Realistic Goals for Summer School

Following A Simple Schedule

You definitely need a schedule for your summer school day but let’s not get overly complicated. Keep it simple. Do a few rotations of small groups of students. Switch between working with you, working with a para, break time, or independent work. I still recommend breaking down your class into small groups. To me, working with a large group of students all at different levels is always more challenging and less efficient so some small group instruction will be helpful.

Working on Skill Maintenance and Generalization

Summer school is ALL about making sure everything your students learned throughout the school year stays put! We are talking about skill maintenance. We want to ensure that our teaching is long lasting. Sometimes that big ole’ long summer break can be too much time away from practice learned skill. ESY is Extended School Year so we can really think of it as an extension of all that learning!

Summer school to me is also about generalization. Last month, we focused on skill generalization by “taking it away from the table.” We talked about ways to incorporate effective instruction and skill practice into cooking, community based instruction, games, and art. Continue that on into the summer environment. Work on skill generalization. See if the concepts your students have mastered can be applied to the real world.

Having Fun

Yes, you can have a goal to have fun. It is summer after all. Loosen up the reigns a bit and make sure you kids have a good time. Play games, go the park, cooking, bring in some ice cream. You need it and so do they!


  1. Just curious about the Independent time… I have about 4 out of 8 students that will not sit and work at an “independent center” without a para shadowing them. Do you have a para shadow that center or are your students able to stay there for 30 min without support. Even with a mini visual schedule of what they are supposed to be doing my students need direct supervision and even the ones that sit in their seats don’t do their work and will just sit and stim the whole time. Just curious if you have any suggestions.

  2. I have had the same difficulty with my students but this summer I have only have 5 students. I have found that stationing an independent station near a supervised group allows my para or aide to check in on the student without needing to shadow them. Plus we always ask our students what they are working for, that they can use after they have completed their independent work. That has been a great motivator for a majority of my students this summer.

  3. I find that creating lesson’s that are interactive such as smart board activities help with this. Also, during the day of our summer school, we have sensory gym time for 1 hour before lunch. Then after lunch we have clean up routines that end the day.

    Keeps them moving and less down time and it is functional and fun

  4. A lot of students may still need that support of a paraprofessional but obviously the goal is to remove the adult support eventually. I would suggest have paraprofessionals take data on number of prompts (this can help paras be aware of over prompting) and break up the time schedule into shorter work sessions with breaks built in and see if you can have some independence going there. Hope this helps! 🙂

  5. Yes! Love this suggestion!!!

  6. I would love to use the resources you have pictured at ESY this summer! What are they called? Are they different things in your Tpt store? 🙂

  7. Thank you so much!


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