Friday, July 3, 2015

Stop!! Don't let your Brain Turn to Mush!!

Summer is in full swing down here in The Sunshine State.  Many teachers & students are enjoying staying up late, sleeping in, swimming in the pool, theme parks, traveling, and of course the beach! As a teacher, I look forward to the summer as a time to unwind, relax, and recharge my teacher batteries.  I try to let go of all the stress and demands of the past school year, but I still worry.

I worry about this very real threat to all students everywhere during the summer.  It's called Summer Brain Drain and it is real!  Google it and see! The results are Shocking!!  An average student can lose between 2-3 months of academic learning during the summer!  That's an average student so I'm afraid to know what happens to a student who is at risk or below level. YIKES!  This is why we spend so much time trying to whip our students' brains back into shape each and every school year.  By the time we have gained back what was lost over the summer a quarter of the school year is gone!  

What can we do to keep our students' brains from turning into mush?  Well, this summer the teachers at my school are working together to try and fight this battle.  First we invited PARENTS and STUDENTS to an End of Year Summer Resource Fair at our school.  

Each Grade level was represented and filled their booth/table with fun activities, websites, games, and other ideas to send home with parents over the summer!  
 3rd Grade Teachers Rock!!

2nd Grade Teachers are so much fun!!

Our school district purchased every teacher a Reading A-Z license and all of our students have access to RAZ KIDS!  Shut-UP!!  No Lie!  For those of you who aren't familiar with the Reading A-Z reading resource website check it out!  Long story short, my students have access to a leveled reading library all summer long and I can track their progress, see what they are reading, and monitor their quizzes! 

For Math we set up our students on the Prodigy Math Game website! This site is free for teachers and students!  They make their money off of parents that purchase game upgrades, but you don't have to purchase anything!  Teachers can track student usage, skills, give assignments, etc...It is amazing and fun!!  

For my rising 5th Graders, I am keeping in touch with them over the summer using Edmodo!  This morning I posted a big shout out to those students utilizing RAZ KIDS & Prodigy so far this summer and praised them for helping fight Brain Mush!  I also told them that we would have a pizza party for all those that participated this summer during the first week of school in August!  

I've also challenged my students with trying to read all 15 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Finalists for 2015-2016!  We are sharing out which books we have read and recommend on Edmodo!  Here is a picture of my Wild Reader SSYRA Book Stack!  I'm starting with Nerd Camp, which was recommended by one of my students!  

Hope your summer is full of fun & sun, but don't forget to help fight Brain Mush!