7 Ways to Use a Letter Board to Motivate Older Students

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Letter boards are everywhere!  You can find them in Target, Walmart, office supply stores and AmazonInstagram has hashtags  and Pinterest has pinboards  dedicated to these clever posts.  We use them to make grand announcements about engagements, pregnancy due dates and those adorable baby milestones.  I love to use my letter board during the holidays and for special dinners. I post the menu for my guests to read in anticipation of all the delicious dishes we will be consuming.  One more way I started using my letter board is in the speech room.   Although I could easily use a white board or paper and pen for the same purpose, I have found the letter board to take on a magic of its own with my older students.  I attribute this to the multisensory, interactive features of this simple and relatively inexpensive product.  There’s something to be said about multisensory activities that allows students to experience learning from a perspective that other methods don’t offer.  When students learns something using more than one of their senses, the information is more likely to stay with them.  Multisensory instruction helps kids tap into their learning strengths to make connections and form memories. And it allows them to use a wider range of ways to show what they’ve learned.  Multisensory teaching takes into account that different kids learn in different ways.  I teach at a school that embraces the Orton-Gillingham approach so we are all about multisensory learning (using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning .)  Links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell.   I think my letter board is just one more great way to reinforce our teaching philosophy!  I even decided to create something FREE in my TpT store to help you use a letter board effectively with your students.

cover pages letter board

Here are a few ideas:

1–Syllabification: the division of words into syllables, either in speech or in writing.  For students challenged by multi-syllable words and challenging content specific vocabulary (in this case, it was algebra terms that were difficult for this student.)  I wrote the words for him as reference (algebraic and numerical ) and then had him sift through a pile of letters and spell them out on the board, while breaking the words down into clearly separated syllables.  He actually said that it was fun doing this on the letter board.  (Yay! Bonus points for me!)

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2- Categorizing/Association: I worked on generating words within a category by having students pick a letter out of a bag.  They had to think of a word that started with that letter and then try to think of other words associated with the word or a list of words in that category. For the example below, she chose a “W” and came up with the category WAYS to EXERCISE.   She also came up with the word WEATHER and then names things associated with the word WEATHER.   The “W” words were spelled out on the letter board, but we used a white board to write down all of her additional responses.

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3– Inspirational Quotes for addressing critical thinking skills: My older language students use the letter board to choose and spell out the words to an inspirational quotation (see my FREEBIE TpT product for quote cards that you can use for this activity.)  We discussed what the quote means to them, how they can relate/apply it to their own life experiences and/or what lessons can be learned from the quote.  We also did a Google search for the authors of the quotes to find out the historical significance of their words.  I then have them write out their responses on the form provided in the download.  I like displaying these positive messages in clear view for any/all of my students to read and discuss.  Some great conversations have come out of these quotes!

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4–Parts of Speech:  Right now I’m focusing on nouns, verbs and adjectives with several of my students.  I have them pick a letter from the bag and spell out a noun/verb/adjective that begins with that letter on the letter board.   We then talk about ways to use the words together to form a sentence.  Using a dry erase board, they can formulate creative sentences using the words on the letter board.

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5-Acrostic Poems:   Brainstorm  a word/idea with your students. Chose a word that is seasonal, content-area specific, relevant to a current event or the student’s interests. Spell the word going down the middle of the board. Then create an acrostic poem.   Ask students to come up with words that they can associate with the main word.   It will involve some creativity, but will be a fun word-finding challenge

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6-Rhyming: This activity will help increase phonological awareness skills.  Display a word on the letter board : i.e: ran.  Ask your students to sift through the letter bag and find as many letter/blend combinations that rhyme with the original word as possible.

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7-Articulation:  Do you have older students who are still working on the /r/ (or any other sound) and can’t seem to get them motivated to practice?   Pull their sound out of the bag and let them use it to spell out a word with their sound in the beginning, medial and final position.  You can add a white board to save time and ask them to then use the words to form sentences.

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Do you use a letter board in your therapy sessions?  What creative ways have you used it with your students to address their speech and language goals?  I’d love to hear from you!

What’s the dilly with “Dilly, Dilly?”

“Dilly, Dilly!”

Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island for the past few months, chances are you have seen the “Dilly, Dilly” Bud Light commercials that seem to run every five minutes.  Whether you are familiar or not, you should read on.  You’ll thank me when you are watching the Super Bowl on February 4th and see one of these ads.  If you need a refresher on this cultural phenomenon, or a first-time introduction, here is the commercial.   (By the way, I love using commercial videos to teach all sorts of language concepts, however I am not condoning the use of a beer commercial in the classroom! )

Here is the original version:

 

And this is the newest commercial:

 

So you may be asking yourself, “Is she really talking about beer commercials on a speech and language blog?!”  I sure am, for a number of reasons:

1–I’m sure many of your students have seen this commercial, and you may have even heard some of them repeating this catchy phrase or wearing a t-shirt bearing the words.

2–While I do not condone or encourage the discussion of alcohol, I do encourage the discussion of word meanings, especially fun and catchy phrases like this one that become popular and are repeated frequently.  Let’s face it, after Super Bowl Sunday, “Dilly, Dilly” may become a passing memory, but for now, it’s fun, humorous and has some cultural value.

3-Inquiring minds want to know—-some of my middle and high school students have asked me what the phrase means.  I figured, why not further explore the meaning.  I’ve always investigate other word and idiom meanings to help them expand vocabulary skills, so why not add this to the list.

So here’s the dilly with this phrase:  The Oxford English Dictionary defines dilly as “an excellent example of a particular type of person or thing.” Merriam Webster notes dilly “comes from an obsolete adjective meaning ‘delightful.’”

Andy Goeler, VP of Bud Light says”The dictionary definition of the word differs from our definition slightly, but to us, it was a sort of medieval form of ‘cheers.’”  “The phrase has taken on a life and a meaning of its own, thanks to fans of the commercials.”

Additionally, the phrase “dilly dilly” appeared in a 1949 folk song by Burl Ives, “Lavender’s Blue,”  which was adapted from a  nursery rhyme titled “Lavender’s Blue” that dates back to the 17th century. The rhyme uses “dilly dilly” as part of its cadence in most of its lines.  The old British television comedy “Dad’s Army” also makes reference to the poem in an episode about preparing a wartime radio broadcast to the waiting empire.

So that’s the scoop, folks.  The English language has many passing trends, some of which wind up hanging around for quite a while, even permanently, as our language continues to be influenced by various historical and cultural events. For the time being though, this one isn’t going anywhere. Perhaps it will be the newest addition in the Oxford Dictionary?!

I will leave you with my favorite version of this commercial.  As a resident of the Northeast and within very close proximity to the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Eagles have been a long time favorite of mine.  This is their very first visit to the Super Bowl, and it’s looong overdue!   Here is the Philadelphia version of the popular commercial.  “Dilly, Dilly. Philly, Philly!”

A Hazy Shade of Winter…and some speech stuff, finally!

Time, time time, see what’s become of me,

While I looked around for my possibilities….

What has become of me?  Time has certainly escaped me, I admit. But finally, the inspiration to write!  I am ashamed to say how long it has been since I’ve blogged or created a new product for my TpT store.   As I sat down to map out a plan for writing something new, the lyrics to A Hazy Shade of Winter came to mind.  (Music often provides me with inspiration for many tasks!)   The song was originally recorded by Simon and Garfunkel in 1966 (Are you youngsters out there familiar?) and in 1987 The Bangles performed their version.  Personally I love The Bangles version (I secretly always wanted to be just like the lead vocalist/guitarist Susanna Hoffs).   The lyrics seemed fitting for my re-entry into the land of blogging.  The words can be interpreted in many different ways but, for me, conjures a sense of regret and frustration over allowing time to slip away only to realize how much time has passed and how quickly things can change.  How many times have we commented about events, holidays, vacations  flying by faster than a speeding bullet each year, especially the older we get.   Time certainly very quickly slipped away from me in regards to my little blog.  Many times I have sat down to start writing a thought or share an idea, only to be tugged away by other responsibilities and  distractions.  So as we begin a new year, I won’t make any specific resolutions for this blog , however I do resolve to move forward…try better…focus better…(fail better)…try again!   But first, here are links to A Hazy Shades of Winter by Simon and Garfunkel and The Bangles for your enjoyment.

