Summer vacation is just around the corner and two months can be a long break from learning. On average, students lose the equivalent of two months of math and reading skills during the summer months. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Furthermore, about a quarter of teachers spend at least 1.5 months simply re-teaching material from the previous year. Work to change that this summer by using our top nine suggestions for activities you can give to your students & their parents to keep them engaged over those hot summer months.
Ways to Keep Students Engaged Over the Summer
1) Daily Journal –
have your students keep a daily journal recording their summer experiences – this will keep reading and writing skills sharp.
2) Encourage your students to take learning on the go
Students in grades 1-2 will love whipping out fun and engaging workbooks to sharpen their reading, science, and math skills this summer. And for those older elementary students in grades 3-5, these skill-building workbooks will help them master everything they need to achieve academic success in the fall.
3) Summer Reading
Put together a suggested summer reading list. Reading is one of the easiest ways to keep a student’s mind engaged during a break from structured educational activities. Looking for advice on what to read? Hit up your local library. Many libraries have reading competitions that kids can take part in and offer reading programs that can keep your students busy for the entire summer break. Don’t have a local library in your area?
Participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge online!
4) Empower students to learn independently
For many students, summer is all about independence, which makes it the perfect time for them to begin taking ownership of their learning. With Georgia Test Prep LLC, you’ll have no shortage of fun, independent activities to keep your students learning. These ready-to-go activities also make meeting the needs of individual students easier, plus they’re the perfect complement to workbook activities and summer reading.
These are just few strategies to help you stem learning loss this summer. For more tips and tools to help your students sharpen their skills all year long, check out these essential teacher resources from GTP.
5) Get outside and explore –
a trip to the neighborhood park or a nearby forest can be a terrific learning experience. Have your students go into nature equipped with a book about flora and fauna.
6) Volunteer Opportunities-
Encourage older students to stay active in the community during the summer by volunteering for a local organization. Volunteering provides valuable experience by helping students develop leadership and job skills, exposing them to potential career opportunities, and helping them make their own professional connections within their community.
7) Stay Active & healthy
In addition to academic risks, children can also be at an increased risk of weight gain when they are out of school during the summer months. Take advantage of the warmer weather and keep you active outdoors.
8) Participate in Summer Learning Events
Provide a list of summer learning events for your students. Check out this Summer Learning Day Event Map presented by the National Summer Learning Association for summer learning programs that allow your students to interact with others while learning. From summer learning challenges to reading days and educational camps, you can find educational opportunities for kids of all ages almost anywhere in the country.
9) Plan 'surprise adventures.'
Think outside the typical tourist spots for these family field trips. Look for Revolutionary or Civil War re-enactments (Greater Williamsburg, Virginia played a prominent role in both wars and has several battlefields to explore). Or factory tours, Renaissance festivals, historic home tours, jazz concerts, ethnic festivals, botanical gardens, county fairs, living history farms, planetariums, animal sanctuaries, historic battlefields, lighthouses, and working ranches
10) Teach your kids how to play chess
Don't know how? Learn together! (A simple Google search will turn up some great starting points.) Once your kids master the basics, sign them up for a chess club. 'Chess trains your brain to think critically—to discover like a scientist, create like a technician, innovate like an engineer, and problem solve like a mathematician,' explains Wendi Fischer, the Scholastic Director of America's Foundation for Chess, a nonprofit organization that brings chess into schools. 'In fact, a third-grade student once told me, 'I like chess because it's sneaky learning.''
Summer slide is a real problem, but by doing your part and encouraging your Kids and their passion .you can help your kids turn the summer months into a fun, innovative learning experience.