We all know about that infamous ‘summer slide’ our students get while they are on summer vacation. They come back to school in the fall and it feels like they forgot everything they learned the year before. Hence the term ‘summer slide’. It can be frustrating as a teacher because we feel like we are going backward instead of forward! I know what you are thinking, “How can I prevent the summer slide if I am not with my students in the summer to help them?” Well here are a few tips you can try to set them up for success before they leave your classroom at the end of the year. Their classroom teacher next year will thank you!
- Make a summer reading log. This is simple to implement and easy to make. Tell families to read with their kids or have kids read by themselves or to their families for a certain amount each day. The time will depend on their ages of course. Students can write the name of the book on their log and then their parent can sign it after they read for their allotted time. As an incentive have them keep the log all summer and bring it with them on the first day of school to their new teacher. This could be a great incentive for them to keep up on their reading and show their new teacher all the hard work they did over the summer. Maybe work something out with the next grade level teachers, and anyone who brings back their log gets a prize.
- Make a summer book list. It may be hard for families and students to pick out age appropriate books. Some parents may not even know what books are even out there, so giving them a list would be very helpful. Pick a list of books for students to be able to read as well as a list of books for parents to read to their kids.
- Give your students a writing journal. Send home a writing journal with your students. This could be a simple spiral notepad or stapling paper together with construction paper as the cover. Provide a list of writing prompts so parents and students don’t have any problems thinking of things to write about. Ex: “My favorite ice cream is…”, “Do you like to swim in a lake or at the pool?”, “My summer vacation isn’t complete until I do this” “My favorite sport to play with my friends outside is….” “When I go to the zoo I like to see…” The options are endless, and it will spark great topics of conversation with their families at home.
- Provide quick and easy printable worksheets. There is nothing wrong with a worksheet if it gets the job done! At home, students don’t have the luxury of you giving them direct instruction all day long, so a highly engaging worksheet would do just the trick. Here are some examples of some fantastic worksheets that can be printed and sent home with families.
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These 4 easy tips will really make a difference in helping your students retain what they worked so hard for this entire school year. Even if you pick one strategy or all 4, their families and their next year teacher will be singing your praises! 🙂
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