Will Your Students Keep Learning This Summer?

Did you know that two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading can be related directly to unequal summer learning opportunities? Even though I’ve seen firsthand how students can lose ground in their learning over the summer, that statistic shocked me.

It’s cited in the June edition of The Whole Child newsletter. The Whole Child Project is focusing on summer learning for the month of June, and if you’re interested in learning more about this topic, their website is a great place to start.

For instance, on the Whole Child blog last week, Jessica Cameron shared a post by the Afterschool Alliance called Summer Learning: Missed Opportunities and Unmet Demand that includes a link to a recent study on the issue, and the Whole Child podcast this month features Ron Fairchild, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, Margaret Brodkin, initiative director of New Day for Learning in San Francisco, and Cate Reed, project coordinator of Pittsburgh Public Schools Summer Dreamers Academy.

Here’s a nifty, easy  way to make simple blank books from Mary Alice Gruppi, a guest blogger on the Two Writing Teachers’ blog last week. I love the examples and the use of simple, inexpensive materials!

What have you done to help keep learning in your students’ lives over the summer? I was thinking today about how at my school we’d collect books that were ready to be retired—from classrooms, teachers’ home collections, the school library—and instead of giving them away, we’d pack them in “summer backpacks” for students along with leftover crayons, erasers, blank paper, and other school supplies that turned up as we were cleaning out our classrooms. Kids loved it!

Tina Valentine worked as a Responsive Classroom consultant from 2009 to 2012. Before that, she served in the Springfield, Massachusetts public schools as an administrator, special education teacher, and test coordinator.

Tags: Language Arts, Summer