As the school year ends, the dreaded summer learning slide awaits. It is not exactly a scary, summertime monster, but rather the act of students forgetting what they have learned during the school year, due to lack of engagement or practice with educational materials or activities over the summer.
According to a MetaMetrics study: “Many students experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Further, they score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer vacation.” Not only are students at risk for lower test scores, but they also have trouble learning new topics in the new school year because they have forgotten the foundation of the previous year.
Keeping students engaged over the summer can prevent the summer learning slide from occurring and can save teachers time by eliminating the need to re-teach material from the previous school year. The National Summer Learning Association states: “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time [due to the summer learning slide] is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year. . .It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.”
READ! READ! READ!
Reading plays the most significant role in maintaining the level of education that students have achieved during the school year, especially when it comes to younger students. According to Reading is Fundamental: “Experts agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward.” Educators should encourage students to visit their local library or log in to Reading Eggs to read their favorite books over the summer. Many communities offer structured summer reading programs, but if your community does not offer one, create your own reading program for your students!