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Say Hello to the Summer Rise

No More Summer Slide: Spur the Summer Rise!

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Stop the summer slide! Spur the summer rise!

Guest blog post by Marnie Ginsberg

Say Hello to the Summer Rise

 

Summer Slide: A Widening of the Achievement Gap

Would you be surprised to find out that in many studies research shows that most of the achievement gap is due to the loss of learning that takes place over the summer?

Researchers Franzen and Allington write that a recent study reported “that [the] summer setback explains approximately 80 percent of the reading achievement gap between poor and nonpoor students at age 14.”

 

Woah! 80% is huge!

 

So…..the gap has less to do with what happens between September and May in classrooms everywhere and more to do with what happens between June and August. This tremendous loss of learning has received so much attention that it has been nicknamed the “summer slide.”

No, not the fun kind of slides, unfortunately.

summer slide stats
As the above chart demonstrates, without the access to the education and routines of school, American children from lower socioeconomic families lose 2 to 3 months in reading achievement as well as about 2 months in math achievement over the summer. In contrast, children from more advantaged areas gain slightly in academic achievement.

The challenges of the empty summer months extend to other areas as well.  For instance, children from poor homes gain more excess weight over the summer.  Across the years of elementary school, these losses from the summer slide can set back children from low-SES homes nearly 3 grade levels behind.
As the above chart demonstrates, without the access to the education and routines of school, American children from lower socioeconomic families lose 2 to 3 months in reading achievement as well as about 2 months in math achievement over the summer. In contrast, children from more advantaged areas gain slightly in academic achievement.
Yikes! That’s the bad news.

 

This video puts the sad news in a clear visual:

 

Here’s the good news!

The good news is that the effort needed to counteract the summer slide is surprisingly minimal. Multiple studies have shown that access to books, inspiration to read, and enrichment activities at community and school centers help prevent the summer slide in learning.

 

Pop Quiz:

 

How many books does a typical upper elementary child need to read over the summer in order to stop the summer slide?

 

  1. 4
  2. 14
  3. 24
  4. 44

 

And the answer is at the bottom of this post…..

 

So if counteracting the summer slide is not an insurmountable challenge, what can teachers or schools do to ensure their students return in September not needing 6 weeks of review!

 

Spur the Summer Rise!

 

Try these tactics to spur the summer rise and block the summer slide:

  • Educate parents.  Start now and gradually drip information and inspiration out to them about the power and urgency of developing their child’s abilities over the summer.

 

Summer learning loss bookmark

Grab this bookmark for yourself by clicking here or on the image!

  • Offer resources.  Hand out this bookmark of reading inspiration for students and their parents, post it on your class website if you have one, email it to parents, and hand it out again in a report card or other important home delivery time. Raid the dollar store for small journals, personalize them, and coach students to continue their reading response journals. Send home books from thrift stores or free texts found online like this one called Summer Reads

Summer reads

  • Educate children.  Start now, gradually explain how their opportunities as adults will directly relate to how much reading they have done as children. Show them fun activities online or at the local library or initiate a classroom-wide challenge.

Summer Reading Challenge

  • Take a field trip.  Before school is out, bring children to the local library and help them and their parents to sign up for a library card.  Help them see the fun and rewards of the local library’s summer reading challenge.
  • Use an online reading incentive system.  The FREE online reading incentive program at Book Adventure can be motivating for many. With the remaining weeks, help them develop the habit of taking quizzes about their reading and of looking forward to winning prizes.

book adventure- summer reading motivator

  • Challenge your students.  Use a competition or a goal to spur their motivation:
    • Back-to-school slushy party for completed reading bingo charts?
    • Lunch with the teacher if they complete the local library challenge?
    • Monthly ice cream party at school for those who have written about their reading in a journal?
    • Weekly open school library hours?

 

Brainstorm with your colleagues and be imaginative. The outcomes are worth it.

 

For more info and ideas about the summer learning loss and how to prevent in, please check out this Pinterest board.
Please let us know in the comments below how you and your community have solved the problem of the summer slide.

 

QUIZ ANSWER: 4 [explained here]

Spur the summer rise! No more literacy loss over summer break!

Marnie Ginsberg, Ph.D., is guest blogging from ReadingSimplified.com, a professional learning site that helps teachers streamline reading instruction while raising student reading achievement. Marnie has served as a public school teacher, private tutor, business owner, university researcher, and educational consultant, and is a mom of 3 girls.

 

More Summer Ideas? Check Out these posts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, I'm Leigh.

The Applicious Teacher is all about creating hands-on and engaging lessons that align with the standards while still having time for your life. This is your place for ideas, tips, and resources for the REAL teacher!

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