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Resources to Help Your Students Avoid Summer “Brain Drain”

Before the school year ends, share these fun, free websites with your students to reinforce the lessons you’ve taught them so they’ll be ready to succeed in the fall.

Summer vacation is almost here, and with the sun and rest comes the inevitable “brain drain.” Help your students maintain the skills they worked so hard to learn this year with these fun and FREE websites. Share these sites with your students and their parents… Their teacher next year will thank you!

Elementary School: Grades K-5

These sites are robust enough to be used across the grade levels. Of course younger students will need some help navigating and reading instructions.

  • Game Goo – An interactive set of games designed to build upon each other. Start at the bottom for younger students and move up through the games.
  • FunBrain.com – FunBrain offers something for every student. Educational games have different levels so the practice can be customized. The site has areas dedicated to math and reading.
  • Smithsonian Institute for Kids – Take a closer look at these engaging online exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution covering art, science & nature, history & culture and people & places.
  • Houghton-Mifflin Math – A fun place to play games to strengthen your math skills. Arranged by grade level.

Lower Elementary: Grades K-2

  • Fishing with Phonics – Help Garfield catch the most fish, and in the process practice your beginning and ending sounds.
  • PBSKids.org – Be sure to check out all your favorite PBSKids shows like Word Girl, Between the Lions, Super Why, Sid the Science Guy, Maya and Miguel and more. Many activities don't require reading abilities, but some do.
  • PictureMatch – Sort the pictures into the correct box based on the beginning-letter sounds, short-vowel sounds or long-vowel sounds.
  • StarFall Phonics – Perfect for pre-readers and beginning readers, this site takes a systematic phonics approach and combines it with phonemic awareness practice.
  • Up to Ten – Fun site for kids “up to 10.” Solve jigsaw puzzles, color online, improve your coordination and more.

Upper Elementary: Grades  3-5

  • America’s Story – Presented by the Library of Congress, students will get caught up in the interactivity of the site as they Meet Amazing Americans, Jump Back in Time, Explore the States, Join America at Play and See, Hear and Sing. Check it out.
  • FactMonster – Discover this well-organized, kid-friendly resource for fun facts and outstanding games and quizzes.
  • KidsReads – Looking for a few good books this summer? Check out this site with reviews and recommendations as well as sections devoted to popular book series.
  • MathPlayground – Created by a math teacher, this site offers games that require specific and complex skills, logic puzzles and an amazing supply of word problems. The games use manipulatives to help make even the most abstract math concepts clear.
  • PBSKids Go! – While it shares some content from the PBSKids site geared toward younger elementary students, this site has a look and feel to engage the over 8 crowd. In addition to PBS character sections (Maya and Miguel, Word Girl) there are terrific sections dedicated to the American Experience: Wayback, Democracy Project, History Detectives and more.
  • National Park Service Web Rangers – Complete more than 4 dozen activities—puzzles, mysteries, quizzes, etc.—to earn your “WebRanger” status. The activities vary in difficulty level and topic (parks, animals, nature, people, history, science and puzzles).

Middle School: Grades 6-8

  • CoolMath.com – Don’t lose those hard-earned math skills this summer. Check out Cool Math to practice pre-algebra and algebra.
  • MathPlayground – Created by a math teacher this site offers games that require specific and complex skills, logic puzzles and an amazing supply of word problems. The games use manipulatives to help make even the most abstract math concepts clear. Tops include fractions, multiplication, percentages and more.
  • National Park Service Web Rangers – Complete more than 4 dozen activities—puzzles, mysteries, quizzes, etc.—to earn your “WebRanger” status. The activities vary in difficulty level and topic (parks, animals, nature, people, history, science and puzzles).
  • Smithsonian Institute for Kids – Take a closer look at these engaging online exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution covering art, science & nature, history & culture and people & places.
  • TeenReads – The summer is a great time to read what YOU want. Check out this site for hundreds of book reviews, information on the most popular series, lists of the best graphic novels and the Ultimate Reading List. Everyone can find a good book on this site.
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