Let me briefly reacquaint you with my blog.  I write about speech and language therapy ideas and find ways to incorporate the themes of food and cooking.   I’ve been sharing my thoughts on this blog since 2011 .   If you are an SLP or teacher who addresses speech and language, life skills, executive functioning, teaches home economics, or home-schools then this site is for you.  You’ll find some of the recipes to be simplistic, however the majority are not your quick and cute “edible, scented play-doh” or “dirt in a cup” activities, although  I find these simple activities a great way to introduce sequencing while teaching hands-on learning.  The recipes posted on this blog are meant for real life and will hopefully inspire an interest in healthy eating habits and greater life-skill independence .  They will help with sequencing, direction following, executive functioning/organization skills.  While many of the recipes are health-conscience, they are not meant to take the place of a dietitian’s advice and guidance.  I have prepared all of these recipes for and with my own family.  In fact, the kitchen is where you can find me spending a great deal of my time.  When I’m not wearing my SLP hat (or mom hat, cab driver hat, cleaning lady hat, etc, etc.)  you’ll find me wearing my chef’s hat!  I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen during the holidays, cooking for all the company that came over for Christmas dinner and throughout the holiday week…….

xmas dinner 2017

That’s me trying to look calm, when I’m really freaking out about getting everything done before guests arrive.  Timing is everything when you’re preparing a lot of food for a lot of people!

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The table is set, compliments of my son.

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I think the brie, stuffed mushrooms, roasted peppers and olives were a good starter, while I continued to finish preparing the rest……(Yes, I take pictures of my food. Doesn’t everyone?)

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Check out that butter tree…almost too cute to slice into!

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The menu included beef tenderloin, brined turkey, rosemary roasted potatoes, multi-colored petite carrots, caprese (tomato, mozzarella and basil)…..this isn’t everything….my famous Christmas pasta and meat sauce is not pictured as well as homemade sangria!

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I make several types of cookies.  The baking begins about a week before Christmas.

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Some of the behind the scenes “before” pictures!

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creme brulee 2017

Don’t forget the crème brûlée!  Such a beautifully simplistic dessert.  I love my culinary torch!

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I think the photos do a pretty good job explaining what I’ve been doing with some of my free time, instead of blogging!  It’s my creative outlet; it’s in my DNA.  Intertwining my career with my passion seemed fitting when I started this blog and it continues to be my motivation and inspiration for blogging.  In the weeks and months ahead,  I hope to start sharing more ideas from my kitchen and speech room.   I’m working on a really big project for my tpt store (actually it has been in the works for quite a long time but unfortunately , well, “time, time, time see what’s become of me!” Here’s a hint about my upcoming project—it’s a book, it involves cooking and it will be packed with ideas from my many years of experience and knowledge as a home cook and SLP. Please stay tuned…..

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Moving on to the business of speech and language…I work with the older crowd so keeping them interested and motivated can be a major challenge, as many of you may have experienced.  I am always on the look-out for pictures/photos, videos, current events, social media that will catch their eye and make them want to have a discussion.  Here is one successful way I have been effectively addressing several language goals while keeping their interest and attention: How-To videos!  My students love watching these 3-5 minute segments, especially when it is food related.  These clips can be used to teach a multitude of concepts:

1-Sequencing 

Pause the video, when necessary, at various points in the video and have them verbally or in writing, explain what is happening in each step of the how-to process.  Use the starters first, next, then, last when writing or verbalizing the steps.  Allow your students to draw pictures in addition to, or in place of the words.

2- WH questions

Pause the video and ask your student WH questions.  For example, Who is making the candy?  Where are they?  What types of machines are they using?  How do you think they made so many, so quickly? When did it start looking more like the actual product? Why do they use machines instead of making this by hand?  (Theses are just a few examples, you can tailor more specific questions to each video as you view them.)

3- Cause and Effect

Pause the video and discuss what caused an event to occur/identify the effect of an action. What would happen next if…? Why did that happen?  Cause/effect teaches students to make a connection between two events.

4-Retelling

After watching the entire video, ask students to retell the highlights of the video.  This will help you assess their recall, comprehension and organization skills.

5-Predictions

Pause the video and make predictions about what will happen next or at the end of the video.

6-Written Language

Have your students write a how-to paragraph.  You can use these FREE organizers from my TpT store to help guide your students through the writing process!

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Here are the links to a few food-themed “How-To”/ “How’s that Made?” videos that my students enjoy viewing.   Some are slightly longer than others, so use judgement. You know which students can maintain focus and handle lengthier vs shorter chunks of information.   There is enough information contained in each video to keep your students engaged for an entire therapy session (and then some.)  Many of my students come back the following session and request more How-To’s!  (A sure sign that you have found materials of interest for those hard to please teenagers!) One word of caution: you may want to show these videos after you and your students have eaten lunch—they may cause an increase in appetite and a need to break out some snack foods!!!

how to student

Here’s one of my middle-schoolers filling in the How-To organizer I created.  We were learning how ice cream sandwiches are made.  We paused  and replayed portions of the video frequently in order to write and draw the how-to steps.  He was fascinated by the process, and so was I!

