Brain Stretch Linky Party for Summer Fun!

Brain stretches in summer fun – strengthen 6 key brain parts!

1). Shift it up and do it differently – to stretch your brain’s basal ganglia storage place for ruts.

2). Go for fun – to stretch your brain’s serotonin well-being chemicals.

3). Learn something completely new – to stretch your brain’s plasticity or ability to change itself.

4). Discover or invent something – to stretch your brain’s working memory or sticky note to hold new facts.

5). Run from stress – to stretch your capacity to ward off dangerous cortisol stress chemicals.

6). Let go of regrets (or missteps) – to stretch your amygdala – or seat of emotions that clings to moods.

Fun guide to stretch all 6 brain parts above.

Create Summer Bk - JPEGYour turn! Link 1 product below to show how you’d stretch  summer brains.Then comment here specifically how so. In addition, add 1 brief tip to comment:-) and let’s build a summer brain-guide together for upper level students or adults. Finally, let’s also comment on one another’s TPT sites.

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

20 thoughts on “Brain Stretch Linky Party for Summer Fun!

  1. Ms. Fuller

    Parents and teachers alike should encourage students to read for fun over the summer to keep their brains sharp. However, I know many schools also need to have summer reading to help get the ball rolling in the fall. Use my Novel Task Cards to put a fun twist on summer reading. Assign them all or just a few. Give different point values etc. There are plenty of options to help keep students engaged in their reading over the summer! The cards also take into account different learning styles and have some creative options as well!

  2. Lisa

    Since all teachers hope their students will read over the summer, why not give them small, digestible bites to work on using a summer reading calenddar? Each day has an activity on it – some just for fun and some for thinking and others for reading (books and 2 included poems). My additional tip is to boost engagement with things like Kagan strategies, Tribes activities, and Responsive classroom techniques. Students think these things are fun and when they are having fun, they are learning! 🙂

  3. Brynn Allison

    If you are assigning summer reading, asking students to design an amusement park based on their novel would allow them to review literature skills, while being creative and having fun. Did I mention that it will be much more enjoyable to grade than a book report?

    Brynn Allison
    The Literary Maven

  4. Jenny K.

    I think over the summer teachers always worry about kid getting rusty on their basic skills–a great way to keep the brain juiced up is with my summer math fact coloring sheets. Kids can color AND practice math without really realizing it! I even had a parent recently tell me that her daughter is struggling with her math facts so she is using one of my math fact group posters and giving her duaghter one sheet a night to practice and slowly the poster/picture is starting to form. All great way to excite kids about keeping those math facts fresh–learning should be fun!!!

  5. Allyson Williams

    Life in Six Words Memoirs can be used as a creative writing activity over the summer. Students can present their illustrated memoirs as an introductory activity when they return to school. In the past, I have made the memoirs subject specific. For example, for psychology, one student came up with: “Freud’s dream analysis and unconscious: revealing!” You can make it novel specific from a certain character’s perspective for summer reading. Or if you teach in the IB, the memoirs can be about the learner profile or global contexts. There are so many possibilities! One of my students was published last year in Smith Magazine online, so it’s fun for students to get published. Try brainstorming and compiling a list of Top 10 memoirs at: Students will have fun sharing their findings! A fun summer project could also be to make a podcast or short video of a memoir or collection of six-word memoirs.

  6. History Gal

    Don’t underestimate the power of a fun review game. If students are engaged, they are actively learning.

  7. Joan Kessler

    Great summer review for students who have had one semester of Calculus and going on to Calculus BC or College Calculus 2. It’s not the Calculus that gets them, it is the Algebra and PreCalculus skills that they have forgotten. This Guide wakes them up, and gives them an idea of what skills are needed as the move to the next course.

  8. Mary Carr

    I am big on interdisciplinary teaching and learning, as well as making real-world connections. I think both serve to increase engagement of students, especially in math class. My Environmental Math mini-lessons include information to inform students about several different environmental concerns, plus related math problems using a variety of math skills.

