You’ve almost made it to the end of your school year. You’ve worked really hard with your students to master many new skills, taught them to think critically and celebrated successes.
Before you pack it all in for the summer break you richly deserve, think about how you can set your students up for success next year, by giving them summer success work.
You might be thinking 1. that sounds like a lot of work, or 2. my kids don’t need that, but summer learning loss is a big problem and you can pretty easily help fix it.
Here are a few solutions to help you set your kids up for success this summer and avoid summer learning loss.
Solution 1 – Set Up Some Reading Goals
I used to teach reading, so I’m a sucker for summer reading assignments. At TEAM Academy and Rise Academy, we have students set up on Accelerated Reader. During the summer they have reading goals to hit on Accelerated Reader and are rewarded with a new shirt in the fall. (kids earn shirts for many different things, and can wear them as part of their uniform)
AR goals are great for the summer because they:
1. Allow kids to choose what books they read and find interesting reads.
2. Allow kids to read at their level.
3. Set goals based on their levels (we do this all year, so it’s nothing new)
4. You don’t really have to do anything!
When the summer ends, you can log into the teacher side of Accelerated Reader, and see all of the words your kids read. you can congratulate students who were awesome over the summer and met their summer AR goals.
Solution 2 – Create Break Work
This one is admittedly less awesome and more work. But it shouldn’t be too bad. It’s really important that you choose summer tasks or projects that make sense for you class and your kids.
Avoid assigning something they haven’t completely mastered yet. They’re going to get frustrated when they can’t figure it out. What you should be looking for are projects and tasks that:
- Match what they need to know in the next school year
- Are enough to keep them engaged all summer long.
- Reinforce skills they learned and mastered during the school year.
Summer break work should be just enough to keep kids from slumping. It shouldn’t be too challenging.
Solution 3 – Set up Parental Guidelines
When SPARK Academy looked into their summer learning loss problem, they found that parents were instrumental in ensuring their kids did not experience the summer learning losses other classmates did. To help replicate this for your students and parents, here are a few things you can do:
- Give parents a list of skills your kids mastered
- Give parents templates they can use for flashcards
- Help them schedule time to practice skills with a calendar
- Keep in touch. Most of SPARK’s teachers stay in touch with parents over the summer to make sure this is happening.
Summer can be great for kids who have opportunities to go to camps and stay sharp. Stay on top of your kids learning during the summer so they start next year with the tools to be successful.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!