Summer Learning Ideas
“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” - Robert Frost
Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning, The 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!
Let’s face it, many of our students will be watching TV, playing video games, updating their social networks or texting their friends during their breaks. They won’t think about the learning potential of these technologies unless we help guide them. And yes, I feel that is important because if not then many will tend to be couch potatoes and not choose to explore the world around them. Let me suggest some activities that will help you as an educator show your students learning happens anytime, anywhere and can be very fun and active! By the way, these activities are always optional for my students but I find even if they aren’t graded students will complete them.
- Geocaching is where you find little treasures around the area people create. Others find it through free apps that list hints, the longitude, and latitude. Do a school version where students hide small containers of treasure and their peers find them via their longitude and latitude.
- Participate in citizen science projects and help scientists find answers to deep questions. Check out ones for exploring the stars or the environment at SciStarter.
- MIT encourages students to document the nature they see through photos and descriptions with ProjectNoah.org (iOS/Android).
- Send them on Virtual field trips. Check out the ones already created here by @HistorySandoval.
- Take them on walks exploring the nature around them.They can create digital books classifying rocks, identifying bugs, naming plants and potential uses, or capturing the sounds of various birds. Try Buncee, Canva, or Genially to create your digital scrapbooks.
- Go on a scavenger hunt! Try these apps and web tools- Goose Chase app and the Qr Treasure Hunt Generator.
- Send them on photo challenges. See my post with 52 ideas and resources here!
- Here are 15 ways to create a summer reading program.
- Idea: Create an interactive digital calendar to inspire your students to explore a topic, learn during the breaks, or to provide students and parents with important information. Each day add a new writing prompt, brain break, Flipgrid, brainteaser, video, challenge, mini-experiment, virtual field trip, random act of kindness, calming activity, learning game, or trivia. Students can submit their work via a linked Google Form or post on your Learning Management System (Google Classroom, Seesaw, Edmodo, or Schoology).
- Template: To create your own interactive digital calendar:
- Go to my Google Calendar Template, click Use Template, and edit as you like. You can add a header image or use the one provided.
- To change the date double-click on the cell and click the day you want on the calendar that pops up.
- Take a screenshot of the calendar so it is a jpg or png image.
- Upload this image to Genially, which is the free web tool I used. With Genially you can add clickable markers (click the stars to see this feature) or make a small part of your image clickable with an invisible area tag (click the ShellyTerrell.com to see this feature). Add text in a window (hover your mouse over day 1 to see this feature).
- Then share the link with students, send them a pdf, or embed the calendar on a website as I have done below.
- Free Tools / Templates to Create an Advent Calendar: AdventMyFriend, Genially, Slidesmania Slides Template, Wakelet, Powerpoint Template, ThingLink, Google Slides, Google Drawing
- For each day your students are off they can click the calendar to find a new task worth points.
- Mix up the tasks to include various activities like visiting museum, attending a play, snapping a picture outside, or using an online web tool
- Provide a points system where they can cash in later to collect prizes
- Discover more in my book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies with Learning Missions
- Schoology has digital badges you can quickly give for completed tasks.
- Google Classroom lets you schedule posts so that each week is a new challenge. Click here to discover how to do this.
Mission: Snap a photo of graffiti you think could be art and tell us through an audio recording why you think it is art versus just graffiti.
What You’ll Need: Add to this Flipgrid
Points Worth: 10
Bonus Points: Post a short reflection in your blog for 5 more points.