Wow, it is really the end of the year already?!? It has been so rainy and cool in our little corner of VA that I forget the end of the year is almost here.
One of my main goals for my students during the summer is to try to prevent regression of skills. A study done by Harris Cooper, a psychology professor at Duke University, showed that children lose about a month of their academic achievement over the summer. For students in special education (and really all students) this is HUGE!
Fun Stuff At Home
A few years ago I created a calendar to give to my students that will provides a prompt for a skill to work on each day of summer vacation. This could be something as simple as a question to discuss, reciting the alphabet, going on a number hunt etc. My hope is that this will help my students retain some of the skills that they have worked so hard on all year. There is a great post on this on a blog called Kindergarten Nana where she shares what she does with her students at the end of the year and what she sends home.
Summer is also a great time for students to get their creative juices flowing. As we know, kids love to get dirty! A favorite summer experiment in my house is making flubber, seeing reactions when combining baking soda & vinegar, and. This year, my husband has introduced my boys to Steve Spangler. I see lots of experiments in our summer and lots of video watching so I can find some great new ideas to implement next year.
Fun & Free Stuff In VA
This year I am adding some of the local free activities going on in our area. To help with this I am going to refer to a great Virginia website that is called My Active Child. It features a calendar that lists all of the free(or cheap) activities going on in the area. You can also find information about where to have birthday parties, coupons, local museums, etc. This is a fantastic resource for busy teachers and moms!
Don't Forget To Send A Postcard!
One last thing I like to give my students are a few postcards or envelopes stamped and addressed to me so that they can write to me about their summer happenings. When students write to me, I always write them back. If you are not comfortable with students having your home address you can give your email or address the envelopes to reach you at school.
How do you encourage your students to keep their skills fresh in the summer? Please share your ideas in the comments below and have a great end of the year.