Several of our middle school faculty had the opportunity to attend a MV Middle Maker Event this afternoon. This was a great chance to get more acquainted with studio(i) and the many tools available to our students.


Each of the participants was encouraged to develop “a maker mindset” by incorporating play, purpose and passion into the learning process.

Our facilitator, Amy Wilkes, led us through the process of creating a vinyl sticker that represented someone’s passion.  It was so much fun designing this for my rising 5th grader.  I am thrilled that our students have the opportunity to design, create and develop their personal passions!

sticker arrow

Summer Learning On the Go

Headed to the ball field for the day… wonder what summer learning we will be able to work in while we wait between games.


I have our supplies packed, but also think it might be fun to “tinker” by learning how to create a stop motion video.  Check out the Lower School 2016 Summer Learning- Tinker page for tons of other creative ideas.


Another tool we are using to improve our math fact fluency this summer is Reflex.  This learning game was recommended to me by one of our Mount Vernon parents, so I decided to give the  30 day free trial a shot!

So far my student feedback has included the following:

  • Games are fun: Ninja to the Stars and Wind Rider (As students practice, it appears that different games will become available for them to play.)
  • I like earning coins to make my dude look “swag”. (They have enjoyed playing the games to earn coins and accessorize their characters.)
  • I like having fun while I learn.  (They have actually asked to play the game without reflexmy prompting.)

Let’s Play Cards

In a search to find new ways to practice our math fact fluency skills over the summer, we came across these fun card games.

making ten
Make Ten
is a fun way to practice “making ten” using addition and subtraction. 





close call

Close Call encourages students to learn addition patterns by creating sums up to 100.






This video demonstrates how to adapt the traditional War game into a fun review. I love that it is adaptable to accommodate two players at different skills level.

Reading with Our Ears!

Summer is a great opportunity to try reading with your ears by listening to audiobooks. We are currently listening to The BFG by Ronald Dahl.

BFGThe boys are excited to see how the images we have created in our minds will come to life in the movie coming out later in the summer!

To learn more about how listening to audiobooks can improve your child’s reading skills, check out  Audible is also currently offering a 30 day free trial!


Our Head of Middle School, Chip Houston, has challenged us to accept the Blogger Challenge!  Each team member was encouraged to cultivate their reflective practice by publishing 10 consecutive blog posts in June.

blog challenge

Over the next 10 days, the boys and I will be reflecting on our summer learning experiences!  Mount Vernon has provided excellent summer learning resources for each division.  Our school believes that learning demands flexible and interactive spaces and students have been encouraged to explore the world around them!

We began our summer adventures by exploring Marineland, Florida, the world’s first oceanarium.  Guests are encouraged to join animals in their habitats and make physical and emotional connections that lead to a desire to protect animals and their marine environments.

 Marineland 1 Marineland 2

While visiting the Palm Coast, we were also able to take a kayak ecotour of the Matanzas Inlet.  Throughout the tour, our Florida Master Naturalist Instructors were able to share their knowledge of the eco-system by describing the plants, wildlife and water fowl. My boys loved the experience and this great opportunity to EXPLORE!

 Kayak 1 kayak 2