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.
NCTM Illuminations – NCTM Illuminations' free apps or tablet-friendly interactives encourage students to explore, learn, and apply mathematics (i.e., Bunny Times – multiplication facts; How Many Under the Shell? – addition/subtraction facts; Geometric Solids – exploring properties of solids; Tessellation Creator; Free Ride – fractions and ratios).
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.
Apps for Learning – The following apps can be found in the Apple App Store at no cost. iTunes software is needed to run all apps. These digital content applications were developed through grants, challenges and partnerships with other state agencies and organizations
|Number Line||Egberta’s Equations|
|Apples in Hour Hands||Sticker Shop|
|Freddy Fraction||Master the Math|
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
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.
Museums in Virginia – Why not visit one of Virginia’s many museums this summer? Do some virtual exploration about Virginia’s early days at Jamestown and Yorktown or take an interactive tour of Williamsburg. You can find a list of all of Virginia’s museums at museums.
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.
The Smithsonian Institution – The world’s largest museum and research complex offers students many opportunities to explore, discover and learn about the arts, nature, people and places too, at Smithsonian Education.
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.