Exploring and Learning in the Summer
We definitely need time in the summer to take a break, relax and recharge after a busy school year and all of the activities and learning that make up our regular daily routines. I've always enjoyed the extra time in the summer to recharge but also love that it also presents a unique opportunity for learning and exploration.
As an educator, I always encourage my students to embrace the summer as a chance to learn something new every day. They can still take time to enjoy the summer break, but there are extra hours available during that time for students to engage in activities that promote continued learning and something that is also important, healthy living. Here are some ideas to explore that help students and educators to make the most of this summer!
Explore the outdoors
It is important to get outside and enjoy nature, engage in some activities or even volunteer in the summer to help with some cleanup projects in the community. reconnecting with family and friends, and engaging in volunteer work or work experiences are common summer activities for students. To make the most of these experiences, students write a journal about what they see and what they learn and share with family. It can also be a great way to prepare for the upcoming school year, depending on grade level and content area. Learning about something new definitely sparks curiosity for learning and engages students in more active learning!
Animals and nature walks
There are so many opportunities for students to observe and become curious about the world around them. We can help students to foster this curiosity by encouraging them to learn about animals that they might encounter during the summer. There are great resources available from Pebble Go's research articles to learn more about different species. Students can then use PebbleGo Create to create a graphic or presentation to share what they have discovered and learned about during their summer adventures. PebbleGo Create is such a fun and creative way for students to showcase learning experiences and newly gained knowledge.
Share a summer experience
Sometimes, it can be challenging to know what students have experienced during their time away from the classroom over the summer. By providing them with some ideas to explore over the summer, we encourage them to continue learning but in a personalized and authentic way. Some ideas include learning about animals, sharing books they have read, talking about places they have visited or sharing their participation in activities like camps or sports. With these options, we give them an opportunity to share their summer experiences in a way that is authentic and meaningful and that helps us to learn more about them and for them to learn more about their own interests.
Recharging and healthy habits
Encourage students to explore some of the articles available through PebbleGo and learn the importance of getting outdoors, exercise and in healthy eating habits. For a fun idea, have students share a healthy recipe! Students can explore healthy eating habits and then create their own nutritious recipes. Using the articles from PebbleGo, they can research and gather information about different food groups, portion sizes, and the benefits of various ingredients. Something fun for families is to encourage students to experiment in the kitchen and document their cooking adventures by designing using PebbleGo Create or Buncee! They can include recommendations that discuss the importance of eating balanced meals, the impact on their overall well-being, and how they plan to continue these habits beyond the summer.
Summer holidays and celebrations
Summer also has a lot of events that students may get involved in. Using the great calendars from PebbleGo, students could learn more about the meaning behind a tradition or celebration throughout the summer. After doing a bit of research or even just thinking about what they have learned, students can use PebbleGo Create to share how they would get involved in some of these events!
Some schools may even assign summer tasks to keep students engaged. These assignments could involve reading books, exploring nature and science, participating in sports or wellness activities, or creating and participating in a fun scavenger hunt. For students who enjoy reading, provide a template that they can use to track progress and even rate the books to share with others.
By providing templates and adapting them to fit specific content or ideas, students can have an enjoyable and educational summer experience.
Encouraging students to look around their environment, connect with their communities, and engage with the wider world better prepares them for the future. It also helps them to see learning as a process and part of a lifelong journey. When we promote learning over the summer, it is not just about the content but about providing them with possibilities to explore and choose what interests them. And what I think is so important, is it gives us an opportunity to build relationships and learn from one another when we return to the classroom.
And a fun activity is to start the year with an icebreaker and ask students what they learned and have them create with PebbleGo Create or Buncee to share. It would be a fantastic way to get to know students and for them to get to know their classmates!
These platforms foster curiosity, creativity, and confidence in learning. Students can share their summer activities, discoveries, and passions, allowing their classmates and teachers to learn from their unique perspectives and have fun while doing so!