Even though the summer means a break from school and the regular routines that we’ve grown accustomed to throughout the year, it is an opportunity where we can take advantage of a different kind of learning. There are opportunities everywhere for learning something new and this is something that I often tell my students. I am always excited to learn from students and focus on what I can learn new each day.
Over the summer, hopefully, students are spending more time outside, getting to reconnect with family and friends, getting involved in work, in helping others through volunteer work, or maybe just taking a break and traveling. Students could come up with a bucket list of what they’d like to do over the summer.
In each of these, there are opportunities for students to take a close look at the world around them and become curious about learning. Students can connect with things that are happening in the real world. With the resources available through Pebble Go and using Pebble Go Create, students and teachers can have a lot of fun exploring, creating, and sharing what they have done and learned during their summer.
Finding the Right Prompt
Sometimes it’s hard to ask students how their summer was because we don’t always know what they are experiencing when they’re not with us in our classrooms. But, if we give them a couple of topics to choose from, maybe to learn about different animals they see in the summer using PebbleGo’s research articles, to talk about some new friendships or relationships that they’ve built, and share activities that they’ve engaged in whether through camps or other activities, they can each find something to share!
Also in the summer, we have a little bit more time available so we can participate in new experiences that perhaps during the school year we didn’t have enough time for. When it comes to learning, it’s important that we share what we have learned with others so that they can learn from us too!
What I love about Capstone Publishing and PebbleGo, and of course, PebbleGo Create is that students have so many ways to share what they are learning, experiencing, what they are excited about, and so much more! We spark curiosity and creativity in learning and also help to build confidence in learning!
Some schools may even give students assignments over the summer just to keep them thinking about things. Maybe it’s reading a book, maybe it’s looking at things related to science and exploring nature, participating in different activities that are sports-related or wellness related. Create a fun scavenger hunt for students to participate in! There are templates ready to use and adapt to your own content or ideas!
We can also help students to develop student agency in learning by exploring a topic of interest kind of like a genius hour or project based learning (PBL) and giving students a chance to really dive into something that they’re curious and excited for. When they are invested and can choose what and how to create something using PebbleGo Create to share with their classmates and their teachers when they return to school, what a difference it makes! Whatever it is, PebbleGo Create enables students to share what they know in a way that is personalized to them because they have so many choices available. They can share what they did, why they decided to do a certain activity or explore a different animal, or maybe why they engaged in an activity like volunteer work or whatever it is.
Learning is fun and it doesn’t always have to involve a ton of work. We want students to be open to the possibilities, to look around them in their space and their community and to connect with the world at large because that is what will best prepare them for the future. So when we think about encouraging learning over the summer, maybe it’s not so much about tying it to the content that they’re learning but giving them some possibilities to explore and letting them choose which one is of most interest. And then, if we are in our classrooms and have the same students, or a mix of groups, it gives us an opportunity to then begin the year by building relationships and gaining and gathering new knowledge from our classmates.
Getting Started with Creating and Summer Learning
To get started, it always helps when there are templates and formats available so here are a few ideas to kick it off. Look no further than the inspiring books and themes brought up through Capstone Publishing and Pebble Go.
Have students that love animals? Encourage them to learn about animals they see in the summer or read a book about animals and create something to share their learning!
Are students feeling like they missed out on opportunities to connect with friends? Maybe they can talk about ways that they make time for friends, some of the ways of building relationships, and maybe even the challenges of relationships when it comes to things like peer pressure and bullying. There are books to explore relationships, making friends, and how they work through any challenges they encounter.
During the summer, students might take advantage of volunteer opportunities, working at a summer camp with younger children, helping out at a local community center, or maybe being involved in something at the school. Many schools offer some of the programs for students that might be for enrichment or might just be simply helping out with the school and the maintenance and the cleaning and all of those things that go into making the school a safe and welcoming place in the new school year.
No matter what the prompt, there are books, templates and more to spark curiosity and creativity in learning and in sharing that learning. Get started today!
Meet the Author
Rachelle Dené Poth is an ed-tech consultant, presenter, attorney, author, and teacher. Rachelle teaches Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology at Riverview Junior-Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle has a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She is an ISTE Certified Educator and currently serves as the past -president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network and on the Leadership team of the Mobile Learning Network. At ISTE19, she received the Making IT Happen Award and a Presidential Gold Award for volunteer service to education. She is also a Buncee Ambassador, Nearpod PioNear, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.
Rachelle is the author of seven books and is a blogger for Getting Smart, Defined Learning, and NEO LMS. Follow Rachelle on Twitter @Rdene915 and Instagram @Rdene915. Rachelle has a podcast, ThriveinEDU https://anchor.fm/rdene915.