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Title 1- Mrs. S. Stebbins

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Check out the links below! They are to YouTube videos about fun summer science experiments and activities that kids can do. Also, be sure to continue on down to look at ideas on how to prevent the "Summer Slide". I hope everyone has a fun-filled, relaxing, and wonderful summer break!



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What is “Summer Slide”?

          “Summer Slide” refers to the loss of skills that can happen over the long summer months. This happens when students do not get any practice in reading, math, or problem-solving skills. When the start of school comes around and summer loss has occurred, it makes adjusting to the new school year difficult. It can also cause students to feel easily frustrated with the new challenging material and lessons. To read more about what the “Summer Slide” is, check out the link below.


How do you prevent the “Summer Slide”?

            Reading something (a novel, magazine, newspaper, blog post, or recipe book) for 20 minutes a day can prevent vocabulary and reading skills loss. Cooking in the kitchen can help prevent the loss of particular math and problem-solving skills. Creating a summer scrapbook of various family adventures can help prevent the loss of writing skills over the summer. For other ideas on how to prevent this loss, check out the link below.


Does my student have to do school work all day long? It is summer time, they should be enjoying their time off.

            No! It only takes a few minutes each day practicing and discussing different things in order to keep students’ brains growing and strong. A quick trip to the grocery store could count as a math/money review for kids. 

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Well, it is that time of year when school starts winding down and summer vacation is

ready to take its place. With that, however, can come a lot of downtime. Ever heard your

child/children claim they are bored? Described and linked below are some tips for keeping

kids both entertained and thinking during those long and hot summer months. The best part

is, if the activities are engaging and exciting, kids will not even realize they are learning and

practicing math, reading, and questioning skills. These activities will, in turn, help students

when they return to school. (It will help prevent “summer loss” and keep minds fresh.)

Make Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

In order to create these tasty treats, kids will have to bake cookies, which will require them to use math and read (following a recipe requires focus after all). After experimenting, the kids can enjoy their hard work.                                

How fun!

Lemonade Stand

Setting up a lemonade stand is a great way for kids to practice money and critical thinking skills. It also provides them an opportunity to practice and show their responsibility.

Plant a Garden

This fun outdoor activity will allow students to practice planning, potentially troubleshooting, and responsibility. It will also allow kids to be active outside (digging in the dirt, planting seeds, weeding, and watering the garden daily are all great physical activities to engage in).

Create a Summer Scrapbook

Tracking what you did over the summer as a family (with both pictures and words) allows students to practice their writing skills and exercise their creativity at the same time.



What’s So Special About the Month of May?

May is an important month that should not be overlooked. Not only does it signify warmer weather, playing outside, and it staying lighter later at night, but it also holds even more importance that students should be aware and a part of.

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May is the month to celebrate Mother’s Day. For those fortunate enough, this can be a time to celebrate a special woman (mom, step-mom, aunt, grandmother, etc.) in your life. Show them how important they are to you and thank them for all they do. Students could create a card, write a poem, draw/paint a picture, or even by a little gift. You could also pick a few flowers (they should be unburied by the snow by then). Check out the links below for more DIY Mother’s Day creations.



            Memorial Day can also be found in May. This special holiday is a time for students to learn about/celebrate all those soldiers who have died serving our country. There are many ways that students could do this. They could research more about the holiday and learn about the history behind it. They can create patriotic decorations. Check out the links below for some fun ideas!




Get Your DIY On!

Keep the kids happy this winter with these 50 fun cabin fever activities!


Spring is so close, yet so far away. With the longing for spring, cabin fever creeps up and sets in. On the days when it is sunny and warm, going outside to play is a great choice. On days when it is windy, cold, and bleak, staying inside and creating your own fun could also be an option. Below are some ideas on how to construct fun out of everyday household things. These activities can be for all ages!

·         DIY Flubber- https://www.lookwerelearning.com/diy-flubber/

·         Recycled Carton Bird Feeders- https://www.learningandexploringthroughplay.com/2017/05/recycled-carton-bird-feeders.html

·         Ice Castle Building- https://fun-a-day.com/preschool-science-fun-ice-castles/

·         LEGO Football- https://www.firefliesandmudpies.com/lego-super-bowl-folded-paper-footballs/

·         STEM Minute to Win It!- https://igamemom.com/stem-challenge-minute-to-win-it-games-for-kids/

·         Frozen Oobleck- https://www.messylittlemonster.com/2016/01/frozen-oobleck-sensory-play-small-world.html

87 Energy‐Busting Indoor Games <span class="amp">&</span> Activities For Kids (Because Cabin Fever Is No Joke)


·         Mission Impossible Obstacle Maze- https://whatmomslove.com/kids/active-indoor-games-activities-for-kids-to-burn-energy/

·         Design Notebook Covers- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/60728294945160965/



I hope some of these ideas help break up the monotonous winter and allow an outlet for pent-up energy!

