Summer means school is out for many, but not everyone takes a traditional summer break, and there’s summer school too! If you’re in a year-round school district, working the summer school sessions, teaching in a summer education program, or wanting to keep kids at home busy this post is for you! Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite summer review activities for July to help avoid that “summer slide” and keep the learning rolling!
Choosing Summer Review Activities
When it comes to planning July activities and lessons focused on summer review, I like to make sure I touch on a variety of skills.
Summer school sessions are obviously much shorter than the regular school year, but it’s still a great opportunity to review what your students have been learning throughout the year. When it comes to deciding what to focus on, you know your own students best, but some of the things my kiddos often needed extra practice with were:
- math facts (addition and subtraction)
- sight words
- writing skills
- grammar topics
- phonics & reading
When mapping out a summer filled with fun lessons, it’s a good idea to choose a variety of activities that touch on multiple subjects. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve gotcha covered! Let’s dive in!
1. Color by Code Activities
First up, let’s talk about my absolute favorite activity for review, color by code! Color by code is a fun and engaging way to practice a variety of skills. In my room, we used them primarily for math facts and sight words, but the options are truly endless. I also love that they’re no-prep, meaning you can just print and use them in your lessons across multiple themes. In July, some of my favorite Color by Code pages feature themes like summer, camping, and the 4th of July.
In first grade, we cover a ton of ground in phonics and the children learn all about CVC words, blends, digraphs, and CVCe words. I used color by code to review these concepts over the summer along with the sight words we had been focusing on. Aside from phonics and sight words, we used color by code often to review addition and subtraction facts as well. Here are some fun options for your July activities:
- Camping Color by Word
- Ocean Color by Word
- Summer Color by Word
- 4th of July Color by Number
- Summer Color by Number Bundle
Color-by-code summer review activities are perfect for simple centers, independent practice, morning work, transitions, or anytime you find yourself with some downtime in the classroom. They can easily be used by students at home too! They are a great independent activity that kids can complete without a lot of help from mom and dad.
2. Math and Literacy Centers for Summer Review
Center time is always a favorite in the primary classroom. First-graders require many opportunities to move around the room, use hands-on learning materials, and interact with peers. I find this especially true in the summer months after kiddos have been in school all year long!
If you’re teaching over the summer, it’s so important to make sure to include some fun center activities to keep those kiddos engaged! These Low-Prep Center Activities will help your students review a variety of ELA and math activities, without a ton of prep work. Kiddos will review essential math and literacy skills through fun activities like:
- word searches
- BUMP games
- task cards
- mystery puzzles
and many other engaging, hands-on activities. These centers target topics like phonics review, shapes, addition, subtraction, vocabulary, grammar, and more! These low-prep centers are the perfect solution to add some hands-on summer review activities to your July lesson plan!
3. Novel Study Summer Review Activities
Summer is the perfect time to get lost in a good book. Whether you’re teaching in July or looking for a way to keep your kids reading at home, this Wizard of Oz math and literacy unit is perfect to keep those kiddos engaged in learning. The Wizard of Oz is an exceptional novel to use as an extended text. In my classroom, I read this book aloud over the course of a few days. Read-aloud time was always a favorite in my room, and this book is an especially fun one to read as a group.
After reading the story, the children will participate in a variety of activities to recap what happened. Included in this unit are:
- 2 mini books – one for describing the setting and one for the characters
- character sequence activity
- favorite character graphing and opinion writing
- anchor charts, printables, and more!
These activities would be fantastic for a classroom that teaches year-round, a summer school program looking to review first-grade ELA standards in a fun and engaging format., or a parent wanting to do some fun book-based learning activities at home.
4. Complete Sentences Summer Review Activities
As I mentioned before, my firsties often needed extra practice when it came to writing. During summer break, students can easily forget how to compose sentences and even what makes a sentence complete. That’s why I love this Sentences Bundle. There are 2 resources included in the bundle to target writing complete sentences and the four types of sentences.
There are 7 activities included in each resource to help students master sentences during your summer review activities. Children will focus on capitalization, punctuation, word order, subjects, and predicates in the complete sentences resource through fun and engaging center activities. The four types of sentences resource includes an instructional PowerPoint, info posters, activities, and a quiz.
These activities come in both printable and digital options, so they’re versatile too! Use the digital Google Slides option for teaching in a whole group format, assigning as homework, or for distance learning. The printable versions are perfect for small-group intervention and centers. No matter how you use these resources, they’re a great option for summer review activities during July!
5. BINGO Phonics Games
Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk BINGO games! BINGO is one of my favorite ways to review phonics skills in first grade. When kiddos seem restless, tired, unmotivated, or grumpy, you can count on BINGO to help change the tone. Plus, BINGO is great for reviewing a variety of different phonics and reading skills quickly and efficiently. Not to mention, children LOVE playing BINGO, so that’s always a big win in my book!
The games we used focused on CVC words, blends, digraphs, and, CVCe words. They come in 2 versions as well so you can decide what works best for your group. The black and white cards are great to use with BINGO dauber markers. The full-color cards are perfect for laminating and using with summer-themed mini erasers.
These BINGO games are perfect for use in your small groups, as a whole group, or during center time. If you use them for a center game, I recommend choosing a student to lead it as the BINGO caller. This adds an extra element of fun that kiddos absolutely love.
BINGO also comes in handy if you ever find yourself with just a few minutes to fill or a classroom of rowdy students. Games have a way of saving the day like that! No matter what you choose, it’s always a student hit and a great addition to your summer review activities!
Start Planning Your Summer Review Activities
I hope these ideas and resources help you plan your own July activities and lessons. Avoiding the “summer slide” is easy if you’re strategic with the activities you choose!
If you’d like to take a closer look at any of the July activities mentioned here, you can find them all in my TpT Shop, along with plenty of other fun activities for the whole year. Happy planning, and have a great summer!
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