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[Resource Round Up] 10 Ways to Keep Students Learning Over Summer

[Resource Round Up] 10 Ways to Keep Students Learning Over Summer

Summer is nearly here, which means that students are eagerly awaiting long days of nice weather, relaxed schedules, and time spent with friends instead of schoolwork. And, while everyone can appreciate a good lazy day, the academic consequences of an entire summer off is not something to take lightly. In fact, ASCD reports that, on average, elementary students lose one month of learning over the summer. Even more concerning is the fact that learning loss from this “summer slide” seems to be cumulative.

Keep your students learning all summer long with these 10 tips:

1. Include parents in summer learning

Parental involvement can be the key to making sure that your students are continuing their learning when they’re not in school. Reach out to parents before the school year ends, and share ways to keep their children engaged throughout the summer.

2. Send students off with resources

To jumpstart summer learning for your students, consider printing off resources and sending them home in a take-home packet. This is a great way to make sure that all students have access to extra practice over the summer, even if they don’t have access to a computer. We curated these great summer resources to get you started.

3. Hold a contest

Create a friendly, academic competition between your students with incentives to come at the beginning of the new school year. See how these schools used contests to drive student engagement with Study Island and Exact Path, and start brainstorming your own competition! Don’t forget to check out our Study Island Contest Toolkit and Exact Path Contest Toolkit.

4. Keep ’em reading

Studies show that one of the most effective ways to avoid summer learning loss is to read regularly. Send off students with summer reading lists and resources for their community libraries, and encourage them to download their library’s mobile app, if available. Add these five SEL themed books to your summer reading recommendations, and don’t miss the chance to share these fun, printable bookmarks, perfect for keeping track of summer reading!

5. Break from tradition

Promote nontraditional learning with a list of documentaries, historical films, podcasts, and audiobooks that students can enjoy over the break. Download and share this 30 Day Summer Learning Challenge for some fun ideas!

6. Inspire the DIY spirit

Encourage students to develop and create do-it-yourself projects on their own agenda. Help them become self-directed learners with our how-to guide for personalized learning.

7. Map out potential summer field trips

Highlight learning institutions that students can visit on their own time—the local library, a museum, or a nature center. The options for hands-on learning are endless. For students who may have trouble with access to in-person opportunities, try creating a virtual field trip instead!

8. Suggest volunteer opportunities

Many businesses and nonprofit organizations welcome support from young adults in their communities. Offer a community service credit, or create a summer project focused on giving back.

9. Encourage extracurriculars

Camps are a great option for all types of learners. Many focus on specific interests and the development of important social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Best of all, they create lasting memories. Summer is also a great time to discover new activities, try new things, and develop new hobbies.

10. Encourage boredom

Well, kinda. These days, we often feel like we need to fill up every moment of every day with some activity or plan so that we can make sure we are being productive and efficient with our time. But every now and again, a little boredom, or unspecified downtime, can actually boost creativity and help develop imagination and self-awareness. Have your students write out a short list of things that interest them or activities they enjoy that they can turn to when they have nothing to do, and encourage them to try see the dull moments as opportunities to be creative or try something new.

Interested in more tips to build out summer learning success? Get Edmentum’s comprehensive list of summer learning resources here!

Originally published on EdSurge on April 22, 2019 and has been updated.