Teachers work hard to keep our kindergarteners learning all year. When our kindergarteners leave us for the summer, we often worry about all the learning that is going to be lost. We wonder if our students will still be ready for 1st grade when the new school year starts, or if they will go into the new year struggling because they didn’t retain everything they learned during the school year. To combat this problem, we need to make sure that students are still learning and applying their knowledge throughout the summer. These are some of my favorite ways to keep kindergarteners learning over the summer.
Summer Learning Calendar
It is not feasible to think that students will be able to do the same type of learning over the summer as they were doing in our classrooms, and they don’t have to be! Students just need to be able to do simple activities every day that use the skills they learned in kindergarten. That is why summer learning calendars are so great!
Each summer learning calendar contains a short activity for students to do each day of the summer. Some days address literacy skills with things like reading a book with a loved one or making a list of sight words they learned in kindergarten. Other days may be more math focused, with simple counting tasks. Calendars can even include other skills that we don’t want students to lose over the summer, such as tying shoes and making lists. This is a quick and simple way to help keep your kindergarteners learning, and it doesn't take a lot of printing or prep.
In my Kindergarten Summer Work bundle, I have included a pre-filled calendar for each month of the summer, and each includes simple activities like the ones mentioned above.
Another key component to my Summer Work bundle is the summer journal. Journals are a great way to keep students using their kindergarten skills over the summer. Not only does it give them drawing practice, but it also gives students a great opportunity to apply everything they have learned about letters and sounds in writing words for their stories.
Summer journals can include prompts for students to write about, can be free-write activities, or can be used for students to record what they are doing throughout the summer. I have included a variety of templates in my Kindergarten Summer Work bundle so that you can choose what will work best for your students.
Another great way to keep kindergarteners learning over the summer is by utilizing online learning games. Some of my favorite websites to visit are www.ABCya.com and www.Starfall.com. While Starfall is mainly geared towards reading, ABCya has a variety of learning games that target both early math and early literacy skills. Students can choose their grade level, and then choose which skills they would like to work on that day.
There are also a number of great free apps that families can download for students, such as Hooked on Phonics and Phonics Monster. At the end of my bundle, I have a more comprehensive list of free apps and websites that you could share with parents so that students will have online games as another option for maintaining their learning.
Over the summer, it is important for kindergarten students to continue their learning so that they don’t lose what they have been working on all year. They can do that through simple activities on a summer learning calendar, keeping a journal over the summer, and/or utilizing online resources. There are also so many hands-on activities that would benefit your little learner. Either way, they are going to be working towards retaining everything they learned in kindergarten, so they will continue to be prepared for first grade.