The summer learning loss is real. Research shows that it can cause students to forget 22 percent or more of what they learned over the school year, making a teacher spend a month of review at the beginning of the next year just to get students caught back up. This might seem like the territory of the parents, but there are some things teachers can do to help prevent summer learning loss.
8 Teacher Tips to Prevent Summer Learning Loss
While family engagement plays a key role in preventing summer learning loss, educators can set students up for success by preemptively offering a range of tools and resources. Check out these 8 ways to send students off for the summer with confidence.
1. Look for online resources.
While many schools have been using online or distance learning, it doesn’t have to end just because summer break starts. Online learning can not only help keep students sharp, but can actually help them improve in certain areas by the time they get back to school. There are plenty of free resources, or you can set up some lessons on the online tools you already have access to.
2. Provide students with a reading list for summer break.
Set up a reward program for when classes start again in the fall so they follow through on their reading assignments. Be sure to include a variety of genres to give students a chance to read what interests them.
3. Send reading materials to a student’s home.
Some students might not have access to the local library or bookstore. If all else fails, offer to send books to your students. Consider implementing a system for book return when school starts again or have a plan for replacing lost copies.
4. Encourage parents to have their students teach them.
Teaching someone else is one of the highest levels of thinking. Having the students teach their parents all of the new skills they learned can serve as a useful review.
5. For older students, create a potential job list.
Include ideas of interesting businesses and organizations around town where other students have had success in summer employment. If you don’t know any, ask around. Keep in mind that some students may ask to use you as a reference!
6. For younger students, consider encouraging volunteering.
Plenty of organizations around town need help. It’s a good way to practice valuable skills and perhaps investigate a possible career. Offer a list of local non-profit organizations or businesses that benefit the community.
7. Construct a virtual field trip.
With virtual field trips, kids can visit art museums, historical sites, and more without ever leaving the couch. Take the time to construct a trip for them using online tools like Google Earth and YouTube. They can “travel” and learn more about the world at the same time.
8. Make yourself available.
Make sure to let your students know that they can reach you via email during the summer break. You can even reach out and quiz them with some questions to keep their brains working.
Read More Summer Learning Loss Tips
Keeping students learning and growing all summer long is important for both early learners and older children alike. There aren’t guaranteed ways to prevent students from experiencing summer learning loss, but equipping them with tools is a step towards encouraging continued engagement over the summer.