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we teach: summertime learning eBook 2011

we teach: summertime learning eBook 2011

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Published by teach mama
A talented and varied forum of over 1600 members, we teach has grown rapidly over the last year into a strong and supportive, resource-rich online community of teachers, parents, and caregivers, bound by a common goal of making learning a fun and engaging experience for students of all ages.

Visit us: http://weteachgroup.com
A talented and varied forum of over 1600 members, we teach has grown rapidly over the last year into a strong and supportive, resource-rich online community of teachers, parents, and caregivers, bound by a common goal of making learning a fun and engaging experience for students of all ages.

Visit us: http://weteachgroup.com

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Published by: teach mama on Jun 02, 2011
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11/08/2012

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summer

2011  

 

our  goal  is  to  share  the  tools  and  resources  we   need  so  that  we  can  all  learn,  share,  and  grow   as  parents-­‐-­‐and  teachers-­‐-­‐for  our  children  

A talented and varied forum of over 1600 members, we teach has grown rapidly over the last year into a strong   and supportive, resource-rich online community of teachers, parents, and caregivers, bound by a common goal of making learning a fun and engaging experience for students of all ages.

features:  
• over 25 ideas for summer learning from we teach members • craft ideas • cooking ideas • literacy ideas • math ideas • science ideas • focused play ideas • indoor and outdoor suggestions • considerations for taking learning a step further
 

Visit us:  
     

 

http://weteachgroup.com

 

we  teach  created  and  founded  by     amy  mascott  of  http://teachmama.com    
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011      

TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  
page 3 . . . we teach crafts
 

page 9 . . . we teach in the kitchen
 

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page 14 . . . we teach literacy
 

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page 22 . . . we teach math  

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page 28 . . . we teach science
 

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page 36 . . . we teach through play
                   
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

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      2  

 

title
Yard Flags: MaryLea Harris Easy, Fun Felt Flowers: Amy Mascott Hand Print Fireworks: Candace Lindemann   Keepsake Paintings: Maggie Woodley Drink Carrier Picnic Basket: Stacie Nelson
 

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4 5 6 7 8
 

 

 

 

 

 

     

we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

3  

YARD  FLAGS  
Focus:       arts  and  crafts,  fine  motor  skills,  creative  thinking  

These  yard  flags  will  certainly  add  some  pizzaz  to  anyone’s  home—and  they’re  perfect  for  summertime   gifts!     Materials:   • white  muslin,  cotton,  or  similar  fabric  (4  rectangles)   • ribbon  4’  to  5’  long   • pinking  shears   • oil  pastels  (brushes,  water,  newspaper  to  work  on)   • access  to  a  sewing  machine  or  hand  stich  the  flags  if  you  don’t  sew   • acrylic  craft  paint   • optional:  clear  acrylic  spray       How  to:   1. Cut  four  rectangles  (approx.  5”  x  9”)  of  muslin  or  cotton  fabric  with  pinking  shears  to  prevent/  reduce   fraying.   2. Sew  rectangles  to  a  piece  of  ribbon  as  shown.   3. Ask  children  to  think  about  what  kind  of  designs  they  would  like  to  create  on  their  garden  flag.     4. Lay  flags  out  flat  on  a  safe  work  surface  (we  covered  our  table  with  brown  contractor’s  paper).   5. Draw  designs  with  oil  pastels—keep  the  shapes  simple  and  bright  and  fill  up  the  spaces  nicely.   6. Then  go  back  with  small  paint  brushes  and  watered  down  acrylic  paint  to  fill  in  designs.   Original  post:  Pink  and  Green  Mama  
http://pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com/2011/05/pink-­‐and-­‐green-­‐mama-­‐crafts-­‐mom-­‐would.html    

MaryLea  Harris  is  former  elementary  art  teacher  and  mom  of  two  little  girls.  She  lives  in  the  DC  Metro  area  with  her   family  and  enjoys  gardening,  crafting,  writing  lesson  plans,  teaching  an  occasional  craft  camp,  and  making  messes.   She  can  be  found  blogging  at  Pink  and  Green  Mama  Blog  (http://www.pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com/).        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

4  

EASY,  FUN  FELT     FLOWERS  
 

Focus:      

crafts,  fine  motor  skills  

These  easy,  fun,  felt  flowers  will  brighten     any  summer  day,  and  they’re  perfect     for  blinging     a  lunchbox  or  backpack!       Materials:   • several  sheets  of  felt   • pom-­‐poms   • needle,  thread   • pin  back  (optional)   • super  glue  or  hot  glue  (optional)     How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Along  one  edge  of  a  piece  of  brightly  colored  felt,  draw  scallops  (or  six  connected  petals,  each  about  1  ½  inch   high    and  1  inch  wide,  totaling  about  6  inches  long.   Cut  along  the  scalloped  edge.   Make  tiny  dots  along  the  flat  edge,  about  ¼  inches  apart.  Thread  needle  and  knot  one  end.  Then  sew  along  the   edge,  in  an  under-­‐over  pattern,  from  one  end  to  the  next.     Pull  the  thread  tight,  and  the  flower  will  appear!    Tie  off  the  thread  and  knot.     Sew  a  pom-­‐pom  in  the  middle,  and  cut  out  a  green  felt  leaf.    Sew  to  the  back  of  the  flower.   Glue  the  flower  to  a  pin  or  flat  edge  of  a  plastic  ring.    Glue  a  small  piece  of  felt  to  cover  the  pin  if  necessary.   Beautiful!  

  Consider:   • creating  flowers  for  new-­‐school-­‐year  backpacks  or  lunch  boxes   • making  a  bouquet  for  a  loved  one   • gluing  flowers  to  the  tops  of  pens  for  fun  summertime  writing  or  party  favors       Original  post:   teach  mama  
http://teachmama.com/2009/08/happy-­‐first-­‐day-­‐flowers.html  

Amy  Mascott  is  a  Reading  Specialist,  literacy  consultant,  freelance  writer,  former  high  school  English  teacher,  and  mom  to  a   crazy-­‐cool  7,  5,  and  4-­‐year-­‐old.    She  is  the  creator  of  teach  mama    (http://teachmama.com)  a  site  that  paves  the  way  for  a   modern  lifestyle  of  learning,  empowering  parents  to  take  a  stronger  role  in  supporting  their  children’s  education.      Amy  created   we  teach  (http://weteachgroup.com)  as  a  forum  for  parents  and  teachers  to  connect,  share  ideas,  and  grow  into  better   educators—no  matter  the  classroom.  

     

we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

5  

HAND  PRINT  FIREWORKS  
  Focus:       holidays,  crafting  

Even  if  you  can’t  get  out  to  see  the  real  things,  these  fireworks  will  add  some  spark  to  your  summer!     Materials:   • red,  white,  and  blue  paint   • blue  or  black  construction  paper   • glitter     How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. Put  out  paper  plates  of  red,  white,  and  blue  paint.   Have  kids  place  their  hands  in  the  paint  and  then  make  hand  prints  with  their  fingers  splayed.   Sprinkle  on  glitter  and/or  use  glitter  paint  pens  to  trace  the  fireworks.  (Contrasting  glitter  or  silver  or  gold   glitter  works  really  well)   Repeat  for  the  other  colors.  

        Original  post:   Naturally  Educational   http://www.naturallyeducational.com/2010/07/patriotic-­‐play/    
Candace  Lindemann  is  a  published  children’s  writer  and  educational  consultant.  Formerly,  she  taught  in  the  classroom  at  two  of   the  highest  rated  high  schools  in  the  nation.    Find  ideas  in  education  and  nature  and  play-­‐based  activities  and  crafts  on  her  blog,   Naturally  Educational  (http://naturallyeducational.com/). As  the  co-­‐editor  of  Mamanista  (http://mamanista.com/) and  the  co-­‐ founder  of  Bloganthropy,  she  has  been  active  in  the  online  parenting  community  since  2006.  

