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Tagged With: summer

5 Favorite Apps for Summer Learning

summer learningSummer has a reputation for being nonstop relaxation, never-ending play, and a time when students stay as far from “learning” as they can get. For educators, those long empty weeks result in a phenomenon known as “Summer Slide” — where students start the next academic year behind where they ended the last.

“…on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning…” (Brookings)

This doesn’t have to happen. Think about what students don’t like about school. Often, it revolves around repetitive schedules, assigned grades, and/or being forced to take subjects they don’t enjoy. In summer, we can meet students where they want to learn with topics they like by offering a menu of ungraded activities that are self-paced, exciting, energizing, and nothing like school learning. We talk about life-long learners (see my article on life-long learners). This summer, model it by offering educational activities students will choose over watching TV, playing video games, or whatever else they fall into when there’s nothing to do.

Here are favorites that my students love:

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Seven Fun Math Activities for the Summer Break

Summer can be a challenging time not just for parents but kids. They are accustomed to cerebral challenges that keep them motivated and summer arrives with its sports, naps, and vacations. If your kids miss the thrill of problem-solving or if you worry about them sliding backward without the mental exercise that is integral to school, ORIGO has come up with seven fun math activities that use a blend of popular math apps and everyday activities (like cooking) to fill the summer break with the excitement of math:

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Seven Fun Math Activities for the Summer Break

The long weeks of summer break are wonderful for family time and vacations, but not so wonderful at keeping students on a positive learning curve. The Summer Slide is a very real issue, especially in mathematics instruction where students lose about one month of learning during the break and in some cases, 2.6 months of learning.

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How to Wrap up Tech for the School Year

summer teachingWrapping up your school technology at the end of the school year is as complicated as setting it up in September. There are endless backups, shares, cleanings, changed settings, and vacation messages that — if not done right — can mean big problems when you return from summer vacation. If you have a school device, a lot of the shutdown steps will be done by the IT folks as they back up, clean, reformat, and maybe re-image your device. If you have a personal device, assigned by the school but yours to take home, the steps will be more numerous but really, not more complicated.

Here’s a list. Skip those that don’t apply to you and complete those that do. I won’t take time in this article for a how-to on each activity so if you don’t know how to complete one, check with your IT folks or Google it:

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How to Blend Learning with Play for a Kid-friendly Summer

summer learningWith summer fast approaching all over the Northern Hemisphere, kids are eager for time away from teachers, textbooks, and To-do lists. In Ireland, Italy, Greece, Russia, and other Eurasian nations, summer vacation lasts about three months. In Australia, Britain, The Netherlands, Canada, and Germany, it’s six to eight weeks. American students get roughly ten weeks.

While kids celebrate, teachers and parents worry students will lose their academic edge. It turns out that concern is valid. Statistics say over the summer, kids lose over two months of math skills, two months of reading skills, and one month of overall learning. Efforts to prevent summer learning loss propel often-unpopular year-round school initiatives and all manner of summer school and summer camps that focus on cerebral topics.

Worry no more. The cure is much simpler: Disguise learning as play. Using the websites below, kids will think they’re playing games while actually engaging in the leading [mostly] free games and simulations in the education field.

A note: some must be downloaded and a few purchased, so the link provided might take you to a website that provides access rather than play.

General

Here are two gamified options that can be tweaked to address any topic:

  • Digital Breakouts — Players of all ages use teamwork and critical thinking to solve a series of challenging puzzles that ultimately enable them to achieve a goal. Digital Breakouts are an update to the traditional and popular webquests that have students explore the web as they gather content in a particular field — history, math, literacy, or others. A great collection of free, ready-made digital breakouts can be found over at Tom’s Digital Breakouts. These don’t have to be played online; for a fee, students can play unplugged.
  • Flash cards — apps like the free Brainscape provide topical flash cards kids can memorize in between the rest of summer stuff. You might even provide badges for the lists students finish.

