What are the kids doing this summer? Will they remember anything you taught them on the first day of school?
Well, if your students are like most, they will spend much of their time at home or at inexpensive summer programs that, let’s face it, offer little instruction. In many districts the usual summer packet will not be available due to budget restraints. Educating parents on how to find an effective summer program is crucial. Here are few helpful suggestions.
Encourage parents to find programs which offer:
1) A Thematic Approach
In this day of high-stakes testing, students get little time to digest what they learn. In thematic summer programs students practice their skills across curricular areas. This deepens their understanding of the theme and allows the students to practice what they know in a broad manner.
2) Kids Choice
Kids learn better when they are motivated. When students get a choice of what to study they tend to learn more
Students who will be Staying at Home
Students who will be at home all summer will need extra stimulation. Suggest the following to the parents:
1) Summer Reading
Provide a list of books and activities to do over the break.
3) Flash Cards
Yes, I know that in this modern age good old flash cards might seem antiquated, but daily review of basic math facts will go a long way in helping students to stave off summer learning loss. And throw in a few word problems while you’re at it. You might even want to feature characters from students’ summer reading list in those word problems just for good measure.
4) Current Events/Media
Assign some kind of research project or campaign-related activity that requires kids to create a visual and written journal of election year activities during the summer, when political conventions begin to dominate the news cycle. Have students present their reports at a publishing party in the fall.
Finally, there are a host of websites — some teacher driven, some parent driven — that offer all kinds of ideas to keep your kids on track each summer. So get out there and keep the learning going all year long.