Summer is a time to invigorate, relax, and be present for family and friends.
Each child has his/her own unique academic abilities, social-emotional needs, interests, and personality. The summer is time for your child to have moments connecting with family and friends, to unplug, and to go outside and play, explore and discover something new. At the same time, children will enjoy a balance of some structure and lots of free time.
Children have different needs and the summer is the perfect time to review and refresh skills as well as have carefree days. This website is a curation of resources designed to give parent choices for children, "a place to fish," and specific ideas and learning aids for times where your child's learning can be more informally structured to provide balance and support throughout the summer months.
Applying Math to Everyday Life
- Ask your child to estimate the total cost of a few items purchased, distance, temperature, or angles in an architectural structure; then compare to the actual number. Check actual measurements using receipts, GPS, Google Maps, rulers, tape measures, thermometers, weather.com, or Google Earth.
- Color code measuring cups and spoons, marking the ¼ teaspoon and ¼ cup red, and the ½ teaspoon and ½ cup blue. Adding visual clues can help children to identify similar measurements and fractions. The next time you're in the kitchen, have your child help you measure out the ingredients by using these tools.
- Do you give your children allowance? Working with them to spend even a very small amount of money in a store can help them practice addition and subtraction.
- Cook or bake with your child. Ask your child to pick his favorite recipe to make and buy the items together in the grocery store. Challenge older children to do the math and double the recipe or double the budget.
- While at a restaurant or while traveling, discuss the concept of tipping and have your older child calculate the tip.
- See if your bank has an online program to teach your child about saving money. Start an "online" piggy bank.
- Consider engaging your child in the process of choosing and then buy your child the analog watch of choice to wear.
- Make sure you have at least one analog clock in the house; the kitchen is a great place to have one.
- Practice telling time on both analog and digital clocks.
- Create a schedule for the day with your child and connect it to what the time looks like on a clock.
- Bake a cake or something and then figure out the "now" time and the "done" time for when the cake comes out of the oven using an analog clock and/or a digital clock. Note that the clock you choose to use will be dependent on the skill you are practicing. For example, if you are just adding minutes to time then a digital clock may work; if you are adding minutes and practicing time telling then you want to use an analog clock.
Basic Skill Practice
Search by grade level, skill, or topic to find what you need for your child.
- Math is Fun
- Cool Math
- Math Playground
- IXL: Grade 2-5 have an account through EMS.
- Math Arcade
- Calculation Nation: Uses the power of the web to let students challenge opponents from anywhere in the world. At the same time, students are able to challenge themselves by investigating significant mathematical content and practicing fundamental skills. The element of competition add an extra layer of excitement. For interested parents of incoming fourth- and fifth-graders. The website is designed for upper elementary and middle school children. Feel free to set up an account in Calculation Nation with your child. Remember to help your child choose an appropriate online (screen)name and consider the following:
- An online (screen)name has the potential to become permanently associated with your child, so guidance is critical. It should not contain real or identifying names.
- As with any account, remind your child not to share personal information.
- Search for parental controls or information to explain what you can control or your child can control in the website.
- APPitic: A directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs). Try some new free apps based on a skill, interest, and/or need. Click on "Themes" on the top navigation bar to access "Apps for Subject Area." Note that after navigating to the area you need and finding an app, it is important to click on "Show Detail" to read the description that in many cases includes grade level and other important information. In the classroom where iPads are used, we utilize apps that are interdisciplinary in nature in addition to apps that focus on just skill development. These types of multi-purpose apps allow for children to communicate, create, or collaborate in new ways.
Phonemic/Phonological Awareness and Sight Words
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the separate sounds, or phonemes, that make up words. Words can be broken down into syllables, and syllables can be broken down into separate units of sounds, called phonemes. This is important to reading and reading readiness. This is especially important for children in kindergarten and grade 1.
The following types of activities support children to develop phonemic awareness:
- Matching beginning sounds
- Counting syllables
- Counting phonemes
Phonological awareness includes phonemic awareness, and an understanding of syllables, onsets, and rimes (link), alliteration, rhymes, and words. This is especially important for children in first and second grade.
Click here for more information.
Evidence/Inference and Picture of the Day: Use visual images of action that include sports, activities, and day-to-day scenes of life to discuss: What do you observe in this picture? What details do you notice? What do you see when observing it "closely" or when you "zoom in"? What inferences can you make based on what you see in this picture?
