From the Desk of Kelly Harmon

June 2015 Newsletter

Dear Educator,

Happy Summer! We hope that you all had an excellent end-of-year experience. This summer, we have exciting things planned! From interactive professional learning workshops to the release of new teaching tools, we've got you covered. Be sure to register soon if you are planning to attend any of our summer 2015 workshops, as many are almost full. Thank you for your passion, loyalty, and all you do for children!

-Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson

5 Ways to Prevent Reading Loss Over the Summer

Summer is a much needed break for both teachers and students, but it can be a time of academic loss, too. Just like athletes who take an extended break from using muscles and skills, students who do not read over the summer will regress in fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. Here are 5 ways teachers and parents can prevent reading loss.

1. Provide Books

Distribute 6-12 books for students to take home over the summer. "Simply providing children from low-income families with self-selected books for summer reading eliminated summer reading loss and spurred reading gains comparable to those experiences by middle class children (Allington, McGill-Frazen, Camilli, et al., 2010).

2. Meet Students...ONLINE!

Set up dates to meet online for book chats. If you use Edmodo, you can set up small groups. If you aren't an Edmodo user, use to set up a 2 hour chat on specific dates throughout the summer!

3. Meet Students Locally

Plan dates ahead of time to meet students at their neighborhood library. Meet to give book talks, browse and read books together, or set goals! Get your local librarian involved too!

4. Empower Parents

Suggest online library sources to parents. Tumblebooks is a great way to have instant access to great books! Visit our blog for a link to using Tumblebooks.

5. Make a Summer Plan

Create a summer calendar for parents and students to follow. The calendar can have fun simple daily activities for students to do with their parents or independently to build reading and math fluency & comprehension skills. Offer incentives for students who complete activities during summer vacation. Hold a "back-to-school" celebration so students can share summer learning activities and turn in reading logs for prizes and rewards.

Learning Activites for the Summer!

Keep kids learning all summer long with fun and educational games and activities. Research shows us that games raise achievement and motivation. Here are some activities that will provide learning opportunities for your students.

1. Bananagrams

This game works like a crossword puzzle and scrabble put together. It is great for spelling, phonics, and writing practice. Plus, it's FUN! Click here to get Bananagrams. There is an entire family of word games with Bananagrams. Check them all out on their website.

2. Boggle

Boggle is a fun word game that gets children and adults searching for and thinking about words. Players earn points by creating words! You can find Boggle in most toy stores or on apps for FREE.

3. Charades App

A fun and exciting game for the entire family! Get kids thinking, acting, and playing all summer long. Click here to get the app!

4. Chicktionary

This brain teasing game will keep kids engaged in word play for the long run!

Click here to get the app!

5. Karaoke

Use Youtube for free karaoke songs for kids! Start simple with Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and then move on to Taylor Swift's new songs.

6. Monopoly

Play Monopoly to practice number sense and money skills.

7. Camera App

Have kids use the camera app on the iphone or iPad to take pictures of things around the house. Then have your student write a creative story or news article about the picture.

8. Fisher Price Books

For your young child, use the Fisher Price Book Apps to enjoy nursery rhymes and classic books. The app reads the story to your child and includes interactive pictures AND its free! Click here to check it out.

Summer 2015 Workshops

Essentials of Rigor Experience Day

Save The Date!!!!

Join your colleagues on August 3, 2015 at ESC-13 for a day of exploring essential strategies that prepare your students for the cognitively complex tasks presented on the STAAR and EOC tests. The Essentials of Achieving Rigor is a comprehensive instructional framework based on Dr. Robert Marzano's research of pedagogical strategies. From kindergarten to high school, these strategies help teachers design meaningful, student-centered instruction. You will definitely leave this workshop wanting more!

Visit the Marzano Center website to download the white paper on Teaching with Rigor to learn more. I'd love to talk to you about how this instructional framework can complement your current curriculum and assessment program. Please contact me for more information. ~Kelly

Kelly Harmon & Associates

Kelly and Randi provide educational consulting specializing in providing literacy-based staff development, coaching, and curriculum planning for campuses and districts. We provide professional learning opportunities on a variety of topics and can customize workshops and seminars based on your campus goals and needs. Be sure to stay in touch through our website