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How to make candy canes

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How to make bubble gum

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How to make rainbow sprinkles

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How to make donuts

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How to make ice cream sandwiches

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How to make pretzels

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How to make frozen pizza

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How to make tortilla chips

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How to make honey

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How to make pasta

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How to make croissants

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How to make oreo cookies

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How to make gummy worms and licorice

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I hope you and your students enjoy these How-To videos.  Search YouTube and you will certainly find more (both food and non-food How-To’s) .  I’d love to hear about your experiences using this activity in your therapy rooms so feel free to leave a comment…and now back to cooking up something new—in the kitchen and in my therapy plans!

 

 

 

 

Best Year Ever TpT Bonus Sale—and a “foodie” tip to keep you organized!

 

bts promo 2016

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Best Year Ever Bonus Sale on Monday, August 22.  By using the code OneDay at checkout, you can save 28% off of everything in my store, SpeechSnacks.

The Frenzied SLPs are hosting a linky party to share some great materials and tips for starting the year out right. So here’s my tip–GET ORGANIZED!  That means YOU as well as your students—and I have something that fits the bill for both!

 The adjustment back to the old school routine requires me to reorganize my thoughts, my daily pace, my overall mindset. I always put myself in the shoes of my students when the new school year begins. If I  find it a little tricky to readjust, I can only image how challenging it must be for many of my students! So many of them need to strengthen those all important EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING skills—and back to school transitions definitely present a true challenge!

Applying executive function skills like organizing materials and setting up a time management system will contribute to a positive attitude toward school.   Sometimes a little helpful guidance is needed in getting this accomplished!  This is where the speech-language pathologist can help make a difference.  As SLPs, we are aware of various tips and strategies that will help students improve time management, organization of space and materials, planning and setting goals.

I have made those strategies into a fun board game that can be used in the beginning of the school year (or any time you need to address executive functioning strategies with your students): “Back to the Books!


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To play: SLP reads the 36 Executive Functioning strategy cards to the students as they take turns answering questions/listening to tips related to preparation, time management, organization and good listening strategies.

 

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To accompany the game, I created an  organizational tool meant for home use and as a communication tool between student, parent and educator.

cover page student planner
Unlike the school homework planner that many students receive from their school district, this planner breaks down and organizes a student’s after school routine by the hour, day, week and month. A cover page, project planner, homework chart , reward coupons, daily reminder checklist and subject labels are included.

Included in this packet:


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  • Letter to the parents (explains the purpose of the planner and how to use it at home with their child.
  • Three different versions of a cover page were created so students can decide which theme best suites their personality.
  • Monday –Friday home organization pages to keep track of homework/activities and the time needed for each. These pages address time management to help students become more aware of how much time they realistically need to complete tasks. Spaces are provided for estimated vs actual times needed for tasks.
  • Fill in this chart with tasks that need to occur in your morning routine. You can fill it in the NIGHT BEFORE to get an idea of what your morning should LOOK LIKE in advance! Did you lay out your clothes? Make your lunch? Check your book bag? Consider doing THESE things BEFORE bed!
  • What does my WEEK look like? Fill in the Key graphics: Fill in the tests, projects and other tasks that need to get done during the week.
  • What does my MONTH look like? Fill in at the beginning of each month. Color code each task Fill in at the beginning of each month or on a weekly basis as you gather more information about your month. Color code each task using the key provided.
  • Sample calendar provided as a visual example of how you might set up your calendar.
  • Project organizer—Although students generally receive a rubric when assigned a class project, this organizer addresses some practical areas that a class rubric may not include (estimated time needed to complete, steps required to start and complete project)
  • Homework completion chart .Color in one star for every homework assignment completed each day. Decide how many stars will earn a reward at the end of the week.
  • Homework coupons for home use. Two pages of original reward ideas and one page of blank coupons to fill in with reward ideas created by student. Students can cut out and submit coupons (after working out a reward system agreed upon by their parents.
  • Home organization reminders. This graphic is a check list that students should review after school and before bed time to help prepare for the next day.
  • 6 Subject black/white labels (math, spelling, writing, social studies, science, reading) that can be color-coded according to student’s needs and used for organizing home folders, dividers, containers or for use on school notebooks, folders, book covers.
  • Blank labels also included.