"Picture of the Day" is an inferring strategy that is used to improve reading comprehension. Try out a few questions as you look at the picture below. Then search together or have your child take some pictures on their own to use for their own "Picture of the Day" experience.
Encourage your child(ren) to write over the summer by keeping a journal and writing letters to friends and family members. Personal experiences and events, including drawings and photographs, can be kept in a special summer journal.
Your child may want to keep a digital version. Students in grades 3-4 have access to their Google Drive account. Children in grades K-4 have access to Wixie through the summer.
Kids Journal is a great way to document any activity with text and pictures. Students can also create comics and create photo collages to tell stories with sequence or categorize events in both physical and digital environments.
Incoming Third-Graders: Children develop familiarity with hand position to support where the home keys are and proper body posture to support how children keyboard provide the foundations for keyboarding skills. Students are encouraged to use a variety of keyboard interfaces and become familiar with a multiple layouts.
In fall of grade 3-4, students experience QWERTYTown. While not for every child, part of the appeal relates to the social participatory aspect that children engage in as they work through the levels as citizens of a class community. Motivation occurs as children chat with peers when they work through skills at each level to earn different rewards. Learning both hand position and having opportunities to type in context like chatting supports keyboarding skills. Engage your child in typing activities that are holistic and child-centered. Three or four times a day they should send a text message, short email, or other note. Rapid response (chatting and texting) style communications are important for developing interest and familiarity with keyboards. Resist the temptation to discuss the home row. While QWERTYtown covers this concept, modern computing does not include the tactile feedback of a home row. This is an area where short frequent opportunities are more important than longer typing sessions.
Reading and Book Choice
Decisions, Decisions: Where can I find titles of great books, including videos to help keep my child's literacy skills sharp and maintain a momentum for reading throughout the summer?
Entering Kindergarten Summer Literacy Refresh Ideas
- Alphabet sequencing activities, cards, games, letter identification
- Rhyming games/activities/books
- Phonemic awareness/distinguishing consonant letter sounds
- Upper/lowercase matching activities
- Early predictable readers
- Handwriting formation of uppercase letters (Handwriting Without Tears)
- BrainPop and BrainPop Jr: Watch and learn a variety of school topics!
- Super Science Magazine: Use the Class Code: Duckstop2 to log in as a student.
- Let’s Find Out Magazine: Nonfiction magazine for kindergarten students. Use the Class Code: catluck7917 to log in as student.
- Brains On Podcast: Podcast geared for kids, but interesting information for all ages.
- Short Wave: A short, daily science podcast from NPR.
- Ology: Science info, activities, and idea for kids from the Natural History Museum.
- Weekly Ology Challenge at the AMNH: Try out a weekly challenge from the American Museum of Natural History.
- Kids Health: Learn more about how your body works and how to keep it healthy.
- Exploratorium: Science activities from California’s Exploratorium science center.
- Science Kids: All purpose science site from New Zealand!
- National Geographic Kids
- Hour of Code: Learn to code!
- Code at Home: From Girls Who Code. Check out free computer science activities.
- Engineering Kids: How to build a rube goldberg machine at home and other fun engineering ideas!
- Phet Interactive Simulations: Collect data with these computer simulations.
- 50 Ways to Celebrate our Earth: Grade level specific activities and ideas to celebrate Earth.
- Explore the Surface of Mars with Curiosity Rover: Check out Mars surface!
- NASA for Kids: Learn more about our space!
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Web Cam
- Houston Zoo Live Web Cams: Choose out of the six web cams to check out.
- Bronx Zoo Virtual: See the zoo virtually!
- Liberty Science Center In the House: Fun activities and lessons for all!
- New York Botanical Garden for Kids and Families: Fun activities for all!
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden for Children and Families: Fun activities for all!
- Live Web Cam of Birds from Ithaca, New York: Watch all the birds; create a journal of your sightings!
- Live Web Cam of Eagles from the National Arboretum in Washington, DC
- Smithsonian Science Education Center: Play games for all ages!
- Journey North: Citizen science data about seasonal change and migration. You can look at data and/or contribute your own findings!
- Need more science at home? Ms. Zagajeski (a Morrow House science teacher) started an at home science class over spring break called Science with Jane.
Home Science and Engineering Activities
- Be a Naturalist at Home: Encourage your student to observe, identify, count, measure, draw and/or record information about the birds, trees, shells, sticks, rocks, insects that you see wherever you are. Record in a special notebook! Tape or glue stuff in!