     

we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

6  

KEEPSAKE  PAINTINGS  
  Focus:       crafts,  reading  

Use  this  fun  art  project  to  “Nurture  the  Budding  Artist”  within  your  children.     Materials:   • canvas,  pre-­‐painted  with  base  coat  if  possible   • acrylic  paint   • paint  brushes   • old  clothes/  smocks   • Matthew’s  Dream,  by  Leo  Lionni     How  to:   1. 2. Read  an  art-­‐inspiring  book,  like  Matthew’s  Dream.   Give  children  free  painting  time,  allowing  them  to  do  what  they  want  with  the  paint  and  the  canvas!  

  Consider:     • using  a  non-­‐fiction  book  about  art  and/or  artists  for  children,  like  the  Smart  About  Art  Series  by  Joan  Hulob   or  13  Art  Mysteries  Children  Should  Know,  by  Angela  Wenzel  for  older  children       Original  post:   Red  Ted  Art  
http://www.redtedart.com/2010/08/04/story-­‐art-­‐great-­‐start-­‐matthews-­‐dream-­‐painting-­‐with-­‐kids/  

Maggy  Woodley  is  a  Mum  of  Two  living  in  the  UK.  When  she  had  her  children,  she  decided  to  stay  at  home  with  them.  Maggy   started  her  craft  blog  Red  Ted  Art  (http://www.redtedart.com/) in  order  to  share  her  craft  ideas  for  both  children  and  adults  –   hoping  to  inspire  others  to  “have  a  go”  and  “have  fun”  with  their  children  or  to  discover  new  crafts  and  ideas  for  themselves.   Crafting  is  something  for  all  age  groups  and  everyone  can  have  a  go!  Her  weekly  How  To  s  are  aimed  to  be  “easy  to  follow”  and   inspirational  for  both  adults  and  teens,  whilst  her  kids  craft  aim  to  please  toddlers  –  10yrs  olds!  

     

we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

7  

DRINK  CARRIER   PICNIC  BASKET  
 

Focus:      

crafts,  pretend  play  

Every  picnic  needs  a  basket!     Here’s  an  easy  way     to  make  a  picnic  basket  for  playtime.       Materials:   • 1  drink  carrier     • paper  bag   • paint   • sponge  (or  cotton  ball)   • clothespin   • glue     How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Cut  a  paper  bag  so  it  lays  flat.  Mark  a  checkerboard  pattern  so  your  child  knows  where  to  stamp.   Cut  a  sponge  into  a  small  rectangle  and  clip  with  a  clothespin  to  form  a  stamp.  (Or,  if  you  don’t  have  a  stamp,   you  can  use  a  cotton  ball.)   Stamp  a  ‘basket’  pattern  on  the  paper  bag.   Open  up  the  carrier  by  cutting  out  the  cardboard  separators  and  making  the  sides  even.   Glue  the  paper  bag  onto  the  drink  carrier.   Picnic  time!  

  Consider:   • creating  pretend  foods  to  take  along     • writing  a  story  about  your  ‘picnic’  and  illustrating  it   • videotaping  a  skit  to  go  along  with  your  story       Original  post:   The  Amazing  Mess  
http://www.amazingmess.com/2010/05/drink-­‐carrier-­‐picnic-­‐basket.html  

Stacie  blogs  about  crafts,  cooking,  and  enrichment  projects  for  little  ones  over  at  The  Amazing  Mess   (http://www.amazingmess.com/). A  former  elementary  teacher,  she  now  enjoys  staying  at  home  with  her  three   girls.  Her  days  are  filled  with  homeschooling,  reading,  cooking,  blogging,  and  cleaning  up  messes!        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

8  

 

title
At the Beach Snack: Laura Eldredge Rainbow Cookies (and Rainbow Fun): by Maggie Woodley Solar S’mores Snack: by Stacie Nelson Popsicle Holders JDaniel4’s Mom

page
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we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

9  

AT  THE  BEACH  SNACK  
Focus:       cooking  

A  super  fun  summer  treat,  whether  you  can  make  it  to  the  shore  this  season  or  not!       Materials:   • • • • • • • small  bowl  (paper  or  Styrofoam)   vanilla  pudding   blue  food  coloring   Nilla  wafers  or  graham  crackers   Gummi  fish   small  party  umbrellas  (the  ones  used  for  drinks—you  can  find  them  at  craft  stores)   small  Ziploc  bags  

  How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Place Nilla wafers (or graham crackers) in Ziploc bag and have child crush wafers using a rolling pin or round block. Prepare the pudding if it’s not already made. Add blue food coloring to the pudding and mix. Pour the blue pudding into half of the bowl, then add crushed Nilla wafers to the other half. Open the umbrella and place on the crushed cookie beach. Gummi fish can be added to the ocean. Enjoy!

  Original  post:   The  Seeds  Network  
http://www.theseedsnetwork.com/search_result.php?i=175  

Laura  Eldredge  is  a  preschool  teacher  in  Connecticut  and  co-­‐founder  of  www.theseedsnetwork.com  -­‐  a  website   with  ideas  and  resources  for  parents  and  early  childcare  professionals.        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

10  

RAINBOW  COOKIES  (&  RAINBOW  FUN)  
Focus:       cooking,  reading,  math   The  great  thing  about  this  recipe  is  that  you  don’t  have  to  be  totally  accurate—the  cookies  will  still  taste  great  and   kids  are  still  having  fun  in  the  kitchen!   Materials:   • • • • • flour  (300g  or  about  2  ½  cups)   butter  (200g  or  about  1  ¾  sticks  of  butter)   sugar  (100  g  or  about  ½  cups)   food  coloring   Duckie’s  Rainbow,  by  Frances  Barry  (for  younger  audiences,  6  mos-­‐4  yrs)  

  How  to  (make  rainbow  cookies):   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Mix  all  ingredients.  Divide  into  6  balls.   Mix  the  food  colors—yellow,  red,  blue,  orange  (red  &  yellow),  green  (blue  &  yellow),  and  purple  (red  &  blue).       Cool  in  fridge  for  approximately  1  hour.   Roll  out  the  dough  and  stack  in  rainbow  colors.   Squish  stack  to  make  it  longer  and  slice  the  cookies  with  a  knife.   Place  on  tray  and  bake  at  180  C  (or  350  F)  for  10-­‐20  minutes  or  until  cooked.     Read  Duckie’s  Rainbow  and  enjoy!  

Consider:  For  older  kids,  make  this  an  opportunity  to  learn  about  rainbows  and  use  The  Magic  School  Bus  Makes  A   Rainbow,  by  Joanna  Cole  or  Rainbow  and  You,  by  Edwin  C.  Krupp.    Or  talk  about  kindness  and  generosity  and  use  The     Rainbow  Fish,  by  Marcus  Pfister     Original  post:   Red  Ted  Art  
http://www.redtedart.com/2010/06/09/book-­‐cook-­‐duckies-­‐rainbow-­‐by-­‐frances-­‐barry/   Maggy  Woodley  is  a  Mum  of  Two  living  in  the  UK.  When  she  had  her  children,  she  decided  to  stay  at  home  with  them.  Maggy  started   her  craft  blog  Red  Ted  Art  (http://www.redtedart.com/) in  order  to  share  her  craft  ideas  for  both  children  and  adults  –  hoping  to   inspire  others  to  “have  a  go”  and  “have  fun”  with  their  children  or  to  discover  new  crafts  and  ideas  for  themselves.  Crafting  is   something  for  all  age  groups  and  everyone  can  have  a  go!  Her  weekly  How  To  s  are  aimed  to  be  “easy  to  follow”  and  inspirational   for  both  adults  and  teens,  whilst  her  kids  craft  aim  to  please  toddlers  –  10yrs  olds!   we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

     

   

11  

SOLAR  S’MORES  SNACK  
Focus:       cooking,  science  

S’mores  without  a  fire?  Believe  it!  Here  is  an  extremely  tasty  way  to  explore  the  power  of  the  sun!     Materials:   • cardboard  box   • foil   • tape   • plastic  wrap   • graham  crackers   • marshmallows   • chocolate  bars     How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.   Original  post:   The  Amazing  Mess  
http://www.amazingmess.com/2010/06/tasty-­‐tuesday-­‐solar-­‐smores-­‐snack.html    

Line  the  inside  of  the  cardboard  box  with  aluminum  foil.   Place  the  chocolate  bar  and  marshmallows  on  top  of  the  graham  cracker.     Cover  the  top  with  plastic  wrap  and  tape  it  down.   Place  the  box  into  the  sunshine  for  30  –  90  minutes  (depends  on  the  temperature  outside  and  the   directness  of  the  sunlight).    Try  to  move  the  box  carefully  or  the  marshmallows  will  fall  off.   Allow  child  to  feel  how  hot  the  box  is  and  to  see  the  effect  of  the  sun  on  the  chocolate  and  marshmallows.   Enjoy  your  s’more  snack!

