Did you know that nine out of 10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons at the start of the school year to help students catch up? 

How Technology Bridges the Summer Learning Gap
By Lily Warden

Promethean is aware that teachers around the world know how crucial continuing reading activities throughout the summer are to help combat this summer slide. Since teachers rely on the child’s home to help with summer reading, it is important to provide students with easy solutions. Keeping students reading is the most important way to decrease the summer slide.

Three young girls and a boy are outdoors during summer. They are laying in the grass and reading a book together.

The benefits of reading go far beyond success in the traditional school setting. Reading sparks imagination and improves critical thinking skills. Reading also increases the general knowledge of the reader, and books allow the reader to escape into characters and lands they might never be able to visit. Reading is also a great bonding experience, not only by reading with younger children but even older children and adults can be a part of book clubs or circles.

Providing students and their families with simple ways to bring reading into their summer routine is important for success. There are many quick and easy ways to make reading a part of the summer routine.

Image of a stack of books with an e reader next to it.

The public library

Membership in public libraries is free and many hold summer reading programs where readers can earn prizes and recognition. They often have free events for children and families to attend that help promote excitement around reading. Many of these programs even gift participants with age-appropriate books.

Public libraries often have many activities and resources for families to access. Many have free computer and internet access and often provide extensive e-reader selections. Many libraries host age-appropriate book circles and storytimes throughout the summer months. Contact your area libraries for more information.

Set a reading schedule

Encourage your students to have some reading time every day. This is a great time for them to choose what they want to read. For some students, the school year does not give them time to read for pure enjoyment, but summer can allow them to do this. Consider sending home suggested reading lists for your students. Imagination Soup and Common Sense Media have lists to get you started and there are many other lists available. Sometimes students just need a book to get them jump-started. Encourage your students to read different genres to encourage divergent thinking skills.

A man helps a boy measure cooking ingredients.

Suggest non-traditional reading experiences

Practicing reading in non-traditional ways allows readers to feel success while still reading. Using recipes with children uses not only reading skills but mathematics skills as well. Propose ideas for families to participate in cooking activities where children participate in the reading or the steps and measuring of the ingredients.

Children love using technology. There are many tech programs available that encourage reading skills, and many have apps for smartphones. This adds some gamification to the reading process. Education.com has a list of some games that might be appropriate for families.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities are always a hit with children. Give parents some ideas of how to use picture books and participate in a STEM activity after reading them. Stemtropolis and the Denver Public Library have some resources to get started.

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