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When I was school-aged, the television show “ZOOM” was popular and a lot of fun. It was packed full of riddles, games, arts and crafts, and science experiments that looked like a blast. What better time to create and experiment at home than February break! Below is a link to a handful of basic science experiments, creations, and other fun activities that kids can enjoy (with parental supervision). They will challenge your child to think, allow them to discover, and provide enjoyable afternoons all at the same time!

On this page, the content is broken down into the following categories:

·         Chemistry

·         Engineering

·         Physical Science

·         Mathematics

·         Art

·         ZOOMgames

·         Nature

·         Human Biology


There are 130 activities available on this website and 81 videos explaining different activities, experiments, and creations. You could create your own biome, use rocks to grow plants, make a balloon boat, and so much more! Be sure to check out the link and plan some fun activity time for you and your family over February break.

Squishy Bags:

A Great Way to Practice Math and Reading

Check out this DIY squishy bag video!


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          Homework involving alphabet, spelling, sight words, and number practice can become a daunting task for some students as the school year moves forward. Pencil and paper (or typing for the older students) becomes the norm and gets boring fast. How can we make practicing these skills more fun at home? The answer might be a more unconventional approach-a squishy bag!

          These tools can be created in a variety of ways. First, start off with a Ziploc sandwich bag. Put a small amount of either paint or hair gel into the bag.  (The bag does not need to be filled. A small amount goes a long way.) Push all of the air out of the bag, seal the bag, and tape it shut to make sure there are no leaks. Finally, get a Q-tip to write on the bag. (Using a Q-tip ensures that little fingernails will not puncture a hole in the bag.) Lay the squishy bag down on a flat surface and you can start writing on the squishy bag with a Q-tip.

          This is a tool I have been using with the Kindergarteners for their letter practice, but this is a tool that could make practicing spelling words more fun for older students as well. Have fun with it! If your student likes sparkles, get some sparkly hair gel. If your student likes bold color, get clear hair gel and use food coloring. These squishy bags can be tailored to each student’s interests and most of the supplies (if not all) can be found at the dollar store. I have included a link to a video on how to create these inventive tools at the top of the page. Be sure to check it out!

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The cold January wind is blowing near and with it comes more rigorous school classwork and projects. Two of my writing groups are finishing up their “What is a Narrative?” projects. A lot of hard work and brain power is being put into these displays. The goal is for the students to define the ten different parts of a narrative and to give examples of each all within a visual display. Not only did they have to recall different terms that we have discussed up to this point in the school year, but they also had to use their creativity to develop specific examples. Overall, I am very proud of the students’ dedication and enthusiasm for this project! 

Make sure to check back next month for pictures of the finished projects. Also coming next month is different ideas on what to do for fun outside in the snow and how to grow your child's/children's inquisitive brains at the same time (experiments, games for the whole family, scavenger hunts, etc.)

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas break and returns to school with fresh, rejuvenated brains!

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December is coming as fast as the snow and more holiday family fun is right around the corner. Why not include reinforcing activities into these joyful occasions to help boost academics? This month, I compiled a list of holiday learning activities for all ages. Scroll on down and check them out! I included activities for a variety of holidays. After all, multicultural learning is great exposure for students!

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The Dreidel Game- Have your child/children use egg cartons or cardboard to make their own dreidel. Then, using the resources linked to the website, have them learn how to play!



Bake Food Associated with Different Holidays:

*Kwanza recipes- (Sweet Potato Pie, Grandmother’s Southern Fried Okra, African Vegetarian Stew, and many more)


*Chanukah recipes- (Latkes, Cheese Blintzes, Fruity Pot Roast, Halvah, and much more!)


*Ramadan recipes (Sambousa and Butter Cookies)



Christmas Tree-Shaped Poems- have your child/children write poems in the shape of Christmas trees!



Shiny Snowflake Ornaments- have students create decorations to hang around the house or on a Christmas tree. These could also be good gifts!



The website linked below leads to a variety of hands-on crafts and projects centered around the December holidays. There are 30 different fun ideas (many Advent calendar ideas, how to create wreaths and a menorah, decorating ideas, and so much more)!



I hope that these resources prove to be useful in some way during this exciting time of year! Be sure to check back next month for more fun activities and helpful tips.

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Wow, November is hot on our heels! With this month just around the corner, the holidays start to creep into our minds. What holiday do many people associate with November?


Being such a fun time of year, one often associated with families and spending time with each other, why not practice some learning skills at home themed for the upcoming occasion.

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 Math-Themed Learning Activities:

I am a big supporter of cooking with children. Not only does this skill allow them to practice different math concepts/skills, but it also involves problem-solving and reading (especially if there is a recipe to follow and trying to figure out how much food you need to accommodate a specific number of people). Below are links to different Thanksgiving/Fall-themed recipes that children could help out within the kitchen.

