Tag: summer

6 Best Summer Jobs For High School Students & How To Land Them

Summer jobs for many high schoolers (myself included) was a right of passage, where we stuck our toe into the adult work-a-day world for a brief period before returning to school for more education. Arguably, our summer experience helped us decide to continue our learning into college, apply for trade school, join the military, or something else.

If you’re helping students select a summer job for next year and they want one that works better than this year’s choice, check out these ideas from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew:

6 Best Summer Jobs For High School Students & How To Land Them

With summer always seeming like an endless expanse of time for high school students, you might be wondering how to make productive use of it.

Getting a summer job can be a great solution. Not only will it provide an income, but also crucial skills and work experience that look great on college applications.

From babysitting to retail jobs, from lifeguarding to internships, there’s something suited to every student’s preferences. With this amount of choice, it’s worth exploring each opportunity in detail, so let’s do that together.

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Looking for a Few Summer Activities? Try These

Earlier this month,, we posted activities for a summer school student program. Now, we’ll focus on you–what do you want to accomplish with your summer? Here are popular AATT articles. Pick the ones that suit you:

6 Must-reads for This Summer

Summer for me is nonstop reading — in an easy chair, under a tree, lying on the lawn, petting my dog. Nothing distracts me when I’m in the reading zone. What I do worry about is running out of books so this year, I spent the last few months stalking efriends to find out what they recommend to kickstart the upcoming school year. And it paid off. I got a list of books that promise to help teachers do their job better, faster, and more effectively but there are too many. 

10 Books You’ll Want to Read This Summer–prior edition

If you want more than those in the “6 Must-reads for This Summer”, this is the list from an earlier year.

5 Apps to learn this summer

Summer 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.

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.

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How to Keep Learning Fresh Over the Summer

Teachers have known for decades that ‘summer learning loss’ is a reality. Studies vary on how much knowledge students lose during the summer months–some say up to two months of reading and math skills–and results are heavily-dependent upon demographics, but the loss is real.

To prevent this, teachers try approaches such as summer book reports, but students complain they intrude on their summer time. When teachers make it optional, many don’t participate. The disconnect they’re seeing is that students consider these activities as ‘school’ rather than ‘life’. They haven’t bought into the reality that they are life-long learners, that learning is not something to be turned on in the schoolhouse and off on the play yard.

This summer, show students how learning is fun, worthy, and part of their world whether they’re at a friend’s house or the water park. Here are nineteen suggestions students will enjoy:

Math

  • Youngers: Take a picture of making change at the store. Share it in a teacher-provided summer activity folder (this should be quick to use, maybe through Google Drive if students have access to that). Kids will love having a valid reason to use Mom’s smartphone camera.
  • Any age: Take a picture of tessellations found in nature (like a beehive or a pineapple). Kids will be amazed at how many they find and will enjoy using the camera phone. Once kids have collected several, upload them to a drawing or photo program where they can record audio notes over the picture and share with friends.
  • Any age: Pit your math and technology skills against your child’s in an online math-based car race game like Grand Prix Multiplication. They’ll know more about using the program and will probably win–even if you do the math faster. You might even have siblings compete.
  • Grades 2-5: Set up a summer lemonade stand. Kids learn to measure ingredients, make change, listen to potential customers, and problem-solve. If you can’t put one up on your street, use a virtual lemonade stand.
  • Any age: If your child wants to go somewhere, have them find the location, the best route, participation details, and other relevant information. Use free online resources like Google Maps and learn skills that will be relevant to class field trips they’ll take next year.

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15 Skills To Learn this Summer and Use Next Year

It’s summer, that time of rest and rejuvenation, ice cream and bonhomie. Like the American plains or the African savannas, it stretches endlessly to a far horizon that is the Next School Year. It represents so much time, you can do anything, accomplish the impossible, and prepare yourself quintessentially for upcoming students.

So what are the absolute basics you should learn this summer that will make a difference in your Fall class? Here are fifteen ideas that will still leave you time to enjoy sunsets and hang out with friends:

Learn basic tech problems

You probably know the most common tech problems faced last year like hooking digital devices to the school WiFi, running a tech-infused lesson, or what students face with technology. Good idea: Next year, collect a list of the problems students, parents, and other teachers struggle with and teach students how to solve them. There are about 25 (click for a list or click here for a more detailed explanation),  Know how to solve them. If you need help, add a comment at the bottom. I’ll give you ideas.

