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How to keep kids' minds active during winter break

Winter Break is here! For some, this phrase is music to their ears. For others, it can cause feelings of panic. Many families enjoy the first few days of winter break, but then chaos ensues when kids start to feel bored. If this sounds familiar, teachers from Chandler Online Academy-Elementary (COA) have solutions to keeping children engaged in learning over the break. 

Create a Book Trailer

Instead of spending the break consuming technology, activate students' imagination and have them use technology to create. Mrs. Pekara suggests having your child create a book trailer. This is a fun-filled activity that combines reading, technology, and creativity. Put simply, they read a book of their choice and then pick a medium to summarize the book. It can be as simple as putting together a slideshow using Google Slides or more advanced by filming and editing a mini-movie. Using websites like Imagination Soup can help give guidance and inspiration along the way. When the project is done, the family can get together to watch the final production. This activity will keep your child engaged and exercise their creative muscles!    

-Ricque Pekara, Chandler Online Academy - Elementary 5th Grade Teacher

Math Exercises

Does your student need to brush up on those math facts? Consider making it a family event or even a routine. Building a math routine in your family can build confidence and help develop a growth mindset for math. Start with simple activities such as counting by multiples when climbing steps or try throwing a ball back and forth to practice multiple counting, or number counting for younger children. Mix it up a little bit and count by 5's, starting at 50 or start at 23 and count by fives. Include the whole family by going back and forth between siblings and parents naming the next multiple to increase fluency and accuracy. Step it up a level and play games like, "I'm thinking of a number." Give everyone clues about the number to see if they can figure it out. For example, the number 22, you could say, "the number is even", "the number has 2 digits", etc. Make it fun, easy and a part of everyday life. This is a way to incorporate deliberate practice of math skills and can be done anywhere and everywhere.  If you are taking a road trip with the kids or just need some quiet time from the hustle & bustle, you could also try these math fact sites:

- Leslie Ireland, Chandler Online Academy - Elementary 6th Grade Teacher

Keep Moving!

If you want your kids to get moving over the break, check out The 12 days of PE with COA's physical education teacher, Mrs. Traficano. Get moving with burpees, jumping jacks and donkey kicks:

- Jennifer Traficano, Chandler Online Academy - Elementary PE teacher

Schools are not in session from December 23 through January 9 for Winter Break. Teachers return to school for an in-service workday on Monday, January 9. Students report back to class on Tuesday, January 10.

Chandler Online Academy - Elementary is a K-6 online school with the Chandler Unified School District. Visit for more information about the school.

Chandler Online Academy - Elementary