Friday, July 29, 2016

Minds Under Construction

This was year number two that I taught summer school and once again, it flew by so fast! I just love the half days and the fact that I get to make my own schedule. I don't have to worry about kids coming and going from mainstream. Everyone is there at the same time and we can just do our thing. It was easy peasy! Here's a few highlights from our summer school program.

We did a construction/STEM theme this summer for some fun hands-on learning. The kids loved using their own imagination and creativity to build everyday. I set up 16 STEM tasks and each day they picked a different box to build with. I snapped a photo each day and then they would write about their building creation the next day in their STEM journal. (Which I forgot to get a photo of.) I had them writing and they didn't even realize it! =)
For literature we focused on Iggy Peck the Architect. We had a lot of fun with this story. The kids thought it was hilarious. Our second book was Rosie Revere the Engineer. They love it just as much! Many of our summary skills and vocabulary revolved around these two books for the summer.
When the day is full of activities the day just flies by! Our last hour always flew by with our centers time. I set up 8 different centers and the students rotated three times for 20 minute centers. By the end of the week they had visited each center and been to small group with me. Engagement is the key and keeping them busy! Due to the large range of kiddos I have (from kindergarten to sixth grade), I had to put out several different centers that would hit everyone's needs. That's always fun finding materials to reach everyone!

So in order to really target those sight words for the kindergarten students I created these Construction Sight Word centers to get us through the summer. If you're interested in four different construction themed centers, you can find them here in my TpT store

For art, we made some Lego blue print stamp painting. I collected various size Legos from my daughter's stash and the students just dipped the bottom sides into the paint and stamped them on the construction paper. I hung up their art work for a cute display during summer school. Then at the end of summer school I used their Lego art as a folder to send home all of their work from summer school. 

While learning about architects, I had one of our teacher's husband come in and talk to the students about his job as a construction estimator.  He brought in actual blue prints and tools for the students to check out. He was so awesome with the students and they had a million questions for him.

During summer school we're not supposed to take any field trips. It's a pretty lame rule... but it was made due to those that just want to walk up to 7-11 every Friday to kill time. Well, I was able to write up a proposal and show the educational benefit of our field trip and it was approved! So during our third week of summer school we went to Home Depot. The staff was fabulous! They arranged a tour with their mascot Homer so the kids could see each section of the store. We saw everything from how they mix the paint to cutting a key. The kids were so into it! Homer gave them each a flag and a goodie bag.

Then we went back into their training room and they each got to make one of their Builder's Workshop kits. (You know you can take your own kiddos to Home Depot the first Saturday of the month? They put on a kids Builder's Workshop for free.) The students made a little Ice Age 2 bowling game. They were in heaven! That morning one of students were shocked that they were actually going to *use* a hammer all on their own. She was so proud of her creation!

So, overall we had a great hands-on summer of learning! The students were rarely absent... which tells me they enjoyed it as well!

No comments:

Post a Comment