Right before the end of the school year, I was surfing the web for research on summer learning loss. I came upon the National Summer Learning Association (http://www.summerlearning.org/ )
What did I learn?
Our kids are at an extremely high risk of losing a good portion of what we worked so hard for them to learn during the school year!
The statistics are alarming.
So that started me thinking… what can I do about it?
Every time we have a break from school (Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring) I always send home some kind of “challenge packet” with a reading and math component. They are completely optional. The students are rewarded based on what they do (so if they only do the math, they only get a prize for the math part, and so on).
But summer is SO much longer… and, obviously SO much more critical!
I decided my students needed a “Summer Survival Kit”!
I wanted to make it fun, so I started with this label:
On the back, I wrote a little letter to my students:
Then I included an information page for the parents to know the WHY behind this. (After all, I am not putting all of these together because I have nothing better to do—I am doing this because I care about our kids!)
On the back of that page, I included a calendar for the kids to track their summer:
This was added because my little sister has dedicated her life to child hunger. She has developed a Summer Feeding Program in Seattle, so when I told her about my “Summer Survival Kits”, she really encouraged me to include this- it is for our local Free Summer Meal Sites for kids.
I put this handwriting book in because handwriting (and other fine motor skills) was so bad this year—any practice will be good for them!
A Summer Journal- just a little one (only 10 pages) for them to write about fun adventures that they have this summer, books they read or even adventures they wish they had.
Marvelous Math Challenge!
This is just an assortment of math review pages (actually many of them are things that were good practice but I never had a chance to use—yay for finding a good use of extra copies!)
2 pencils and a few treats
Just for fun, I threw in a magazine (one of the sample magazines that I am sent all year long—I collect them over the year, we use them in our class library but then I send them home for the summer rather than storing them.) Some students got Highlights Magazine, some got National Geographic Young Explorers.
Here it is- all put together!
(I put it in a gallon ziplock bag-- next year I want to find a more fun bag for it) :)
I gave it to them like a present- calling them up individually. It was really fun and they were SO excited!