Summer is a time for students to build skills in critical thinking, listening, memory, visualization, and concentration through enrichment activities designed to stretch the brain and prepare students for the next grade level. Summer school gives students the opportunity to not only receive remediation in any area in which they may be struggling, but also provides enrichment opportunities.
Schools often provide students reading lists with book titles that students can read to prepare them for the year ahead. During summer school, there are many things that students can do to show their learning. Posters, dioramas and book reports are all ways students show their creativity and demonstrate what they have learned. Reader's Theater is also an excellent way for students to practice reading fluency. By reading from a script over and over, students build fluency through repetition.
Students can enrich their writing skills during summer school a writing journal. This journal should not have any limitations: students should be able to write about whatever they please. Personal narratives, short stories and poems are all welcome for inclusion. The purpose of this journal is for students to expand their creativity in the area of writing and to give them practice using the writing skills and grammar skills they have learned during the school year.
There are many online resources that students can use that provide games and activities to stimulate the brain during the sleepy summer months. Cool Math 4 Kids (coolmath4kids.com), Play Kids Games (www.playkidsgames.com), Math Playground (www.mathplayground.com) and Math E-Book (www.mathebook.net/elementary.htm) are all excellent sources of online math enrichment activities that students can use to expand their math minds. Drill practice is also important during the summer so that students do not lose their basic facts. Providing flash cards for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division is one way to keep those skills sharp.
Science and Social Studies
Science and Social Studies is best learned in a hands-on manner. Taking field trips to local museums, parks, zoos and festivals will enrich student's minds over the summer. Many museums and parks have summer-learning programs in which students can participate. In the area of Social Studies, visits to local banks, city or county government offices and local historical centers provide tour opportunities and information sessions. For schools that are unable to provide field trips during summer school, contacting those places and requesting a guest speaker to come in and speak to the class or provide activities for the students is always an option.
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