Tuesday, June 16, 2015

No Summer Learning Loss Here! Resources to Help ALL Summer Long!---Part 3

Part 3: Discover MORE Reading & Learning Activities to KEEP Them Engaged
(The 3rd in a series of 5 articles)

Our first two articles in this series presented good ideas and resources to help you Build a GREAT Book List! and create a collection of Reading and Learning Games That Count! to further promote literacy and prevent any learning loss---all summer long. This week, we are adding to this list of ideas with a third installment in our series---Discover MORE Reading & Learning Activities to Keep Them Engaged!

Create a list of go-to activities to keep children interested in reading and learning. Think about including activities that will also promote and support independence, improve critical thinking and problem solving in addition to building vocabulary, reading skills and general background knowledge in your child or students. Because many parents will be at work on summer weekdays, etc., children will sometimes be in the care of grandparents or other day care providers. Choosing and creating a ready collection of engaging literacy and learning activities will encourage more productive thinking and provide children with some degree of structure for their summer days. Be sure to include clear directions and helpful information that will go a long way in the ease and consistency of use for these activities---especially for those times when parental presence or assistance is not possible. Again, this will also add to the element of independence for your child, something that becomes more and more important as a child moves through the elementary grade levels.

To help you get started in creating a great list of reading and learning activities to span various content areas (another important point to keep in mind), we have provided a categorized list of such resources to follow here. Most of these resources will be FREE or at very low cost. We hope our research efforts here on your behalf will make easy work of a task that could take days or weekso complete. We also hope that your children or those you assist in your classroom will benefit from these resources, promoting better literacy and learning skills---ALL summer long!

1. Activities to Help Build Vocabulary Skills

Collection of Vocabulary Activities (FREE)
A variety of links provided by Scholastic Books with activities and related resources to help build vocabulary skills for students in K-8.

Most Popular Vocabulary Games (Online)
1,000 FREE English vocabulary-building games---the FUN way to build vocabulary skills! Includes English language games, foreign language games and literature games.

Activities to Build Vocabulary and Word Skills (FREE)
These activities will help your child or student build a better vocabulary.

2. Activities to Help Build Reading Comprehension Skills

Super Teacher Summer Worksheets (FREE)
Printable summer puzzles, reading comprehension passages, and activities. Many of the summer worksheets in this collection are aligned with the Common Core Standards and also includes math, writing and problem-solving activities.

Reading Passages for Summer Reading (FREE)---from ReadWorks.org
Comprehension units, novel study units, reading passages for grades 6-8, lesson plans and more!

Summer Reading Worksheets and Printables (FREE)
These summer reading worksheets help make learning engaging for your child! Browse through and download our summer reading worksheets to help supplement your child's education.

3. Activities to Help Build Math Skills

Top 10 Best FREE Math Resources on the Web---by Kristen Hicks, Edudemic
Students who find math boring now may just need to be given a new way of looking at it. Naturally, the internet has come to the rescue with a wide range of math resources designed to help students see how math can be fun and useful. Here are some of the best ones out there.

Summer Activities at Math Goodies (FREE)
Research shows students lose about two months of math skills during the summer, especially for some at-risk students. Some schools have math packets to prevent the summer slide. But the packets get lost and so does the child's motivation. So what's the solution? Visit Math Goodies this summer! Math Goodies has plenty of fun activities for kids, teachers, and adult learners. Use their "goodies" either online or off line!

11 Everyday Ways to Learn Math While Having Fun (FREE)---by Lindsay Hutton, Education Network
Math is everywhere, not just in the classroom, and summer is a great time to learn how math relates to the real world. It's more than just addition and subtraction worksheets---it's everywhere you look. Keep your child learning this summer with these ways to find math in daily life.

4. Activities to Help Build Critical-Thinking & Problem-Solving Skills (Includes STEM & Science Resources)

Problem Solving Printables---from TeacherVision
This is a collection of worksheets and activities that promote problem-solving skills. The resources here include some math problem solving activities, as well.

Critical Thinking Activities for Kids---from JumpStart
Kids are open and willing to learn new fundamental skills as long as they are taught in a fun and entertaining manner. JumpStart’s critical thinking activities are therefore a great way to engage students and encourage critical thinking and logical reasoning skills in them!
A. Activities for younger children: http://www.jumpstart.com/parents/activities/critical-thinking-activities
B. Worksheets for older children: http://www.jumpstart.com/parents/worksheets/critical-thinking-worksheets

STEM: K-8 Engineering---by Leah Shaffer
General Information about STEM and STEM classes for Levels Pre-K to Gr. 8. As more K–8 programs focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, teachers are finding that chaos creates learning opportunities.
Activities & Printables: http://www.scholastic.com/browse/search/teacher?query=STEM+student+activities&as_values_09487=&channelOnly=true

Intel® Education STEM Resources---K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
Intel believes that young people are the key to solving global challenges. A solid math and science foundation coupled with skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving are crucial for their success. To help educators foster the next generation of innovators, Intel provides STEM curriculum, competitions, and online resources to encourage students' interest and participation.

For information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info and support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com