Mention the ‘summer slide’ and non-teachers’ thoughts will immediately run to images of slapping on the sun cream, water parks and unfettered play. Unfortunately, for educators the phrase isn’t nearly so, well… summery! An English teacher offers ideas in Teachwire
Instead, it represents the damaging learning loss that can be repeated annually – and is recorded the world over – when pupils experience their long summer holiday spell.
The reading difference
Research suggests that whilst all pupils may lose ground with mathematics and spelling during a long break from school, with reading there appears to be a stark differences between children from different social backgrounds.
Indeed, pupils from advantaged social backgrounds tend to improve their reading over the summer, whereas those from disadvantaged backgrounds suffer an equivalent reading loss. Clearly then, targeted support is needed.
We can speculate, then, that limited opportunities to travel, read, learn, and more, might be a significant factor.
Here are some ideas for ways we could counteract a potential summer slide for our own students, inspired by some of the great work already being done by schools across the country:
Summer book clubs
All of us can sometimes require a little motivation to read. For many of our pupils, creating a book club offers the type of challenge that can engage them with stories, whilst providing a platform to recommend great books that are age-appropriate.
Daily writing prompts
Seven weeks represents a long break for any parent or child. During that time we can offer our pupils daily prompts to write, providing an interesting and creative outlet.
Perhaps you could set up blogs – the promise of a real audience, made up of their teacher and peers, can offer up a motivating sense of purpose for many youngsters.
Read more ideas to boost their reading skills Stop students’ summer holiday learning loss.
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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