During school breaks, many APS families take advantage of the time together to try some alternative learning activities. We have updated our award-winning “APS Snow Learning Page” to help students continue learning over the Winter and Spring Breaks. Share your activities with us using #SpringBrkAPS.
Family Activities for Learning
Here are just some of suggestions gathered from Arlington families to help your children continue to learn and explore from home.
- Have a spelling contest by pulling words from a variety of books at home. Select a word, then read the paragraph in which it was found. For those words that need more practice, have your kid(s) write out the correct spelling three times each. Then let your kids test you!
- Make your own mail boxes out of an old box and some paper. You and your kids can write letters and deliver them to each other throughout the day. They love checking to see if they have mail, plus they’re having fun writing and drawing pictures for each other.
- Start a story with a sentence like “There was an old rundown house at the end of the long dirt road.” Then each person in the family takes a turn adding a sentence to the story; keep going around the table many times, until you run out of ideas or the story comes to a natural conclusion. If kids are young, one parent can act as the scribe, if not, you can pass the pencil around and everyone can write their own sentence. Read it out loud when you are done.
- Family baking and cooking projects are excellent opportunities for students to practice reading and following directions, weights and measurements. Plus everyone can enjoy the results.
- Card games, board games, video and electronic games, charades – all of these provide great opportunities for strategic thinking and communications.
- If the weather is nice, create a scavenger hunt of things you can find outdoors: an interesting bug, a pretty flower, an unusual stone, something growing, etc. Family members can use cameras, phones or tablets to take photographs of the items they find. Then make a photo or video collage of the exploration, and talk about how the various items are connected to each other and to the environment.
Online Resources for Families
APS Classroom Work & Other Learning Resources: Many of the APS Instructional Department web pages include links to resources for parents and students. Here are a few:
- English Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Students are encouraged to continue to read and review materials and assignments provided or referenced by their teachers in their course materials.
- Some of these materials are in print form and others are available online through teacher-created webpages, and/or school webpages.
- Students may wish to practice their skills by reviewing the SOL-released items tests from the Virginia Department of Education, where they can practice and then check their answers using the answer keys included in the released tests, available online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/index.shtml.
- Finally, all students are encouraged to continue with reading and writing. Keeping a journal is an excellent way for students to continue developing their writing skills, and enjoy sharing their writing and receiving feedback.
Here are a few more links for families:
- The Library of Congress, “America’s Library,” has a wealth of resources for parents. Go to www.loc.gov/families/
- Smithsonian Education (a place for kids to explore, discover and learn) offers a wide range of online interactive activities for students: www.smithsonianeducation.org/students/
Planning for the Future
As you’re enjoying learning together as a family, remember that it’s never to early to start planning your academic future in APS and beyond.
Check out these resources:
Aspire2Excellence is the academic planning initiative designed to help families plan for their child’s future in APS. Aspire2Excellence underscores the importance of every student taking rigorous courses and meeting graduation requirements to be ready for life after high school.
NAVIANCE: Your student’s school has partnered with Naviance to provide a variety of tools for student achievement through academic planning. These tools are located in Family Connection, a website for students and families to access online resources, communicate with school staff and collaborate on college and career readiness activities. Learn more about Naviance (Middle & High School) –
- PrepMe through Naviance can be used for SAT/ACT Prep – high school students can log into their accounts for practice.
- Career Exploration – Roadtrip Nation videos in Naviance – middle and high school students can log into their accounts
This page contains links to one or more websites that are outside of the Arlington Public Schools network. APS does not control the content or relevancy of these links.