Smart Start Central Oklahoma put out a list today of great science and nature books to read to your kiddos this summer. Enjoy!
Birth to one year:
- “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?” by Bill Martin
- “Inch by Inch” by Leo Lionni
- “Grow Flower, Grow!” by Lisa Bruce
3 years and older:
- “Fireflies in the Night: Revised Edition” by Judy Hawes
- “Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor” by Joanna Cole
- “All the Colors of the Earth” by Sheila Hamanaka
- “Energy Makes Things Happen” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
- “Peanut Butter and Jelly” by Nadine Bernard Westcott
- “What If…?” by Cheryl Steele
- “The Falling Raindrop” by Neil Johnson and Joel Chin
- “In the Small, Small Pond” by Denise Fleming
- “Growing Vegetable Soup” by Lois Ehlert
- “A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee” by Chris Van Dusen
- “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” by Laura Joffe Numeroff
- “My Five Senses” by Aliki
OU Outreach and the OU School of Geology and Geophysics are once again offering the summer camp “Earth Cycles: A Whole-Earth Approach to the Geosciences” for Oklahoma Native American and other public and private middle school students underrepresented in the sciences.
This camp is a partnership between the University of Oklahoma, The Harris Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation, and is free for participating students. Students will live in an OU residence hall and all expenses, including room, board, supplies, books, field trips and recreational activity expenses, will be provided.
James S. Tyree
I wrote a story for Sunday’s Oklahoman about schools on “year-round” schedules, in which the school year is spread across a longer stretch of the calendar year by taking more frequent breaks.
Here’s a little more of the story – a breakdown of the scores of the traditional public schools on the year-round calendar and the years they started, plus a list of exactly which other places in the state follow the model.
SCHOOL 2007 API SCORE INITIAL YEAR
Oklahoma City Public Schools 1062 (average)
Horace Mann Elementary 1394 2002-03
Sequoyah Elementary 1430 2001-02
Westwood Elementary * 2002-03
Tulsa Public Schools 1065 (average)
Chouteau Elementary 1396 2000-01
Eugene Field Elementary 869 2004-05
Kendall-Whittier Elementary 1304 1998-99
Mark Twain Elementary 1375 2000-01
Marshall Elementary 1195 2000-01
Office of Juvenile Affairs centers
Juvenile Center, Tecumseh
Education Unit-Manitou, Tipton
L.E. Rader Center, Sand Springs
Other state-accredited schools
Lakeside School, Granite
Tulsa Job Corp Center, Tulsa
*NOTES: Westwood did not meet the minimum number of test scores required for reporting. However, in 2006, the school’s API score was 1232, higher than the Oklahoma City average that year of 1006. Scores reported for 2007 were taken in the 2006-07 school year. The reporting samples were too small for juvenile affairs centers, and the final two are not required to report test scores to the state. (Sources: State Department of Education, Oklahoman research)
What do you think of this “continuous learning” model of school scheduling? Share your thoughts here on NewsOK’s Education Station.
Wendy K. Kleinman
The nine Fleming Scholars and one Presidential Scholar are getting hands-on experience with scientific research, conducting experiments and learning from those whose shoes they one day hope to fill.
2008 OMRF FLEMING & PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS
Seated, left to right: Sishir Mannava of Edmond; Meaghan Wierzbic of Harrah; Anne Alger of Shawnee; Stephanie Wilburn of Fitzhugh; Sara Moore of Norman; and Leah Henry of Oklahoma City. Standing, left to right: Johnnie West of Lawton; Jack Laurent of Oklahoma City; James Harding of Lancaster, Texas (Presidential Scholar and Langston University student); and Alia Ramirez of Oklahoma City.
Have you participated in the OMRF program or something similar? What was your experience like?
Share your thoughts here on NewsOK’s Education Station.
Wendy K. Kleinman
A summer reading program in Oklahoma hopes to ward off summer brain drain, the phenomenon that leaves students stumped when they return to school after lackadaisical summer vacations.
The “Catch the Reading Bug” program began yesterday at public libraries.
Children up to age 12 can sign up for the series of events, and very young children can even participate if someone reads to them.
Some libraries also offer summer reading programs for teenagers.
Youths who sign up get a free reading log, book bag and bookmark and can earn prizes for what they read. Libraries also offer story times and other activities for children.
Visit your local public library for more information and to check out your first book of the summer – maybe, for those who take literally the idea of a bookworm, the old favorite “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
Wendy K. Kleinman
Summer is here! Or at least it will be later today when thousands of Oklahoma City school kids leave their classrooms for a two-month break.
But summer break doesn’t have to be a vacation from learning. Even if your kid isn’t enrolled in an organized summer program or class, there are plenty of educational opportunities for the whole family.
A few things my family will do this summer:
* Visit the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at OU to see SuperCroc, a 40-foot long creature that lived 110 million years ago.
* Start a new tradition of going to the library. Those trips to Barnes & Noble are adding up but library books are free! And there are plenty of activities there too this summer.
What are your summer plans? What ideas do you have for fun yet educational activities that don’t cost a bundle?
Comment here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share some of your responses.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
The president of the American Federation of Teachers on Thursday called for extending the school year.
Edward J. McElroy proposed pushing the year into the summer to provide intensive instruction and enriching out-of-classroom activities for at-risk kindergartners through third-graders. McElroy was speaking before more than 2,000 educators and paraprofessionals at the AFT’s national professional issues conference, according to a union press release.
“We are simply losing too many children during the long summer months, when they forget much of what they learned during the school year. Struggling students need additional instruction, enrichment and more time,” McElroy said, according to the release.
The proposal is designed to keep students from losing what they’ve learned while off for the summer. McElroy proposed that the summer extension last a minimum of 20 days.
“The summer extension would offer struggling students instructional methods proven to be effective, as well as enriching experiences such as museum visits, educational field trips and other summer activities,” according to the release.
State Superintendent Sandy Garrett on Tuesday called for increasing the school day by one hour and increasing the school year by five days, saying the changes would help make Oklahoma students competitive with their regional and international peers.