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Articles from Pardes Jewish Day School

Posts Tagged "summer"

Summer Adventures: Technology

August 01, 2016
By Laurie Burckhardt, Middle School Teacher

With the extra time in your child’s schedule this summer, it’s the perfect opportunity to advance their computer skills. There is so much to learn when it comes to computers, and the more you know, the easier school work will be when they get back from summer vacation. Have them play games to improve their typing, then encourage them to build their own game using code!

Type Like the Wind

Practice typing on a regular basis. There are many free and low-cost programs offered online or for download. Being able to type quickly will cut down on homework time during the school year, so have your child invest those minutes now. You will be glad you did!

Learn to Speak Computer

Learning a coding language is also a very good idea for students in the 21st Century. Once your student has learned to type, put them to work making anything they can imagine. One big incentive when learning to code is that if they learn enough, they could make a game like the games they play everyday on their gadgets. There are so many organizations that offer classes, workshops, and camps to get more kids coding.

Bring Code to Life

Learning to code is fun and using code to control robots could be even cooler! You can make robots that roll, grab and even draw. There are plenty of easy starter kits out there to make it easy to build small robots at home. Once your child makes their robot, they can use their programming skills to bring it to life!

Make it Presentable

And don’t forget to use this time to organize and edit online portfolios, email and electronic documents. That way when your child heads back to school, they can easily show their teachers and classmates all about the things they learned over the summer!

Summer Adventures: Staying Active

July 27, 2016
By Laurie Burckhardt, Middle School Teacher
Staying Active in the Summer

Boy, oh boy! This summer has been a hot one! High temperatures keep us inside and can sometimes decrease the amount of exercise we get. It’s important for kids to stay active this summer. Setting weekly goals for physical activity keeps children in shape and healthy.

Musical Exercise

Turn on your favorite musical and sing and dance to all of the songs! You can even turn this into a game of “freeze.” Play some music for a while and have them dance and sing until you pause the music. When the music stops have them hold their silly pose until the music starts to play again.

Keep it Cool

Whether you have a pool in the backyard, or you head to a public pool in the area, swimming together is one of the best ways to beat the heat and get some exercise. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Keep it Mellow

Try some yoga. Yoga is the perfect exercise for kids to do indoors! Yoga is quiet, slow and doesn’t require any additional equipment. Your kids only need their own body and little bit of space and they are ready to start posing. Here are a few poses to get you started!

A few other ways you can stay active during the hot summer months are:

  • Take a walk in the early morning or late evening
  • Join a family-friendly gym
  • Challenge each other to an interactive video game
  • Play hot potato


Learn Something New

Students should take advantage of summer’s extra free time to work on a hobby, interest or talent. Encouraging your child to use the time inside to learn a new instrument or talent could help them get ahead in all areas of their life.
Summer time offers the unique opportunity to enroll kids in lessons, classes, camps, or workshops to develop skills in an area of their choice. This will boost their self-confidence and improve their lives for years to come!

Summer Adventures: Time to Experiment

July 25, 2016
By Laurie Burckhardt, Middle School Teacher

Science doesn’t require fancy equipment or extravagant plans; it’s all around us! Even talking about why some things float while others sink while you are splashing around in the pool is science. Summer offers the time to explore science in a whole new way!

Here are a few recommendations to bring science to life this summer holiday:

Take A Field Trip

Consider a trip to the science museum to kick off the summer. The Arizona Science Center is a great way to escape the heat and experience science in a whole new way! Another great science experience is the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Although this museum isn’t specifically designed around science, it is a great place for younger children to investigate simple scientific ideas.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Plan your own scientific experiment or project with your child. There are plenty of remarkable experiments to try! Test what happens when you mix liquids of different densities. Try the famous coke and mentos experiment. To find the perfect experiment you can check out this article by Lemon Lime Adventures or browse Pinterest. One super fun way to spend time together is to design and build a working contraption with things you have around your house. If you want to gather some ideas for your own design try starting out with the game Fantastic Contraption.

