Each year my school requires us to give summer work to our incoming students. Usually its a packet of math worksheets for the middle school kids.
Last year I assigned a book report using the book Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett http://www.scholastic.com/blueballiett/chasingvermeer.htm
I had them write a report about the kinds of math used in the story. It was ok, and mostly my A+ kids were the ones who did it. The others, well, they had emailed me over the summer and said they couldn't find the book and so I scrambled and signed them up for Academic Skill Builders and had them play some games.
This year I had a few ideas like having them write a report describing three to five examples of math they or their family have used over the summer. It could be anything from shopping, time, temp etc. Then I threw it out on twitter and got back a response from Patrick Honner and really liked his ideas: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/these-days-are-numbered-eight-summer-math-ideas/
Then I started thinking about how I could tie this in to preparing them for class next year and edmodo.com. I knew already that I was going to give them the option of sending it to me on Edmodo.com. My current 7th graders are already set up and I won't archive their classes until September, and new 7th graders will get a taste of Edmodo for the first time! I will also encourage discussion but they will have to use their own examples. And if they are the ones who just CAN'T get online...they can write it up and hand it in on the first day!
So what I'm going to do is give them a choice of a few of these projects! I like choice. The nice thing is that for the ones who embrace edmodo.com, I will really start working with them over the summer. Posting relevant items about their projects and fun websites, maybe set some Manga High challenges etc, to get them ready for next year!