Stacie  blogs  about  crafts,  cooking,  and  enrichment  projects  for  little  ones  over  at  The  Amazing  Mess   (http://www.amazingmess.com/). A  former  elementary  teacher,  she  now  enjoys  staying  at  home  with  her  three   girls.  Her  days  are  filled  with  homeschooling,  reading,  cooking,  blogging,  and  cleaning  up  messes!        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

12  

POPSICLE  HOLDERS  
 

Focus:      

food,  science  

Tired  of  drippy,  sticky  popsicles?     Use  sweet  popsicle-­‐eating  as  an     opportunity  to  figure  out  the  best,     most  drip-­‐free  way  of  eating  these     summertime  snacks!     Materials:   • Popsicles  (on  a  stick)   • old  (but  clean!)  sock   • cupcake  holder  (paper  and/or  silicon)   • paper  bowl   How  to:   1. 2. 3. Talk  with  your  child  about  what  might  work  to  keep  a  popsicle  from  dripping  on  a  hot,  summer  day,  and   brainstorm  some  things  you  can  do  to  prevent  it.   Try  each  method  (over  time!):  clean  sock  around  stick,  napkin  around  stick,  cupcake  holder  (paper/   silicon)  with  stick  poked  through,  paper  bowl  with  stick  poked  through,  etc     Discuss  which  worked  best  and  why!    

  Consider:  JDaniel4’s  Mom  used  a  summer  treat  to  experiment  with  the  best  ways  to  keep  a  popsicle  from  dripping   down  her  son’s  arm.  These  are  the  things  she  tried;  have  your  child  experiment  with  the  ways  that  work  for  him  or   her  and  enjoy  the  journey!     • For  older  kids,  use  a  chart  to  keep  track  of  the  methods  you  try,  noting  how  successful  each  attempt  is  by   how  much  the  popsicle  drips,  how  dry  little  hands  stay,  and  how  easy  each  method  is.         Original  post:   JDaniel4’s  Mom    
http://www.jdaniel4smom.com/2010/06/popsicle-­‐holders-­‐ways-­‐to-­‐stop-­‐popsicle.html    

JDaniel4’s  Mom  writes  JDaniel4’s  Mom  (http://www.jdaniel4smom.com/)  and  is  the  mother  of  a  lively  three  year   old.  She  taught  school  for  twenty  years  in  Loudoun  County,  Virginia  before  moving  to  South  Carolina  to  get  married.   JDaniel  and  his  mom  enjoying  read,  playing,  and  exploring  the  world  around  Greenville,  South  Carolina.        
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Sandpail Reading: Alida B. Bunder Bringing Books to Life: Julie Long Read and Write on the Road: Erin Wing Summer Writing (or Reading) Kit: by Elizabeth Alphabet Summer: Erin Wing Writing Letters with Fingerpaint: Michelle Breum Backyard Alphabet Hunt: Amy Mascott
 

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SANDPAIL  READING  
Focus:       Materials:   • • • • • • • 1  sand  pail  or  bucket   10  index  cards   crayons  or  markers     scissors   tape   old  magazines   blank  sheets  of  paper   arts  and  crafts  

How  to:   1. 2. 3.

Every  day  (or  week)  take  out  a  said  pail.     On  the  outside  of  the  pail,  tape  an  index  card  with  a  letter  written  on  it.  (Ex:  S,  s)   Together  with  your  child,  fill  the  sand  pail  with  objects  or  pictures  of  objects  that  begin  with  that  letter  (Ex:   shells,  soap,  sand,  sunglasses,  ship,  sail,  sunflower)   4. Add  a  book  to  your  pail  that  contains  words  that  begin  with  the  designated  letter  like  My  Pet  Sid  the   Stegosaurus  by  Salina  Yoon.   5. For  each  item,  write  the  word  on  an  index  card  and  place  the  card  inside  the  pail,  too.   6. Ask  your  child  to  place  all  the  objects  in  a  row  and  match  the  word  cards  to  the  objects.     7. Ask  your  child  to  read  the  word  cards  to  you.   8. Take  out  some  extra  paper  and  some  crayons,  and  ask  you  child  to  draw  a  picture  using  the  objects  in  the   sand  pail.     9. Help  your  child  label  the  picture  using  the  word  cards  you  made.     10. Each  day  or  week,  pick  a  different  letter  to  tape  to  the  Cut  pieces  of  construction  paper  the  size  of  the   spaces  inside  the  box,  write  either  a  numeral,  a  number  word,  or  draw  a  number  of  objects.     Original  post:  Two2Read  
http://www.two2readblog.com/summer-­‐reading-­‐project-­‐sand-­‐pail-­‐reading/   Alida  B.  Bunder  has  a  MS.Ed.  in  special  education  from  the  University  of  Miami,  and  a  MS.Ed.  in  early  childhood  education  from  the   Hebrew  University  in  Jerusalem.  She  has  spent  36  years  as  an  early  childhood  educational  administrator  and  directed  her  own   School  for  Children  With  Special  Needs  for  9  years.  Alida  is  trained  in  the  Orton-­‐Gillingham  and  Lindamood-­‐Bell  reading   methodologies.  As  a  hands-­‐on  educator,  she  has  created  http://www.two2read.com/    filled  with  literature  based reading   activities to  help  young  children  learn  to  read. we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

     

   

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BRINGING  BOOKS  TO  LIFE  
Focus:       reading,  drama,  critical  thinking  

Bringing  books  to  life  on  stage  or  screen  is  a  great  starting  point  for  discussion  and  critical  thinking  and   summer  learning!     Materials:   • reading  chart   • Venn  Diagram  or  other  comparison  chart   • books   How  to:   1. 2. 3. Keep  track  of  all  the  books  children  read  over  the  summer  by  writing  down  the  title  and  author  of  each   book.       Choose  one  book  to  read  that  is  being  presented  in  a  local  children’s  theater  or  will  be  at  the  movies  that   summer.     Read  the  book  and  then  view  the  dramatic  interpretation,  noting  the  similarities  and  differences.    

    Consider:   • Using  an  online  resource  like  the  Venn  Diagram  here  (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-­‐ resources/student-­‐interactives/venn-­‐diagram-­‐circles-­‐30006.html)  to  have  children  note  comparisons  online   • Printing  out  this  Venn  Diagram  and  practice  writing  skills.   • Selecting  a  book  that  has  a  movie  version  on  DVD,  like  Shiloh,  by  Phillys  Reynolds  Naylor  or  Beezus  and   Ramona  by  Beverly  Cleary.    

