Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Preventing the Summer Slide

Summer learning loss, the dreaded summer slide. If you have been teaching for any amount of time, you have either experienced students with summer learning loss with your students coming in or heard about your former students that have lost months of learning.  In fact, summer learning loss can account for more than HALF of the achievement gap from lower-higher income students because of the unequal access to summer learning opportunities. (  In a year that I looped from first grade to second, one of my students lost 8 Rigby reading levels! That is half of the year!  I wouldn't have even believed that the data from the year before was reliable if I hadn't done the testing myself!   This is not an isolated cases.  According to a John's Hopkins study,  most students lose TWO MONTHS of math learning during the summer months, regardless of income level.  The same study suggests that low income students also lose 2 or more months of reading instruction because of lack of educational activities. I don't know about you, but I want more for my students than to have to spend September and October of first graded relearning what we worked so hard to master all these months!
During the years, I have worked to come up with some strategies to help my students avoid the summer slide.


1.  Inform parents! 

Every year I have parents are surprised to find out exactly how much learning can be lost during the summer months!  I start in May reminding parents how important it is to keep up with reading and math.  I tell them of it in my note for my last book order, when we send home our weekly newsletters, and I send home this note the week before we get out of school.  This year I am also putting it on our school Facebook page.  #summerslide
You can download it {HERE.}

2. Provide opportunities.

For my low-income students this is important.  Some of my parents just don't have the means to provide lots of learning opportunities for their children. We send home as much as possible for our students. 

We include:

1) A First Grade review book that has a half page activity for every day.

Learn more about this {here.}

2)  A Summer Writing Journal {DOWNLOAD FOR FREE HERE}

3) Math Word Problem Journal for Summer
Learn more about this {here.}

4) Summer Information for free programs from local Library
5) Summer Information from Barnes and Noble for a free book
6) 2 sharpened pencils and a piece of sidewalk chalk
7) District Sight Word lists for 1st grade and 2nd grade
8)A stamped envelope so they can write to their teacher


3) Pump it up!

We do everything we can to offer incentives for our students to complete these tasks!  We talk up the folder and the incentives for bringing back the Summer Learning Packet, the Writing Journal, and The Math Journal.  Each has it's own reward and then another large reward for bringing back all three!  We offer students picks from the big treasure box for each individual activity and then tickets for our school store if they brought all three.  We have already started sharing these incentives and they are so excited!!!

And now for....

I am giving away copies of my First Grade Summer Review and Common Core Math Word Problems for Summer Fun to 2 winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Good Luck!

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