Many kids are excited to not be in school and don’t want to “learn.” Without guidance and mentors, however, loss of learning is a problem for our youth, one that educators and parents need to address.
Reading programs are a common topic of discussion when it comes to summer learning, but I’m starting to see the potential for a variety of other ways to support literacy, numeracy, and creativity.
This list is not just for kids.
1. Stay Connected
Communication is key to supporting learners. Schedule messages with Remind or use Stamps and Chat to continue building relationships with students. This year, our social studies department made a Remind class so our 10th and 11th grade summer learners could stay connected and on course.
2. Document the Experience
Parents can encourage their kids to keep a journal. They can do one, too. It doesn’t have to be a diary of secrets – more like a place to reflect on the days and how they spent their time (see 10).
3. Share to Learn
Sometimes telling a distant relative or pen pal a quick story about an adventure can lead to a meaningful conversation. We are social learners, so practice sharing something with a different person every week. You may find that your confidence and creativity will grow through these experiences. You can even use Chat to connect with your pen pal as well!
4. Learn One Thing
The famous football coach Mike Leach learns one thing every summer. From chimpanzees to pirates, he focuses his questions and reading about one topic. Sometimes we can take on too much. A little focus and depth can’t hurt.
5. Reading Contests
Most libraries do contests every summer. The prize is usually a free book. But, if your area doesn’t have a reading contest, start one! I’m sure a few local businesses will donate prizes for the winners. Try some of these ideas to encourage reading. Remember, when we find ways to keep kids reading, we all win.
Whether it’s a cake or a clubhouse, making things requires planning, measuring, cooperation, and many other skills. Most importantly, we make things to solve problems, which gives us purpose and drive.
Under the right conditions, gaming is full of problem solving and cooperative skills. Minecraft is a great platform to demonstrate literacy, numeracy, and creativity. The problems are basic, as are the solutions. Players can connect with people all over the world to make things or compete in games based on their favorite books, for example.
8. Summer Learning Series
Todd Nesloney leads a learning series for educators. I try to participate as often as possible because he draws on so many great educators to present weekly challenges. The products are usually shared in a variety of ways, giving participants a voice and the opportunity to receive feedback and build a PLN.
Serving others can maintain the sense of community that schools build in our kids. Summer is a great time to reach out and help people as we let go of the day-to-day stress of deadlines. It doesn’t have to be a soup kitchen. What do you like to do? Maybe others would like it, too?
If you want the lessons to stick, think about what you did, why you did it, and how it improved your skills sets. Get creative with the reflections and think about sharing on a blog or through videos. Kids can use Chat to share links to their reflections with their favorite teachers.
Subscribe to @ConnectEdu
Subscribe to Remind’s summer learning class for teachers and administrators to get tips to avoid summer slide and cultivate professional development. Enjoy resources from Teaching Channel, Common Sense Media, Edutopia, EdSurge, ASCD, and Teachers on Pinterest sent straight to your phone. Simply text @ConnectEdu to 81010 or download the Remind app and search for @ConnectEdu.
Summer learning loss can be minimized when we establish a culture of learning that encourages kids to try activities like the ones listed above.