Julie  is  the  mother  of  three  boys  ages  9,  7  and  4.    She  is  a  tutor  and  former  elementary  school  teacher  who  is  always  on   the  lookout  for  new  and  creative  ways  to  inspire  her  sons  to  become  lifelong  learners.             16  

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READING  AND  WRITING  ON  THE  ROAD  
Focus:       literacy,  reading,  writing,  travel  

  A  fun  way  of  spicing  up  summertime    travel,  this  document  has  tons  of  ways  of  incorporating  reading  and   writing  into  any  road  trip—no  matter  the  distance!       Materials:   Read  and  Write  on  the  Road  Guide:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/54439144/Read-­‐and-­‐Write-­‐on-­‐the-­‐Road       How  to:   1. Print  out  the  Read  and  Write  on  the  Road  Guide  and  cut  pages  into  fourths.  Attach  with  a  binder  ring  or   staple.    (For  best  results,  print  on  cardstock  and  laminate.)   2. Keep  Guide  in  your  glove  compartment  or  purse  and  pull  out  when  needed.     3. Activities  include:  14  games  and  activities,  like  Alphabet  1  Spy;  creative  storytelling,  and  persuasive  speaking.     Other  games  include  letter  and  sound  recognition  and  comprehension.       Consider:  Keeping  a  copy  in  your  pool  bag  or  beach  bag  for  those  times  when  one  kid’s  ready  to  go  home  but  the   others  aren’t!        
Original  Post:     Small  Types   http://www.smalltypes.com/2010/05/alphabet-­‐summer.html    

 

Erin  Wing  writes  about  creating  a  print-­‐rich  home  on  her  blog,  http://www.smalltypes.com  .    Before  having  her   three  boys,  she  taught  elementary  school  for  ten  years.  She  and  her  family  live  in  Issaquah,  WA.             17  

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SUMMER  WRITING     (OR  READING)     KIT  
  Focus:       literacy,  reading,  writing  

A  personalized  writing  or  reading     kit  will  keep  supplies  in  one     place  and  inspire  kids  to     write  and  read  wherever     summer  adventures  take  them!       Materials:   • all  of  your  child’s  favorite  fun  reading    and  writing  materials  ,  like:     • markers,  crayons,  pens,     • paper   • stickers   • envelopes   • post-­‐it  notes,  tiny  note  pads  (or  small  stapled  booklets  of  blank  paper)   • mini-­‐flashlights   • clipboard   • cereal  box  decorated  with  catalogue  clippings     How  to:   1. 2. Cut  the  cereal  box  at  an  angle  and  then  decorate  it  with  clippings  from  catalogues  and  magazines.   Add  an  assortment  of  reading  and  writing  materials,  as  listed  above.    

Consider:   • For  the  container,  using:  a  giant  Ziploc  bag,  cloth  bags,  blank  aluminum  lunchboxes,  a  pencil  box   • For  the  writing  kit,  using:  ‘special’  summer  writing  paper,  various  sizes  of  paper,  colorful  post-­‐its,  glittery   pencils  and  pens,  postcards,  poetry  objects.  .  .     • For  the  reading  kit,  using:  books  written  by  the  child  or  classmates,  special  book  marks  with  reading   reminders.  .  .        
Original  Post:     Tiny  Reader   http://tinyreader.blogspot.com/2011/04/summer-­‐reading-­‐and-­‐writing-­‐kits.html    

Elizabeth  M  works  as  a  staff  developer  at  the  Teachers  College  Reading  and  Writing  Project  and  is  an  instructor  in  the  Dept.  of   Curriculum  and  Teaching  at  Teachers  College,  Columbia  University.    She  is  also  a  doctoral  candidate,  with  research  interests  in   beginning  reading.  She  is  the  author  of  the  blog  Tiny  Reader  (http://tinyreader.blogspot.com/)  and  is  the  mom  of  one  happy   toddler  who  LOVES  books,  drawing,  singing,  and  words  in  any  shape  or  form.  

     

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ALPHABET  SUMMER  

Focus:      

literacy,  reading,  writing  

  A  summertime  tradition  of  taking     on  one  letter  every  few  days  and     celebrating  that  letter  in  tons     of  ways  has  become  a  favorite     for  Erin  Wing  and  her  family!       Materials:   • (depends  on  the  letter)   • markers,  crayons,  pens,     • paper     How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. Each day, celebrate a different alphabet letter, in alphabetical order. (Try for 3-4 letters/ week.) Do one project or adventure that represents the letter of the day. Hint: make it short and sweet but think ‘B’= blueberry picking; ‘F’= farm; ‘W’=wash bikes and toys in sprinkler, etc. Try for some quick skill practice, disguised as fun letter-themed activity. Hint: ‘L’ for lacing) Create a scrapbook page for each day to document the summer and practice gluing, writing, drawing.

Consider:   • Trying  a  food  that  starts  with  the  letter  of  the  day;   • Reading  a  book  that  corresponds  to  each  letter;   • Listen  to  music  related  to  that  letter;   • Creating  a  summer-­‐long  project  that  goes  with  each  letter,  like  filling  26  small  jars  with  letter  related  items,   creating  a  ‘letter  city’,  etc.           Original  Post:     Small  Types   http://www.smalltypes.com/2010/05/alphabet-­‐summer.html    

Erin  Wing  writes  about  creating  a  print-­‐rich  home  on  her  blog,  http://www.smalltypes.com  .    Before  having  her   three  boys,  she  taught  elementary  school  for  ten  years.  She  and  her  family  live  in  Issaquah,  WA.        
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WRITING  LETTERS  WITH  FINGERPAINT  
Focus:       literacy,  letter  formation  fine  motor  skills,  alphabet   From  Michelle:  I  think  teaching  correct  letter  formation  is  important  from  the  start.  My  oldest  son  started  writing  his   name  in  preschool.  He  started  making  his  lowercase  r  from  the  bottom.  He  also  started  his  lowercase  m  and  n  from  the   bottom.  Even  after  I  taught  my  son  the  right  way  to  form  the  letters,  his  hand  and  brain  reverted  back  the  way  he  had   practiced.     Materials:   • finger  paint   • freezer  paper     How  to:   1. Lay  freezer  paper  shiny  side  up  on  the  table.   2. Glob  enough  finger  paint  on  the  paper  to  make  a  thick  layered  writing  surface.   3. Smear  the  paint  and  smooth  it  out.   4. Use  the  index  finger  of  writing  hand  to  write  like  a  pencil.  The  white  of  the  paper  becomes  the  line  you   make.     Consider:     • Grouping  letters  by  where  they  start  and  teaching  ones  that  are  similar  helps  teach  proper  formation   quicker;   • Make  it  productive  by  only  teaching  as  long  as  a  young  child  has  patience  (3-­‐5  minutes);   • Give  a  child  a  little  creative  time.  Allow  mixing  more  paint,  writing  more  letters,  or  making  designs.         Original  post:   Beginning  Reading  Help  
http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/2010/04/writing-­‐letters-­‐with-­‐fingerpaint.html    

Michelle  Breum  is  a  mother  of  three  children  who  attend  elementary  school.  She's  looking  forward  to  spending  the  summer  with   her  kids.  She's  a  former  elementary  teacher  who  keeps  her  teaching  certificate  current,  volunteers  at  her  children's  school,  writes  a   blog  called  Beginning  Reading  Help  (http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/),  tutors  one  child  with  reading  from  her  home,   and  is  starting  a  business  helping  parents  teach  their  children  to  read.  

     

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BACKYARD  ALPHABET  HUNT  
Focus:       literacy,  letter  sound  recognition,  alphabet   Even  a  short  time  in  the  back  yard  can  be  a  great  opportunity  to  hunt  for  items  that  begin  with  the  letters  of  the   alphabet.  Little  ones  may  need  some  help,  but  older  kids  can  really  get  creative!     Materials:   • roll  paper  or  large  poster  board   • marker   • open  space—back  yard,  park,  basement  (on  a  rainy  day)     How  to:   1. Roll  out  a  large  piece  of  paper  and  write  the  letters  of  the  alphabet,  separating  each  by  a  line.   2. Ask  kids  if  they’re  ready  to  become  alphabet  detectives,  and  if  they  are,  ask  them  to  help  you  find  an  item  in   the  area  that  begins  with  each  letter  of  the  alphabet  (car  for  ‘c’;  glove  for  ‘g’;  rock  for  ‘r’,  etc.).   3. Place  the  item  in  the  space  beneath  the  letter—and  every  few  minutes  do  a  ‘group  check’  where  you’re   making  sure  that  the  items  work  for  each  letter.    Encourage  kids  to  get  creative  and  think  outside  the  box  a   bit,  like  using  a  ‘dirty  shoe’  for  ‘d’,  etc.     Consider:     • grouping  letters  –  use  3-­‐5  letters  if  a  child  is  having  difficulty  distinguishing  a  particular  sound;   • making  it  a  contest  for  older  kids  by  keeping  score  (1  point)  for  each  letter  they  find  and  writing  the  score   on  a  separate  sheet;   • trying  it  at  the  beach  or  on  a  camping  trip  for  extra  fun  and  unusual  items!       Original  post:   teach  mama   http://teachmama.com/2009/06/backyard-­‐alphabet-­‐hunt.html    

