Teacher’s Brain

How to Help Students Avoid the Summer Slide

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you can prevent your students from experiencing the dreaded “summer slide.” 

What is the summer slide in education? 

Summer slide is that phenomenon where kids lose some of the academic skills they gained during the school year when they’re away from the classroom for too long. Yikes! 

Is summer slide a real thing? 

Unfortunately yes, it is. According to research by the National Summer Learning Association, students can lose up to two months of academic progress over the summer months!

The National Summer Learning Association also reports that teachers spend between four and six weeks re-teaching material at the beginning of each school year due to summer learning loss.

summer slide

So how do you beat the summer slide?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to help your students avoid the summer slide and keep their brains engaged all summer long. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Encourage Reading

As you know, reading is a great way to keep your students’ minds active and engaged over the summer. Encourage them to pick up books that interest them and make sure they have plenty of opportunities to read. You might consider hosting a summer reading program or creating a reading challenge to keep kids motivated. You can also suggest that they check out their local library for similar programs!

Make Learning Fun

Summer is the perfect time to get creative with your lesson plans. Try to find ways to make learning fun and engaging, whether that’s through hands-on activities, group projects, or field trips. The more enjoyable the learning experience, the more likely your students will be to stay engaged and motivated.

Utilize Online Resources

Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of online resources available that can help keep your students engaged over the summer. Whether it’s educational videos, interactive games, or virtual field trips, there’s something out there for everyone. Consider creating a list of resources for your students to explore over the summer.

Keep It Balanced

While it’s important to keep students engaged academically over the summer, it’s also important to give them a break and allow them to enjoy their summer vacation. Make sure your students have plenty of time for rest, relaxation, and fun activities that don’t involve schoolwork. Balance is key!

If you want the perfect resource to help minimize summer slide in your students, you should check out these Summer Packets! I created them with education, fun, and balance in mind so that your students can keep their brains engaged all summer long. 

summer slide

These packets are math and literacy-focused Google Ready digital activities that make it easy to do them at home with parents. 

Here’s how to use it:

This is designed with Google Slides. It includes a parent letter, physical and oral suggestions, a reading log, and a review of math and language arts activities. Download and TpT will force a copy of it on your Google Drive. Students do not need to have Google Classroom to participate.

Here’s what’s included: 

Pg. 1 Cover

pg. 2. How to use this packet and Parent Tips

pg.3 Oral and physical activity suggestions

pg. 4 Reading Log

Pg. 5 & 6 Sight Word List

Pg. 7-12 Sight Word Sort Review Activities

pg. 13-18 Word Families

pg. 19- 23 ABC Order Printables

pg. 24-25 Correcting Sentences

pg. 26-29 (Nouns, Verbs, Proper Nouns, Long and Short Vowels)

pg. 30-38 WRITING – Narrative, Opinion, Creative (Some printable to encourage handwriting)

pg. 39-41 Comprehension & Fluency

pg. 42- 59 Math Number Bonds, Addition, Subtraction, Shapes, measurement, 10 More 10 Less

Check out the video tutorial! 

Love this but need it for a different grade? Check out other grades or get the bundle! 

summer slide

By implementing these strategies, you can help your students avoid the summer slide and start the next school year on the right foot. Remember, summer should be a time of fun and exploration, but that doesn’t mean learning has to take a backseat. With a little creativity and planning, you can help your students keep their minds active and engaged all summer long. 

For more reasons to keep learning going all summer, check out my post here!

Simple Tips for Teaching Scissor Skills

Have you ever stopped to think about just how important scissor skills are for our early elementary students? While it may seem like such a tiny part of their education, the ability to cut with scissors is actually a critical life skill that can have a significant impact on their overall development! 

What skills do scissors develop? 

Not only does it help our little ones develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but it can also: 

  • Boost their creativity
  • Increase bilateral coordination
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Increase academic performance
scissor skills

If you’re wondering how exactly to teach this crucial fine motor skill to your elementary students, I have you covered. Get ready to snip, snip, snip your way to success!

  1. Choose the right scissors: It’s important to choose the right type of scissors for your students based on their age and skill level. With our younger elementary-level students, it’s best to aim for scissors with blunt tips and smaller handles. 
  2. Demonstrate proper technique: Before your students start cutting, make sure to demonstrate the proper technique by holding the scissors correctly, showing them where to put their thumb and finger, and using a smooth, controlled motion. Spend some time on this topic and encourage students to ask questions if they’re unsure about what to do. Don’t forget to clearly demonstrate how to hold scissors while walking! This is an important safety step you don’t want to forget. Also, make sure to explain that we don’t cut anything that isn’t paper. 
  3. Practice, practice, practice: Like any skill, learning to use scissors takes practice. Provide plenty of opportunities for your students to practice cutting different shapes and lines, and be sure to offer positive feedback and encouragement along the way! 
  4. Start with simple shapes: To help build confidence and avoid frustration, start with simple shapes like straight lines or basic curves. As your students become more comfortable, you can gradually increase the difficulty level by introducing more complex shapes and designs.
  5. Incorporate scissors skills into other activities: You can help your students build their cutting skills by incorporating them into other activities like crafts, art projects, and even math activities.
  6. Move into more advanced cutting strategies. You can allow them to cut out more complex shapes or teach them new techniques for cutting like folding a paper in half to cut a hole in the center. 