Beat the Heat

Most people in Arizona would say the best summer activity is one where you aren’t in the staggering heat. If this sounds like you, try out the science of astronomy. Observe the night sky and learn the names of some constellations. If you need a little help, there are plenty of apps out there to answer any question you might have about the night sky.
Of course, there are always the traditional options of enrolling in a science day camp, class or workshop. All of these fun exercises can help you start brainstorming possible topics for next year’s science fair. With so many different options, summer is a great time for scientific exploration!

Tags: science, summer

Summer Adventures: Exploring the World

July 12, 2016
By Laurie Burckhardt, Middle School Teacher

There is no better time to explore the history that is all around us than over the summer! With so much time for adventures, it might be hard to fit in time to study history and geography. But using the world around you can be an easy way to keep your kid sharp, and maybe even teach you something new.

At Home

History is right around the corner and experiencing it could be as easy as getting ice cream. Old Town Scottsdale is full of historic buildings like the Sugar Bowl, Cavalliere's Blacksmith Shop, Farmer’s State Bank of Scottsdale (otherwise known as the Rusty Spur Saloon). You could always take a car ride through the many sites in Scottsdale or Phoenix. Learn about the history of these places together then experience the place where the stories took place!

One of the best ways to encourage your kids to learn how to read a map is a treasure hunt. Who in the world wants to spend time hiding treasure for said treasure hunt? Not me! Good thing some people have already done that for you. This Geocaching app can help your child learn to read maps and find interesting historical places right in their own neighborhood, all while hunting for hidden treasure. Another great way to learn history and geography is researching your family’s history together.

On A Trip

You don’t have to go far to find intriguing sites. Just slather on some sunscreen and head off to some of the nearby historic places. A few of the most interesting nearby sights to see are the  Hieroglyphic Trail, Goldfield Ghost Town, Rawhide, and The Tovrea Castle. All of these and plenty more are just a short day trip away!

Before heading out on your big summer vacation, read up on the history of your destination. Pick up a great historical fiction or non-fiction book for your child to read. While you’re there, visit a museum or two. Connect to curriculum topics that were covered in school the past year or preview upcoming history lessons.

Let your child help navigate the route to help practice map skills. Track your summer travels on a paper or electronic map to help your child learn geography.

Here are some free online map sites to get you started:

This summer could be one for the history books!

Summer Adventures: Math

June 27, 2016
By Laurie Burckhardt, Middle School Teacher

Summer vacation doesn’t have to be a vacation from learning. With a little structure and some real world applications, you can help your child strengthen their math skills in an unforgettable way.

Practice Makes Perfect

Keep your child’s skills sharp by integrating math into their daily routine. Sign up for a math website that has structured instruction and practice. Many students already have access codes to their online math textbooks or other review sites. You may also want to obtain materials for the next school year to preview the concepts they’ll cover in their upcoming math class. This will improve retention, performance, and confidence.

Inject Some Fun

It’s summer, after all! Have kids play math games online to review their facts. Or play games in the real world. Monopoly, cards, Yahtzee, and other games involve math. Help your child learn about the stock market and help them use their allowance to invest in a few stocks Follow a stock’s earnings (negative and positive numbers, graphing).

Make Some Memories

Head to a baseball game and keep track of a favorite baseball player’s statistics (mean, median, and mode). Cook together with a recipe that won’t make enough and have them double or triple the batch. Baking is an excellent way to help your child understand measurements and operations with fractions. Calculate the distance traveled, gas mileage, or average speed while you are planning a family trip. Shop together and determine the unit price, best buy, money spent, or change due. Design or build a toothpick bridge and discuss angles, perimeter, and area.

Make Math Real

Involve your child in projects around the house. Help them draw a scale map of your kitchen or another area of your home and imagine all the different things that could fit into that space.

Become an investor and help your child start a lemonade stand, or a slime stand, on a cool day. Help them understand inventory, sell price and how to make a profit.

Here are some math websites with games, practice problems, or instruction:

The lessons that stick with us throughout our life are often the lessons we learn by having fun that are relevant and real. These suggestions are just a few ideas, but there are so many different ways to make math learning fun by using activities you can do together. Try some of these out and let us know how they worked!

Tags: math, summer

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