July 5, 2014

Reader Spotlight: Emily

Hey everyone! Emily here, from over at Munchkins Inc! I’m thrilled to be guest-blogging for Kristin!

At almost every school I’ve worked at, be it as a substitute teacher or paraprofessional, a practicum student, a student teacher or a teacher, I’ve seen summer packets get sent home. My school is no different! We send home summer packets at the end of the year to the kids who are rising to our grade level, so the 2nd grade team sent our packet to the current first graders!

Now, packets in the past (and packets we’ve seen go home with other kids...) are full of worksheets, and to be honest, it all looks like busywork to me. I. Despise. Busywork. So for the munchkins coming up to me next year, my grade partner (Sara) and I talked it over and we decided to give them something a little different this year.

We had a few goals for them:

+ Most importantly, READ!
+ Write.
+ Practice math facts.

We’re not asking too much! So why fill a huge packet with worksheets when this is all we want them to do? We came up with a solution that we were both very happy with.

For math, there’s not much we can do but send home some practice. So what I made up was 8 weeks worth of “Fast Fact” practice. 8 different sheets, addition on the front, subtraction on the back. The directions were to have a parent time them once a week with addition facts, once a week with subtraction facts. Practice any way you want during the week, and watch yourself get faster and more accurate! Not the most thrilling thing in the packet, but ya do what you can!

For everything else, I decided on having a BINGO board! I created this with the premise that not everyone would finish every activity BUT if they finish everything, a special prize would be waiting for them on the first day of second grade. :o) (My second-moving-to-third graders saw this and asked if they could have one for themselves! Of course, I obliged!)

In this BINGO board (check it out at the end of the post), I included LOTS of different schemes ideas to get our kids reading! Reading in silly places, reading to and with different people, trying different kinds of reading materials, getting to the library, you get the idea! Getting them ready for Read to Self without them even knowing it!

We also included reading logs for each month. They are a calendar with the directions to log how much you read each day, with a spot for a parent to sign off on it. This is similar to the reading logs they’ll be getting all year!

For each month, I asked them to do a book review – identify the characters and setting, give a 2-3
sentence overview of the plot and rate the book!

I also suggested that our kiddos get a notebook and write in it a few times a week! (Little do they know, we are priming them for Work on Writing! See a theme here?)

Other things I included: book recommendations, a book log, and the supply list for next year.

Now for a FREEBIE! A summer BINGO board! If you’re still in school, hand this out to your kiddos for a fun summer challenge! If not, save it for next year. :o)

Stop by my TpT store (here) to download it!

How do you keep your kiddos ready for the next school year? How do you help prevent the summer slide?

Big thanks to Kristin for having me over here for the day! :o)

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