If you’re looking for a simple and fun scissors activity for kids that will help your students practice and perfect this important fine motor skill, I have you covered! 

This Fine Motor Cutting Practice with Scissors resource is just what you need! 

scissor skills

This download starts out with simple straight lines and moves into more advanced cutting skills. It is a perfect way to get students to increase their hand and eye coordination using scissors.

What’s in this download?

22 pages of cutting skills that include straight lines, zigzags, shapes, spirals, and interior cutting. Each page gradually gets more difficult.

Some can be colored and added to construction paper as artwork, but the main purpose of these printables is to practice cutting skills! 

Check it out here! 

Have any tips for teaching about using scissors? Let me know in the comments! 

For more fun classroom ideas, check out this post to learn how you can create a positive affirmation station! 

Introducing Constitution Day to Kids

Constitution Day is here and this is an excellent time to teach our elementary students about what this holiday is and why it is important to our nation’s history. 

Why do we celebrate Constitution Day?

In September of 1787, our founding fathers signed the constitution which has become the most important and influential document in our country. To commemorate it, we now celebrate this day as a national holiday on September 17th. 

This is a new concept to most of our early elementary students, so this is an excellent time of year to introduce the topic in a way that is engaging and fun for them so that they remember why this document is so important. 

Constitution Day activities for elementary students

When teaching this subject, you want to start by explaining to students what this day means, why it’s so important, and who some of the founding fathers are that created and signed the constitution. This will give them the foundational knowledge they need to understand your Constitution Day lesson plans. 

After covering the basics, make it fun! You can pull out some craft supplies or Constitution Day worksheets that students can use to better grasp the concept. 

I created my interactive flip book to make it easy to incorporate learning about this important holiday in a way that students will enjoy. 

constitution day

These Constitution Day activities for kindergarten and first grade students include 15 printables, writing prompts, posters, a mini book, and more. 

constitution day activities

Here’s what’s included: 

Pg. 1 Cover

Pg. 2 Lesson Plan

Pg. 3 Poster

Pg. 4 Instructions with a visual

Pg. 5- 7 Flip Book Pages where the student writes the word on the side of the flipbook

Pg. 8 – 15 Writing Prompts (primary or intermediate lined with self-check at the bottom)

Pg. 16 Mini Book

Pg. 17 Credits

constitution day writing prompts

Check it out here! 

Students will love this engaging activity! If you want more social studies fun, make sure to check out my post here for tips on how to teach social studies to kindergarten and first grade students! 

How to Teach Social Studies in Kindergarten and First Grade

Social studies is such an important topic for students to learn about starting at an early age. However, there are so many components included, that it can be hard to know where to even start. 

social studies

What are the topics of social studies in elementary? 

In kindergarten and first grade, we introduce our students to the basics of things like civics, community helpers,  geography, history, and economics. Each of these elementary social studies topics are big and can seem a little overwhelming to younger learners so it’s important to introduce them in a fun, engaging, and easy-to-understand way. 

What are some elementary social studies lessons and resources?

If you’re looking for social studies ideas or activities for your classroom, you’re in the right place! To make it easy to teach this subject in a fun way for early elementary students, I created my massive Social Studies Bundle. 

This year-long comprehensive social studies curriculum is perfect for Kindergarten or 1st Grade students that are just getting started. This bundle includes 9 weeks of American History, 9 weeks of Geography, 9 weeks of Community Helpers, and 9 weeks of Civics and Governments. 

Here’s what’s Included

►Unit 1 (9 Weeks) American History. (Timelines, History, Past, Then and NOW, Long Ago – Today, American Holidays and Celebrations, Honor, Holidays Around the World, American Symbols, George Washington, Lincoln, MLK, George Washington Carver, Ruby Bridges)

►Unit 2 (9 Weeks) Geography. (Maps, Globes, Landforms, Cardinal Directions, Write the Room Activities, Bodies of Water, Seasons, Me on the Map, Positional Words, Personal Informations)

►Unit 3 (9 Weeks) Civics and Government. (Primary Sources, Days of the Week, Months, Chronology, Calendar, Laws and Rules, Conflict vs Violence, Write the Room, Posters)

►Unit 4 (9 weeks) Community Helpers (Community Helpers, Songs, Crafts, Interactive Notebook Pages, Home Connection)

Each unit hits both Kindergarten and 1st Grade standards with detailed plans and 9 week at a glance guide. Each week follows the same routine so students get used to procedures after a couple of weeks. There are extra crafts and activities as well as home connection activities. 


  • 1-week plan for Money
  • 1-week plan for Wants and Needs

These social studies worksheets and activities are engaging enough that your students will love learning! Check it out here!

For more ideas, check out my blog post here for fun ways to teach social skills

What are your favorite ways to teach this subject in kindergarten and first grade? Let me know in the comments!