Welcome to the second part of our series on summer motivation. You may recall from our last post that research from the National Summer Learning Association indicates that students could lose up to two months of math knowledge over the summer. Other subjects, including reading and writing, are also affected. The result is students who are behind in learning, which means teachers must spend precious time trying to re-teach material.
In each part of this series, we will present different activities to keep your students engaged over the summer. This post will focus on reading and writing skills. Reading every day is highly encouraged; even an hour a week will help keep your student stimulated and engaged.
1. Take a trip to a library or an antique book store.
This may seem routine, but there is so much knowledge out there. Talk to your students (even your high schooler) and figure out what they are interested in. Then, research books on the subject. The books don’t necessarily have to be non-fiction. There are plenty of novels out there on dozens of topics. If you and your student can find something interesting, they may not be able to put it down. (To make the experience even more fun, designate a special spot outside to read, or establish a family reading time.)
2. Check out our Remarkable Reading Recommendations!
Looking for a good book to read? Check out North Coast’s own Remarkable Reading Recommendations! Using books from the Scholastic Book List, we compile six lists for emerging readers through young adults. Take another look at our 2015 lists. And check back on June 8, 2016 for our 2016 RRR kick-off!
3. Keep a journal over the summer.
Writing encourages creative thinking and requires your student to concentrate on spelling and penmanship. Even a high school student could benefit from journaling to improve writing skills for college and future employment. To make the experience even more special for your student, take them to a book store and have them choose their journal. (Barnes & Noble has some beautiful ones.)
You may find that your student needs encouragement to write. Set aside 15-20 minutes at the end of the night to simply record their thoughts from the day. Or, take a suggestion from Paperback Writer and get a “not-so blank book” like the one in the picture. It includes writing prompts, great for kids who struggle with creative writing.
For your younger learners, start a reading journal. Keep the reading journal along with your student’s current book. Every time they read a chapter, have them summarize the chapter in the book. Once the book is finished, you can give your student writing prompts – like “rewrite the ending” or “what happens next?” or “what would you have done?” There are endless options for creativity. (Source.)
4. Join a summer reading program.
When I was a kid, my summer camp had us register for the program at our local library. For every book we read, we got to fill out a star to display in the library and we also won small prizes. Set a goal with your student to read so many books during the summer. See if you can find a book series that your student is interested in. That way, there will be a wide variety of books to read.
5. Try the Popcorn Writing Game.
This popcorn writing idea is such a fun idea for writing. Write characters on yellow paper and settings on white paper. Crumble them up and place them in a popcorn tin. Have your student pick one of each and write a short story. Older students can pick more pieces of paper, or you could add other colors. (Ex. orange could be something the character has.) Simple, fun, and versatile! (Source.)
Keep checking back to see the continuation of our Summer Motivation Series!
How do you encourage your students to read and write over the summer? Share your ideas in the comments section!