Brilliant coworkers make my job and life wonderful. Due to testing (not so wonderful) our library will be closed for more than a week. Our amazing librarian, however, will still be teaching. I snagged as much of her time as I could without shame and we met this afternoon to plan.
I've been concerned about how to help my students continue actively learning throughout the summer. I went to our librarian wanting help with this and offering only the idea that I wanted to build off of the book A Place for Wonder. Fortunately our librarian is brilliant and we planned two weeks worth of lessons with an outline for two more.
My students have used composition books as their Wonder Notebooks all year. I decided it would be great to give each student a brand new Wonder Notebook for the summer. In order to make that meaningful we're starting with practicing what we do when we wonder something. We want students to have a plan of action when they begin to wonder during the summer. Then we'll work on how to find things to wonder about throughout the summer (outside, inside, from tv or video games). We want them to be completely independent with noticing their wonders and thinking about them consciously.
I don't feel a need for my students to be practicing flashcards or answering comprehension questions or any other typical school activity during the summer. I just want to know that they are pushing themselves as thinkers and learners. Reading John T. Spencer's recent post hit home on my thinking about this. Many of my students won't be traveling, visiting museums or libraries, playing at parks, or any of the other enriching activities some kids do. I hope they will have some wonderful time with their families, relaxing together, talking, laughing, and just being a family. I also hope they will actively learn and I want to set them up for success in that area.