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Summer Fun, Summer School

Tips for Making the Most of Summer School

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When it comes to getting ready for summer school, motivation is key for both you and your students. Although the school year has recently ended, creating a learning environment that makes the kids laying by the pool jealous and want to come to school is a key to success. In talking with my teacher friends who teach summer school, the following are three common denominators for success.

Blended Learning

Many teachers mentioned blended learning as one of the top three things that lead to summer school success. Whether you have an online learning tool you used during the school year or whether you are in search of one, having students interact with engaging technology benefits everyone involved. It is an interest for many students, and it allows them to self-pace and have some control of the choices made in their learning. For the teacher, you receive instant feedback on what your students are working on and how well they are doing. Sometimes available technology is a hurdle, so consider setting up centers within your classroom to allow for each student to have time with the technology daily. If your school plans to use DreamBox as the technology piece for summer school, check out our Teacher Hub. You can view a webinar on expanding summer usage and rewarding students upon their return to school, customize your own letter to send home to parents, and journaling ideas.

Students always benefit by talking with their peers and being exposed to how others reason mathematically.

Students attending summer school are typically the ones who have fallen behind during the school year.

Summer is the perfect time to plan investigative lessons that allow students to learn and discover concepts on their own. It also allows students to interact with each other and have math conversations. Students benefit by talking with their peers and being exposed to how others reason mathematically. If you do not have any investigative lessons in your repertoire, a quick Internet search can help. One site I used often was TeachersPayTeachers. This is a website where teachers submit their lesson plans for purchase. You can select your topic, grade level, and price range. Each teacher lesson is also rated by other teachers who have purchased it. One great thing about this summer is the Olympics! Having summer school themed around the Olympics is another motivation tool for students to want to participate. Here is a link to check out some lessons: http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson201.shtml

Patience! Oh, what a wonderful virtue!

It takes time and patience to get to know your students, for them to trust you, and for them to buy what you are selling. Once you can show them how fun summer school can be and how rewarding they can feel once they have that “ah-ha” moment, it makes it all worthwhile. Whether this is your first year teaching summer school or your twentieth, always look for new and exciting lessons to motivate your students and make their time in summer school productive.

Lori Carson

Lori Carson

Lori Carson graduated from High Point University in 1997 with a degree in Middle Grades Education.She taught in High Point, NC for three years before moving to Raleigh, NC where she taught for another 14 years. She earned her NBPTS certification in 2003 and renewed the certification in 2013.Lori is currently working as a Professional Development Consultant and writer for DreamBox Learning.
Lori Carson