I’ve bundled this product, so if you’re interested in buying them together for an even greater value, you can find it here!

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So now for YOUR organizational/ executive functioning “foodie” tip.    I have a tip to help us busy SLPs keep our morning routines a little less stressful and lot healthier!  I absolutely LOVE using mason jars for so many purposes.  I found this idea floating around Pinterest quite a bit this summer, so it may look familiar—prepare your breakfasts and lunches in advance and have them ready to go in the morning!  Give this idea a try and you will be an executive functioning queen!!!

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Oats aren’t just meant to be eaten hot!  Cold oats have been all the rage lately!  I enjoyed consuming these creations all summer long.  They are a great warm-weather food and can certainly be eaten any time of year!    Not only are they delicious, good for you and filling, they are quick and easy to make and the instant grab and go breakfast!  Make these the night before and you’ll have creamy oats and fruit for breakfast in the morning.   There are so many combinations you can create.  The ones above include layers of bananas, strawberries, peaches and blueberries.

To make overnight oats:

  • Pour one cup of old fashion oats (not quick oats or steel-cut) into a clean pint size mason jar.
  • Add an equal amount of liquid (skim milk, whole milk, almond, coconut or any other form of milk that you prefer.
  • Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and a splash of pure vanilla extract on top and stir.
  • Layer the remaining jar with sliced fruit of your choice.
  • Top with a drizzle of honey (optional.)
  • Secure lid and let sit overnight in the fridge.
  • Enjoy in the morning!!!!

For more mason jar overnight oats ideas, check out some ideas here and here!!

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I carried the mason jar theme into lunch time and prepare salads for several days in advance!  The key to a fresh salad is to pour your dressing on the bottom first!  I keep it simple and make a dressing from freshly squeezed lemon, olive oil and salt/pepper.   Thinner dressings will mix more easily than a thicker dressing such as Ranch or Blue Cheese.   I add my protein source next (usually cubed chicken or cheese).  Next add in your firm veggies (shredded carrots, pepper slices, tomatoes).   For some crunch, I like to add slivered almonds or walnut pieces.  I also love to add a little sweetness, so dried fruit like cranberries and cherries are a favorite of mine. Finally, add your lettuce greens (romaine, arugula, spinach, etc.)   Seal the lid and you have a healthy, great tasting lunch to look forward to.   When ready to eat, turn your jar upside down to allow the dressing to evenly distribute and mix throughout the jar.  When I have a great lunch to look forward to, it helps get me through the second half of my day!    Looking for more mason jar salad ideas?  Check these out!

Check out some more great products and quick tips in The Frenzied SLP Blogger Linky below!!!

Blogger link for linky:


Turning the “Summer Slide” into the “Summer Climb!”

summer slide

Although I still have the entire month of August to look forward to before returning to school, I know many parts of the country are quickly gearing up for their return in the next week or two.   Honestly, I’m still trying to get my bearings on my summer routine.  I worked in my school’s summer program from the end of June (when the regular school year finished) until the end of July!  The program was four days per week and our day started very early (8 a.m.) and finish early (1 p.m.).  I took off my “speech therapist” hat (although we really never do take that hat off, do we?) and put on my “writing teacher” hat!  That’s right, this speechie functioned as a full-fledged writing teacher this summer!   I saw small groups of students back to back, for 80 minute sessions.  At the end of many days I was tired, exhausted,   energized (actually all of the above).  The students rotated to three different sessions during their day—writing, reading, and science/recess.  Once these sessions were finished, many of the students went home, while others stayed for an hour of tutoring in math.   Although this program may sound pretty intense, it is exactly what so many children could benefit from during their summer break in order to avoid the “summer slide” and help them achieve a “summer climb!”

Research shows that while students make similar progress during the school year, regardless of economic status, the better-off kids held steady or continued to make progress during the summer–but disadvantaged students fell back. By the end of grammar school, low-income students fall nearly three grade levels behind, and summer was the biggest culprit.  Summer vacation is among the most damaging (and least acknowledged) causes of achievement gaps in America’s schools. While many economically advantaged children have experiences that keep their minds and bodies actively learning (camps, vacations, museums, libraries and enrichment classes),  children without resources find themselves bored, getting into compromising situations, sitting in front of glowing screens. By the time the new school year begins, the poorer kids have fallen weeks, if not months, behind. Even well-off American students may be falling behind their peers around the world after a summer away from the classroom.

