Help your students stay sharp over the summer and prepare for the fall with a summer transition plan. Check out three ways to transition with technology—implement any one in 30 minutes or less and then go enjoy your hard-earned time off while your plan goes on autopilot.
Create a class blog. Total prep time—30 minutes
Your class can check in once a week to find a new book cover from the upcoming year’s reading list. Ask them to predict what the book will be about based on the cover, or write the first line of the book and ask them to continue the story. You could also post a trivia question about the author or setting of the book.
- Create a new blog at blogspot.com or wordpress.com, and select a template—2 minutes
- Start a new post by inserting a book cover image from online—1 minute
- Write a one-line question or prompt to accompany the book cover—45 seconds
- Schedule the post to publish the first week of summer—15 seconds
- Repeat until you have a new post scheduled for each week of summer break—25 minutes
Tweet each week. Total prep time—29 minutes
Each week, tweet a quote from one of the books your students will read in the upcoming school year. See which student can tweet the author or title the fastest. Alternatively, ask students to share their thoughts on the quote in 140 characters or less. For younger students, tweet a vocabulary definition or a character description from a book and see who can tweet the correct vocab word or character name in response.
- Set up a Twitter account—2 minutes
- Download a free program like Tweetdeck that allows you to schedule tweets in advance—3 minutes
- Write your first tweet in 140 characters or less and include a unique hashtag students can use to respond—1 minute 45 seconds
- Schedule it to post the first week of summer—15 seconds
- Repeat until you have a new tweet scheduled for each week of summer break—22 minutes
Make Facebook your friend. Total prep time—24 minutes
Create an exclusive Facebook group for your students and their parents.Once a week, post a status update with a suggested reading assignment and encourage students to comment on what they liked or disliked about each reading selection. This way, students can stay caught up on their reading over the summer, and parents can know what to suggest when their kids suffer from summer boredom.
- Create a new Facebook group, and select a privacy setting consistent with your school’s policies—1 minute
- Give an app like Postcron, which allows you to schedule status updates in advance, access to your group—1 minute
- Write the first reading assignment as a status update—1 minute
- Schedule the remaining reading assignments to publish as status updates throughout the summer—11 minutes
- Invite your students and their parents to the group—10 minutes