With Summer fast approaching it’s easy to start day-dreaming about what we are going to do to prepare for next year (and maybe sleep in a few days).
What about our students? We have tirelessly given our all to help students learn for the last nine months, but how can we make sure they retain and prepare for next school year without the typical summer brain drain?
Creating a Summer Plan for students can keep them engaged and ensure they’re open and ready to learn on their first day back.
1. Team Work with Your Colleagues
One of the best ways to set up a Summer Plan for your students is by working with your fellow teachers.
Since your students will be moving on to a new teacher next year, your assignments and challenges will be benefiting your colleague. So help each other out. The old adage, “a rising tide lifts all boats” certainly applies.
Students are glued to their screens, especially during the summer. Here’s a chance for some cross-content area learning via Netflix and YouTube.
Create a list of “Must See Documentaries.” They can be biopic, historic, or even deal with modern issues. Have students write a reflection blog and post it as they watch. Let students choose which films to watch so it feels less less like a homework assignment and more like a way to stay socially engaged.
3. Instagram Assignment
Students will be seeing all sorts of fascinating locales and sceneries since they won’t be confined to school for two months. Encourage them to share what they see.
Set up an Instagram assignment where students engage in a scavenger hunt of visuals that connect to subjects they learned this past school year. Have them write a short commentary on the significance of the photo. It will keep them from forgetting all that knowledge you worked so hard to present all year.
4. Reading Reports
Tried and true, the Summer Reading plan is key to make sure students are keeping their critical thinking and comprehension tools intact. Create a list with teachers in your departments or on your own. This doesn’t apply only to English teachers… Science, Math, and Arts teachers, here’s a chance to make sure students are reading books from all subject areas.
Have the students keep a reading journal online or write a report as they finish each book. You’ll be thankful you did when they step into the classroom in the Fall, sharp and ready to learn.
Create a series of journal topics for students to complete over the summer. During the school year, there are plenty of writing prompts we assign based on holidays, and other seasonal topics. Use the same tactic for the summer prompts.
Set up an online blog for the students, or encourage them to do it the old fashion way– in a marble notebook.
All journal entries are due on the first day of school and you’ll have made sure your students are practicing their writing skills all summer.
While the summer is a time for educators and students to decompress, we know as teachers we will find the ways to motivate ourselves into action. Our students may need a little push.
Let’s help ourselves and our fellow teachers by giving our students motivating assignments to work on all summer. It will keep them sharp and fresh and ready for the first day of school, after all, it’s always just around the corner.
Share your thoughts
What are some summer assignments you have used that have kept your students fresh over the break? Let us know. We’d love to hear your teaching tips.