A Summer School Model to Help Beat Summer Slide

Earlier this week I spent a couple of days subbing for summer school.  Since our school is so small, we team up with another small school for summer school.

Last year my principal and I talked about the "summer slide" and how three weeks of summer school just didn't work for many students.  We have always had summer school during the month of July for 12 days, since that is all the district would allow ~ 12 days for four hours.  While talking, we came up with a new plan.  Last summer we put it into play.

The students still go to school for 12 days for four hours each day.  But... We have spread the 12 days out over the course of six weeks.  This allows students to spread out their learning over the course of the summer.  Each day the students spend an hour in math and an hour in reading.  They also spend time in the computer labs with a short recess time.  During the computer lab times, students with the most need are pulled for reading instruction with a one-on-one tutor.  This is where the real change in summer school happens.

I was unable to find programs like this out there, so I created it last year for our summer school staff.  I created packets for each grade level for six weeks of instruction.  In the packets are books, lesson plans, activities, games, and a take-home book with activities.

Each packet includes lesson plans for two days of instruction with the same book or books.  (The upper grade books' plans may be longer.)    The first day includes introduction of book features, reading of the book, and during reading activities.  The second day is a rereading of the first day's book and sometimes a new book to read that complements the first book.  Then students then complete activities for the book and play a game.  The game and one book is sent home with the students on Wednesday to be returned on Monday.
The contents of the packet
After reading activity created for the book
Take home book with activity sheet.  Games are included too.
To help the tutors make sure they have all needed supplies, they each got a basket full of supplies for them and the kids to use.  I am a little concerned about this one, because my scissors are gone!

Last year was so successful that we did it again this year.  Though we didn't have any student make leaps and bounds progress, we did have most stay on their end of year reading level ~ a feat rarely accomplished with our old summer school model!

You can grab a copy of my editable templates {a PowerPoint file} by clicking on the picture below.  It just shows what I included in the lesson plans, but the times vary per session, depending on the students and time slots.  These only have 30 minute slots, which is what I use during the school year.  Enjoy!

How does your summer school program help beat the summer slide?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. What a great idea. I love that you created a program when you couldn't find what you needed and also that your school figured out how to take the time you have with students and spread it out to help diminish the "summer slide." I would love to see the difference this makes in your district over time! Kudos to you!

  2. Andrea, this is a GREAT idea!! Our school hasn't had summer school for elementary in about 5 years, but I really love this idea. I'm a huge fan of the one-on-one tutoring for the moat needy readers. Thanks for sharing!

    Don't Let The Teacher Stay Up Late


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