Summer
Science of Reading
Express Yourself
Can We Talk?