July 20, 2015

Summer Learning Activities

Welcome to the Fun, Fun, Fun Summertime Blog Hop!  Thank you to Crystal Wyatt at Wise Owl Teacher Creations for hosting this Blog Hop.  I am really excited to participate. I have teamed up with almost 20 awesome bloggers to participate in this hop where you can read about ways to help keep your kiddos learning throughout the summer and pick up a lot of freebies as well. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of this post to hop to the next blog.

Teachers often notice that students experience skill losses over the summer break if they do not continue to be involved in learning opportunities. Our hope is that parents will take the time to do some activities that will help students maintain their skills over the break.  My husband and I try to do many things with our daughter to keep her mind engaged during the summer. We also try to encourage our student's parents to do the same thing.  There are many ways this can be done with things you have in your home.  Take a look:

Paper Plate Pantry Math

Post Paper Plates next to the Pantry or on the Pantry Door.  On each Paper Plate, post a set of Problem Solving Questions for your child to answer. For example:  Pick two cans of vegetables.  Which can weighs more?  How much more does it weigh than the other can? Have several plates with several sets of questions.  Each day have your child solve the questions on one of the plates.  You can even let them create some questions and write them on a plate to post for younger siblings.
TV Time

TV watching can be a math learning experience. When your child sits down to watch his/her favorite program, have him/her write the time on a piece of paper or Post-It type sticky note. Post it on the side of the TV or on the coffee table.  When the program is over, add another post-it with that time.  How much time elapsed between the beginning and ending of the show?  Post the time each commercial comes on.  How much time elapses between commercial breaks? 

Language Arts Letter Magnets

Magnetic letters can be found very inexpensively at dollar stores around town.  They can stick to the refrigerator, a filing cabinet or a cookie sheet. They have a wide variety of uses for kids of all ages: 
ABC Challenge: Put the letters in alphabetical order but then pull every five or so letters out of the mix.  Place the ‘lost’ letters under the alphabet and ask your child to replace them.
Find Me….: For the early letter-learners, simply asking, Can you find me a letter ‘M’?   What letter makes the sound…   etc.
Family Names: Start with the child’s name, add Mom and Dad, family members and pets. Challenge your child to build these names. 
Sentences: If you have several sets of letters your child can create sentences.

Travel Games

Many families take road trips during the summer.  This is a perfect time to interact as a family in fun learning games.  But even if you are just driving around town, you can engage your children in learning in the car.  When you are driving in a city, each person looks for words on signs and billboards that contain letters of the alphabet. (Exclude the letters in License plates, that is a separate game)  You have to find the letters in order  (Ex:  A in Target, B in Best Buy, C in MacDonald’s, etc.) and once one person uses the sign, the other players may not use it.  The first person to make it to Z is the winner.  That same game can be played using only letters found in License Plates.  Start at A, when a player locates an A in a license plate they move on to look for B. The first person to make it to Z is the winner. To make these games cooperative instead of competitive, have all players look for the letters together.  After someone spots A, everyone looks for B. And the game continues until the last letter is found.  Then,  celebrate: High Fives for everyone in the car! 

All these activities and many more can be found in the Lazy Days of Summer Activities, Games and Puzzle Packet. These activities can be used with your own kids or the students in your class.  Choose the pages you want to print and send home with students as a summer packet at the end of the year. This is not an ordinary packet full of worksheets.  This product contains many games, activities, puzzles and ideas that parents can use to help their child continue to learn and grow throughout the summer. Here are a few sample pages.

Packet Includes:
•Cover Page with Parent Letter
Math Interactive Activities and Games
Hundreds Chart
Language Arts Interactive Activities and Games
Summer Reading Suggestions and Ideas
Reading Logs for June, July, August
Travel Games for Riding in the Car/Plane/Train/etc.
Summer Writing Journal Ideas
My Summer Vacation Writing Prompt Page
Vacation Maze (two versions-easy and more difficult)
Fun in the Sun Crossword (two versions-easy and more difficult)
Summer Word Search (two versions-easy and more difficult)

Click the link below if you are interested in finding out more about this product:

Click here to get Free Reading Response Bookmarks.  These bookmarks are great reading incentives. They can help students to track their reading at any time of the year. Print these bookmarks on cardstock and give them out to students when they leave for summer break.  Give each student a goal for reading a certain number of books or pages over the summer.    As students complete a book, they document the title and date on the bookmark.  Then, when students return in August or September, they can return bookmarks to you or the school librarian for a special treat or reward.  What a great way to encourage reading and learning over the break!

 Enjoy the rest of the summer and I hope you are able to help your kiddoes avoid the "Summer Slide!"

Be sure click below to "HOP" on over to Kovescence of the Mind to learn more about summer learning!

Until Next Time...

July 10, 2015

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Happy summer, everyone!   Today,  I am linking up with the Classroom Game Nook's Ten on Ten Linky Party. Thank you to Rachel for hosting this fun event.   The ten pictures below show something incredible I discovered this summer.

I want to start by telling you our summer vacation plans didn't go exactly as expected.  As you may know from one of my earlier blog posts, we had planned an exciting road trip to the East Coast and a visit to Universal Studios Florida,  but we had to scrap those plans at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts and family commitments.  We were a little disappointed, to say the least.  But, hey, life happens and you have to go with the flow.  So, we decided we still needed to get away and opted for a shorter road trip to Big D, Little A, Double L, A, S.  Better known to us Texans as DALLAS.

This was our second trip to Dallas this year and it is quite a drive, almost 7 hours.  But we were looking forward to some antique shopping at the Canton Market Days, ice skating at the Galleria, and brunch at the American Girl Store (One of the highlights of the trip for my daughter!)  We were looking for other touristy type things to do and we discovered the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

This place is AWESOME! The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is floor after floor of interactive displays and simulations where visitors can explore through hands-on interactive activities and educational games. The state-of-the-art computer and video systems help engage children and adults in lessons on history, science, engineering, technology and conservation.  The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience is the Museum’s huge 3D theater where they show educational National Geographic type films. This is a cost in addition to the regular Museum admission but worth it if you have the time. 

The museum building itself features earth friendly systems such as natural sustainability,  a rainwater collection system, LED lighting and solar-powered water heating. 

The mission and dream: "Inspiring minds through nature
and science. Future scientists, mathematicians and
engineers will find inspiration and education through
interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and
vivid contextual displays."

The museum opened in December of 2012.

T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall is where
 you can learn all about fossils and dinosaurs. 
One of our favorite areas.
Loved that several of the dinosaurs displayed were the
actual fossils that had been reassembled and not casts.

We spent a lot of time in the Being Human Hall
In the Biolab, my daughter was really excited to
be able to do a hands-on lab experiment to see
which household chemicals kill microbes.

Conclusion: Bleach killed microbes the best and the
household cleaner did the worst.

Five foot Geode in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall

At the Rose Hall of Birds you can create your own
unique songbird at a series of computer generated stations.

We spent an entire day exploring this museum and didn't even get to finish it all.  There is so much to see and do.  It is definitely a must see attraction if you are ever in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Click the link below to access their website.


Click below to visit the other Blogger's Posts at the Linky:

The Classroom Game Nook

Until Next Time...