Financial Literacy

Summer is a great time to learn topics that require dedicated periods of time — like a financial literacy program. These are important for high schoolers, but often not required for graduation. That means many students transition to that almost-adult point in their life where they need to understand credit cards, bank accounts, paying bills, and other financial concepts but have no real knowledge of how these work.

Here are a few sites that gamify financial literacy topics and can be completed over the summer:

  • Banzai – online free comprehensive financial literacy program
  • You are here – kids learn to be smart consumers

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Categories: Economics, Games/Simulations, History, Math, Problem solving, Science, Social media, Websites | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Summer Tech Camp–Everything You Need

summer tech camp

by AATT banner

Summer Tech Camp Survival Kit

From Ask a Tech Teacher

Are you teaching a Summer Tech Camp to Kids? We have the solution:

Build Your Own Adventure

$230 value for $179

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Categories: Classroom management, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans, Subscriber special, Teacher resources | Tags: | 1 Comment

Last Chance to Join Tech-infused Class

Last chance–class starts Monday, July 10th!

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Subscriber Special: July

BOGO — Buy one class; get a friend in for free

July 3rd-July 10th only

Last chance–class starts Monday, July 10th!

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Need Tech Next Year? Start Here

If you’re new to Ask a Tech Teacher, here’s what you do:

online trainingSign up for a newsletter

They’re (kinda) weekly and always free.

Weekly Websites and Tech Tips

New Tech ed Projects

Check out our columns

They are numerous and varied, including:

Read the most popular articles

Find favorite articles in one spot–the Ask a Tech Teacher Hall of Fame. These are the ones we heard about the most from you, were reposted and referenced, and had the biggest impact on your classrooms.  It includes topics on classroom management, digital citizenship, the future of education, how technology blends into the classroom, and more.

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New from ORIGO Stepping Stones for This Summer

Stepping Stones

ORIGO Stepping Stones (see my review here), a comprehensive print and digital math program, has a variety of free math resources available for summer learning. Check these out:

  • Access a library of over thirty ORIGO 1 videos (and growing) through YouTube (search ORIGO Education) and on their Vimeo Channel  www.vimeo.com/channels/ORIGO1 with strategies and models to build fluency and understanding.  Topics include strategies for all four operations, using the number line, fractions, the counting principles, and more!  Be sure to check these out and subscribe to the channels.
  • Join a new learning community called Mathematics for Young Learners on edWeb.net –  www.edweb.net/mathlearners   to get access to live and recorded webinars on relevant math topics.
  • Sign up for the next math webinar, like this one called The Number Line: More on Making the Most of Math Models.
If you’re not familiar with ORIGO Stepping Stones, briefly, it:
  • Builds conceptual understanding through language and discourse, powerful visual models, and engaging activities that foster student thinking.
  • Drives the connections between and across concepts.
  • Supports computational fluency with extendable strategies and meaningful practice.
  • Incorporates rich problem solving, practical application, and open investigation.
You can visit their website www.origoeducation.com  to learn more.

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6 Tech Activities for Your Summer School Program

With the growing interest in coding comes a call for after school tech camps that supersize student enthusiasm for technology. If you’ve been tasked (or volunteered) to run this activity, here are five activities that will tech-infuse participants:

  • Debate
  • Write an ebook
  • Genius Hour
  • Service Learning
  • 15 Digital Tools in 15 Days
  • Khan Academy

Debate

Working in groups, students research opposite sides of an issue, then debate it in front of class. They tie arguments to class reading, general knowledge as well as evidence from research. They take evidence-based questions and look for information that will convince them which side is right. This is an exercise as much for presenters as audience, and is graded on reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Debates help students grasp critical thinking and presentation skills, including:

  • abstract thinkingsummer school
  • analytical thinking
  • citizenship/ethics/etiquette
  • clarity
  • critical thinking
  • distinguishing fact from opinion
  • establishing/defending point of view
  • identifying bias
  • language usage
  • organization
  • perspective-taking
  • persuasion
  • public speaking
  • teamwork
  • thinking on their feet—if evidence is refuted, students must ‘get back into game’
  • using research authentically

Basics

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Categories: After school, Lesson plans | Tags: , , | 2 Comments