The “summer slide” is not the name of a fun attraction at your local water park. Instead, it’s a very real situation many students encounter during the summer months when they experience a loss in learning. We as teachers know this all too well. But before your students exit the door on the last day of school, you can use these three solutions to help solve this problem.
- Provide opportunities
While you won’t be with your students during the summer like you are now, you can still offer students opportunities for learning. Most libraries or bookstores have summer reading challenges, as well as STEM initiatives. If possible, help students sign up for these programs before school ends for the summer. You can also provide their parents with information on how to take part. Most programs offer enticing incentives for students, such as discount tickets to local attractions or free treats!
- Encourage independent learning
The best possible scenario for summer learning is a student who is motivated to continue exploring new ideas. Unfortunately, some students leave school and never give learning another thought until the end of August arrives. You can encourage even reluctant learners to make discoveries over the summer by providing them with issues to ponder. Making a calendar of questions or “wonderings” for students to explore each week of summer is a simple way to inspire them to take learning into their own hands. For ideas, take a look at the website dedicated to the statement “I wonder,” at Wonderopolis.
- Keep them reading and writing
Some students may lack access to age-appropriate books at home or have a difficult time getting to a library. If your school has resources available to send grade-level materials home with students, that could go a long way toward helping them keep their reading on track over the summer months. Writing is another skill students lack opportunities to practice when not in the classroom. As you send students home for the summer, give them fun and thoughtful writing prompts that will spark their creativity while they’re on break from school.
By Kelli Drummer-Avendano