Preventing a summer slide in reading is important for struggling readers. As the school year draws to a close, summer vacation begins for students across the US. While this season is often associated with relaxation and fun, it can also be a critical time for struggling readers to maintain their reading skills. For those with developmental dyslexia, summer break may be a welcome break from the struggles of reading. However, research suggests that this can lead to a decline in ability levels. This article will explore common misconceptions about summer break, address potential concerns for our students, and offer tips for engaging in reading activities during the summer months.
Avoid the Summer Slide
Don’t Let the Summer Slide Impact Your Child’s Learning: Learn More
Summer slide, is a real concern for parents and educators. While not all children are affected, it’s important to understand that practicing basic skills over the summer is critical to maintaining proficiency. Think of it like playing an instrument: if your child doesn’t practice, their skills will decline. Stay alert and ensure that your child is practicing and learning new things over the summer to prevent the summer slide from impacting their overall academic performance. Keep your kids learning all summer long with simple decodable books and other activities to preventing the summer slide. Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve year-round schooling. Instead, focus on providing learning opportunities to keep their academic skills sharp during the break.
How Much Do Students Lose Over the Summer
After enjoying their summer break, students often return to school with less knowledge than they had demonstrated in the previous spring. This is known as the “summer slump,” “summer slide,” or “summer setback.” Researchers can measure this slump by comparing a student’s growth between fall and spring (during the school year) and between spring and fall (over the summer).
Unfortunately, there is less growth during the summer. On average, students lose one month of academic progress during this time (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay, & Greathouse, 1996). This estimate can vary depending on the student’s reading habits and grade level. Additionally, this regression tends to worsen as students progress through school and face greater academic demands (Cooper, Nye, et al., 1996; Hill et al., 2007). So preventing a summer slide in reading is extremely important.
Make a difference this summer by supporting struggling readers and help them grow. By Incorporating Listening to books and finding fun ways to build words students take ownership of their literacy. Instead of letting challenges persist during the summer months, use this time to enhance student motivation and curiosity through high-interest topics and practice reading with decodable books. Help struggling readers in the summer by fostering a love for reading and breaking down barriers for struggling readers. It is also a great time to close gaps by having a certified academic language therapist work with your student.
Preventing a Summer Slide In Reading Using Decodable Readers
To avoid the summer slide in reading give your readers an edge with practice give your students a chance to practice successfully. For Kindergarten and First Grade, decodable stories use controlled text to let your readers practice with simple word patterns.
For example, readers should first practice with single-syllable words and then move on to two-syllable words in a predictable pattern. Highlighting these easy patterns allows readers to quickly gain confidence when using the text. Controlled vocabulary also helps reduce possible confusion for learners by keeping unknown word patterns out of the text. When appropriate, decodable readers should be incorporated into your summer reading program. It is advisable to move your students quickly from simple patterns to vowel teams and multisyllabic words with Greek and Latin Roots.
Decodable Readers Can Encourage Independent Reading During the Summer
One of the best ways to keep reading skills sharp is through independent reading. Create a comfortable environment that encourages students to pick up books during free time and summer break. If your reader is really struggling try pairing the books with audio books through a program like Learning Ally.
Summer can be an excellent time for struggling readers to work on their skills with these strategies. We hope these tips help you support student growth and maintain reading skills during the summer months. From improving literacy skills to sparking a love for reading, let’s come together this summer to make it an enriching season for our young readers! If you need assistance choosing readers for your students please contact me and I will be glad to help you.
Summer can be fun and educational!
Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 227 – 268. doi: 10.3102/00346543066003227
Hill, N., Rowan, B., & Loveless, T. (2007). Losing ground: The persistence of achievement gaps in American education. Education Next, 7(4), 21-29. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/losing-ground-the-persistence-of-achievement-gaps-in-american-education
Torgesen, J. K. (2000). Individual differences in response to early interventions in
reading: The lingering problem of treatment resisters. Learning Disability Quarterly, 23(4), 218 – 228. doi: 10.2307/1511360
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