·         Simple Roasted Apples with Cinnamon Sugar

o   https://www.amydgorin.com/recipes/roasted-apples/

·         Cranberry Corn Muffins

o   https://www.theleangreenbean.com/cranberry-corn-muffins/

·         15 Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes-Highlights

o   https://www.highlights.com/parents/recipes/15-kid-friendly-thanksgiving-recipes

·         12 Tasty Thanksgiving Side Dishes To Make With Your Kids

o   http://www.mykidsadventures.com/thanksgiving-side-dish-recipes/

ELA-Themed Learning Activities:

                Borrowing books from the library and reading them each night can be a great idea for incorporating reading practice during this exciting fall time. Below are some links that list different Thanksgiving books.

·         A quick Google search for “Thanksgiving books for kids” brings up an exhaustive list of fall-themed books (for both younger and older students). This list includes picture books and chapter books.

o   https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=IhS-W72uE9DWwQL-oazIBw&q=thanksgiving+books+for+kids&btnK=Google+Search&oq=thanksgiving+books+for+kids&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0j0i22i30l5.182910.186491..186610...0.0..0.217.4105.1j25j2....2..0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0i131.sQLECLcxHtY

·         Goodreads.com has over 100 different book titles for children. This website is great because it has a picture of the book cover (sneak peeks are fun).

o   https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1089.Best_Children_s_Thanksgiving_Books

·         Readbrightly.com has both books to read and activities to do. This list includes activities to get active, arts and crafts, and so much more.

o   https://www.readbrightly.com/great-thanksgiving-books-and-activities-for-kids/


I hope this list of different activities is helpful for you and your family. The most important thing to remember is, the more we do with kids, the more they will learn. So, why not take advantage of the fall season and incorporate some fun learning at home? Be sure to check back next month for winter holiday (learning) activities. Happy Learning!

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With the start of every school year, comes one inevitable task of homework. Where some students love the idea of leaving school and practicing skills they have just learned, others dread the very thought of homework. So, how can we help our students get the extra practice they need, feel successful, and lessen certain struggles and challenges?

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Guide, Provide, Monitor, and Motivate!       

   With a quick Google search, dozens of resources can be found on the topic of “helping students with their homework for parents”. One piece of advice that jumps out, however, is providing students with a place designated for doing homework. When this space has been defined (and necessary tools are available), students are already set up for success. According to gradepowerlearning.com, “giving your child a place to work, limiting distractions, and providing supplies like pencils, pens, and paper” is one way to help your child with homework. They also discuss how “guiding your child toward answers when he or she has questions – without answering it for him or her” is another method of assisting a child when they need help. Although “providing answers or completing projects for your child may end up hurting in the long run because it can prevent the child from developing an understanding of the subject”, this source encourages parents to become active motivators (and monitors), supply guidance when it is needed. https://gradepowerlearning.com/should-parents-help-homework/

          The pbs.org/parents website also has wonderful tips on how to help your child/children with their homework. Tips include understanding why students have homework, limiting electronic exposure during homework times, and staying connected with the school in regards to your child’s/children’s needs. There are also ideas on finding out how your child best learns/studies and finding the right time to do homework at home.



I hope this month’s tips prove helpful as the school year gets underway. Homework is inevitable, but there are ways that we can help. Supplies students with a designated space, a variety of tools, monitoring, guidance, and support can all help the task of homework less daunting and more productive. Be sure to check back next month for ideas on how to incorporate holiday fun into learning at home.

“The start of the school years gives every child (and parents) a great opportunity for a new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate.” 


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Welcome Back!

I am excited to start the 2018-2019 school year. It is promising to be both challenging and magical! There are going to be exciting activities, small obstacles, and engaging projects coming to your child/children.

Getting back into the right frame of mind and the “swing of things” can be difficult for some students and/or families. If that’s the case, check out some of the resources I have listed down below. Even if readjusting to a new school year is easier for you and your family, the resources could still prove useful. There are always little tricks and timesavers that could be beneficial once we learn about them. J

This link from www.scholasticnews.com gives three helpful hints on how to start school off on a happy foot. First, they discuss having an organized space for your children’s stuff. A place for backpacks when school gets done, hooks for coats and hats when they get home, a spot for lunchboxes to be emptied and repacked. When these routines and spaces are used, it lessens the possibility of things getting lost or misplaced. It also helps with establishing a routine. If lunches get packed the night before and clothes are picked out before bed, there is less commotion and confusion in the mornings. It helps create a more happy and positive mindset. 


 The following link gives four ideas on how to improve your student(s) “academic quality” and four ideas for students to help take charge of their learning and succeed. Some of the tips discussed include creating a family calendar with important deadlines and establishing/maintaining a common meal time. It also gives students pointers about staying focused, taking notes, and speaking up when they do not understand something.



I hope that these resources and tips prove to be beneficial for you and your family. I wish everyone a magical first few weeks of school and an enchanted school year! Be on the lookout next month for tips and resources on how to help your student(s) with homework. J

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Sam Stebbins,
Sep 13, 2017, 8:33 AM