Summer Learning

Every year I love getting questions from parents about what I recommend for student learning over the summer! Below is the list of subjects and links to various resources and websites that I think would be beneficial for my students after 5th grade.

The Bible Project is a great resource for free, fascinating videos about themes or books of the Bible. I have shown several of these videos in class throughout the year. I am passionate about these videos not only because I love watching them and learning more for myself, but also because my friend, Jon Collins, is one of the co-creators of this Portland-based project!
  Click for more: About The Bible Project | Videos on YouTube | The Bible Project's Website

We have been using Khan Academy all year, and almost all of the students have told me they prefer online learning rather than worksheets. Parents are encouraged to add themselves as their child's coach in the student profile settings to better keep track of their progress, much like I did throughout the school year. Additionally, if you want to mix it up a bit with multiplication practice online or drill worksheets, peruse the following links.
  Click for more: Khan Academy | Mrs. Larson's Multiplication Practice Links | Math Drills: Worksheets

There are hundreds of science videos that I have listed on which I was unable to show my classes this past year! Students can continue learning on their own by watching videos of particular interest to them! I have organized the videos by topic/category, and I am constantly updating it.
  Click for more: Mr. Riedl's List of Educational Video Clips

Social Studies
Hands-on activities and crafts are great ways to learn about cultural traditions and appreciate different peoples and places. There are many creative ideas at, and you are sure to find a few that pique your child's curiosity about the world around them.
  Click for more: Social Studies Activities -

Depending on the size of the book and the student's reading speed, I generally expect my students to finish reading an entire book every 2-3 weeks. If your child needs ideas of books to read, have them browse the list of bookshelfies the other students posted throughout the year. Also, if your child wants to participate in the Summer Reading Challenge, please select "West Hills Christian School" when you sign up on Scholastic's website.
  Click for more: Mr. Riedl's Archived BookShelfies | Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Read Aloud
Parents, read to your kids! They loved it when I read to them each day for only 15 minutes! Other ideas include getting audiobooks from your public library to use on your mobile device and/or use to purchase some great audiobooks to listen to. I regularly listen to audiobooks from both, so let me know if you have questions about them!
  Click for more: Multnomah County Library Audiobooks |

A great activity to practice each day is to make a Daily Summer Writing Journal. Use the following link to creative writing prompts for hundreds of great ideas for what your child can write about. Sharing the writing during a regular meal time or rest time each day is a great way to spark conversation and get their creative juices flowing!
  Click for more: 365 Creative Writing Prompts - ThinkWritten

I recently discovered a fun game that Google created, which is called Spell Up. It is an interactive spelling game that has many options to help support spellers at many different levels. It gets quite challenging too, as I have become quite addicted to it when I play it in my spare time!
  Click for more: Spell Up by Google

Khan Academy has added Grammar lessons and exercises! There are videos to watch too! Be sure not to commit any "Word Crimes" over the summer! ;-)
  Click for more: Grammar on Khan Academy | Word Crimes - "Weird Al" Yankovic

Mrs. Larson has been working with our students throughout the school year at and they are encouraged to continue practicing at home. For other resources, check out Mrs. Larson's additional links to typing games and activities on her website.
  Click for more: | Mrs. Larson's Typing Practice Links

Fun in the Sun
It is extremely important to be safe when playing around in the sun's electromagnetic radiation over the summer! We learned in class this year that the Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is what can burn you if too much time is spent outside unprotected. I discovered a wonderful website by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which shows the UV Index forecast by Zip Code! All you need to do is type in your Zip Code, city, and state, and you'll have hourly forecast in your area. It explains what time of day is most harmful, how to best protect yourself, and other helpful tips to stay safe while having fun! I use this often for my own family at home.
  Click for more: | EPA UV Index Hourly for 97219

Have you found great resources that you would like to share with me so I can spread the love? Let me know what has worked well for you and your family!

Make it a great summer, everyone!
--Mr. Riedl