- Cook or Bake Something: Practice measurement and following procedure steps! Notice the different states of matter you are using. What changes about the ingredients as you combine and/or heat them? Bonus: you get to eat what you make!
- Build Something Incredible: A pillow fort, a lego creation, a sculpture of recycled materials, a fairy house in your yard, a rock structure, or your own invention! What did you need to do to make your creation balance? How did the different pieces stay together? Can you make a connection to the force of gravity? Take a photo of what you build and share it with your family members!
- Code Break: Interested in helping your child learning coding? Check out the resources and code.org in this special section just for coding at home!
- Tynker: An award-winning block and text-based programming course. Usually there is a subscription fee for premium courses but parents can sign up for an account and gain access to these courses for free for a short time!
- Makerspace at Home: Our school makerspace may be on holiday but that does not mean your children’s desire to make has hit a holiday! Below are some ideas for things you can find around the home (or at a nearby shop) to create a mini-home-maker-studio.
To get started on your makerspace, here are five types of household materials to collect:
- Cardboard: Boxes, toilet paper and paper towel cylinders, egg cartons, and other miscellaneous cardboard scraps are easy to gather from around the house. They make great bases for many projects. Beyond cardboard, add molded styrofoam and shaped acrylic foam packaging. Don't forget to include different colored tapes to hold the pieces together.
- Textiles: Fabric scraps, felt, mesh, ribbon, yarn, and string are perfect additions to a makerspace. No need to include a sewing machine – a simple needle and thread will work just fine. Glue guns are great to have and can be found at the dollar store.
- Art and craft supplies: Paint, paintbrushes, wire, buttons, scissors, paper, old magazines to cut up, and other odds and ends provide endless possibilities for creative projects.
- Building tools: Legos are a must-have for any makerspace. Screwdrivers, pliers, and a few other basic construction tools come in handy. Wood scraps, wooden dowels, and duct tape can be used to support handmade structures. (If the group includes children kindergarten age or younger, plan to be close by to supervise their use of some of the tools.)
- Tech tools: You certainly don't need to buy a 3-D printer; but consider including broken technology items. Kids have fun disassembling old keyboards and using the keys in their projects. An old cell phone case could become something else entirely.
- Makerspace Experiences Delivered?
- Perhaps you are short on space, apartment living is something Dr. Rurik can relate to, and need to have bundled packages for your makerspace experience. Consider subscribing to Tynker Crate. They have kits that you can help your children create with geared to a variety of ages.
- A recent addition to the home makerspace market is the Young Woodworker’s Kit. There is definitely a gender prejudice in their advertising. Despite this, Dr. Rurik sent woodworking kits to young family members and they all enjoyed building marshmallow catapults before discovering that they could also launch small water balloons. Dr. Rurik is now banned from sending fun packages by both sister-in-laws.
Remember that all school-age children need 60 minutes of daily physical activity every day.
Suggestions: Take a long walk, ride a bike, scooter, roller skate, skateboard, swim, hike, run, jog, jump rope, dance to music, jump over things, hop on one foot, balance, shoot some baskets, water ski, climb, dribble a soccer ball, play some tennis, volley a beachball, catch and throw with a lacrosse stick, fence, throw a frisbee, play tag with your family, do some exercises, stretching, yoga, jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, and play with a ball every chance you get (toss, throw, strike, catch, roll, bat, kick, dribble, bounce, and volley). Have fun no matter what you choose.
Sanford Fit Choose your Activity with Fitboost, Fitflow, and Fitworkout.
Move: Be physically active throughout the day.
Recharge: Relax and get restorative sleep. Energy influences behavior.
Mood: Manage moods and make healthy choices.
Food: Make healthy food and beverage choices.
- GoNoodle: A wide variety of music, dance, yoga, sport, and exercise routines.
- Learn Jump Rope Tricks: For beginners, intermediate, and advanced skills.
- Move to Learn Videos: Fun, easy, energetic movements to raise your heart rate (all ages).
- Avengers Tabata
- Fornite Tabata
- 4 Minute Tabata Sonora Elementary 1-2 Grade
- Harry Potter Spells
- Captain America Tabata Good
- Kids Tabata Workout
- Jumanji Fitness Challenge
Learning Station has a wide variety of music and movement videos.