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Crazy summer school idea
Old 11-01-2005, 03:42 AM
 
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I've never taught summer school. I figured the long-term teachers who have done it forever don't want someone rocking the boat. (cliches again!) I've been hearing about summer school programs in my school, and to me they sound like glorified babysitting...but they get a lot of kids in! Teachers write the curriculum, choose a theme, and connect it to either Math or Reading. They are given a budget and allowed one field trip per week in the 4 weeks. One group (against stated policy and warnings from the principal) made two of those field trips to the city pool. I still don't understand the math or reading connection there...

Anyway, they used to hire a reading teacher, someone who pulled out groups from everyone's classes and did guided reading. They can add that reading teacher back in, but I'm not interested in doing that, so I came up with a radical idea.

I thought of proposing a summer school class of reading only, all day. Well, literacy only. No field trips (see? radical) except for walking to the city library. We could read, understand and do fun things, like crafts, cooking, cooperative activities. We could have read-alouds and read-ins, and readers theater. We could write letters everywhere and send them. We could write a brochure telling next year's kids how fun this year's summer school was. You get the idea. I spoke with my principal, and part of the hiring criteria for summer school is how many years the teacher has taught summer school. She also said it's got to sound like fun to the kids (implying that what I said didn't sound like fun) so they would sign up. I got my friend, the school librarian on board, and we're going to team up on this.

Now, supposing we weren't hired for summer school. I suggested to my friend that we hold it in the meeting room at the library. We can do it for Career Ladder hours or for pay from parents. We'll do it ourselves. I think it'll be fun next summer.

(Career Ladder is a state/fed? program in which teachers who do extra work for student benefit or prof. dev. get paid, according to an approved plan.)


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Yeah, Baby!
Old 11-01-2005, 12:13 PM
 
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I hear you loud and clear and I love ya! I think we must be related somehow - lol! I HAVE taught summer school many, many years (most years it was funded by Title I so I got first crack - lucky me). A few years ago, one of the first grade teachers and I proposed that we team teach (we had 2nd graders going into 3rd so we were prepping them for our state test). We did that for about 3 years and had greatl results - without any field trips. Then this past summer, we went back to the old way. I was lucky; I only had 4-6 students show up in each of my sections on a daily basis, although I had 10 names on my list. It wasn't too bad, but I don't know that it helped the kids too much. We should be getting our test results back in about 3-4 weeks. Then I guess we'll see. I hope your idea gets picked up; I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Go for it!
Old 11-01-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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I LOVE YOUR PLAN! How could anyone think it wouldn't be great! It should be productive as well as fun for the kids. Sharing the project with another motivated, enthusiastic teacher is a great way to do it.

I am impressed too with your determination. You WILL make it a success.
Let us know how it goes!
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Summer School fun?
Old 04-13-2006, 08:06 PM
 
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I have taught summer school a couple times and to tell the truth, some of the days just dragged. This year, I am teaching again but have decided (kind of like you) to go with new attitude, ideas, and fun while still getting the kids to read, write, and all. One of my ideas was to have them write autobiographies, laid our for them paragraph by paragraph for rough draft which would then involve self and peer editing before re-writing a final copy and collating for beautifully finished "Summer 2006" Autobiography. I would love to exchange more ideas, here.
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