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Looking for Summer Activities? Try These

Earlier this week, we posted activities for a summer school student program. Now, we’ll focus on you–what do you want to accomplish with your summer? I’ve collected the most popular AATT articles on how to spend your education time this summer. Pick the ones that suit your purposes:

6 Must-reads for This Summer–2020 edition

Summer for me is nonstop reading — in an easy chair, under a tree, lying on the lawn, petting my dog. Nothing distracts me when I’m in the reading zone. What I do worry about is running out of books so this year, I spent the last few months stalking efriends to find out what they recommend to kickstart the 2020-21 school year. And it paid off. I got a list of books that promise to help teachers do their job better, faster, and more effectively but there are too many. Since I covered a mixture of books in a past article, many on pedagogy, this time, I decided to concentrate on content that could facilely move from my reading chair into the classroom.

I came up with six. See what you think:

10 Books You’ll Want to Read This Summer–2019 edition

Summer is a great time to reset your personal pedagogy to an education-friendly mindset and catch up on what’s been changing in the ed world while you were teaching eight ten hours a day. My Twitter friends, folks like @mrhowardedu and @Coachadamspe, gave me great suggestions on books to read that I want to share with you…

5 Apps to learn this summer

Summer 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…

Help Students Select the Right Summer School

Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Alex Briggs, has an interesting take on summer school, why you should start thinking about it now–in the Fall–and how to do that. I think you’ll find this interesting.

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6 Tech Activities for Your Summer School Program

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

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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How to Clean Up Google Classroom for the Summer

As you end your school year, there are lots of details that must be taken care of . If you use Google Classroom, here’s a list, created by Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Scott Winstead:

How to Clean Up Google Classroom for the Summer

As the school year comes to an end, teachers everywhere are getting ready for summer break. For many, this means cleaning out classrooms and organizing materials for the next year. However, it’s not just your physical classroom that needs to be cleaned and organized at the end of the year.

If you’re a teacher who uses Google Classroom, there’s one more task to add to your list: cleaning up your virtual classroom. 

I know, it sounds like a pain. One more thing to add to the list. But not to worry, it’s nowhere near as hard as it sounds. You’re just tying up loose ends and creating a blank state for the following school year. Just a little work now will help you to stay organized over summer break and make it easier to get started again in the fall. 

In this article, I’ll share the four simple steps you can take to close up your Google Classroom for the year in a neat, organized fashion. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Make sure all work is graded and returned.

The first step to close out your year in Google Classroom is make sure all student work has been graded and returned to them. You can do this on an individual assignment basis, but that might prove to be a huge job, with loads of assignments. Luckily, there’s an easy way to handle it all at once.

One in your Google Classroom, click the hamburger menu in the top right of your dashboard. From there, you’ll see a menu item that says “To-do” or “To Review.” You’ll then see your classes with assignments that have either been assigned, turned in, or graded. The turned in column is what you need to pay attention to. You still need to process these and get them back to your students.

To do so, just click “Turned In” assignments, then grade the assignments if necessary, and click “Return” to give them back to your students.

Not only will this clean things up for you, but it will also return ownership of individual assignments to the students. This allows them to keep the assignment even if you delete it all on your end.

Once finished, you can click the three vertical dots next to each assignment you returned and mark them as reviewed to finish cleaning up your list.

Step 2: Clean up your Classroom folder.

First and foremost, notice I didn’t say to delete your Classroom folder. In fact, let me say this as plainly as I can… do NOT delete your Classroom folder. This folder is created when you first set up your Google Classroom account. Deleting it can cause a lot of problems.

What you want to do is clean up the sub folders within the main folder. When you create individual classes, Google Classroom will create a subfolder for each class in your Classroom folder. Each of these folders will contain folders such as assignments.

If you want, you can delete all of this. But a lot of it is probably worth saving, and it’s likely you have plenty of drive space to do so. In that case, you could do something like create a subfolder for the school year in your Google Drive, and move all of the individual classes into it. Simple, easy, clean, and you lose nothing.

Step 3: Clean up Google Classroom calendars.

Just as Google Classroom automatically creates subfolders for each class you create, it also creates individual calendars that include due dates for everything you assign. And similar to your Classroom folder, I say “clean up” because you don’t want to just go in and delete everything right off the bat.

It’s important to note that if you delete all your calendars without saving anything, you might regret it. Referencing back to old assignments, due dates etc. can be helpful when planning for a new year, so I recommend saving your Google Classroom calendars before you delete them.

You can do this by saving as PDFs, printing them out if you want paper copies, or taking screenshots.

Once you’ve saved what you want, it’s time to hide or delete your old Google Classroom Calendars. It’s pretty easy. Just go to Google Apps next to your icon at the top right of the screen. Click on “Google Calendar.” Then scroll down and on the left, you’ll see the list of all your calendars.

