May 31

Helping Middle Schoolers Through the “Summer Slide”

Ah yes, the “Summer Slide.” You know, the time when schools close until reopening in the fall and exposure to learning for many students seems to slide off of their radar. While some “slide” is deemed appropriate even by educators, summer can be an important time for middle schoolers to get a “different kind of education.” notes Heather Wolpert-Gawron in her blog “Avoiding the Summer Slide in Reading and Writing.”  Summer, she notes, is a good time to “take a break from learning one way and instead, learn in another.”

In her blog, Heather lists six ways to use language arts to lessen the summer “slide” and help to make the transition to the next grade in the late summer/fall.

1. Introduce students to what’s out there in the media.

2. Have students develpop a way to recommend books before summer begins.

3. Develop a way for students to contribute the titles of what they are reading all summer long.

4. Model reading and discussing all summer long by sending out a newsletter or email blast with every book read or literature-based movie that you enjoyed.

5.Work with your local library to develop student-run volunteer programs.

6. Inform parents about their local youth writing project.

You may access this blog at: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/avoiding-summer-slide-reading-writing-heather-wolpert-gawron