Spring break is in the air and that has me thinking about summer. It will be here before we know it! This is the time of year where we begin to think about sending our students on, making them leave the nest, and preparing them for what’s to come. This time of year always has me unsettled as I think about these things.
The thought of the summer slide also leaves me feeling full or worry and anxiety. We have all seen this. We know that no matter how much front-loading we do leading up to the summer break, that if students don’t engage – even for just 20 minutes a day – with reading over the summer that they stand to lose up to three months of reading growth. This thought alone keeps me up at night. We begin every new school year setting aside the first 4-6 weeks to re-teach or review material that students have forgotten over the summer. We call this the dreaded Summer Slide.
What can we do to help our students prevent this brain drain? Look for programs in your area that you can refer to your families. Most local libraries offer summer reading programs or reading challenges that motivate students to read over the summer. If you are local here in Denver, we offer summer reading workshops for a variety of ages. www.ascendlearningcenter.com/groups
This time of year is also important for us to prepare our students for the challenges ahead and the expectations that their new grade level will bring. If you have seen any red flags or signs of concern over the course of the school year, now is the perfect time to encourage the parents of those children to seek an outside referral or outside testing.
It is important for us to be the voice for our students and make parents aware of our concerns as well as point them in the direction of trusted help. As you know, there are differences between testing that a school can offer and testing that an outside agency can offer. This is especially true when it comes to dyslexia. A school cannot test for nor diagnose dyslexia.
If you suspect dyslexia, now is the time to talk to those families since summer is an ideal time to seek testing and support. This will help them get answers, begin intervention, and get a leg-up on starting the new school year on the right foot.
Be sure to check back this Friday for our Freebie. We will be sharing a dyslexia checklist that highlights hallmarks or traits to look for in the classroom as well as specifics to look for in writing samples to help you feel confident in your message to parents.
Whether it’s a referral to us here at Ascend for a dyslexia evaluation or another trusted source, now is the time to make parents aware of your concerns – if you haven’t already. For more information about recognizing dyslexia in the classroom, https://www.smartalecresources.com/blog/2017/5/15/are-our-readers-really-reading
For information about a dyslexia evaluation and a trusted resource for testing: http://www.ascendlearningcenter.com