A great summer school session is a perfect mash up of a chill school day while still keep some of the structure and rigor that we thrive on during the school year. It’s definitely appropriate (and NEEDED) to take it down a level. Work on social skills. Have fun. Do cooking activities. Enjoy your students. Our kids need a break and heck so do we. But we can’t just let the rules and regulations fly out the window. You will seriously regret that decision. Here are some tips to keeping the structure but still having some fun:
Make a simple schedule
Don’t think you can through schedules and routine out the window just because it’s summer time. Those same strategies that were so essential during the school year are just as critical during summer school. Make a simple schedule. Rotate groups of students between centers. Keep it routine based and the same each day.
Don’t forget to make your students a schedule too! Even if it’s something super simple like a quick list or set of visuals – make sure your students have some way of knowing how they will spend their day. Our higher functioning learners still need these interventions. Summer school is sometimes in a new location with new adults or students and having a schedule can help reduce any potential anxiety!
Set up a simple token economy. If you are out of your classroom and low on supplies, this takes nothing more than a few reinforcers and a dry erase marker. This is an easy to maintain order and structure while not having to set up a complicated system for just a few weeks. It’s also great for our students to generalize these skills to a new setting!
I love using summer school to really focus on social skills. We play new games, learn new activities, and have fun. But I trick them into a whole lot of learning along the way. Games are such a great way to work on rule following, multi step directions, conversation skills, commenting, and SO.MUCH.MORE. Take advantage this summer! 🙂