A Message From the Director of Pupil Personnel Services
I can’t believe another school year is almost over! Because the summer holiday is almost here, I have asked our related service providers (speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy) to provide some information about things you can do with your child over the summer break. Here are the ideas and some helpful links:
The best thing you can do over the summer is to spend time with your child. Set time aside to play fun activities that reinforces bilateral eye-hand coordination skills, such as ball playing. Use balls of different sizes/weights to catch, throw, and bounce while using language with each pass. Simple juggling from one hand to another encourages brain activity. Engage and include your child in a chore you are doing, but make sure you explain and demonstrate the task so he or she can understand and visualize what they need to do. Have a pad, paper, crayons, colored pencils, markers, pens, and pencils available for free drawing or writing. Go on a walks and encourage your child to visually observe nature, pick up small stones or sticks, or draw in the sand or dirt. If you would like more Occupational Therapy ideas, please go to the following website: http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com/index.html; or visit our occupational therapy websites at: iapps.pvcsd.org/PVIWEB/mlussier/OT/What_is_OT.html or iapps.pvcsd.org/PVIWEB/dmorgan/Diana_Morgan/Welcome.html.
Ways to Enhance Language Skills During the Summer
Strong language skills help children achieve socially and academically. Language skills enable us to interact with others as well as help to form our thoughts and mental processes. There are many fun and easy ways to support your child’s language development over the summer (and throughout the year) with activities that cost only an investment of time! Some simple ideas are listed below:
Take time daily to really talk and listen to your child. Support your child in sharing with you, things that really interest them. Use language to encourage them to speak more. Saying things like: “Wow - that’s really interesting!” “I didn’t know that ...” “ I wonder if ...” help to motivate sharing of information rather than using direct questions. Model for your child what you are thinking and how you feel about things such as: “I bet if ... ” “That reminds me of ...” “That makes me really happy/angry/excited ...”
Here is a link that offers suggestions of how to better listen to your child: childparenting.about.com/od/familycommunication/ht/htlisten.htm
No one is too old to be read to! Reading books together is an enjoyable way to share experiences and provide opportunities to think about things beyond what we are able to experience in our everyday lives. As you are reading, go beyond asking basic comprehension questions. Together with your child:
- make predictions about what you each think might happen next;
- discuss how characters might be feeling and why;
- inquire as to what your child might do in certain character predicaments;
- invite your child to share his/her opinion about choices characters have made;make up new story endings; and
- connect story events/character traits to your lives.
Explore New Experiences
Spend time trying new, yet simple things! Maybe something that you read about in a storybook? Maybe a picnic in the park? Maybe a nature walk? Maybe a visit to a pond or stream to fish or catch frogs/toads or bugs? Maybe running through a sprinkler? Maybe even just doing a load of laundry together or unloading the dishwasher together?
Each and every experience is an opportunity for language learning! Talk about what you are doing and what is happening when you do it (cause/effect). Use rich and varied vocabulary to label and describe. Compare and contrast different things. Allow your child to verbalize choices within activities. Take pictures of your experiences and use pictures to share with others or write your own book!
Please visit our Putnam Valley Elementary School website for more ideas and additional informational links: iapps.pvcsd.org/PVIWEB/esspeech/ or iapps.pvcsd.org/PVIWEB/sblatz/Mrs._Blatz/About_Me.html.
The summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy activities both inside and outside. As always, safety is a priority; not just physically, but make sure that you stay hydrated and wear sunscreen when outdoors!
Here are a list of websites that have many wonderful activities and suggestions:
1. Great Outdoors Month: nps.gov/history/NR/TWHP/outdoors.HTM
June is Great Outdoors Month and it is an excellent time to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors. Whether it is fishing, hiking, camping, or just playing outside, time spent outside can help kids burn some energy, have fun and appreciate how precious our planet is. Use these resources to locate information, activities and lesson plans:
Let's Go Outside!;
Why Take Your Students Outside?;
Discover the Forest also in Spanish;
Activities: Junior Explorer;
Activity: Neighborhood Explorers; and
Lesson Plans: Teaching With Historic Places.
2. Kids.gov is a fabulous site full of wonderful ideas -- make sure you sign up for their newsletters at: kids.usa.gov/exercise-and-eating-healthy/index.shtml
3. When walking, running or biking use this app: “Charity Miles”
When you log in, you simple pick a charity, and for each mile you walk/run/bike an amount of money will be donated. http://www.charitymiles.org/
Please feel free to contact me, Sandi Grafmuller, at any time with questions or concerns at: email@example.com; or visit my website at: http://iapps.pvcsd.org/PVIWEB/sgrafmuller/pt/Welcome.html
I hope you find these activities and websites helpful. Enjoy your summer vacations, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall!
Director of Pupil Personnel Services