Summer is a time for barbeques, swimming pools, vacations, and lazy summer nights. But for teachers and students around the country, summer is also a time for something else: more school.
Whether the students are struggling readers or just seeking enrichment, summer school can be a challenge for the best of teachers. How can you keep your students engaged and excited during summer school? We've got three new activities to help the hours fly by.
Beach Ball Vocab Toss
Materials: Inflatable beach ball, permanent marker, list of vocabulary words
Instructions: Toss around a beach ball and practice vocabulary while you're at it. To prepare, inflate the beach ball and write vocabulary words all over it with the permanent marker. Have students sit in their desks or form a circle on the ground, and toss the beach ball around the class. Whoever catches the ball finds the word closest to his or her right thumb and has to define it or use it in a sentence.
Example: Need a list of words? Try using the Imagine Learning sight words from the Level 2 Supplemental Guide. If you're not familiar with the Supplemental Guide, click here to learn more about Imagine Learning.
Summer Reading Show-and-Tell
Materials: Books for students to read and objects students bring from home
Instructions: Summer reading can be such an important and fun part of class. To encourage your students to read and to share what they read in a fun way, have them choose any book from the library and read it at home. Then, assign students to bring in a creative show-and-tell object related to the book to share with the class.
Example: Tell students to bring in an object that might be found in the main character's trash can, something that represents the main character well, or something the main character would like to find.
Letter Scavenger Hunts
Materials: Small objects to place around the classroom and printouts of each letter in the alphabet (e.g., the Imagine Learning letter printouts from the Level 1 Resource Guide)
Instructions: To practice letters and have a little fun at the same time, set up letter scavenger hunts. Print off each letter of the alphabet and hang up the printouts around the classroom. Then, divide the class into teams or let them search on their own for things that begin with each letter. You can work on a letter a day together as a class, or you can assign a letter to each team. You could even make it a month-long activity and set up baskets to collect items that start with each letter.
Example: Students could collect small items after school and bring them in. Or, if students need a break during the day, you could strategically place some small items around the room for them to find – safety pins for S, pennies for P, buttons for B.
Do you have any tips or ideas for surviving summer school? How do you keeps students engaged?