The summer slide, summer brain drain, summer learning loss–whatever you call it, it’s of even more concern to parents and educators with COVID thrown in the mix.
While many districts resumed hybrid or full in-person learning during the 2020-2021 school year, many educators and experts are still concerned about learning gaps and learning loss.
It’s fair to say students have more than earned their impending summer breaks. Still, it’s not a bad idea to encourage students to keep reading and to give their brains a little exercise here and there.
Here are 8 tools and resources to help avoid the summer slide and keep students’ brains active over summer break:
1. Why not explore STEM career possibilities? “The summer is the perfect time for students not only to work on keeping their academic skills sharp but to think about how they can connect what they are learning in the classroom to their futures,” says Marla Wilson, Executive Director of the STEM Careers Coalition. “Discovery Education, through the support of the STEM Careers Coalition, makes available to students a host of no-cost resources that help students explore future STEM careers. In addition, the Coalition provides a host of hands-on activities families can use at home to keep students connected to their curiosity as they help solve some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges.”
2. Project-based learning can be a powerful approach to engage students in learning, and to help address the summer slide. The nonprofit PBLWorks is offering the following resources for families and teachers this summer: “This Teachable Moment,” a free PBLWorks eBook, provides an introduction to project-based learning and 21 ready-to-go projects to help keep students engaged and learning during the summer.
3. Summer is a great time to keep students current with their STEM skills. EquatIO is a STEM tool that allows students to delve into the world of digital and collaborative math and science. Built on Universal Design for Learning principles, EquatIO supports a wide range of learning styles and preferences meaning that it enables students with varying needs to practice and conceptualize core math concepts at their own pace. Through its various inputs, students can engage with math content and express themselves in the way that best suits their unique needs – through written work, visualizations, audio, and more. This is especially useful for students who are looking to practice their math or other science-related concepts this summer, but prefer or need to learn and express themselves digitally.
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