The #1 Curriculum and Assessment Partner for Educators

4 Ways to Keep Students Learning This Summer with Study Island

4 Ways to Keep Students Learning This Summer with Study Island

Students lose learning each summer because they are no longer consistently engaging in academic activities. Research shows that students can lose two months of math skills every summer, and that two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading between low-income students and their middle-income peers can be attributed to summer learning loss in elementary school. Because of this, 9 in 10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons when school begins again.

Why accept summer learning loss when you can overcome it? With Study Island, you can enhance your summer learning program with a strong focus on grade-level standards mastery in all core content areas. Check out four ways you can use the program and even download an editable summer learning parent letter to share with your students' families.

1. Remediation of Essential Standards for Retesting Success

We know that many students attend summer school because they were unsuccessful on a recent state assessment. If this is your summer focus, consider how Study Island can prepare learners for a successful second go. Here are some tips to ensure that your program is built to support student success:

  • Identify the essential standards that are highly tested: Homing in on these standards will not only keep your material aligned to what students will be tested over but also make lesson planning more targeted.
  • Build a pretest using Study Island’s Test Builder: Assess students with a standards-aligned pretest built with Study Island’s Test Builder to pinpoint where they need additional support.
  • Provide practice and preparation: Using features such as practice mode and Group Sessions, identify and focus on areas of weakness to improve student skills before retaking summative assessments.
  • Retest using another Built Test: Just as this feature works great when building a pretest, a Built Test in Study Island can serve as the perfect standards-aligned post test after students practice in Study Island!
2. Standards Review and Preview

Standards practice is an important component of any summer program, and it ensures that students continue learning all summer long. With Study Island, you have the ability to review essential standards from the prior year to keep student learning fresh or preview concepts from the upcoming school year to give students an early opportunity to engage with what may lie ahead. This can work as part of a formal summer program that teachers lead or a recommended informal learning opportunity that students engage in independently. Here are a couple of ways to get started:

  • Assign students specific topics through the class manager.
  • Ask students to work directly from the Study Island topics page, promoting consistent practice by creating a calendar that identifies which topics to work on each day.
  • Respond to student questions through the Study Island Message Center if you will be actively monitoring Study Island over the summer.
3. Summer Writing

Summer writing activities give students the opportunity to practice different types of writing, including skills-based writing, creative writing, and reflective writing (where students respond to a current event, linked news story, or piece of literature). With Study Island writing assignments, you have the flexibility to either assign one of our prebuilt writing prompts or create your own! As an added benefit, students’ writing portfolios will give their new teachers for the upcoming school year valuable insights into students’ writing styles, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Here are some summer writing practice tips:

  • Create assignments ahead of time, and provide clear due dates. Make sure that all assignments are active at the end of the school year in case students have any questions.
  • Give feedback on students’ writing submissions to provide encouragement and support as they sharpen their writing skills.
  • Have students print out and turn in their writing portfolios at the end of the summer to earn a reward or entrance into a summer learning celebration. 
4. Summer Blue Ribbon or Questions Contest

Want to add some incentives to keep students working over the summer? No problem! You can quickly and easily run a Study Island Blue Ribbon or questions contest no matter what learning this summer might look like. All you need is Internet access, student logins, and some prizes, and then you’re all set! Not sure where to start? Check out our Study Island contest toolkit! It’s chock-full of step-by-step instructions, tools, and tips for running the contest, and how-to videos to ensure that your contest is a success.

Are you in need of more resources for planning your summer learning programs? Check out our Summer Planning & Success Toolkit!

This post was originally published May 2020 by Regina Waddell and has been updated. 

brittany.voges's picture
Brittany Voges

Brittany Voges currently serves as a Content and Social Media Specialist at Edmentum, and has been with the company since 2016. Before her time at Edmentum, Brittany studied Elementary Education, and eventually went on to teach 4th grade in Title 1 schools. Because of her background in education, Brittany is passionate about providing educators across the United States and the world with the tools and best practices to empower their students each day in the classroom.