Unfortunately, many students have learning loss when they are away from an academic setting for a few months – that’s why summer review is so important. By reviewing these skills, you can make sure that your students are prepared for their first day of school when their next teacher.
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Why Should Students Review Skills?
Kids learn A LOT in the 180 days they spend with you. If you teach kindergarten, I would argue they learn more than most grade levels (at least in elementary school). With all that new knowledge, it is important for students to review the skills over the summer to prepare for first grade. This will help them be better prepared for the next school year and keep their minds active during the summer.
What Skills Should Students Review?
The better question is: How will my students review all their skills over the summer?
I get it. Students learned a lot and you can’t expect them to review everything on their own over the summer. After all, this is supposed to be their break from learning.
I would highly suggest writing a list of the skills your students were required to learn over the course of the year. Then choose the top ten skills you know students need more practice with. You can keep going down your list and prioritizing the skills.
You may also want to come up with a list of life skills or social skills for students too. Things like tying shoes, sharing, and holding eye contact during a conversation are just as important as remembering that 1+1=2.
How Should Students Review These Skills?
Students can review skills in many different ways. They can join summer programs, play games, complete puzzles, etc. But if you are wanting to ensure students are practicing particular skills like isolating beginning sounds or building graphs, you probably will want to send home a summer review packet.
You can use your list of prioritized skills to help you find resources that would be appropriate to send home with your students. This may take some time, so be sure to start this process before the last week of school!
Or if you want to make things simple, just pick up a premade review packet like this Kindergarten Summer Review Packet for First Grade Readiness. This set of worksheets is the perfect way to bridge the gap between kindergarten and first grade. These engaging print and go worksheets will help prevent the summer slide by reviewing many of the basic concepts from kindergarten. There are over 40 math and language arts skills included in this packet, so not every standard is covered but a lot of them are!
Even if packets like the one linked above don’t fit all your needs, they can be a great starting point. Why not pick up a pack of 50+ worksheets to get you started? It would save so much time!
The Importance of Reviewing Skills Over the Summer
You may think it isn’t very important to worry about sending your students home with summer review packets because they won’t be coming back to your class. But the teachers of these students will be so appreciative that you took the time to help prepare students for the next grade level.
Summer review materials can also really help students that have a hard home life and need a distraction when they no longer get to spend the majority of their time in a safe environment like your classroom.
At the very least, I highly suggest sending home a fun reading challenge with students in the form of a reading log or a reading list. Reading works on so many skills at once and students would highly benefit from reading over the summer break.
Heather is the author of Creation Castle. She has experience with general education, special education, and ESL students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She specializes in early elementary math and literacy, as well as organization.