July 2010 Inspire!
Making Learning Fun
July 2010 Inspire!
Summer is the time of year that students’ attention may wander and you may have a more difficult time catching their attention. Here are a few ways to “grab” their attention in each of the educational disciplines!
Ideas for younger students:
Children in these age groups absorb anything we tell them without realizing they are learning so you can take advantage of every opportunity!
Simply walking or driving with your child presents many opportunities for comfortable conversation and observation. Use a repetitive drive in the car to test the directions you are traveling to or from your destination. Ask such questions: Now do we turn left or right here? Can you give me all of the directions to get us home? How many streets do we pass before we have a traffic signal? Do you think we are traveling north, south, etc.? How many buildings that we pass display the flag; have signs in the window; have two stories; have three stories; flat roofs; peaked roofs…….? Can you count the stop signs? What is the difference between a 2-way stop and a 4-way stop?
Young children love to cook or to help in the kitchen. Prepare simple dishes for which they use measuring spoons and cups and utensils like wooden spoons or spatulas. Let them wash the plastic ware at the sink. Talk about terms like stirring, mashing, scrubbing, scrapping, and the like to increase their vocabulary. Let them set the table and ask how many of each utensil is needed, whether the knife is placed on the right or the left, etc.
Using pitchers and containers of various sizes while playing in the pool, at the beach, or in a small tub of water will give them the chance to experiment in finding how many of the item it takes to fill another. They can learn to estimate. If sand is available, they can see that the difference in the weight of a container when it is filled with water compared to when it is filled with sand. What kind of things sink or float? Why do you think this item sinks but that item floats?
Compare the sizes of items of clothing as you fold laundry. Which shirt is bigger? Longer? Shorter? Is this color bright or dull? What do you mean by dull? How do you think buttons are made?
As you do this, you will think of many other ways to incorporate learning into everyday life!
Pre-K - use landmarks and help them find the moon and stars, read nursery rhymes about the stars and the moon.
Older grades – Make sure they know each constellation has their own name and legend, read the Greek myths and discuss where the legends came from. Visit a planetarium to look at the constellations.
Step One: Place the baking pan on the grass, and set the soda bottle in the middle of the pan.
Step Two: Mound and shape the moist soil around the bottle to form a mountain. Bring the soil right up to the top of the bottle's opening, but don't get the soil inside the bottle.
Step Three: Pour one tablespoon of baking soda into the bottle.
Step Four: Color one cup of vinegar with red food coloring.
Step Five: Pour the colored vinegar into the bottle. Stand back and watch red foam spray out of the top and down the mountain like lava from a volcano.
Here's how to make your personal culture pizza. Remember, these 10 categories are just guides for filling in the 10 slices of the pizza. Feel free to include your own ideas for categories. And ask a friend, parent, or grandparent to make a culture pizza too. Then you can compare cultures.
1. Family Members Slice
2. Family Traditions Slice
3. Clothing Slice
4. Food Slice
5. Job Slice
6. Sports and Fun Slice
7. Education Slice
8. Technology Slice
9. Arts and Entertainment Slice
10. Politics Slice
Clean, dry twigs of varying heights, lengths
A roll of mural paper or even a roll of unused wallpaper
Scissors to cut the mural paper to the desired length
Acrylic paints and a brush
Pine needles; tiny pinecones; little sticks/twigs, seed pods, flowers, or blossoms to decorate edges
Raffia or yarn for the hanger
What to Do:
Step One: Decide how large you want your mural to be. Lay your paper out lengthwise on a long table or the floor; be sure to lay it over newspaper in case of a spill. Then lay out your paints before you go on your walk.
Step Two: Take a walk in a nearby park or woods and begin collecting twigs of varying lengths; acorns, small pinecones, a handful of pine needles, and some small sticks.
Step Three: When you get home after your walk, clean and dry your twigs. Paint one side of a twig and lay it on the mural/wallpaper to leave a "print"; continue with remaining twigs. Stagger the prints into bunches, leaving space between each "set".
Step Four: Glue the smaller twigs, pinecones, and needles lengthwise along the edges to give the mural a "finished" edge.
Step Five: Braid or smooth out the raffia stings or yarn and knot at either end. Staple the string to the back/top of the mural with a stapler to use as a hanger.
Step Six: Hang the mural on a bulletin board or in your room.
The Family Manager's Guide To Summer Survival: Make the Most of Summer Vacation with Fun Family Activities, Games, and More! -- Kathy Peel
101 More Drama Games for Children: New Fun and Learning with Acting and Make-Believe (Smart Fun Activity Books) -- Paul Rooyackers and Margreet Hofland
Grades 6- 8
My Side of the Mountain Jean Craighead George
My Brother Sam is Dead James Collier
Grades 4 and 5
Chasing Vermeer Blue Balliett
The Man Who Made Time Travel Kathryn Lasky
There’s An Owl in the Shower Jean Craighead George
Molly’s Pilgrim Barbara Cohen
Three Stories You can Read to Your Cat Sara Swan Miller
The Case of the Backyard Treasure Joanne Rocklin
Louise, Soccer Star? Stephen Krensky
The Hayloft Lisa Westburg Peters
The Outside Dog Charlotte Pomerantz
Gus and Grandpa at Basketball Claudia Mills
Cats Larry Brimner
Why a Dog? By A. Cat Robin Koontz
Hanna’s Butterfly Marie Vinje
Footprints in the Sand Cynthia Benjamin
Some ideas on this document are from: http://school.familyeducation.com/summer/family-learning/36089.html