Teacher Tips To Make Summer Learning More Inspiring, Creative, and Challenging for Students

June 3, 2021 / Educator Resources

From exploring nature to story creation to financial literacy, teachers from around the U.S. offer tips to colleagues on how to make summer learning more inspiring, creative, and challenging for students, using Osmo for Schools’ STEAM technology.

Brittany Thomas, 5th grade teacher at Glen Burnie Park Elementary in Glen Burnie, Maryland, says: 

“Summer is a good time for students to extend their classroom learning. As a reading teacher, I like to use Osmo with students to engage learners and develop their writing skills. One idea is for students to take “inspiration walks” around the school (or outside) and take pictures that can inspire their writing. They then use these pictures to illustrate their stories using Osmo’s Masterpiece app. I have always found inspiration walks, combined with picture taking and practicing drawing skills encouraged by Masterpiece app, to motivate and inspire my students, and the results are wonderful!”  

Katy Beattie, Teacher-Librarian at Garfield Elementary School in Olympia, Washington, says: 

“Osmo’s are among my students’ absolute favorite things to have out in our school library. The Osmo Monster app allows my younger students to actively participate in classroom conversation and collaboration, and they can create a story with Mo–the main character in Monster. As a summer learning idea, I would highly recommend that teachers encourage first graders to try this, and create a book afterwards of the story they adventured on with Mo– they can identify the beginning, middle, and end of their story, as well as the protagonist and possibly antagonist.”

Alexa Brown, 5th Grade Teacher at Central Elementary School in Van Buren, Arkansas, says:

“Summer is the perfect time for students to learn financial literacy! Osmo for Schools’ Pizza Co. incorporates real world math, financial literacy, emotional intelligence, and more. Beyond being a game about cute animals running a pizza business, it instills ‘real-world’ money skills in students, which helps produce well-rounded citizens, stronger communities, and more effective employees.”  

Jennifer Mahin, K-5 STEM teacher & Technology Integration Specialist at East Elementary School in Belleville, Kansas, says: 

“Summer school is a good time to explore outdoor themes and activities. I’m doing plant STEM challenges and creating seed bombs, and integrating this theme with Osmo Coding Awbie since the main character Awbie is adventuring outside and camping. For example, teachers can talk to students about camping or nature walks, and have students create a lily pad since Awbie jumps on those, or have students collect and count sticks since he jumps on them to cross water. Planning an outdoor theme could encourage students to go outside, while exploring STEM learning.” 

Melissa Stark, Special Educator at P94M in New York, New York, says: 

“Summer is a great time for students to enjoy the learning process and design their own learning experience!

My students love using the Osmo Little Genius Kit to help boost their fine motor skills. Writing letters can be hard for students but learning how to form letters in a fun and gamified way can help them better develop these skills and understand how to make the letters. They then can design how they would like to check for understanding, after the game, to make it their own by choosing materials to recreate what they saw in the game (i.e. shapes, buttons, stickers to make the letter/object).” 

Stephanie Tharp, 1st-2nd grade teacher in Wilsonville, Oregon says:

“One of the ways we boost learning in the summer is to set a challenge for each child to complete 3 new levels in four core Osmo games (Coding Duo, Lettertopia/Words, Coding Jam, Math Wizard) each week. First one to complete the challenge each week gets entered into the raffle for the end of summer prize. Challenging students help combat summer slide while growing their problem-solving skills exponentially.”

Looking to bring Osmo to your school? Osmo for Schools, in partnership with Osmo’s charitable branch, Osmo Cares will begin accepting applications on July 1, 2021 for its first-ever mini-grant consisting of $2000 worth of Osmo for Schools’ educational technology.  A total of 20 in-kind, mini-grants will be awarded to U.S. public schools in time for the fall semester. The mini-grant is intended to help schools that lack needed funding to purchase educational technology. Mini-grant recipients, who will be announced on August 9, 2021, will be able to choose from a selection of Osmo for Schools products; only one recipient will be selected per school. Schools must already have appropriate tablets on hand, or a plan to purchase tablets–they are not included. For further details about the mini-grant and application process, visit here: schools.playosmo.com/grants.