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Practicing Classroom Skills in the Summer
By Shirley Harden

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Shirley Harden worked as a teacher and administrator in the Baltimore County School District for thirty-two years. She shares her thoughts on what parents can do during the summer to reinforce skills taught in the classroom.

What Teachers Do In The Classroom
Teaching and reinforcing skills is a major part of what happens in your child's classroom. Many efforts are made by the teacher to provide a variety of opportunities for students to practice their skills in meaningful contexts. We use cooperative group work, home assignments, lessons that actively engage students, and summative assessments to help students learn skills that are prerequisites to higher learning. These skills can extend beyond the classroom, and should be applied to students' daily lives.

Some Easy Tips For Parents
During the summer months there are many ways you can reinforce academic skills that students learn during the school year. Planning activities, traveling, and talking about vacations or summer trips are excellent ways for children to review skills they learned in school. Reading, geography, social studies, math and spelling can all be a part of summer fun.

Here are some specific activities that you and your child can do:

  • make lists of places to go, people to see, things to do, articles to pack, etc.

  • use maps to locate travel destinations, nearby places of interests, capitols, state parks, etc.

  • make budgets for allowance money, theme park visits, school supplies, etc.
  • use the Internet to research destinations and places of interests

  • keep journals, write postcards and letters to friends and relatives