Tuesday, June 2, 2009

School's Out ... Explore, Learn, Grow!

My own children have their last days of school this week. In their end-of-year newsletters, their teachers shared suggestions of what the kids should read over the summer.

The early elementary teacher recommended that my daughter read fifteen minutes per day, with a break on Saturday. The intermediate grade teacher shared her read-aloud list from the year. All the books she read this year were series books, and she read only one book from each of the series. The teacher invited the kids to read the other books from the series.

The girls are already great, motivated readers, so I am not worried about getting them to read this summer. They have our trips to the library and bookstores mapped out! As their parent, I will be suggesting they do something after they have read some of their books – so they can make connections to what they are reading. I want to see them writing, creating, organizing, and brainstorming.

There are so many activities to try on the ReadWriteThink Learning Beyond the Classroom site that can help with this.

  • We can record the books we read this summer using a Reading Record Chart.
  • I can work with my younger daughter on setting a budget and writing a shopping list using advertisements from the newspaper. She can work on her writing as well as her math skills. My older daughter can join in on this project by exploring the labels on the foods on our list. She can help us determine which foods are best for our family. We can all work together to create a new commercial for one of the products we purchased.
  • We can create a new board game to play on days when we need to stay inside. She can think through the rules and the layout and then we can make it together!
  • My older daughter can write to her favorite authors after reading some of their books. She can also read their blogs to see what the authors themselves have to say!
  • As a family, we enjoy watching the film versions of books. Our current favorite is Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Together, we can learn about filmmaking and create our own scenes based on our favorite moments from a selected book.
Regardless of what we specifically do this summer, I know we will work together on reading and writing. I want to make sure we prevent summer loss and start the school year as prepared as we can!

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