Summer slide is a major issue for teachers. We want a break as much as students do, but we also need kids to stay active academically over the summer so they come back ready to tackle the next level of learning. And you can prepare them for a summer of fun and adventure through learning when you equip them with engaging STEAM activities linked to the nine popular books in Flashlight Readers. Here’s a quick countdown to summer fun:
Before your students leave for the summer, prepare materials they will need for a read-a-thon. Sign them up for Scholastic’s Summer Challenge so they can earn prizes by logging books and minutes read. Encourage kids to keep a journal during the summer and bring it back filled with goodies to show you. Hold book talks during which students share their favorite books from the year and encourage others to read them over the break. Make sure they know where they can access books: Libraries and bookstores often have summer readings, and Barnes and Noble, for example, offers free books when children bring in a completed reading log. And help them find access to protected Internet sources of online books and games.
While you are packing your bags for summer, pack one more for the kids. Put together individual sacks containing all the things they will need to be active this summer. Include a Flashlight Readers door hanger, bookmark, and membership card. If your budget allows, purchase a gift book to include or even a small flashlight to complete the theme. A bag of popcorn or other small treat can inspire readers to get excited about the experience. Check with your public library to see if they are willing to donate materials for your bags, as well.
Download this set of STEAM activities for each book. Upload the files somewhere students will be able to access them over the summer or print a set for each reading bag. Encourage readers to engage in the books and think up even more activities on their own. Have students bring back their work or pictures from the summer in the fall. Or if you have a tech savvy crew, create a blog so students can share their summer reading adventures.
Getting students excited about staying academically active this summer is all about setting the right tone. It's not extra work, but summer fun where students can take an adventure through a book. A small gift and some encouragement is all it takes to have learners excited about the possibilities.
What do you do to encourage summer learning and nix the summer slide?