As budgets continue to shrink, so too does the time devoted to summer school. Yet, its importance is greater than ever considering the increased rigor being required of school year curriculum and the ever-growing demands placed on students’ schedules outside the classroom. As an instructor, you want to make sure the limited time you have with summer school students is as valuable as possible. Here's five of our favorite tips.
Follow a strict routine
Spontaneity can be a great thing for learning, but in general, it’s a luxury for those with ample time on their hands. In the tight schedule of a summer school environment, a student wondering what they are supposed to be doing is not making progress. Establish a hard-and-fast routine early in the summer period and stick to it so you can avoid confusion, ambiguity, and wasted time.
Make data your best friend
Before summer school starts, gather as much data as possible on your students. Talk to school year instructors and look at test scores and grade reports from the past year to uncover existing learning gaps and know which skills to target. You’ll also get an idea of what topics you can likely skip either because they are they unnecessary or too advanced for your students without spending too much time at the beginning of the term on formative assessment.
Invest in technology
For many teachers, handing over the reins of classroom curriculum to technology can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, there are few better ways to make efficient use of time than to have a program in place that can diagnose learning gaps instantaneously and serve up your students the right lessons at the right time. The right program can save you hours of planning and assessment time, and free you up to offer one-on-one help and deliver lessons that benefit the class as a whole.
Have zero tolerance for disruption
Any time wasted is magnified by the condensed summer school schedule, and that includes any time in which class is disrupted by misbehavior, technical issues, or other unscheduled events. Mitigate these as quickly as possible and take steps to make sure they do not occur again in the summer period. Setting clear expectations about classroom behavior and taking the time to familiarize yourself with any classroom technology (and resolve any issues with your tech team) before the term is a good place to start.
Create more time
The best way to maximize learning time over the summer is to create more of it. That means making tools available that students can use to further their progress when they are at home or on the go. You can easily double your class time just by allowing students to work outside of the school day.
Interested in learning about how Edmentum’s flexible online solutions can maximize the effectiveness of your summer school program? Find out how our online tools can help you Prevent the Summer Learning Slide!