  9. Kathy Applebee

    Role playing games allow students to do some research on their own with a goal in mind, help guide interaction and communication between students and motivate many to particpate. I use them in the classroom and at church.

  10. I am Bullyproof Music

    If I can make one insightful observation about a student that takes them by surprise, especially if I can present said observation in an amusing manner, I pretty much end up keeping that student’s attention for life 🙂 I own them! As personal observations of any kind begin to feel more and more entertaining and less like work to kids, I then suggest kids “look at” pretty much anything from a completely new perspective. After all, who wants to assume? Who wants to live a “stuck” boring life? Kids usually have more free time in summer. It’s a great time to kick around new ideas. Have you “refreshed” your idea screen today?

  11. OCBeachTeacher

    Use “Common Core: Integrating Art to Teach Literary Analysis Writing” to have fun and encourage your students to create artwork while meeting writing standards! This lesson, ideal for visual learners, meets numerous English Language Arts Common Core Standards and can be used with ANY literary text selected by the teacher. Your grateful students will enjoy a creative lesson for their summer learning!

  12. eweber Post author

    I so agree with all the comments related to content that connects to tasks! faculty who cling to lectures tell us they do not always see great connections between active learning tasks and takeaway lesson targets. It would be fun to see what specific strategy each participant here favors to connect content to active tasks.

    I’ll start. I designed what is called the two footed question to link tasks tightly to both lesson content and student interests. That works best as a curiosity builder for me — so students stick with tasks.

    You? Ellen

  13. Positively Pre-Algebra Plus

    I believe helping students to make connections is so important in math education. No subject should be taught in isolation, but especially math. Students need to see when and where they will use the skills. I encourage my students to take a week or two off each summer, but then spend time investigating topics they learned during the school year (or wanted to learn) from each of their classes. I love hearing about what they learned over the summer and they are always surprised at how much they enjoyed their studies. I’ve included two links – Perimeter & Area Review for 6th and 7th graders, plus Multiple Representations of Linear Functions for 8th and 9th graders.

  14. eweber Post author

    Interesting tips! Regarding building around student passions – I like to give them a FREE multiple Intelligence survey to get them thinking about areas they may have not paid attention to at school. Since we focus on two intelligences only – I toss in all 8 and enjoy teens’ delightful discoveries within the additional 6 intelligences. If useful others are welcome to use it too

    Just reading over these comments reminds me how much we can support and encourage one another for win-win student takeaways. Privilege! Thanks all! Imagine what we could do to reboot secondary and college learning – if we rolled together! Ellen

  15. Bridget Riggs

    Variety is the key. I also agree with “Mrs. M” that you should build around students’ passions. Internet scavenger hunts offer middle and high school level students the ability to have contests for quickness and accuracy while learning content and research skills. Perfect for library field trips over the summer or wifi at home.

  16. Arlene Manemann

    The non-fiction novel “A Long Walk to Water” brings the problems of displaced people into sharp focus. The brain power of the protagonist and the human spirit that accompanies it is an amazing read. Students learn what can be done when compassion is added into the mix. Lots of writing prompts cause students to think through many issues and come to conclusions.

  17. Gina Perfetto

    Every resource must at some point inspire. While the writing resource I posted is creative, aligned to the common core, and linked to actual exercises… at some point the students need to be “beside themselves” with excitement over their own ability to create… to have an idea they need to get OUT. Then, they are teaching themselves, challenging themselves, and will do whatever it takes to get the story or sketch to the next level. I hope that this resource will get them there! But when you see, it is the best fun there is as a teacher – because you can actually see them making critical thinking connections on their own as they write!

  18. Mrs. M.

    Build your lessons around student interests and passions. You can teach the standards you need to hit but open up the approach more – for example, all of my intervention class students this year LOVE to draw and doodle. They are the inspiration for my Solve & Draw math activities…do a little math, do a little drawing. 🙂

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