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4 ways to kick off your summer a little early

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For many teachers, summer break is already here. But if you're one of the lucky few with a couple weeks of school left, there's no need to be jealous. Instead, get a little creative and make it through the next few weeks by kicking off your summer a little early. Try these guilt-free summer planning activities:

For many teachers, summer break is already here. But if you're one of the lucky few with a couple weeks of school left, there's no need to be jealous. Instead, get a little creative and make it through the next few weeks by kicking off your summer a little early.

Try these guilt-free summer planning activities:

1. Dream up the ultimate summer reading list. If you've got the end-of-the-year blues, cheer yourself up by thinking about all the books you're going to read this summer. Here are a few of our favorite book lists to help you get started:

2. Start strategizing for summer school. Take some of the stress out of summer school by making your plans now while you're still in teacher mode. Go through the year's lesson plans and activities, collecting anything you might be able to adapt for your summer school class. You could even start brainstorming ways to keep students engaged during hot summer days--check out this post for ideas.

3. Make vacation plans that double as lesson plans. Thinking about a trip to New York this summer, or considering a visit to a national park? Plan to take your camera along so you can bring back pictures and videos of historical artifacts, natural wonders, or famous artworks, and you've got vacation plans that double as lesson plans! Which means it's absolutely OK to start thinking about your plans a little early.

4. Investigate next year's technologies. Go ahead, play around on the iPhone, Kindle, or iPad. You might even want to download a few new reading apps to try out over the summer. Whether you're out of school or not, now's a great time to start test-driving the technologies you'd like to incorporate in your classroom next year (or just someday when you have the funds).

What do you do to kick off your summer? And if you're still in school, what are you doing to get a jump on the summer break?

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