     

Amy  Mascott  is  a  Reading  Specialist,  literacy  consultant,  freelance  writer,  former  high  school  English  teacher,  and  mom  to  a  crazy-­‐ cool  7,  5,  and  4-­‐year-­‐old.    She  is  the  creator  of  http://teachmama.com,  a  site  that  paves  the  way  for  a  modern  lifestyle  of  learning,   empowering  parents  to  take  a  stronger  role  in  supporting  their  children’s  education.      Amy  created  we  teach   (www.weteachgroup.com)  as  a  forum  for  parents  and  teachers  to  connect,  share  ideas,  and  grow  into  better  educators—no  matter   the  classroom.   we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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Number Matching with Dice: Nicole Summer Sugar Hunt: Loralee Leavitt Wii Game Bar Graph: Heather Kauffman Monty Hall and M & M’s: MaryAnne Street Sign Math: Amy Mascott

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NUMBER  MATCHING  WITH  DICE  
Focus:       math,  number  recognition,  counting,  (possibly)  fine  motor  skills  

This  math  game  makes  learning  numbers  fun—and  it’s  easily  adaptable,  so  any  skill  you  need  can  be   practiced!     Materials:   • paper,   • dice  (number  of  dice  should  match  number  of  compartments  on  tray)   • tray  with  compartments       How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. Find  a  small  box  or  a  shelf  (this  one  was  purchased  at  a  Dollar  Store).   Cut  pieces  of  construction  paper  the  size  of  the  spaces  inside  the  box,  write  either  a  numeral,  a  number   word,  or  draw  a  number  of  objects.     Roll  dice  and  have  child  count  the  number  of  dots  on  face  of  the  die.   Match  the  number  to  the  correct  number  on  the  tray!    

  Consider:     • Adding  a  fine  motor  skill  element  to  this  activity  and  having  children  transfer  the  dice  with  tongs.   • Using  this  as  an  adding,  subtracting,  multiplying,  or  dividing  game  by  putting  +  /  −  /  ×  /  ÷  signs  inside   the  boxes  and  having  children  roll  two  (or  more)  dice  and  do  a  math  problem  using  those  numbers.       Original  post:     Activity  Mom   http://activitymom.blogspot.com/2011/03/number-­‐matching-­‐with-­‐dice.html    

Nicole  shares  ways  to  make  learning  fun  at  her  blog,  The  Activity  Mom  (http://activitymom.blogspot.com/). She   is  a  former  teacher  turned  SAHM  with  two  wonderful  children,  a  4  year  old  and  a  1  year  old.        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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SUMMER  SUGAR  HUNT  
 

Focus:      

math,  reading,  nutrition  

  Summertime  means  summer  popsicles,  picnics,  and  parties-­‐-­‐with  lots  of  sugar.    Loralee  Leavitt  of  Kirkland,  WA,   likes  to  read  nutrition  labels  with  her  children.    "We  read  the  ingredient  listing  to  find  out  what's  in  the  snacks,   and  we  check  the  nutrition  tables  to  see  how  much  there  is."       Materials:   • snacks  (with  nutrition  labels)   • kitchen  scale   • Life  Savers  or  other  sugared  candy       How  to:   1. 2. 3. To  help  your  children  find  sugar  in  their  food,  check  the  label  to  see  how  many  grams  of  sugar  your  snack   contains.     Then  divide  the  weight  by  the  weight  of  the  serving  size.    For  instance,  a  20-­‐gram  snack  with  5  grams  of   sugar  is  1/4  sugar.     If  you  want  your  children  to  really  see  how  much  sugar  is  in  their  snack,  pile  Life  Savers  or  other  sugar   candy  on  a  kitchen  scale  to  reach  the  weight  of  the  sugar  in  the  snack.    You'll  be  surprised  at  how  much   this  can  be.    (For  a  really  effective  lesson,  weigh  out  the  sugar  in  a  bottle  of  soda  pop).    If  you  don't  have   candy,  use  plain  sugar.

     

Loralee  Leavitt  is  the  creator  of  http://www.candyexperiments.com  ,  teaching  science  with  candy.       She  has  three  children.       we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011    

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Wii  GAME  BAR  GRAPH  
Focus:       math,  counting,  analysis  

A  little  bit  of  learning  stuck  into  Wii  game  playing  is  just  plain  awesome!       Materials:   • poster   • markers   • ruler   • glue/  tape   • images  of  favorite  Wii  games,  from  sales  circular  or  internet       How  to:   1. 2. 3. Find images of the games that your children play most often, and glue them to the bottom of a poster board or large sheet of paper. Create a bar graph on the paper, and each time a game is played, a square is shaded in the appropriate column. Give each child his or her own color, and evaluate each person’s playtime at the end of each week.

Consider: • discussing Wii usage, using math terms like more, most, less, fewer, greater than/ less than, total, sum, etc. • adding a literacy element by having children interview each other—either on video or on paper—about personal tastes in Wii games, creating questions, formulating answers, using persuasive language, etc. • writing letters to favorite video characters, creating storyboards or comics with characters, • keeping a running chart of each person’s game time totals, adding totals and comparing players’ scores  

Heather  K  is  the  mother  of  three  boys  and  is  a  former  elementary  &  Gifted/  Talented  teacher.  She’s  the  president  of   her  local  MOMS  Club,  she  teaches  Sunday  School,  loves  reading,  and  she  basically  chases  her  three  Wii-­‐loving,  Star   Wars  and  Lego-­‐playing,  soccer  and  t-­‐ball  and  basketball-­‐playing,  pool-­‐crazed  boys  around  all  summer  long.        
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STREET  SIGN  MATH  
Focus:       math,  counting,  adding,  subtracting,  number  recognition   Street  sign  math  can  be  played  in  the  car,  on  a  walk,  or  just  about  anywhere—it’s  all  about  recognizing  numbers  in  the   environment  and  practicing  computation  skills  along  the  way!       Materials:   • road  signs  (or  any  signs  with  numbers)   • excited  kids,  working  brains   How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. Ask  kids  to  put  on  their  number-­‐hunting  eyes  and  start  calling  out  the  numbers  you  see  on  signs  and  in  the   environment.   For  younger  kids,  this  game  can  focus  on  hunting  for  ‘their’  number—their  age—or  on  finding  the  numbers  1-­‐ 10  in  order.     For  older  kids,  decide  if  you’ll  begin  by  adding  or  subtracting,  and  then  for  every  sign  you  see,  follow  that  rule   (in  a  40  mph  sign,  add  the  numbers  4  +  0).         Let  kids  call  out  the  numbers  as  loudly  as  they  can,  and  have  fun  with  it.        

Consider:   • following  a  pattern  each  day:  on  the  way  to  camp  you  add  numbers,  and  on  the  way  home,  you  subtract  them;   • adding,  subtracting,  multiplying,  and  dividing  the  numbers  for  one  sign—and  talking  about  the  differences  in   answers;   • keeping  a  ‘street  sign  math’  notebook  in  the  car  or  in  the  wagon  as  a  spot  to  write  down  problems  on  the  road   so  kids  can  revisit  and  remember  them  later.       Original  post:     teach  mama    
http://teachmama.com/2010/07/adding-­‐practice-­‐with-­‐street-­‐sign-­‐math.html     Amy  Mascott  is  a  Reading  Specialist,  literacy  consultant,  freelance  writer,  former  high  school  English  teacher,  and  mom  to  a  crazy-­‐ cool  7,  5,  and  4-­‐year-­‐old.    She  is  the  creator  of  http://teachmama.com,  a  site  that  paves  the  way  for  a  modern  lifestyle  of  learning,   empowering  parents  to  take  a  stronger  role  in  supporting  their  children’s  education.      Amy  created  we  teach   (www.weteachgroup.com)  as  a  forum  for  parents  and  teachers  to  connect,  share  ideas,  and  grow  into  better  educators—no  matter   the  classroom.       26   we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

 

MONTY  HALL  AND  M  &  M’S  
Focus:       math,  statistics,  probability,  counting  

