Teacher’s Corner: Summer is Coming

The school year is flying by, and once again the summer break is just around the corner. As I have written about before, there is a common misconception that educators and students have the summer off, but in reality, there is summer work to be done, whether assigned or voluntary. Last year I shared a list of ideas for students and opportunities for teachers looking to enrich themselves over the summer months. It was well received, and so I’d like to share an updated list with you for this installment.

For the Student: A Summer Assignment 

Across the spectrum of grades and schools, I am sure there is huge variety of “summer work” assignments. Given that many high-ability students already have a jam-packed summer, why not try to incorporate activities your students may already be participating in as part of their work. In this way, students can recognize learning outside of the classroom, a skill that is all too often lost during the rigor of daily assignments.

The following ten suggestions are ideas that can be used for both younger and older students. Educators can have the students select one or more to complete based on their summer plans.  

Students can get credit for:

  1. Visiting a museumand providing a two-paragraph summary of the experience. The first about the museum in general, and the second covering one or two interesting things encountered there.
  2. Conducting an interview with a person who lives or lived in a different country, referencing some of the cultural markers of the country in which the person lived.
  3. Participating in a class or workshop that may be held at a camp, public library, YMCA, school, youth organization, etc. and writing a two-paragraph summary of the experience, including what was learned.
  4. Writing a piece of creative writing that could be a collection of poetry, a short play, or work of fiction.
  5. Attending a performance and creating a poster advertising the event or writing a two-paragraph review of the event.
  6. Creating a travel advertisement that is either a recorded jingle or a tri-fold brochure about a place visited during the summer. 
  7. Reading a young adult novel and developing a creative project promoting the book. 
  8. Designing a Reading Timeline of reading experiences that includes at least 10 events from the student’s lifetime.
  9. Creating a Web Page on a well-known individual in any professional field.
  10. Creating a Travel Blog to document travel (real or imaginary) over the summer.

In addition to these ideas, keep in mind that NAGC has a Gifted and Talented Resources Directory, complete with suggestions and advice on how to choose the perfect summer opportunity. Check it out today! 

For The Educator: Summer Professional Development

The NAGC 64th Annual Convention is travelling to Charlotte, North Carolina this coming November, but in the meantime there are a host of possibilities for professional development over the summer. Attending a conference during this time is quite different than during the year. The opportunity to interact with other educators in a relaxed environment far removed from the usual daily schedule is something that everyone in the profession should experience. There is nothing greater than learning from educators willing to share their stories, expertise, and ideas.

Perhaps you have already experienced the excitement of a summer conference. Maybe you have been contemplating attending one near you but something always came up. Quite possibly, you may never have even thought about going. If that is the case, I urge you to explore some of the options available to you. There is sure to be one close!

LAgniappe Conference
June 6 - 9, Lafayette, Louisiana
Utah Gifted and Talented Summer Conference
June 13 – 15, Park City, Utah 
Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium 
June 12 - 15, Austin, Minnesota 
William & Mary Professional Summer Institute
June 26 - 27, Williamsburg, Virginia 
ICIE conference on Excellence and Innovation in Education
July 3 - 5, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
University of Connecticut's Confratute 
July 9 - 14, Storrs, Connecticut
World Council for Gifted and Talented Children  
July 20 - 23, Sydney, Australia
Boise State’s Edufest
July 25 – 29, Boise, Idaho
SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Conference  
Aug 3 – 6, Naperville, Illinois

And lastly, don’t forget about NAGC’s E–Learning Webinars—Professional development at your fingertips, 24-7!