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Fighting The “Summer Slide”

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Only a few more days, and we’ll be at that moment that most of us educators look forward to — the end of the school year. It’s the same time most of our students say they look forward to (but it’s clear that the majority of our inner-city students really don’t).

It’s also the time that the “summer slide” begins:

Low-income children and youth experience greater summer learning losses than their higher-income peers. On average, middle-income students experience slight gains in reading performance over the summer months. Low-income students experience an average summer learning loss in reading achievement of more than 2 months.

It’s particularly pronounced these days in the era of budget cuts. We used to have a thousand students relatively eagerly attending our summer school classes — not to make up a class they failed (though some were there for that purpose). Mainly, it was to get ahead academically, and because it was more interesting then sitting at home. This year, we’re down to a handful of classes.

I’ve previously written about the summer slide, and shared some ideas of how I try to encourage students to combat it, mainly by sharing the research, lending out books, and arranging for them to receive extra credit for reading from their next year’s teacher. I’m preparing a more formal lesson plan that will be in the sequel to my latest book.

For now, though, I thought I’d share links to my previous related posts, which can also be found at My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them:

“Free books block ’summer slide’ in low-income students”

Update On Summer Reading Study

“Summer Must-Read for Kids? Any Book”

In addition, I’d like to point people to a recent post by Dan Brown titled Fighting Summer Reading Loss: Get Books in Students’ Hands.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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