Keep Learning Alive in the Old Dominion This Summer
Research shows that children who read for pleasure in the summer do better and forget less when they go back to school. And it's not just in reading. Kids who don't read over the summer can slide backward in all subject areas. This means the summer months and other breaks from school offer great opportunities for families and caregivers to help improve reading and writing.
Read to the Rhythm! – Contact your local public library to find out more about the Library of Virginia’s summer reading program. A list of public libraries in Virginia is available.
DaybyDayVa – For daily activities related to reading, check out the Library of Virginia’s Family Literacy Calendar.
Reading Rockets: Summer Literacy Challenge! –
This summer literacy challenge for you and your child includes a wide range of literacy fun for the whole family.
Library of Congress: Kids and Families – The Library of Congress has many websites designed for young readers and the whole family to explore together.
National Geographic Kids – This site features engaging content that brings the world to children aged 6-14 in a whole new way. National Geographic Kids will take students on amazing adventures in science, nature, culture, archaeology and space.
Great Websites for Kids: Literature & Languages – Families may choose from options such as Authors & Illustrators, Favorite Children's Stories, Language Learning, Learning to Read, and Writing by Children at Great Websites for Kids: Literature & Languages. Sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children.
ReadWorks K-12 Summer Reading Resources – Help students maintain all the reading gains they’ve made this year. Send them on their vacations with summer articles and question sets from Readworks.
Figure This – Figure This provides activities and mathematics challenges for middle-school students and families. Some challenges are also available in Spanish. Tips for parents are provided in the Family Corner.
Calculation Nation – Calculation Nation uses the power of the Web to let students challenge themselves or opponents from anywhere in the world. The online math strategy games allow students to learn about fractions, factors, multiples, symmetry and more, as well as practice important skills like basic multiplication and calculating area – all while having fun. The element of competition adds an extra layer of excitement. The games are organized around content geared to upper elementary and middle grades students.
PBS Parent Page – Check out the PBS Parent Page for great ideas for making summer learning fun – including tips for making road trips educational to transforming routine chores into fun math lessons for young children. This site also includes math activities for home, or on the go, for toddlers through second grade.
NCTM Illuminations' has numerous free apps or tablet-friendly interactives that encourage K-12 students to explore, learn, and apply. Several are included below. Because these apps require the use of a Java plugin, when using a browser, only Java‐enabled browsers (i.e., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari) can be used to access them. Also, please ensure your browser is up to date. Older browsers may not be supported and could have difficulty displaying the apps:
Five Frame (K-2)
Thinking about numbers using frames of 5 can be a helpful way to learn basic number facts. The four games that can be played with this applet help to develop counting and addition skills.
After Okta hides some bubbles under a shell, he then either adds more bubbles or takes some away. Students have to determine how many bubbles are left under the shell.
Okta’s Rescue (K-2)
Okta and his friends need help. Help rescue them by transporting them to a safe ocean. How fast can you transport the Oktas? Use your counting skills to save as many as you can before the timer runs out.
Bunny Times (K-5)
Become confident in facts up to 12 x 12 using visual models that stress the conceptual aspects of multiplication.
Coin Box (K-5)
Learn how to count, collect, exchange, and make change for coins by manipulating coins using an array representation.
Fraction Game (3-8)
This applet allows you to individually practice working with relationships among fractions and ways of combining fractions.
Product Game (3-8)
This is a fun, interactive game that exercises your skill with factors and multiples.
Pan Balance – Expressions (3 – 12)
Using this interactive tool, you can practice arithmetic and algebraic skills, and investigate the important concept of equivalence.
Advanced Data Grapher (6-8, 9-12)
The Advanced Data Grapher can be used to analyze data with box plots, bubble graphs, scatterplots, histograms, and stem-and-leaf plots.
Algebra Tiles (6-8, 9-12)
Use tiles to represent variables and constants, learn how to represent and solve algebra problem. Solve equations, substitute in variable expressions, and expand and factor.