This  activity  plays  with  an  interesting  little  puzzle  called  the  Monty  Hall  problem,  a  probability  problem  based  on   the  American  game  show,  Let’s  Make  a  Deal.         Materials:   • 3  cups   • paper   • pen   • M  &  M’s       How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Take  turns  hiding  one  M  &  M  under  one  of  the  three  cups.       Ask  one  person  to  guess  which  cup  was  hiding  the  M  &  M,  but  before  lifting  the  cup,  reveal  one  of  the  cups   that  does  not  have  an  M  &  M  underneath.     Determine:  Is  it  to  a  person’s  advantage  to  switch  his/  her  original  choice?   To  figure  out  the  answer  to  the  question,  allow  the  person  to  keep  the  M  &  M  if  he/  she  is  correct,  but  give   the  M  &  M  to  the  others  if  he/  she  is  incorrect.   Keep  track  of  data,  divide  a  piece  of  paper  in  two,  with  one  section  for  the  “guesser”  and  one  for  the   “hider”.   Mathematical  proof  says  you  are  expected  to  do  twice  as  well  if  you  switch,  but  this  is  a  “sweet”   experiment  that  will  allow  young  mathematicians  to  determine  it  on  their  own!    

 

MaryAnne  is  the  mama  behind  mama  smiles  (http://mamasmiles.com/). She  lives  near  Boston,  Massachusetts,  with   her  husband  Mike,  and  their  three  kids:  Emma  (5),  Johnny  (3),  and  Lily  (1).  MaryAnne  uses  her  BA  in  Music,  MA  in   Education,  and  PhD  in  Medicine  everyday,  albeit  not  in  the  ways  she  envisioned  before  having  children!        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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title
Moonsand: Rachel Miller Spud Tubs: Maureen Ice Painting: Kate Fizzing Sidewalk Paint: Rachel Miller Sandpaper Castles: Julia Backyard Detectives: Dawn Little Zoo Search Cards: Beth M

page
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we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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MOON  SAND  

Focus:      

geography,  science  

Moonsand  is  a  messy  outdoors  activity,  perfect  for  the  summer  when  you  can  hose  your  kids  off  before  they   come  inside!    We  have  used  Moonsand  to  learn  about  buildings,  how  we  need  to  have  a  strong  foundation  when   building.    There  is  massive  highway  construction  project  nearby  and  we  mimicked  the  way  they  dug  out  the  hill   to  put  in  drainage,  build  up  the  roadbed,  etc.  This  was  a  great  lesson  in  weather,  in  earth  and  in  cause  and  effect.     Materials:   • • • • • play  sand   glitter   corn  starch   salt   water  

  How  to:   1. Mix  all  of  the  ingredients  together.     2. Add  water  until  the  sand  is  a  moldable  consistency.    If  it  dries  out  just  add  more  water.       Consider:   • using  Moonsand  to  learn  about  buildings  and  how  structures  need  to  have  a  strong  foundation;   • pouring  more  water  on  your  sand/building  and  discuss:  What  happens  to  the  structure?    How  should  you   adjust  your  building  so  it  doesn't  fall  down  next  time?       • comparing  moonsand  to  playdough  or  other  substances     Original  post:   Quirky  Momma   http://quirkymomma.com/2010/moon-­‐sand/    

Rachel  is  mommy  to  three  preschoolers  and  an  infant.    She  enjoys  her  kids  and  learning  with  them  through  arts  and   crafts.    Check  out  her  blog,  Quirky  Momma  (http://quirkymomma.com/)  for  lots  of  other  activity  ideas.        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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SPUD  TUBS  
Focus:       science,  storytelling  

Spuds  in  Tubs  is  a  fun  experiment  to  grow  potatoes  indoors.    It  teaches  children  that  food  comes  from  the  soil,  not   the  grocery  stores—perfect  for  a  rainy  early-­‐summer  afternoon!       Materials:   • large  tub,  preferably  clear  containers  so  kids  can  see  roots   • soil   • seed  potatoes     How  to:   1. 2. Add  soil  to  the  large  tub.    Plant  potato  seeds,  leaving  space  for  growth.     Have  children  put  on  smocks  (this  gets  messy!)  and  allow  children  to  use  colored  ice  cubes  to  ‘draw’  on   paper.    

Consider:   • • • • creating  an  ongoing  survey  about  everyone’s  favorite  ways  of  eating  potatoes;   telling  the  story  of  the  Enormous  Potato  and  act  out  the  story;     checking  out  other  people’s  Spud  Tubs  harvest;   having  a  Spud  Celebration  and  making  potato  candy,  hash  browns,  potato  pancakes,  and  potato  wedges!  

  Original  post:   Strong  Start   Maureen  Wagner  is  an  Early  Childhood  Educator  and  facilitates  a  free  drop  in  program  for  families  with  children   from  birth  to  5  years  of  age.    The  program  runs  5  mornings  a  week  for  4  hours.    Maureen  writes  StrongStart   (http://www.strongstart.blogspot.com)  .        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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ICE  PAINTING  
Focus:       ice,  water,  colors  

  Be  forewarned:  this  activity  will  leave  fingers  stained,  but  Kate  says  it’s  worth  it!       Materials:   • food  coloring   • water   • ice  cube  trays   • paper   • towels     How  to:   1. 2. Add  a  few  drops  of  food  coloring  to  ice  cube  trays  filled  with  water.  Mix  all  of  the  ingredients  together.     Then  freeze.   Have  children  put  on  smocks  (this  gets  messy!)  and  allow  children  to  use  colored  ice  cubes  to  ‘draw’  on   paper.    

Consider:     • • having  young  children  practice  making  shapes  with  ice  cubes   encouraging  emerging  readers/  writers  to  practice  letters  and  numbers,  names,  and  sight  words!  

Original  post:   Picklebums  

Kate  used  to  be  a  preschool  teacher,  now  she  is  a  mum  to  four  children  living  on  a  small  property  in  rural  Australia.   Her  blog,  Picklebums  (http://www.picklebums.com)    is  an  eclectic  jumble  of  this  and  that  -­‐  activities  for  kids,  family   recipes,  gardening,  parenting  and  more.        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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FIZZING  SIDEWALK  PAINT  
Focus:       chemistry,  science  

Sidewalk  chalk  is  fun,  painting  is  fun,  making  things  fizz  is  also  fun!  Fizzing  Sidewalk  Paint  does  all  three!       Materials:   • ½  cup  cornstarch   • one  container  of  baking  soda   • warm  (almost  hot)  water   • food  coloring   • containers  for  each  color  of  ‘paint’  you  want  to  make   • vinegar  (in  spray  bottles)     How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. Mix  the  dry  ingredients  and  then  add  water,  stirring  until  it’s  not  too  thick.    (This  paint  dries  very  quickly   but  it  washes  off  with  ease!)   Add  food  coloring  to  the  mix,  and  let  kids  paint,  paint,  paint!   Spray  the  paint  with  a  bottle  of  vinegar  and  watch  the  fizz  appear!   Clean  up  is  a  breeze:  just  pour  water  over  the  masterpieces,  and  they’ll  disappear.  

