CrabbieMasters Beat the Summer Slide by Sharpening Their Listening Skills
Beat the Summer Slide.
CrabbieMasters Recognize the Power of Listening Skills!
It is always a challenge to find the balance between providing a fun recreational summer and also avoiding what educators call the “summer slide.” After all, there is only so much time in a day!
The solution I have come up with is to put major focus on our third CrabbieMasters ‘Beat The Crabbies’ Step:
Listen the First Time
The reality is that kids who know how to listen and follow directions have an easier time learning. And kids who have an easier time learning are more interested in listening to and following directions.
Summertime is the perfect time to motivate kids to be good listeners and to follow directions.
I start the process in June when everyone is excited about getting outside to do one of our water activities.
Before we all go outside, everyone needs to:
- Get their swimsuit, towel and water shoes
- Change into their clothes, leaving everything in a neat pile so they can easily find it later
- Fill their water bottles
- Go to the bathroom
Everyone quickly sees the value of listening and following directions. I can’t have a child inside the house while everyone is in the pool. This is a simple safety rule. I need to be available for everyone at a moment’s notice. It does not take long for everyone to recognize the importance of keeping their focus! Explaining how all of these pieces interrelate helps them understand the importance of listening. This is a great set up for when I need them to listen on academic teaching.
Taking this a step further, kids will ask me if we can do something they remember from past years. I tell them we can if they can pitch in. Of course, they agree. The ability to ‘pitch in’ also requires listening and following directions. I learned early on that I could not do it all by myself. I had to have help. What I did not realize was how ‘helping me’ was so valuable to the kids. Not only were they able to do more things because they could listen, overall, they were more confident in their capabilities.
Good listeners and confident kids? I think that means a lot when it comes to avoiding the ‘summer slide.’ More next time!
Be sure to check out this related blog post:
The Value of Listening – a 45 Year Perspective
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