Graphing the Situation (9-12)
Analyze an interactive graph to interpret results.
Congruence Theorems (9-12)
Use this applet to prove the triangle congruence theorems by trying to create congruent and non-congruent triangles.
Function Matching (9-12)
See how well you understand function expressions by trying to match your function graph to a generated graph. Choose from several function types or select random and let the computer choose
NASA S’COOL Rover – You can help NASA scientists who are very interested in learning how clouds affect our atmosphere. The more we know about clouds, the more we will know about Earth as a system!
NOAA For Kids – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the federal agency that focuses on the earth’s changing environment, predicting weather, exploring the oceans, marine commerce and a lot more. Visit NOAA for links to many explorations from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor and everything in between.
THE 4-H Virtual Forest – To find out more about photosynthesis, tree identification, renewable resources and outdoor activities, check out the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Virtual Forest.
Science Matters – Students can visit Central Virginia’s PBS website Science Matters for opportunities to explore the natural world around them.
edX High School Courses – Students can enroll in on-line courses to further scientific knowledge or as preparation for Advanced Placement courses. Courses are free; however, students may need to pay a fee if they want to earn a certificate upon successfully completing the course. Visit edX High School for more information.
Every Kid in a Park – The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016 as the premier caretaker for much of our nation’s natural wonders and cultural heritage. Shenandoah National Park is joining the more than 400 other national park areas across the country to host special programs and events throughout 2016. One very special opportunity is available to all 4th grade students, the Every Kid in a Park initiative. Launched in September 2015, "Every Kid in a Park" provides the opportunity for every fourth grade student across the country to earn free admission for themselves and their family to any federal lands and waters that charge an entrance fee. Fourth grade students can log onto the Every Kid in a Park website where they complete an interactive activity. Once completed, the students are able to print out a paper voucher that can be used for free admission to experience federal lands and waters first hand through August 2016. Visit Every Kid in a Park for instructions and trip planning resources.
Virginia BioSTEM Resources Program – Explore some of the biotechnology available in our state through participating in stimulations, watching videos, and visiting Virginia biotechnology facilities. The Virginia bioSTEM resources program offers middle and high school students the opportunity to learn bioscience and technology concepts in an effort to prepare them for the exciting field of bioscience and biotechnology.
hhmi BioInteractive – The Howard Hughes Medical Institute provides hundreds of science education resources including 3D models, animations, and engaging films with current science research and applications. Explore different topics throughout the summer on the hhmi BioInterative website that is updated with new information on a weekly basis.
History & Social Science
Archeology – Archaeology is a way to help people understand the past. Archaeology is tons of dirt-digging, story-telling, mystery-solving fun. Visit The National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Archaeology for Kids website. Jamestown Rediscovery is committed to supporting preservation, education, and the archaeological investigation of Historic Jamestown, the original site of the first permanent English settlement in America.
Capitol Classroom – For information about Virginia's symbols, emblems, history, General Assembly members, the state capitol and how a bill becomes a law check out Capitol Classroom.
Elementary Economics – Help your student understand economics in their everyday life. This article includes economic information and activities.
Historic Sites in Virginia – To learn more about the Old Dominion’s historic and historical sites, exhibits, monuments and legendary persons, go to historic sites. Each site has its own unique story, and nearly all have a friendly Virginia face available to share a tale.
History and Social Science Standards of Learning Skills’ Progression Chart – This chart (PDF) identifies the grade/course at which specific skills are formally introduced in the 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning. The skills serve as tools to facilitate active engagement in learning and create better-informed citizens.
National Geographic for Kids – Nat Geo Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world through apps, games, videos, and a website.
Using Information Sources – Learn how to identify artifacts and primary and secondary sources by looking at images, documents, and old maps by visiting the National History Education Clearing House.
Virginia's First People Past and Present – Learn about American Indians in Virginia by watching a video about Virginia’s First Peoples Past and Present.
Virginia’s Museums – Here you can find a list of Virginia’s museums that offer both virtual tours and in person visits.