Stop the Summer Slide! (Summer Writing Routine)

I’ve gotten a lot of questions this year regarding the boys’ writing and how to keep them practicing over the summer. Rather than send one-off emails, I sent one to all of my parents, and I’ve decided to share it with you as well. See below for a 4-day writing routine that will keep students writing over the summer, but also allow them time to RELAX.

PREFACE: MANY OF THE BOYS WORK VERY HARD DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR, AND I AM A HUGE PROPONENT OF BREAKS FROM THE DAILY GRIND. OTHERWISE, HE WILL BURN OUT, AND THAT IS NOT WHAT WE WANT. IT’S ALSO NOT EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY TO BUILD UP YOUR ACADEMIC LIFE AND NEGLECT YOUR SOCIO-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (I.E. FRIENDS, CLIMBING TREES, PARTIES, ETC). Both of my parents were teachers, and aside from a daily journal (10 minutes) and a summer reading log (which my mother honestly never checked, because I never stopped reading), I was free to go rollerblading, attend Band and basketball camp, go to waterparks, watch MTV all day,  etc). In short, when school was DONE, it was DONE.

It is important for the boys to be DONE with school, but keep their saw sharp over the summer through low stakes, engaging activities for no more than 30 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week (every other day).

If you’re interested in a writing routine for your son this summer, see the example schedule I’ve prepared below. This does not include his summer reading of Tom Sawyer which should be saved for the last two-three weeks of his summer vacation.

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  • Day 2
    • Grammar Practice on Study Island (All of the boys from my class have a login. It is his school email address and whatever password he chose. If he forgets it, shoot me an email and I can retrieve it for him.)
      • Log into Study Island (https://app.studyisland.com/cfw/login/)
      • Go to Texas Programs (LEFT-HAND SIDE), then 8th Grade Writing or English EOC I
      • Take the Diagnostic (first time)/practice areas of growth for 20-30 minutes
      • Allow him to do Game Mode

 

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  • Day 4
    • Study Island Practice  AND
    • Share. Have him choose one of this week’s pieces to share with you. (Sharing is a VERY important part of the writing process! Do not CORRECT his work. Offer him two “Glows” and one “Grow” (“I’m wondering what will happen to _____. What do you have planned for this character?” or “I would have liked more physical description of this character so that I could see them in my mind”)

 

That’s it! A simple but effective way to keep kids writing, but not burnt out over the course of the summer break.

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