5 Ways to Keep Students Learning Over the Summer

As a teacher, we all know about the summer learning loss
syndrome (and I am talking about the students, not the teachers).  It would be ideal to keep students learning through the summer. How do we do that? Here are 5 ways that might keep your students on the
learning path:

 
·        
Get them
to a library! 
     Almost every library in America has a
summer reading program with incentives and nice librarians!  Taking a quick field-trip to the local
library in May to hear about their summer activities is a great place to
start.  No money for a field trip?  Bring the librarian to the kids.  Invite the librarian to your classroom to get
kids excited.  Kids who may not be avid
readers, but don’t have exciting plans over the summer, might see the library
as a refuge.  Some libraries even have
free snack programs.  Check to see what yours offers.
 
·        
Email
your future students. 
     Before school gets out for the summer,
collect those new names and emails from last year’s teachers and introduce
yourself.  Even if you don’t know which
students will be yours, send out emails to the whole grade on a weekly basis
with a little tidbit about yourself and co-teachers and a Pinterest project, a scavenger hunt
worksheet, or a YouTube tutorial they
might want to do that week.  Just that
little reminder of school keeps parents and students on track!
 
·        
Do a
student challenge. 
     Take time that last week of school to head
over to your future-students’ classrooms. 
Tell them how excited you are that they are coming to _____ grade!  Give them a list of things you hope they will
do over the summer so they will be ready to learn in your classroom. Say you
bet they can’t get all of them done – truly make it a challenge to them! A
student who’s excited about you will want to work for you! Think of it as a
pre-teaching exercise – make sure there’s lots of fun things they want to do on
the list like play Frisbee golf or go shopping for the cheapest ice cream at
the grocery store.  Be sure to email the
parents your list, too.  Recreational
activities are still learning opportunities!
 
·        
Enlist
the help of local non-profits. 
     Send students home in May with bags of free
activities from local non-profits or lists of activities going on at those
non-profits.  Many cater to kids whose
parents work full-time in the summer, and they will be happy to have your
support!  If you convince parents that these
activities will allow them more free time, they will be on board, too! The YMCA
offers programs.  Many churches offer
Bible School opportunities.  Whatever
keeps kids engaged, and moving, lessens the summer slide!
 
·        
Encourage
kids to volunteer! 
     The best way to learn about the world and
make it a better place is by volunteerism. 
By actively engaging their minds in something new, they are fighting the
summer setback!  Kids can go online to see all
their options and find something that fits their tastes.
 
·        
Write
code to change the world.
     And for those gamers we all have, send them
to the Hour of Code website.  Tell them you want to see the game that will
change the world when they show up in your classroom next fall.  Sure, it’s still gaming but with a purpose!  A gamer is only a gamer because they want to
beat the challenge.  Maybe you will spark
the kid that fixes a world-problem. 
That’s what’s great about teaching. As teachers, we aren’t with our
students all summer, but we have to know that if we teach them passion for
learning, they will continue it, with, or without, us.  These 5 ways to channel summer-learning are a
good start.

 

 
 

 

 

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