This post originally appeared on Edutopia.
To keep our students sharp over the summer, we often assign subject-specific reading, math drills, and projects. However, as educators, we also need to hone our own skills, develop new ideas, and reflect on our practice. Here are five ways to kickstart your summer learning.
1. Construct Your Learning Archive
When planning curriculum or attending professional development, we collect resources — both physical and digital. However, we need an efficient way to organize what we find valuable. In the past, this has resulted in the accumulation of binders or folders, but now we also have files scattered across devices.
2. Read for Inspiration
Though many schools assign summer reading books to their faculties, I would recommend adding one of these titles to your list:
- The App Generation by Howard Gardner & Katie Davis
- Why School? by Will Richardson
- It’s Complicated by danah boyd
- Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
- Too Big to Know by David Weinberger
3. Design Your Digital Space
If you already have or want to set up a class website or blog, an email newsletter for parents, or a learning management system (e.g. Google Classroom, Edmodo, Moodle, etc.), take time over the summer to design and test your digital space.
4. Redesign Your Physical Space
Your current students have become comfortable in your classroom, office, or lab. They understand your expectations and routine. Fast-forward to fall. What do you want your students to think when they enter your space? Is this a class where they’ll engage in group work and discussion? Do they have choice in how they demonstrate their learning? What do you have on the walls? Where is your desk? All of these considerations help set the tone for your students.
5. Take On a Challenge
When on vacation, we are often more willing to try new things. Last year, Lisa Johnson recommended 9 Power-Packed Tools to highlight your summer memories. This summer, consider making a new creation or even taking on a larger existing challenge.