As teachers, you would be familiar with the reluctance that comes with the words – summer school. Students are eager to bid farewell to school, hoping they wouldn’t have to see the inside of a classroom for another two months at least.
However, what this means for teachers is a considerable amount of time spent during fall on recapitulating what was taught in the last grade. Research shows that teachers spend at least 6 weeks re-teaching previous grade’s material to bring students back to the level they were on when they went for summer break.
Of course, the logical solution to this problem is to keep students learning during the summer break, something that doesn’t go too well with students. Now, how do you do this in a way that brings smiles on your students’ faces? A summer camp that is equal parts learning and equal parts fun! We bring to you some really exciting and creative curriculum ideas that you can implement for your class this summer and see them smiling ear to ear when you mention summer school next year.
1. Group ‘em up:
Double the fun by grouping your students into teams to do fun activities such as these:
You can ask each group of students to choose a theme and develop a board game around that theme. Students can use their favorite cartoon characters or, say, the last year at school as a theme to build a board game. All important events during the school year can form major milestones on your board game.
Another fun group activity could be independent math quiz face offs. Each group prepares simple math questions to ask other groups, and the group with the maximum score wins. Such games, while helping students retain the concepts they were taught in the previous grade, also hone their analytical skills.
2. Soak up the sun:
Summer is the best time to step out. Make your play sessions even more rewarding by trying out the following games with your class:
Have your students stand in a circle and give one of them a ball. Ask a simple question – is 15 even or odd? what is 3+5? name any three colors and the fruits of the same colors – to this student. Before the student answers, she should pass the ball to the student next to her. The other students pass the ball quickly among themselves, while the student who is asked the question aims to answer before the ball comes back to her. The student who has the ball when the correct answer is given can be asked the next question.
Write numbers all over on a beach ball using markers and toss the ball among students. Have the student who catches the ball call out the number that touches his left thumb. The student then tosses the ball to another student who adds the previous number to his number. Continue the game for a couple of minutes and graph the sum each time you play. Ask the students questions such as on which day the highest or the lowest sum was achieved.
Hopscotch CALC: Sketch out a hopscotch grid in the form of a calculator. Have a student hop on to a number, an operator, another number, the “equal to” sign and the answer, in that order. If the answer is a double digit, ask the student to split the last hop so that the left leg lands on the tens place digit and the right on the ones place digit.
3. Tangram fun:
How about creating spatial awareness and a sense of geometry this summer? Tangrams build an intuitive sense for shapes and help improve math skills. Now, get your hands on big tangram pieces and introduce students to some geometry fun. Students would leave no stone unturned to create the final image of the tangram puzzle.
4. Digital classroom tools:
Use free and interactive digital tools for teaching new concepts to young students. Have a fun time working on Time, Measurement, Money, Geometry and several other tools. Splash Math provides these classroom tools for free. Simply log in as a teacher at www.splashmath.com to get access.