South-Western Subject Matter: Online resources can maintain skills in summer

BRADFORD FAUST
Bradford Faust

Summer has finally arrived after what has been one of the most unusual school years any of us have experienced in our lives.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic might have interfered and interrupted many of our traditional school-year activities, but students and their families perservered and are ready to find some time to relax and reflect this summer.

We realize remote teaching and learning was new for many, and parents and teachers alike worry that this style of teaching may have left gaps that were not addressed under these unique circumstances. As we plan and prepare for a fall schedule, we know online learning will continue to have a larger presence in our curriculum and in our classrooms whether face-to-face, remotely, or in a blended model.

Learning to navigate and access learning from multiple sites is a skill that will prove valuable for our students.

The web is full of rich teaching and learning opportunities that can help students and adults during what may be a "staycation" this summer.

Here are some resources in multiple content areas that will help build skills and appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about a favorite subject area.

* Wonderopolis -- wonderopolis.org. Wonder of the day ranging from "Why are Slinkys so hard to untangle?" to "How do viruses spread?"

* iCivics -- icivics.org/games. Play games such as Do I Have a Right?, Win the White House, People's Pie and more.

* Smithsonian Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens -- si.edu/kids. Light Painting tutorial, coloring pages for artists of all ages, animal cams, bumper ducks and more.

* Columbus Metropolitan Library Summer Reading Challenge -- columbuslibrary.readsquared.com. Prizes, free online books and more.

* Big History Project -- bighistoryproject.com/home. Self-guided journey through 14 billion years of the universe

* Math -- i-Ready: login.i-ready.com; Khan Academy: khanacademy.org; Prodigy Math: prodigygame.com

* Science -- Climate Kids: climatekids.nasa.gov; Discovery Kids: discoverymindblown.com

* Health and Physical Education -- Darebee: darebee.com

* Music -- Elementary school: San Francisco Symphony at sfskids.org and MusicPlay Themes and Variations at musicplayonline.com; intermediate/middle/high school: Music Theory at musictheory.net, SmartMusic at smartmusic.com and The Rhythm Trainer at therhythmtrainer.com

* World Languages -- Duolingo: duolingo.com

We hope many of these resources will lead you to explore what interests you over the summer. Additional resources are available on our website, swcsd.us/beating-summer-slide.

Stay safe, read a lot and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Bradford Faust is the assistant superintendent of curriculum for the South-Western City School District.