Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer School Teaching Strategies

Are you teaching summer school this year? It's a great way to practice new teachings strategies and make a little money on the side. For the past 15 years, I've taught  10th grade World History summer school to students who failed the class during the regular school year. From my many years of teaching this fast-paced course, I have learned a few things. Keep reading to learn about some of my tried and true summer school teaching strategies:

1. On the first day of school be sure to explain to students that it is a VERY fast-paced class. In my school district, we teach 4 hours a day for six weeks. Being absent even one day may jeopardize their grade in the class. Believe it or not, I've had many students fail summer school because of their absences.

2. Review your state standards and determine the focus standards you want to teach. Because of the pace of the class, you will not have time to incorporate all of the content standards. Don't feel guilty! For example, during the regular school year when I teach about World War I, I explain the causes, effects, significant leaders, strategies, and battles, etc. However, during summer school I might only teach about the causes and effects, and incorporate the other standards if I have time.

3. Consider trying out new teaching strategies you've always wanted to try. Summer school is a great time to try new things. Ask your students to give you feedback and make revisions before using the strategy during the regular school year. Consider assigning a project where students can choose a topic they want to learn about. Giving students a choice is a great way to differentiate!

4. Since most students who take summer school most likely failed a class, begin with a "Growth Mindset" activity. On the first day of summer school, I always use this engaging activity.

5. Since most of your students may need extra support in reading and writing, focus on teaching essential strategies to give them more academic support. For example, spend more time teaching your students how to write a DBQ rather than teaching about every battle during World War II.

6. Remember, you want to enjoy your summer vacation too! So make it a policy to NEVER take work home with you. Create your daily plan to incorporate time to grade assignments. For example, if you assign a paragraph assessment, have your students work on a project or a student-centered activity. This will give you time to grade the assignments.

If you are teaching World History summer school this year, check out this FREE lesson plan and BUNDLE of resources to make your life a little easier!

Happy Teaching!

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