Each calendar can either be hidden or deleted. To hide, click the three vertical dots and select “hide from list.” To delete, click “Settings and sharing.” Then scroll to the very bottom of the page and click “Delete.” You’ll be asked to confirm. If you’re sure, click “Permanently Delete.” Repeat for each calendar you want to get rid of.

Step 4: Archive your classes.

Almost done! This is probably the most important step when it comes to cleaning up your Google Classroom for summer break. Archiving your classroom does the following:

1) It freezes everything so students can’t make any changes.

2) It hides the class from your current view.

3) It makes your integrated meet link inactive.

To archive a class, go to the main page where you see all your classes. Click on the three vertical dots of the class you want to archive, and then click “Archive” from the dropdown. You’ll get a message asking you to confirm. Click “Archive” again and your class will disappear from the main screen. Quick and easy.

Note, you can get a class back after archiving by restoring. It’s not the same as deleting.

There you have it. Four simple steps and your Google Classroom is now ready for Summer Break. Enjoy your time off and rest easy knowing your Google Classroom will be nice and tidy at the start of next school year!

Bio

Scott Winstead is the founder of MyElearningWorld.com where he has shared his expertise in eLearning and instructional design for the past decade. 

–Images credit to Deposit Photos


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

end of school year

12 Tech Tasks To End the School Year

I posted this a few years ago, skipped the topic with all the craziness of the pandemic, and am updating it this year in articles about how to wrap up your school year.:

Wrapping up your school technology for the summer 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 backup, 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 may be more numerous but really, not more complicated.

Here’s a list. Skip those that don’t apply to you and complete the rest. I won’t take time in this article (I’m over 800 words right now) 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:

Make sure your firewall and antivirus programs are working.

Many computers come with a built-in one to keep viruses and malware out that slow your computer. Sometimes, they seem to turn off by themselves (I have no idea why). Check to be sure yours is active. If you have a Chromebook or an iPad, don’t even worry about this.

Clean out your documents.

Sort through the documents you collected this year and get rid of those you don’t need anymore. It’s intimidating, like a file cabinet that hasn’t been opened in months –- or years — and is covered with spider webs. If you don’t do this regularly, the computer must finger through these unused files every time you search. If you hate throwing anything away, create an ‘Old’ folder, toss them all in it, and save that to a flash drive or in the cloud.

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Here’s How to Motivate Summer School Students

When you have to compete with a warm sun, sandy beaches, and playful friends, motivating students in summer school can be a daunting challenge. The best first step, right after introducing yourself, is to understand why students are with you rather than with friends or playing online games. Their reasons could be to try something new, make up for a class they failed, get ahead of classes they must take, or something else. Their answers to this question will guide you in how you teach the class. Once you know their reasons, be honest with them on how you will help them meet their goals. In general terms, you want them to know you’ll do your best to make their summer experience worthwhile, get them through the material, and help them pass the required exams with the grades they need. I’ve talked about best practices for teaching. Let’s today cover how to get students through the summer learning experience:

Make the class interesting

There are a lot of ways to teach a topic that satisfies curriculum demands. For example, you can fill in worksheets, watch videos, complete group projects, or work independently. Pick an approach that is 1) different from how you teach during the school year, and 2) fits your student group.

While you’re changing the approach, also change the setting. Teach class in a park, in a museum’s group learning room, at a restaurant over a meal, in someone’s home, or in the school auditorium. Here’s the logic behind that: Students react well to change. Do you remember the Hawthorne Effect Study? Done in the 1930’s (and redone in different ways many times afterwards), researchers examined how different aspects of the work environment (i.e., lighting, the timing of breaks, and the length of the workday) affected employee productivity. What they found wasn’t what they expected. The biggest impact on productivity came from simply paying attention to the workers and their environment. Let your summer school students experience this motivator. Change their learning ecosystem and watch how much harder they work simply because you care enough to pay attention.

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end of school year

12 Tech Tasks To End the School Year

Wrapping up your school technology for the summer 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 backup, 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 may be more numerous but really, not more complicated.

Here’s a list. Skip those that don’t apply to you and complete the rest. I won’t take time in this article (I’m at about 1000 words right now) 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:

Make sure your firewall and antivirus programs are working.

Many computers come with a built-in one to keep viruses and malware out that slow your computer. Sometimes, they seem to turn off by themselves (I have no idea why). Check to be sure yours is active. If you have a Chromebook or an iPad, don’t even worry about this.

Clean out your documents.

Sort through the documents you collected this year and get rid of those you don’t need anymore. It’s intimidating, like a file cabinet that hasn’t been opened in months –- or years — and is covered with spider webs. If you don’t do this regularly, the computer must finger through these unused files every time you search. If you hate throwing anything away, create an ‘Old’ folder, toss them all in it, and save that to a flash drive or in the cloud.

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