10 Ways to Spice Up Summer School!

June 11, 2021

No matter how necessary it is for districts, we know that there are other places students would rather be than back in school during the summer. But, just because class is back in session it doesn’t mean that it can’t be a fun, engaging experience for you and your students. For many districts, summer school is about reintroducing students to the classroom, and it’s likely the first time they’ve gotten to collaborate with their peers. Try to play off their excitement about seeing their friends and don’t miss the opportunity to swap out busy work for more collaborative games and activities. 

Take a look at our teacher tips for spicing up summer school and give your students more than air conditioning to look forward to!


1. Incorporate Centers & Stations

There are so many perks to utilizing centers and stations this summer! Your students are so excited to be working with peers and friends again. Group projects are not only educational, but foster important social interactions while stations get students up and moving. They’re also easy to maintain once you have identified the different rotations. Utilize Classworks Summer School pacing guides to make stations a breeze! Also, check out this blog post to help become a master at running stations.

2. Nature Walks

Tie science into your curriculum easily (and have an excuse to get some fresh air) with fun nature walks. Take a stroll in your school’s neighborhood or nearby park to get active, without spending any money! There are plenty of online scavenger hunts to keep your students engaged while in the park, too.

3. Virtual Museums, National Parks, & Zoo Tours

Want to take your kids to the Smithsonian? How about the Louvre? If there’s no time for in-person field trips in your summer school program, take advantage of virtual tours. Virtual tours are a unique way to wrap up the week and bring what you’ve taught all week to life! Take a look.


4. Classworks Projects

Our built-in enrichment projects offer a hands-on, high level of engagement instruction. Not only will students love these project based learning opportunities, but you will too! These will be a much appreciated change of pace from online work this past year. Projects take the weekly standard to the next level by applying real world application and career level readiness for students. We’ve baked these into our summer school lesson plans.


5. Brain Break Cards

Brain breaks are rewards for working hard with a quick mental break. Depending on your school’s Covid guidelines, classrooms this summer could be more contained than in years past. Keep brain breaks on hand for opportunities for students to get up and take a breather right at their desk (or around the room).


6. Hands-on Learning  

This past school year was full of technology, which was absolutely pertinent to continuing students’ education - but, we’ve all had our fair share by now! Step back from the computer and have students work on kinesthetic learning. Break out manipulatives, crayons, sticky notes, dry erase boards, whatever you have, use it! Your kids will appreciate the opportunity for hands-on learning.


7. Impactful Intervention

While we do stress the importance of hands-on learning, there is absolutely a time and place for technology. Technology helps put data to work seamlessly while ensuring that students avoid learning loss and receive adequate interventions this summer. Using Classworks Individualized Learning Paths makes learning fun for students and helps them close gaps at the same time.


8. Writing Workshops 

Taking the time to re-establish strong writing skills is important. In your small groups, work with students using a writing workshop method. These models go through each step of the writing processes, as well as conferencing, and (some believe most importantly) sharing! Check out this article for more information.


9. Social Pods

Make sure there’s time throughout your day and program for students to foster friendships! The classroom is an integral part of a child’s community. Being back around peers this summer is a wonderful opportunity to make friendships. Consider setting up social pods, where every student is split into small groups, then ask everyone an interesting question to discuss within their pods. Sometimes, the more adverse the question, the more bonding that will happen! For instance, "what’s your least favorite food and why?" will help students bond over similar dislikes.


10. Students as Teachers

This past year, students had to take on more initiative and responsibilities than ever before. Embrace these new strengths! Offer opportunities for students to become teachers; have them share their thought processes, present on different content, and share their ideas. If students are shy, pair them up with others to continue building classroom camaraderie. Make sure though that everyone participates in the teacher role.


Need help planning the perfect summer school schedule?
Chat with a curriculum specialist today!


Jordan Ayers

Curriculum & Instruction Specialist

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