Consider:     • Talking  about  the  reaction  between  acids  and  base  chemicals  

Original  post:   Quirky  Momma     http://quirkymomma.com/2011/fizzing-­‐sidewalk-­‐paint/    

Rachel  is  mommy  to  three  preschoolers  and  an  infant.    She  enjoys  her  kids  and  learning  with  them  through  arts  and   crafts.    Check  out  her  blog,  Quirky  Momma,  (http://quirkymomma.com/)    for  lots  of  other  activity  ideas.        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

32  

SANDPAPER  CASTLES  
Focus:       crafts,  earth  science  

Along  with  constructing  and  decorating  the  sand  castles,  kids  can  learn  about  how  sand  forms.    Collect  some   different  kinds  of  rocks  and  have  kids  rub  two  rocks  together  over  a  piece  of  paper.    Bits  of  softer  rock  should  fall   onto  the  paper,  demonstrating  how  grains  of  sand  are  formed  over  time.    I  know  my  kids  enjoyed  such  a  fun   geology  lesson,  as  will  yours!     Materials:   • sandpaper  sheets     • glue  (school  glue  or  hot  glue)   • rubber  bands  (optional)   • cups    (washed  and  dried)   • assorted  rocks  (preferably  of  varying  hardness)   • decorations:  plastic  gems,  shells,  foam  stickers,  etc   • paper   • old  scissors  (blades  will  get  a  little  damaged  from  sandpaper  grit)     How  to:   1. Wrap  sandpaper  around  cups  and  secure  with  glue  and  rubber  band  or  hot  glue.   2. Trim  sandpaper  and  cut  decorative  square  borders  if  desired.   3. Decorate  castles  by  gluing  on  shells,  gems,  and  other  found  objects.  Add  more  color  and  details  with  chalk  if   desired.   4. Show  how  sand  is  formed  by  rubbing  rocks  together  over  paper!       Original  post:   Roots  of  Simplicity   http://roots-­‐of-­‐simplicity.blogspot.com/2011/04/kids-­‐craft-­‐sandpaper-­‐castles.html    

Julia  shares  her  ideas  at  Roots  of  Simplicity  (http://roots-­‐of-­‐simplicity.blogspot.com/  )  .    As  a  teacher  turned  stay-­‐at-­‐ home  mom  of  three,  she  enjoys  the  challenge  of  promoting  learning  and  creativity  with  whatever  resources  she  has   on  hand.        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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BACKYARD  DETECTIVE  
Focus:       literacy,  science  

All  children  are  curious  and  summertime  is  a  perfect  time  to  transform  children  into  backyard  detectives.       Materials:   • Backyard  Detectives:  Critters  Up  Close,  by  Nic  Bishop   • magnifying  glass   • notebook   • pencil   • digital  camera     How  to:  
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Read  aloud  parts  of  Backyard  Detective:  Critters  up  Close  or  a  similar  book  and  then  go  on  a  backyard  critter   hunt!   Give  your  children  a  small  plastic  magnifying  glass  to  enhance  the  experience.  Challenge  your  children  to   find  critters  that  you  read  about  (in  this  book  or  others).   Provide  them  with  a  science  journal  (a  notebook)  and  a  pencil  and  tell  them  that  scientists  write  down  their   observations.   Have  them  take  a  picture  of  the  critters  they  like  (or  you  take  pictures  for  them).  Ask  your  child  to  write   descriptions  of  the  critters  they  find  in  their  science  journal  (discuss  descriptors:  color,  size,  shape,  habitat,   etc).  They  can  also  paste  the  photos  in  the  journal  and  label  the  photographs.  If  you  don’t  use  a  camera  or   your  child  is  not  able  to  write  yet,  ask  them  to  draw  pictures  and  you  provide  the  captions.   Once  you  are  back  in  the  cool  air  conditioning  (or  on  another  day),  have  your  children  continue  to  research   one  critter  and  write  a  little  book  about  it.

Dawn  Little  is  the  mother  of  two,  an  educator  and  author  who  resides  in  Laytonsville,  MD.  Her  current  publication  Teaching   Comprehension  with  Nonfiction  Read  Alouds:  12  Lessons  for  Using  Newspapers,  Magazines,  and  Other  Nonfiction  Texts  to  Build   Key  Comprehension  Skills  was  published  by  Scholastic  Teaching  Resources  in  2010.  She  currently  presents  literacy  topics   nationally  for  both  parents  and  educators.  She  is  the  founder  and  president  of  Links  to  Literacy  and  runs  two  blogs:  Picture  This!   Teaching  with  Picture  Books  (http://teachingwithpicturebooks.wordpress.com/)  and  Literacy  Toolbox   (http://literacytoolbox.com/literacytoolbox/)    

     

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ZOO  SEARCH  CARDS  
Focus:       animals,  science  

Make  a  trip  to  the  zoo  even  more  of  a  fun  learning  experience  for  emerging  readers  with  a  Zoo  Search  Cards!     Materials:   • index  cards   • pictures  (or  printouts)  of  animals  from  your  local  zoo     How  to:   1. 2. 3. 4. Go  to  your  local  zoo's  website  and  find  a  list  of  all  the  animals  in  each  section  of  the  zoo.     Select  several  from  each  area  and  print  pictures  (most  from  the  zoo's  website,  others  obtained  from  a  quick   internet  search).     Glue  the  photo  and  the  name  of  the  animal  on  an  index  card.     When  you  go  to  the  zoo,  hand  out  the  animal  cards  to  the  kids  and  search  for  the  animals  like  a  scavenger   hunt.    

Consider:     • • • For  preschoolers,  pass  out  2-­‐3  cards  per  child  per  area  of  the  zoo.     It  could  be  made  more  advanced  by  adding  facts  on  the  back  and  when  each  animal  is  'discovered',  some   special  facts  about  the  animal  are  read.     Cards  can  be  laminated  for  durability.    (I  have  also  made  a  grocery  store  version  that  works  well  for  us)

Original  post:   Mama  Bee  From  The  Hive   http://mamabeefromthehive.blogspot.com/2009/05/zoo-­‐game.html     Beth  M.  is  a  mama  to  a  lovely  little  gal  who  is  5  and  a  lively  little  man  who  is  3.      She  is  currently  teaching  preschool   and  sewing  classes  at  a  local  fabric  shop,  but  has  taught  kindergarten,  second,  third  and  sixth  grade.    She  blogs  at   From  The  Hive  (http://mamabeefromthehive.blogspot.com  ),  and  she  sews,  crafts,  bakes,  quilts,  and  crochets  to   keep  her  sanity.    She's  a  wanna  be  gardener  and  some  day  soap  maker  and  marathon  runner.        
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title
Bubbles, Babies, Books: Jackie Higgins Camp Review: Deb Chitwood Play on Antarctica: Kate Building a Bird’s Nest: Jamie Building Dens Cathy James

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BUBBLES,  BABIES,  BOOKS!  
Focus:       literacy,  sensory  development,  fine  motor  development   This  activity  lets  kids  play  with  bubbles—glittery  bubbles  on  paper  and  totally  cool  bubbles  in  bags.       Materials:   • Ziploc  bags   • hair  gel   • heavy  duty  tape   • small  trinkets   • construction  paper     • small  circle  stickers  (or  white  paint  with  brushes)   • glitter   • book  about  bubbles  like  Bubble  Trouble,  by  Margaret  Mahy       How  to:     1. Read  a  book  about  bubbles  and  then  make  your  own!   2. To  make  bubbles  on  paper,  place  the  small  stickers  on  the  paper  and  put  glitter  on  top.       3. To  make  bubbles  in  a  bag,  add  hair  gel  to  bags  and  then  use  heavy  duty  tape  to  seal  shut,  or  add  a  small   amount  of  water  to  a  bag  and  add  small  trinkets.     4. Let  kids  play  with  bubbles  in  a  bag,  creating  bubbles  and  watching  them  pop!     Consider:     • Using  non-­‐fiction  texts  like  Pop!  A  Book  About  Bubbles,  by  Kimberly  Brubaker  Bradley  or  The  Nature  and   Science  of  Bubbles,  by  Jane  Burton  and  Kim  Taylor  for  an  older  student.  (Check  out  this  site  for  tons  of  bubble   books:  http://www.lecciagroup.com/bubbles/bubble_books.htm  )     Original  post:   Ready,  Set,  Read!     http://readysetread2me.blogspot.com/2010/06/bubbles-­‐babies-­‐and-­‐books.html    

     

Jackie  Higgins  writes  the  early  literacy  blog,  Ready.  Set.  Read!    (http://readysetread2me.blogspot.com/). She  is  a   former  reading  specialist/reading  recovery  teacher  turned  stay  at  home    mom  of  two  boys.  She  lives  near  St.  Louis,   Missouri  and  loves  exploring  children’s  literature  in  fun  ways.     37   we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011    

