Summer Program

Summer should be 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 some simple ways to engage your student in a fun learning environment

The School on Wheels Summer Program was inspired by educational researcher Sugata Mitra and the power of student-driven learning.

Student-driven learning is:

  • Self-organized
  • Curious
  • Engaged
  • Social
  • Collaborative
  • Motivated by peer-interest
  • Fueled by adult encouragement and admiration!

Our Summer Program includes some simple ways to engage your student in a fun learning environment.

Question of the Week

School on Wheels tutors play an important role in both teaching students how to think and giving them room to feed their curiosity. We are recommending you choose one question a week to explore with your student. We will be sending additional questions each week by email, and you can also encourage your student to come up with his/her own question, but here are the questions we posed so far:

  • How do our eyes know to cry when we’re sad?
  • Why do cats always land on their feet?
  • How does music affect our moods?
  • Does Daylight Savings Time Actually Save Daylight?
  • Why do we get goose bumps when we get cold?
  • What do you think makes a person popular?
  • Can animals think?
  • Are athletes really heroes?
  • Is it more dangerous to fly in an airplane or to drive?
  • Why is there traffic?
  • Is there life on other planets?
Can you kill a goat by starting at it?

Can you kill a goat by starting at it?

Here are the guidelines for exploring the question:

1. Let the student lead the learning
Even if it goes in a completely different direction, the student should drive the learning.

2. Make it tangible
Draw, write, create something around his/her thought process.

3. Collaborate
We have set up a Pinterest Tutor Corner as an online community where tutors and their students can share ideas for answers. For your login information to access the boards, please contact your Regional Coordinator, or Natasha Bayus at nbayus[a]schoolonwheels.org.

If you don’t have internet access at your tutoring site or through a smartphone, take a picture of your student’s work and post it later. You can also encourage discussions among groups when multiple tutoring sessions occur at one time.

4. Encourage and admire!
Encourage your student throughout the process, and include a few minutes at the end of the session for review. Ask questions such as, “What would you do differently next time?” or, “What did you think you did really well?”.

Questions of the week are most appropriate for students in 3rd grade and above. If you are looking for alternative activities and projects to do with your student, you may also want to visit our “Dive Into Summer” program from 2012. This program includes ideas for science projects, fitness activities, and fieldtrips.

Apps to fill in the Gaps

All kids love technology. For those of you with smartphones or internet at your tutoring location, how about using some apps to fill in the academic gaps your student is missing?

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

More resources for student-driven learning: