Monthly Advice–May 1

I know it’s the first week of May, but I need everyone to start planning for summer now.

Write a list of things for families to do over the summer, local and easy recommendations, to inspire and ignite creativity and learning over the summer.

Recommend free options as much as possible so that all students can participate and see themselves as active participants in their own learning. Start now, ask around for more ideas, build a nice long list.

Need inspiration? Here are some ideas:

  • Go on a walk every day, talk the entire time (talking is learning, talk about anything your child desires)
  • Bake/cook with your child–conversations around food are filled with vocabulary, reasoning, and mathematical computation
  • Visit the zoo
  • Help around the house–sorting clothing, setting the table, sweeping, etc. help children learn responsibility, practice academic learning, and acquire life skills
  • Take kids to the grocery store–have your child find ingredients, discuss possible recipes, weigh food, etc.
  • Visit a museum, visit many museums
  • Sign-up for a summer reading challenge at the local library
  • Get some art & craft materials from the Dollar store and make something beautiful
  • Learn a new skill: embroidery, sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc. (find a YouTube video and go for it!)
  • Watch TedTalks, documentaries, and other programs that are age-appropriate and educational/spark discussion
  • Do something athletic: basketball, running, walking, skateboarding, baseball, etc.
    • Gross motor skills, fine motor skills, interpersonal & intrapersonal abilities are developed during these experiences
  • Join a summer program–swim class, recreation class, summer camp, etc.

This list is not complete. It includes items that span the K-12 spectrum. Some ideas require parental approval, supervision, and added effort. Some ideas are easily left to the child. This list is meant to be a springboard for a personalized list for your students as they embark on their summer journey–remember even though classroom learning has ended, their life is filled with learning opportunities and they should seize each moment to grow and learn.

Mathematical Discussion Topics

Last week I discussed the importance of math-centered literature.. I realize my list of books is small. Since I’m still building my math library, I make it a point to “speak math.”

The opportunity to “speak math” is unlimited; therefore, in addition to books, when can I ask mathematical questions? When can I practice mathematics?

I plan purposefully for mathematical discourse. My questions, my plans, apply learning and make real-world connections.

I have made plans and written suggestions for my classroom and for my students’ families. I have even used some of my ideas with close family and friends. It can be fun and learning-filled, I promise!

The following are questions and ideas I have shared and used:

  • Cooking: thought process and calculations
    • How many cups?
    • How long will it bake?
    • What’s the temperature?
  • Shopping: price estimations and sales reductions
    • The price is $20.99, if it’s 50% off it’ll be about $11.
  • Driving: signs
    • The sign says 45 MPH, that means 45 miles per hour. How long, approximately, will it take to drive 20 miles?
  • Zoos, museums, and parks: number specifications
    • How much does the animal weigh? How much does the animal eat?
    • When was this painting made? How long ago was that?
    • The park costs $10 to enter, I gave them $20, how much change do I get back?

Math is everywhere. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. If we can remind ourselves, and show our kids, how often we apply math in our everyday life they will not only see its value but they will also see themselves as mathematicians–which is a most positive and beautiful way to see themselves.