Avoiding the Summer Slide

This month’s Best Practice comes from our Director of Professional Development and Client Support, Jeanne Pascon, M.Ed.

Looking to avoid that “Summer Slide” for your students? Look no further than Renzulli Learning for engaging, enriching ideas! Students can Type I and II explore the Enrichment Activities Database on their own, embark on a Type III Passion Project, or you can use the “Stop Summer Slide” Assignment Templates to send out work to them before you grab your flip-flops and run off to your own summer adventures!

As a teacher, you can decide to take this to whatever level you are comfortable with. If you are a Gifted and Talented teacher who will work with the same kids next year, this is a fabulous way to stay connected over the summer. If you are a grade level teacher, you can consider whether you want to stay connected to your current students or if it’s time to transition the classes over so that you can get to know next year’s kiddos and hit the ground running in the fall! They can stay connected to you AND also select next year’s teacher if you want them to. There is no wrong way to approach this – be creative!

You might simply suggest to students that they continue Type I and Type II exploring the Renzulli Learning Enrichment Database for interesting activities, creative and critical thinking, and reading based on their Profile results, or by searching  for various topics. Taking it a step further, you might suggest topics they should search for and/or request that they submit reflections to you throughout the summer in their Renzulli Learning Journal. You will be able to comment back to them – if you want to, that is!

How about suggesting they try a Type III Independent Investigation – aka a Passion Project – using the Project Wizard to organize their research? They can start with a blank slate and design their own inquiry-based investigation or get a head start by utilizing one of the Renzulli Learning Super Starter Projects, available in a wide variety of topics and for every interest area.

If you want to be more specific in their requirements, you can check out the many Assignment Templates for “Stop Summer Slide!” Assignment Templates give you the ability to distribute to your students electronically for completion. Watch the video above for instructions on how to access the Assignment Templates as well as examples of the above suggestions.

Students can also use Renzulli Learning to locate and engage with ebooks and audio books, and use their RL Journal for reading responses. You can revisit this previous Sharing Showcase post for more details on using Renzulli Learning to engage with books!

Encourage parental involvement by having parents set up their own accounts in the Parent Portal. Visit the Teacher Site, Resources tab and locate Partnering with Parents for the customizable Summer Letter  and Parent Quickstart Registration Directions. If you have not yet sent home Student Profiles to parents, this is a great time to do so!

For more on Summer Slide, see:  PBS Nova: How to Minimize Summer Slide

Whichever level you take it to, you will be providing your students with the opportunity to practice and apply their learning throughout the summer, reducing the tendency to “Summer Slide!”  Please share what your students are doing this summer using #stopsummerslide and tag @RenzulliLearn!