Tips and activities to prevent summer learning loss - Renaissance Australia
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Tips and activities to prevent summer learning loss

By: Ken Stoflet, Marketing Communications Specialist, Renaissance USA

Decades of research confirm that summer learning loss is real. In an article published by The New York Times, Smirk (2011) says, “The . ideal of lazy summers filled with fun has an unintended consequence: If students are not engaged in learning over the summer, they lose skills in math and reading. Summers off are one of the most important, yet least acknowledged, causes of underachievement in our schools.” Unfortunately, summer learning loss affects a significant portion of the student population. However, summer learning loss affects low-income students even more—and it can lead to a significant achievement gap.

Smirk sums it up when he says, “We cannot afford to spend nearly 10 months of every year devoting enormous amounts of intellect, energy, and money to promoting student learning and achievement, and then walk away from that investment every summer.” That’s why it’s crucial students remain engaged and continue learning throughout their summer vacations.

 

Keeping students engaged

That responsibility falls on our shoulders. It’s up to us to help students understand that learning doesn’t stop once they walk out the school door. Below, we’ve highlighted a few ways to keep students engaged.

  • Take a moment to explore your surroundings.
    Whether you’re at the zoo or a park, take a moment to read plaques, signs, and everything else. Ask questions. Take a moment to Google the places you visit beforehand. Afterwards, go to your local library and check out books on those places to learn more.
  • Incorporate maths into everyday tasks.
    Mathematics are all around us: at the restaurant we just ate at, behind the game of catch we’re playing with our friends, in the software running our iPhones. The list goes on and on. Ask students how much their lunch will cost. Ask them what angle they need to throw a football at to get it to their friend. Helping students realize that math is all around us keeps them on their toes and their math skills sharp throughout the summer.
  • Feed and encourage students’ natural curiosity.
    Students are naturally curious about the world. If they express an interest in something, encourage them to explore it! Have them visit the local library and check out books about their newfound interests. See if there are any events going on that might be exciting. What about YouTube videos or podcasts? Encourage students to Google their interests and see where the results take them.

A summer full of exploration

It’s clear that students need to remain engaged throughout summer—whether it’s exploring a local library or exploring the vast distances between planets in the solar system. That’s why we’ve created our Summer Reading Contest, a fun and free way to read books on any device, at home, in the library or outdoors. Our summer reading contest gives schools FREE ACCESS to the myON Digital Library to motivate kids to read and reward top schools with exciting prizes. We encourage all schools to take part, there is no obligations, just pure joy of reading for the kids all summer long.

 

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