Don't Let the Achievement Gap Widen this Summer!

Updated: Nov 22, 2021


Summer slide....it’s that time of year where schools are closing down for summer. With summer start, comes the inevitable question.... how do we keep students from adding to the slide we already took with COVID?


Historically, statistics show that the summer slide contributes to over two thirds of the achievement gap. (1)


The surprising part?


It basically comes down to reading and the gap between opportunities for the advantaged vs. disadvantaged students. NAEP, the National Assessment of Educational Progress collected data on the subject from 2009-2019. The data reflects, “a continuing decline in reading scores for the nations lowest performing students, at both the 4th and 8th grades. (2)


Actively preparing for and considering ways to incorporate literacy will help reduce the reading gaps while promoting equitable practices in education.


Summer is a time for fun, and it absolutely should be. No matter teacher, parent, sibling, or friend; incorporating reading should be a priority for us all.


What are some ideas that don’t require a whole lot of effort?


Here are my personal Top 10:


1. Six books. Do your students or children thrive off of competition? Studies show that reading six books in the summer can prevent the slide.(3) Parents, guardians, caretakers....have a competition with your kids on the same 6 books. Who can read them first? What were they about? Have some discussions.

2. There are so many fun, engaging summer reading ideas on Pinterest. Have you child pull together their own board of summer activities. Or...access hundreds of free printables and reading materials to print out and interact with.

3. Check out your local library. I know kids think this is kind of old school but hey...there is so much more going on at the library than checking out books! Reading circles for tweens, story time for younger kids, activities and free internet access and computer time!

4. Ask your child to research something for you personally. Give them a fun topic that you need “to know about”.

5. Look into your local food shop summer reading programs. You should be able to find these easily on your school districts web site. Nothing like a little free pizza for playing some online reading games!

6. Sit down and have journal time as a family. Create your own or make it a field trip to pick them out. Write 5-10 minutes together or in pairs for the whole summer. Keep a visible checklist on daily entries.

7. Don’t forget there are so many free books and resources to use! Great ones are:

Audible Stories and Project Gutenberg.

8. Bake or Cook a meal! It takes reading, math and communication skills. Let your child choose what to make or have a few choices for them to choose from. Have then read the recipe and mix the ingredients.

9. GEOCATCHING!!!!!!!!!!! I have to say this was something I was a little leery about until I tried it! Grab you cell phone or a GPS and the family can be out on an instant scavenger hunt. Visit the link above and you can find one in your area. This activity is one that sticks with kids. They learn about nature, are challenged, and get outside!!

10. Since COVID, there are so many fantastic virtual options. Check out all the virtual field trips. Don’t have a computer? Contact your school district to see how they are addressing summer technology home use in your district!


References:

1. Colorado Department of Education. Summer Slide and the Importance of Reading over the Summer. Retrieved from cde.state.co.us: https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/summerslide

2. READING SUMMIT IES- https://www.accelevents.com/e/IESReadingSummit

3. Scholastic Parents Staff. Three Ways to Prevent Summer Slide. Retrieved from scholastic.com:

https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/reading-resources/developing-reading-skills/three-ways-to-prevent-summer-slide.html

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