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Fill Your Bucket with Learning this Summer!

"Fill  your buck with grains of learning this Summer!"

Just because school is out for the Summer doesn't mean that our students should stop learning. On the contrary they should keep learning, building on their foundations which have been laid during the classroom instruction periods over the past 36 weeks.  Remember, our bodies keep growing, our brains keep working and we should continue the input, engagement and thinking process of our children as they move through the short but powerful time of Summer. The learning can and should continue!                                                            

Scroll down to get a list of videos that  can be used on a rainy day!   

Plus, there are learning websites you can use for practicing writing, learning math and keeping your "Learning Bucket" filled with grains of educational sand!

Learn the ABC's as you travel. 

         One of the ways I used to learn the alphabet was to play the travel game of finding an object outside the car that everyone could see which began with a letter of the alphabet.  The easiest is to start with A and move to Z, but sometimes it is more fun to make it a bit more challenging by looking for Upper Case letters first and then same letter lower case. Do this in sequence. It makes a long trip a lot of fun and is a much better way to occupy everyone in the vehicle, as you put down the iPOD, iPAD or other electronic devices, even if just for a little while.

Don't forget those short trips in the Summer, too. When you visit the fast food restaurant, go to the park, swimming pool or even to Grandma's house, play the Alphabet game identifying the letters in signs, letters in packages, sounds of the letters, etc.

Important to remember -- let your child tell you what they have learned by saying the letters. You should let them succeed without too much correction. Sometimes, just saying, "Oops, try again," will activate their memories and they will work to identify either the full name of the letter (Uppercase K) or the sound the letter can make.  Always celebrate the hard work with high fives, extra fun, but please not food. Working for food is reward economy we need to steer clear of and not perpetuate.

I Spy! (words version)

That's right. Either at home, looking through the paper, the magazines, the coupons, the grocery store, well everywhere really, there are words. There are simple words, e.g. "Pop-Tarts" as well as complex words "Grocery" or "Pharmacy" in all different types of combinations. For the younger ones try to keep the words to the sight word list or consonant-vowel-consonant choices. For the older ones encouraging them to decode and work on finding the combination of letters for their level of sight words or learning of new words to add to their vocabulary.

You can use coupons in the newspapers, the comics, the signs within the supermarket or mall. Let your child play the "I Spy" by looking for the word as you spell the word. "I spy, with my eye, the word that is spelled...A-p-p-l-e." The young learner would look to find the word and then either point to the word, or describe the color of the word, where the word is (on the cereal box, the sign on the bin apples, etc.).

This effort is great fun exercise to help children discover their surroundings as they are taking in all of the items around them. They have to look at the pictures, the lettering, and then filter out the unimportant to find the word that you are spelling. Be aware too, they may find the word, but not the word where you were looking. So check their work and yours!  Have fun!

Make Exercise Count! 

Counting and exercising is a great way to help K-2 students secure Math foundations and stay healthy (while having fun!). When you walk count the steps. When you run, count by 2's or 5's or 10's. When you turn a corner, divide or multiply. That's right, use those steps of exercise to keep our young ones counting. Numbers and operations are basic math core concepts we each need to have and be able to reproduce with automatic recall (automaticity).

Watch some videos on a rainy day:

Rather than playing video games or being bored, use or and watch some great learning videos. (Parents, please monitor your child's activities on movie sites, since not all videos are age appropriate and we know that our children are all technologically advance and will click on whatever grabs their eye.) 

Here are some of my video favorites...

The first 100 sight words from YouTube

Read A Book:

Math Song: Learning Place Values

Exercise and Count By 5's - click HERE

Move your body, your hands, it is a great way to count and get some movement going.

The Add and Subtract Body Part Dance (song by Jack Hartmann)

Another way to exercise and do math, tool.

Vowel Bats! (Great way to learn the vowels)

Whatcha' Gonna' Do? (Count by 2's, 5's, 10's)A  great music video to practice skip counting.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - With Lyrics - Alphabet Song

A great alphabet learning tool for younger children and a reminder for the older ones.

Learning Websites!
Here are some great websites for additional Summer Learning (rain or shine) -- remember, children learn better when there is someone to guide them through the technology rather than being left alone to try on their own as sometimes they will click on the screen just to get the visual or auditory response and not really be learning the lessons being provided by the technology. 

Dodson Elementary's Library Website Full of resources and Summer reading suggestions.

TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated,
talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love.

TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love.

ABCYA.COM - great learning site for different grade levels.

STARFALL.COM - another great website, by grade levels, for phonics, reading, letters and sounds. - great resources for all ages for after school, summer or just anytime!

MATHCHIMP.COM - great resources for Math at all ages and abilities.

Winter Theme in the Heat of Summer - When the weather is really hot, pull out a few Wintry Cold times and have a "Cold Day" in Summer. Here is a great website for learning using "mittens".


More, more and more still....

I Love My ABC's - from Kinderkorner

ABC Activities - activities and theme links for each letter of the alphabet

ABC Ideas - ideas (with photos) for each letter at Little Giraffes

Alphabet Review - from Teachers.nett

Printable Alphabet Worksheets - free from TLS Books

Alphabet Coloring Book - free printables from Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Coloring Pages - from Crafts for Kids

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom ABC Bingo Cards- free printables from Mrs. Bottom's K Class

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - from A to Z Teacher Stuff

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - lesson from Webbing Into Literacy

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - from Teaching is a Work of Heart

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Printables - free from Making Learning Fun

Multiple Alphabet Crafts for Each Letter - from the Best Kids Booksite

Printable Alphabet Materials - from First School

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Printables - from DLTK

Mini ABC Books - free printables from DLTK

ABC Printables - from ABC Teach

Letter and Rhyme a Day - inside Hubbard's Cupboard Nursery Rhyme Links

Nursery Rhyme Rhyme Printables - from First School

Words to Nursery Rhymes -inside Hubbard's Cupboard

Kindergarten Rhyme Time - activities for a family night - inside  Hubbard's Cupboard

Nursery Rhyme Coloring Sheets - printables from Hendersonville Police Department

Nursery Rhymes: Tales to Live By - What can we learn from our favorite nursery rhymes?

Stories From Rainbows Edge - In depth questions for nursery rhymes, printable nursery rhyme puzzles, etc.

Be sure to add your comments below if you know of other sites that would be beneficial in filling the "learning bucket" this Summer. 

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