Summer Program

Summer is a fun time for students! And when it comes to academic achievement, summer is the time when your student needs you the most! Recent studies suggest that not only is this the best time to fill in the academic gaps of our students, but that summer vacations may be when these academic gaps form in the first place.

Our Summer Program includes two paths to engage your student all summer long.

Summer of Stories

This summer, with your help, your student can create, record and share a short story (under 2 minutes) that will be posted on YouTube and be eligible for prizes!

Why is storytelling important? By creating and telling a story, children learn to organize their thoughts and use written language to communicate with readers in a variety of ways. Storytelling leads to the development of imagination, the improvement of reading, writing and speaking skills, and ultimately strengthens critical thinking skills. (The Resource Connection, 1997).

The School on Wheels Summer of Stories:

General Instructions for Story Creation

  • You and your student will be asked to explore a part of a story every week.
  • At the end of every week (or the end of your tutoring session for that week) you will be asked to email us a drawing your student made or a picture you both found online that represents the part of the story you worked on.
  • Please email every step of your student’s submission to summer@schoolonwheels.org
  • If you would like to check to see what parts of the story you have completed as you go along, please visit: Story Status
  • The student whose video has the most views will receive two tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood to use with their tutor or family member and a refurbished Nook preloaded with books. All students who submit videos will be entered into a raffle for a second pair of tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood and refurbished Nook.
The Five Elements of a Story

Week 1: June 9th – 15th:
Introduction to Stories

Introduce your student to the main five elements of a story.

  • Choose a short story that takes approximately 5-10 minutes to read. Bring a book to your session, or visit 5 Minute Fiction for a selection of short stories. Alternatively, you can ask your student to recall one of their favorite stories.
  • After reading the story, use this worksheet to discuss the five elements.
  • Begin brainstorming some general ideas for your story which will be further developed in the next weeks. You can also use this lesson plan from Read Write Think to help you through developing your story in the next few weeks.

The Five Elements of a Story: Characters and Plot
Week 2: June 16th – June 22nd:
Characters and Plot

Who are the characters in your story? What do they look like, sound like, or do?

What is happening in the story before the conflict is introduced? What is a normal day like for your character(s)?

  • Write down the description of your characters and plot.
  • Create or collect pictures to represent the characters and plot.
  • Please scan and email an attachment, or take pictures with your phone and email them by June 22nd

Optional Activities:

  • Read or analyze samples from other stories.
  • Use this worksheet to develop your characters and plot.

The Five Elements of a Story: Setting
Week 3: June 23rd – June 29th:
Setting

What is the setting where your story takes place? Describe it in enough detail that anyone could picture it.

  • Write down the description of your setting.
  • Create or collect pictures to represent the setting.
  • Please scan and email an attachment, or take pictures with your phone and email them by June 29th to summer@schoolonwheels.org

Optional Activities:

The Five Elements of a Story: Conflict
Week 4: June 30th – July 6th:
Conflict

Conflict is a problem faced by the character(s) that needs to be solved. Conflict leads to the climax which is the height of the action in the story.

  • Write down your conflict.
  • Create or collect pictures to represent the conflict.
  • Please scan and email an attachment, or take pictures with your phone and email them by July 6th to summer@schoolonwheels.org

Optional Activities:

  • Read or analyze samples from other stories.
  • Use this worksheet to develop your conflict.

The Five Elements of a Story: Resolution
Week 5: July 7th – July 13th:
Resolution

Resolution is when the conflict has been solved. This is also the end of the story.

  • Write down your story’s resolution.
  • Create or collect pictures to represent the resolution.
  • Please scan and email an attachment, or take pictures with your phone and email them by July 13th to summer@schoolonwheels.org

Optional Activities:

  • Read or analyze samples from other stories.
  • Use this worksheet to develop your resolution.

Record Your Story
Week 6: July 14th – July 20th:
Begin Recording Your Story

Students begin writing and recording their story for our School on Wheels YouTube contest.

Please record your student telling his or her story (1-2 Minutes) and email the recording to summer@schoolonwheels.org. If you are not able to record audio with your phone or other device and email it, please email the written text of the story and we will read the story and record it for you. Below is an example from one of our students at our Skid Row Learning Center:

Finishing Touches
Week 7: July 21st – July 27th:
Finish Recording Your Story

This is a great week to catch up on any parts of the story you and your student may have missed. See if you are missing anything at: Story Status. Just find your student’s initials and your name and see what is highlighted in Red. Please email all parts of your story to summer@schoolonwheels.org

  • Final submissions due by July 28th

Editing and Posting
Week 8: July 28th – August 3rd:
Story Editing by School on Wheels Staff

Stories will be compiled and edited by School on Wheels staff. If you have questions, please email summer@schoolonwheels.org.

Selecting Winners
Final Weeks: August 4th – August 22nd:
Viewing and Selection of Winners!

Videos will be available for viewing on YouTube. Tutors are encouraged to share videos with friends and family. A set of tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood will be awarded to the video with the most views, and all entries will be entered in a raffle for a second set of tickets.

Winners will be announced on August 25th!


Foundations and Fundamentals

Foundations and Fundamentals to Fill in the Gaps

While the Summer of Stories provides a great opportunity to work on critical reading and writing skills for students, some tutors may prefer to use the summer to build foundations in both math and language arts. We recommend the following:

Stride Academy

Stride Academy is an online learning program that diagnoses and develops a student’s mastery of essential skills in reading, language arts, mathematics, and science. It can be used at tutoring locations with computers and internet access. Please read our instructions on signing up your student.

School on Wheels Academic Program

Our Academic Program for students in kindergarten through seventh grade was developed to provide appropriate, easy-to-access, and easy-to-use learning materials for you, the tutor. We have created materials for kindergarten through seventh grade in language arts and math to help you make the most of your tutoring hour. The learning materials include assessments, worksheets, and activities.

Common Core Resources

The Common Core State Standards are a new set of academic standards that are being introduced in nearly every state including California. These standards are designed to be rigorous as well as relevant to real world situations. The aim of the standards is to make sure that all our students are held to consistent expectations and will be prepared for college and career. Summer is the perfect time to focus on a few of these worksheets each week in the grade the student most recently completed to help fill in gaps in their learning.

Apps to Fill in the Gaps

School on Wheels created a list of Educational Apps that can be downloaded to smartphones or tablets:

Here are our top recommended apps, and also a few websites with more extensive directories.