This summer, one of the books on my own personal reading list was Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  I’m not sure what took me so long to check  this book off my list, but I’m glad I finally found some time to read it.  Chapter nine,  entitled  Marita’s Bargain, is an example of what happens when the “summer slide” is avoided.  The chapter  discusses an experimental school that was started in 1994, in the South Bronx (one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City) called the KIPP Academy (KIPP stands for Knowledge Is Power Program).    Students have a school day that begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.  Saturday’s they come to school from 9-1 pm and in the summer, they attend three extra weeks of school and their day goes from 8-2 pm.  They receive 90 minutes of English, 90 minutes of math, one hour each of science and social students, an hour of music twice per week and 75 minutes of orchestra in addition.  80% of these students have gone on to attend college!  There are now over 50 KIPP programs throughout the country making a difference in the lives and futures of many children!  This is a brief summary of the chapter, but I think you get the gist of it.

Last month, I was contacted by a local ad agency that asked if I would share the info graphic below on my blog and/or Facebook page.  Each month they discuss areas that would  appeal to their  client base when deciding what type of graphic to create. They agreed that summer education would be a worthwhile topic.  The ad agency works for a car dealership in my area, where many families shop for new cars in the summer.   What a great way to build greater awareness and conversation about the “summer slide”—posting visuals such as the one below serves as a reminder to parents and children regarding the importance of reading and continuing the learning process even when school is not in session.    Notice the statistics regarding summer learning vs. summer loss.  On the summer learning side of the graphic, it appears that parents and teachers are in agreement when it comes to the need to continue the learning process over the summer.  On the summer loss side of the graphic, the percentages reflect an overwhelming number of teachers spending a significant amount of time  re-teaching and reviewing  previously learned skills.

 

Summer Education Tips Infographic

 

 Back to my personal summer reading assignment, Outliers.  Chapter 9  also highlights the length of the school year in other countries in comparison to the United States.  In the U.S., the average school  year is 180 days. The South Korean school year is 220 days long and the Japanese school year is 243 days long.  So how does the  longer school year translate into greater academic success?   Answer: You have time to learn everything that needs to be learned, and less time to unlearn it!   When Japanese 12th graders were given a math test, they reported that they had learned 92% of the information previously in their classroom.  American 12th graders took the same test and reported learning only 54% of the information in school.   So the question posed is, Does America have a school problem or do we have a summer vacation problem?     

For our most challenged learners—the disadvantaged and the learning disabled,  imagine how much further behind they are than the average student!   As an SLP who has worked in a summer program, I hope I helped make a small difference to a few students.  Hopefully the organizational strategies,  writing prompt assignments and  grammar review exercises all helped maintain and/or advance their skill level.  Hopefully,  for some,  the “summer slide” was replaced by the” summer climb!”

Looking for ideas to help avoid the summer slide?  These suggestions span all ages/ability levels: 

  • Read EVERY day!  Read non-fiction, fiction, ebooks, poetry, newspapers and read out loud! For most children, twenty minutes is an appropriate amount of time to read for a child who is an independent reader. Most libraries have a wonderful summer reading program with incentives and rewards for books read over the summer.
  • Cook with your children.  This is one of the best ways to integrate math, reading and following directions.  Let your child design the menu too!  Help your child put together their favorite recipes in a cookbook.
  • Plant a garden.  Your child will gain responsibility and pride as they watch their plants grow and thrive.
  • Take a field trip to a museum, zoo or local park with walking trails.  Keep a journal about your travels.
  • Learn a new word each week!  Hang it on the fridge and see who can use it the most times throughout the week.
  • Enroll in a quality summer program that will provide your child with opportunities to build their critical thinking skills.
  • Play quick games with flashcards like Math War or Concentration to keep math skills sharp.
  • Listen to Audio Books during your road trip.
  • Take pictures and make a summer scrapbook.
  • Did I mention READ?!  If your child does nothing else this summer make sure he/she is reading!  (source:  https://littlescholarsllc.wordpress.com/10-ways-to-prevent-summer-slide/)

So what are your thoughts on this topic?    Should the American public school system revamp the school day?  Should the school day become longer?  The school year extended?  Weekends added?  Should we instead include several short breaks distributed over the course of twelve months? How would it impact our daily routines (parents work schedules/students extracurricular /sports schedules?)  How would it benefit our speech/language caseloads?  Could we, as SLPs, become more effective therapists by having more time to address speech and language goals?  Could we dismiss students sooner?   Would an extended day/year create overload and burnout among teachers, parents and students?  I’d love to hear your comments!

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