CAMP  REVIEW  
Focus:       play,  review  of  year’s  concepts  and  ideas  

Camp  Review  combines  summer,  the  outdoors,  and  learning—it  is  a  creative  way  of  reviewing  the  year’s  concepts   and  ideas!     Materials:   • creative  thought   • outdoor  play  space   • materials  as  needed   How  to:     1. Brainstorm  some  of  the  most  important  topics  and  concepts  learned  in  the  past  school  year.   2. Use  your  imagination  to  determine  ways  of  bringing  concepts  alive:  make  paper  boats  if  you  studied   boats;  become  frontiersmen  if  you  studied  the  frontier;  become  detectives  if  you  studied  mysteries,  etc.           Consider:     • Creating  a  poster  or  picture  collage  about  Camp  Review;   • Finding  a  ‘headquarters’  like  a  tree  house  or  back  porch  ‘lookout’  for  re-­‐grouping,  reading,  and  snacking;   • Re-­‐reading  all  or  part  of  your  favorite  texts  from  the  year.             Original  post:   LivingMontessoriNow   http://livingmontessorinow.com/2010/06/08/summer-­‐homeschool-­‐fun-­‐at-­‐camp-­‐review/  

Deb  Chitwood  writes  http://livingmontessorinow.com    and  is  a  Montessori  educator/writer  and  mother  of  two  adult   children.  Deb  homeschooled  her  children  through  high  school,  and  they  now  both  have  bachelor's  degrees.        
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PLAY  ON  ANTARTICA!  
Focus:       imaginative  play,  science,  geography  

An  activity  for  a  really,  really  hot  day,  when  you  need  to  get  away  but  just  cannot.     Materials:   • containers   • water   • ice   • Antarctic  or  Artic  animals   • stones  and  accessories     How  to:   1. 2. 3. Freeze  water  in  big  containers  to  make  icebergs.   Add  a  fluffy  white  towel  as  a  snowy  base  and  add  stones,  animals,  and  accessories Put  ice  blocks  into  a  container  of  water,  stones,  and  your  favorite  Artic  or  Antarctic  animals!

Consider:     • • Researching  Antarctica  on  the  internet  or  learning  about  the  environment  in  a  book.       Creating  a  Venn  Diagram  or  chart  outlining  the  similarities  between  where  you  live  and  Antarctica,  noting   temperature,  weather,  animals,  activities,  etc.  

    Original  post:   Picklebums   http://picklebums.com/2009/01/19/antarctica/    

Kate  used  to  be  a  preschool  teacher,  now  she  is  a  mum  to  four  children  living  on  a  small  property  in  rural  Australia.   Her  blog,  Picklebums,  (http://www.picklebums.com/),  is  an  eclectic  jumble  of  this  and  that  -­‐  activities  for  kids,  family   recipes,  gardening,  parenting  and  more.        
we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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BUILDING  A  BIRD’S  NEST  
Focus:       imaginative  play,  building,  outside  play,  science  

This  activity’s  not  for  the  birds!  It’s  for  kids  who  want  to  learn  a  little  about  what  our  feathered  friends  do  to  make  a   nest  home—and  it’s  muddy  and  messy  and  fun!     Materials:   • dirt   • water   • boxes  (cardboard  shoe  box)   • sticks,  leaves,  nest  materials  (yarn,  straw,  etc)     How  to:   1. 2. 3. Go  on  a  hunt  around  your  yard  for  bird  nest  materials,  gathering  sticks,  leaves,  straw,  yarn,  anything  in  one   of  the  boxes. Add  water  to  the  dirt  to  create  a  muddy,  sticky  paste,  and  coat  nest  materials  in  mud,  using  a  stick  or  hands   to  stir. Form  materials  into  a  nest  shape  and  let  dry.

Consider:     • • Researching  how  birds  build  nests   Playing  with  toy  birds  in  the  nests  

    Original  post:   hands  on:  as  we  grow  
http://handsonhouse.blogspot.com/2011/04/building-­‐birds-­‐nest-­‐outdoors-­‐in-­‐april.html    

Jamie  is  the  author  of  hands  on:  as  we  grow  (http://www.handsonaswegrow.com/)  and  is  enjoying  learning  how  to  become  more   hands  on  with  her  two  boys  with  lots  of  activities,  art,  crafts  and  many  other  fun  ideas  to  get  moving!  Hands  on  :  as  we  grow  is  also   a  part  of  a  play  based  community  called  It’s  Playtime  and  also  moderates  a  forum  at  We  Teach.  

     

we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011  

   

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BUILDING  DENS  
Focus:       imaginative  play,  construction,  problem  solving,  design   An  indoor  activity  for  a  really,  really  hot  day  or  a  rainy  day  when  you  can’t  get  outside.  Dens  open  up  a  world  of   imaginary  play  for  children  and  there’s  a  lot  of  creativity,  design,  problem  solving  and  construction  skills  being   developed  as  they  play.     Materials:   • sheets   • table   • chairs   • branches   • clothes  pins   • large  boxes     How  to:   1. 2. 3. Find  a  spot  to  build  the  den.  Think:  inside,  outside,  under  the  kitchen  table,  on  the  sofa,  on  their  bed,  in  a   cardboard  box.    Let  children  have  some  say  about  where  the  den  is  built,  perhaps  agreeing  how  long  the   construction  can  stay  up  and  that  they’ll  help  tidy  it  away  afterward.     Use  sofa  cushions,  garden  chair  cushions,  tables,  dining  chairs,  bed  sheets,  big  pieces  of  fabric,  big  branches   and  garden  parasols  laid  on  their  side.  Use  scarves,  string  and  clothes  pegs  to  fasten  things  together,  and   knot  things  around  chairs,  banisters  and  door  handles.  Big  boxes  and  chairs  are  good  for  holding  up  a  roof!   Encourage  kids  to  bring  in  props—pots,  pans,  and  picnic  items,  flashlights,  pillows  and  sleeping  bags  or   blankets,  clipboards  with  paper  and  pencils.    And  don’t  forget  about  books!  Dens  are  a  great  place  for  cozy   summer  reading!  

Original  post:     Nurture  Store   http://nurturestore.co.uk/building-­‐dens    

Cathy  James  writes  the  NurtureStore  (http://nurturestore.co.uk/) blog  which  is  packed  full  of  playful  learning  ideas   you  can  use  with  your  children,  covering  math,  literacy,  science,  art  and  craft  and  more.  Check  out  the  Sunflower   Club:  http://nurturestore.co.uk/sunflower-­‐club  -­‐-­‐  growing  sunflowers  for  a  good  cause!       41   we  teach  summer  learning  eBook  ©2011        

   

INDEX  
many  thanks  to  our  amazing  contributors  and  proud  we  teach  members:     (in  order  of  appearance)  
MaryLea Harris, http://www.pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com/ Amy Mascott, http://teachmama.com Candace Lindemann, http://naturallyeducational.com/ Maggie Woodley, http://www.redtedart.com/ Stacie Nelson http://www.amazingmess.com/ Laura Eldredge, http://www.theseedsnetwork.com/ JDaniel4’s Mom, http://www.jdaniel4smom.com/ Alida B. Bunder, http://www.two2read.com/ Julie Long Erin Wing, http://www.smalltypes.com by Elizabeth, http://tinyreader.blogspot.com/ Michelle Breum, http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/ Nicole, http://activitymom.blogspot.com/ Loralee Leavitt, http://www.candyexperiments.com Heather Kauffman MaryAnne, http://mamasmiles.com/ Rachel Miller, http://quirkymomma.com/ Maureen Wagner, http://www.strongstart.blogspot.com Kate, http://www.picklebums.com/ Julia, http://roots-of-simplicity.blogspot.com Dawn Little, http://literacytoolbox.com/literacytoolbox/ Beth M., Http://www.mamabeefromthehive.blogspot.com Jackie Higgins, http://readysetread2me.blogspot.com/ Deb Chitwood, http://livingmontessorinow.com/ Jamie, http://www.handsonaswegrow.com/ Cathy James, http://nurturestore.co.uk/

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Please  visit  http://weteachgroup.com  for   more  ideas  and  to  share  your  own!   Fyi:  Start  gathering  ideas  for  the  next  we   teach  eBook:  we  celebrate  holidays   Contributions  accepted  08/11-­‐09/11  for   10/11  press  date.  Info  available  on  site  in   July.    

 

     

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