One Sunflower

what’s so cool about summer school!

on July 31, 2011

The best thing about summer school is that it isn’t – school that is.  It’s summer, (sort-of, this is the Pac NW afterall,) but what happens only resembles school.  Actually what I like best is that it resembles the best parts of school.

"She'll be comin' round the mountain"

We begin each morning as a group – all 50 kids in one classroom singing songs, doing a “Jam minute” exercise and then one class steps to the front to be in the spotlight, sharing some work they are doing.  There are 4 classes and 4 days to the week so each class has their assigned day.

Sharing about Tales of Despereaux

The second graders shared some predictions they were making about a book and a game for learning names, the 3rd and 4th graders shared some summaries about the Tales of Despereaux and the first graders taught everyone the sequence of claps to the song Dum-dum-da-da.

brother and sister in tie-dye

Each class spends 75 minutes together for literacy.  Then we all take a 15 minute break together on the playground beginning with a snack.

The next hour is split into two sessions of mixed age groups.  I am especially enjoying the mix of abilities and background knowledge as I work with my groups to produce shadow puppets.

re-reading 3 Billy Goats Gruff

The younger students have needed some help cutting out the thick paper, the older students sometimes need refresher courses on the nursery rhymes and folk tales that we are dramatizing.

Another aspect of summer school that is fun is the mix of teachers.  Our district music teacher is working this summer and enjoying teaching literacy and having the same group of kids every day.  Two of the teachers are recent interns and bring young energy to the work. I’m enjoying seeing what my ex-preschoolers have learned in their year of kindergarten and hoping to maintain some of their footholds as they make their way to first grade.

I referenced our 6th grade helpers in a previous post.  They are enjoying being our summer school recorders as well, taking turns behind the camera.

caught on my own camera

A CD will be made for each student at the end of the session – just 8 more days! Then the count down begins towards “real school.”  Hopefully I’ll see some of the t-shirts turn up on kids and hear some of the songs.
Maybe, just maybe, one of the students will write about doing a puppet show.

3 little kittens scene


One response to “what’s so cool about summer school!

  1. Donna Smith says:

    Doesn’t it make you a bit sad…I know it does me…that school isn’t more like “not school”? This sounds like the ideal way to do school – to do learning. Have a great finish to this wonderful session!

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