Summer Prep Centers

This idea was orginally inspired by a pin on Pinterest. I ran with the idea and it turned out perfectly!!!

I am a firm believer that learning and practice should not stop just because schools stops. I buy workbooks and make educational games for my own four children. Plus, they are still expected to read for at least thirty minutes per day. Wouldn't it be great if all parents felt this way?! But, we know that isn't going to happen. So I want to make reading, writing and math facts fun enough that perhaps my students would CHOOSE to do them over the summer! I explained to my kids just how much information you loose by not practicing over the summer. This shocked them. I'll admit that I was hoping for that reaction. =)

So I split my class into three groups and rotated these centers to each group. Each student was given a gallon Ziploc to keep their finished work in.

1. Reading Center:
First, they made adorable popcicle bookmarks. I found this idea on Pinterest. Go to this website for the free printable.

Next, they colored in the cool reading passport from this pack. The pack has reading challenges for the kids to complete over the summer. Some challenges are reading into a microphone, reading my the pool, reading to a pet, reading in a fort, etc. After the child completes the challenge they get to glue a badge in their passport. The kids were very excited! I even told them that if they bring a completed passport to me at the start of next year, I would have a surprise for them! (I am thinking some gummy book worms and a bookmark!)

2. Writing Center:
I gave each of the students a spiral notebook (because that is what I had on hand). Then they got a pack of these summer journal prompts. They cut the prompts out and glued one on each page of their notebook so that they have lots of things to write about this summer! They enjoyed reading the prompts and talking about which ones they wanted to do first!

3. Math Facts Center
I gave each of my students a baggie with 50 small notecards. (I took 3x5 cards and cut them in half.) I also gave each student a worksheet that had 50 division facts with their answers. I put the sheet in a page protector. I instructed the kids to write the problem on one side of the card and the answer on the other side so that they would have their own set of flashcards. They used a dry erase marker to cross off the problems as they made the card.

I put each of these centers into a separte basket and then just rotated the baskets to my different groups. I should also warn you that you need to leave plenty of time! It took about 25 minutes for each rotation!

I loved this activity for several reasons. Obviously, I loved getting the kids excited to do a lot of reading, writing and math facts over the summer! Also, after I gave instructions, they were able to work independently! This gave me lots of time to do paperwork and other end-of-year tasks. Yay! And finally, I loved that it gave them time to socialize. They are so used to having to focus on work or remain quiet. During this activity, they could get their projects done and still talk to friends. I even put some fun music on. It was actually a very good community feeling in my room!

I have just 2 1/2 days of school left! I am so close to surviving my first year of teaching!