I find it is so important to spend time in the classroom with our students and teachers. Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to one of Choice’s first-grade teachers talk about how she incorporates learning into recess and playtime so her students are not stuck inside on beautiful days longing for fun outside. As a mom of three active little ones, I knew Ms. DeDene’s tips would be a perfect way for me to lessen summer learning loss with my own kids. I couldn’t afford to pass up this information, and I didn’t want you to miss out on these ideas for your classroom or home either! Thankfully, Ms. DeDene took the time to share her knowledge so that you, too, could learn and implement these steps.
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Vice President of Choice
Did you know that students can lose the equivalent of one entire month of learning during summer vacation? Nearly six weeks in the fall are spent reviewing and making up for that loss.
That’s the bad news. But the good news is that spending as little as 2-3 hours a week during the summer on learning activities can lessen that gap of loss!
So, how can you and your kids spend those 2-3 hours?
It’s time to take the learning outside this summer and try these fun-filled activities…
1. Sight Word Hopscotch
Break out the chalk and get ready to have some outdoor fun. Simply draw a traditional hopscotch, but replace the numbers with sight words or other words you want your child or student to practice reading. Then, toss a pebble, hop to the square it lands on, and read the word.
2. Math Fact Practice
Could your child use a little practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing? Have them write out math facts and solve them using chalk. This is the perfect activity for practicing their facts while having fun at the same time. They could even roll dice to make number sentences or choose a flash card with a problem on it to solve.
3. Sidewalk Stories
For many children, composing writing pieces can be difficult. Children can write sentences using chalk, being careful to practice capital letters, spaces between words, and punctuation. They can also write multiple connected sentences to create stories. Try drawing some colorful chalk masterpieces and then writing a story about it together!
4. Spelling Exercises
Whether you’re practice jumping jacks, squats, lunges, or crunches, there is nothing like working your body and mind at the same time! – Pick a word, and have your child or student practice spelling it in a fun and healthy way. They can spell the word aloud while they exercise.
5. Skip Counting Catch
Skip counting is important for both adding and multiplying. You and your child or student can toss a ball back and forth, taking turns by skip counting. You can skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, or any other number you choose!
Learning shouldn’t stop once school gets out for summer. Children should continuously practice their math and reading skills throughout the summer. Plus, playing these outdoor games allows you and your child to spend time together, all while learning and having fun!
Do you have another creative idea for an outdoor summer learning activity? Share it with us in the comments below!
Catherine DeDene joined the Choice Schools’ Family in 2009 after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a specialization in Language Arts from Michigan State University. She has been a first-grade teacher for seven years now. During this time, she has served as a mentor, acted as School Improvement Chair, and completed training to become a Curriculum Coach. In 2015, Catherine received a Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Marygrove College.