From the Desk of Kelly Harmon

May 2016 Newsletter

Dear Educator,

Summer is just around the corner and we know you are ready! During the summer, how will learning continue? In this newsletter, you will find ideas and activities to keep students learning all summer long, as well as workshop opportunities to grow your wealth of knowledge. Enjoy your last month of school and HAPPY TEACHING!

-Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson

Summer Activities & Ideas for Students and Parents

Maximize summer learning time by capitalizing on curiosity and personal interests. Here are some great ideas for parents and educators to help students grow dendrites during June, July, and August. Enjoy!

Websites to Check Out:

National Geographic- This is a great website for kids to use watch videos, play games, & read about animals!

White House- Students can visit and learn about the White House and our government from the comfort of their home. Watch videos, take a tour, and read letters from the President and First Lady.

Tumble Books- Tumble Books is a great resource to bring a library of books into a child's home. Students can listen to online texts and take comprehension quizzes, play games, and much more!

Tween Tribune- Tween Tribune is a great online news source for KIDS! Students can read informational texts that are interesting and relevant.

San Diego Zoo- The San Diego Zoo offers many fun ways for kids to learn about animals, their habitats, and more all on their website. Watch live cameras of the exhibits, meet with zookeepers, and play games!

Explore Dinosaurs- Students can read, watch, and learn all about dinosaurs. Participate in a virtual dinosaur dig with a paleontologist!

Activities & Paces to Visit With Your Student(s):

Public Library- Visit your local library for story time, music class, or to just check out books!

Virtual Literature Circles- Teachers can host virtual literature circles over the summer for your students. Try to set up a private discussion board. Set a time to meet online to discuss specific books or books that students have selected on their own. Keep students communicating all summer long about great reads.

Museums, Zoo, & More- Look up a list of local museums, zoos, or historical sites. Most places have a half price day each week. Take a visit and while you are there take pictures and notes to share with others. Have students make a Tellagami video on a device to share their experience with others.

Church Summer Camps- Churches offer great summer camp opportunities for kids in the area. From music camps to themed camps, kids will be having fun and learn with others!

Public Playgrounds- Use Google Maps to search for local playgrounds or parks in your area. Pack a breakfast or lunch picnic and spend a few hours in the sun.

Splash Pads- Get wet this summer! Visit a local splash pad and enjoy the fountains on a hot summer day.

Botanical Center- Visit your local botanical center to see beautiful landscapes and learn about the plants that are in season. Students can make a brochure to advertise their favorite plants and characteristics. This is also a great place for students to sketch landscapes.

Trampoline Parks- Need to get out of the house? Get some exercise at a trampoline park near you! Video tricks and jumps to share on Kidblog or Edmodo with their peers or teacher.

Fire Station- Visit your local fire station to see the trucks, firefighters, and to learn about what being a firefighter is all about.

Ways to Stay Connected With Your Students:

Kidblog is a safe and simple way for you to stay connected through writing with your students. Teachers can sign up for free and manage their blogs from the comfort of their home.

Edmodo takes learning beyond the classroom. This website offers a safe and easy way to communicate with students from near and far. The best part's FREE!

Facebook & Instagram are great social media outlets that allow you to communicate through text and pictures with your students and parents all summer long. Post questions, polls, pictures, and more!

Phonics Focus: Brand Name Phonics

Students are immersed in print everywhere these days. From logos on signs to print on their television shows. Letters and words are everywhere. As educators, this presents an amazing opportunity to build their phonics knowledge to construct new understanding about letters and spelling patterns.

Use brand names to develop graphophonemic awareness and make connections between words. Select 3-5 words from environmental print to use with students. Think of their areas of interest, TV shows are great. Students use the words to identify syllables and spelling patterns. They make connections to other words that have the same pattern type. This activity is a non-threatening opportunity for students to study words that are familiar and interesting. That will lead into a deeper understanding of words and their parts.

For a PDF copy of this activity, Click here!

Summer 2016 Workshops

Onsite Trainings Available!

Bring one of our seminars to your campus! Kelly Harmon & Associates offers onsite trainings and instructional coaching in the comfort of your own district. Choose from one of our advertised workshops or we can customize a workshop to meet the needs of your campus or district. Contact Randi for more information at