For many Oklahoma students and teachers, if summer break isn’t already here it is just days away. We’ve had a great school year here in Oklahoma, and I hope everyone enjoys their summer vacation. But, learning should not stop just because it is summer break.
Students can take the opportunity to continue to improve their reading skills and teachers know it is a great time to continue their own professional education. I feel strongly that no matter how old we are, we should never stop learning. That is why the State Department of Education staff and I have been working hard to make sure there are opportunities for students and educators to continue learning over the summer.
For educators, the State Department of Education is again offering its Vision 2020 conference FREE to all Oklahoma educators from July 9 to 11 in downtown Oklahoma City. There will be sessions about teaching math to struggling students, what model instruction looks like with the new Oklahoma Academic Standards, proven reading strategies and much more. Those attending will have the opportunity to hear about innovative teaching strategies from high-quality educators from Oklahoma and across the country. There will be sessions on violence, drug and alcohol prevention, anti-bullying strategies and additional trainings in many other subject areas.
Returning this year by popular demand is a high-energy, outstanding speaker who inspired many Oklahoma educators at last year’s conference. Ron Clark is known for sharing his best teaching practices that result in increased student achievement in all children. Oklahoma educators will not want to miss the opportunity to see him again. He will also host a book signing while here.
State educators can register for Vision 2020 by visiting our website sde.ok.gov/sde/vision2020.
Learning in the summer also must continue for children.
Earlier this month, Governor Mary Fallin and I joined together to kick off the State Department of Education’s Summer Reading Program – Read 5 for Summer. Research shows, if children read at least five books on their reading level over the summer, they will return to school ready to learn.
After reading to the children, Governor Fallin and I visited with parents and grandparents about the Read 5 for Summer campaign.
To determine your child’s reading level, and to find great books for them to read, you can do one of two things. Take the Read 5 for Summer bookmark all elementary school students received to your local public library or visit our website sde.ok.gov/sde/lexiles.
Putnam City Public Schools, the Metropolitan Library System and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries were gracious enough to help us promote summer reading.
Students, teachers, and educators – it has been a great and productive school year, so go out and enjoy your summer. But remember, students and parents, Read 5 for Summer. Oklahoma educators, join us at Vision 2020.