It’s that time of year again. Whether you are an administrator, teacher, student, or another staff member, everyone is at their wit’s end and ready for the school year to come to a close. Exams dictate the daily schedule, putting you outside your normal routine, and the classroom feels antsy with the anticipation of summer. Hang in there – you are almost done!
As a teacher, probably the last thing you want to think about right now is assigning summer reading and somehow making sure students stay on top of it. But before you kick up your feet for summer vacation, take a few moments now to plan out the summer reading assignment. Whether that be encouraging students to engage with classmates on an academic forum or setting them loose with a reading list, there are multiple ways to keep student brains engaged during vacation. You’ll be glad you took care of the planning before the wonderfully relaxing days of summer start to fly by. Here are some tips for making sure your students – and you! – are ready to put in the bit of work necessary to do over the summer in order to start next year right:
- Designate activities. Decide what academic pursuits would be the most rewarding for students, both in terms of how much it will prepare them for the upcoming year and how much they will enjoy doing it. Try to keep the work light, but meaningful.
- Set a schedule. Since you won’t be necessarily collecting and grading work over the summer, you can create a schedule and encourage students to stick with it. It should be more of a suggestion than anything else. For example, if your students have summer reading, evenly space out the chapters of the book to help them stay on track.
- Save paper and use a digital tool to communicate the assignments and schedule to students and their parents. Using Go2s, a community-building platform is an excellent way to keep in touch with students and families over the summer because it is completely private and has a ton of functionality. You can create a group for each class, a separate group for parents, provide updates, have discussions, send out checklists, design a calendar of events, and more.
Summer assignments aren’t the happiest news for students or even teachers alike, but it’s proven that summers off decrease academic performance. There are ways to make it more appealing: allow student choice rather than providing an inflexible reading list. However, you do it, giving students some tasks over the summer will keep them engaged and excited to start the next school year.