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4 Tips to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

June 13th, 2018 by Nicole Duguay

Don't let your students be affected by the summer slide: try these four tips to encourage summer reading so they can be on their 'A' game when they return to school in the fall. Many studies show that reading is comparable to attending summer school when it comes to preventing summer learning loss. 

1. Give them choices!

When we visited two high school classrooms, we engaged reluctant readers simply by giving them a wide variety of books to choose from. No single book can please everyone, but given the right book, any student can become a lover of reading! Try an end-of-year class trip to the library to teach students how to find books they like, even outside of school.

Hot tip: Watch our webinar to learn more about our high school visits and how we engaged reluctant teen readers!

2. Start a book club!

A Toronto book club for at-risk youth helped us learn that building a sense of community around reading also helps encourage further reading and discussion. Try starting a summer book club and let the students pick what they will be reading over the break. They'll be encouraged to read when in a group and eager to discuss the books they loved with their friends.

Hot tip: Watch our webinar to learn more about how a book club we attended reaches at-risk youth!

3. Get the parents involved!

Over the summer it can be hard to make sure students are maintaining the reading skills they built during the school year. Let their parents know about the benefit of reading to prevent learning loss and establish reading goals that will fit into their summer schedules. Parents can make sure reading fits into their daily routines, arrange visits to the library, ensure that books are brought along on trips to the beach, etc.

4. Give them age-appropriate books at their reading level!

A high percentage of students are reading below grade level, but books written at levels for younger kids don't successfully engage teens, and books written for teens can often be too intimidating because of their difficulty, causing frustration and reading abandonment. Let your students know that books about the things they care about at their reading levels do exist! Make sure your classroom and school libraries have hi/lo books available that will keep students interested and build their reading skills! 

Hot tip: Check out the hi/lo SideStreets series to find edgy teen fiction, or the hi/lo Sports Stories series for fast-paced middle grade fiction! Both of these long-standing series have proven to hook reluctant and struggling readers!


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