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May 25, 2012 A Summer Survival Kit for Future 1st Graders By Sharon Taylor
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    The end of the school year is finally here! The time has come to say goodbye to another group of students. Summer is a time to play, but we do not want our students to totally ignore all that they’ve learned. Join me as I share a few ideas you can use to prepare your students for a fun and educational summer.



    Summer Reading List

    We all want our students to maintain their reading level and advance over the summer break.  For this to happen, we must encourage our students to continue reading during the summer. Summer reading is a time to read for fun. This year I gave a summer reading list to my students. It includes a list of level-appropriate books.


    Use tools like Book Wizard from Scholastic to create your own book list for your students. Also take a look at Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge.  


    Summer Word Games

    Students love to play around with words. This year I gave them a summer word search packet with crosswords, word searches, dot-to-dot printables, word puzzles, and more. These activities are fun and excellent activities to keep your little ones busy learning this summer. For a list of free ready-to-print word puzzles and games, visit Activity Village and Scholastic. I also provide my students with a Dolch Word List to review over the summer and a set of 1st grade Dolch words on flashcards. 


    Summer Activity Pack

    Each year I prepare a summer activity pack for my students. These packets cover a variety of subjects and include different ways of learning. The activities I include are fun, and they reflect lessons learned in the classroom. This year I used ready-to-print activities from Kelly’s Kindergarten for June and July.       


    Summer Web Sites

    Enhance and supplement your students' learning over the summer by providing them with some great educational Web sites. The Internet provides access to a variety of free resources. Using the right online resources can help students practice and build skills. Some of my favorite sites are ScholasticDisney’s funschool.comIXL, a math practice site; the phonics site StarfallTumbleBooks, which offers free ebooks for kids; PBS Kids; and Discovery Kids. These sites help students learn using games, puzzles, and other fun methods.     


    Gift Idea for Students

    I love preparing an end-of-the-school-year gift for my departing students. Remember, gifts do not have to be expensive or elaborate. This year I surprised my students with a plastic, personalized beach pail filled with several small gifts I purchased at the local dollar store. Often you will find that parents are happy to donate small items. Don’t hesitate to ask! The kids loved this gift idea because it was simple and fun. I included a beach ball, a bug catcher, a book, a jump rope, bubbles, and sidewalk chalk in each pail. I also added a beautiful end-of-the-year poem along with our class picture.


    What do you do to reinforce student learning over the summer? Please comment below!





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Susan Cheyney