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summer learning loss

9 resources to prevent summer learning loss

Teachers can help prevent summer learning loss by passing these resources to students and parents

As the school year comes to a close in districts across the nation, many parents and educators look for resources to prevent summer learning loss in students.

Sixty-four percent of parents are aware of summer learning loss, often referred to as the “summer slide,” according to research from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report.

According to a Brookings study, “Students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning” and “declines were sharper for math than for reading.”

This loss of academic skills is especially worrisome for at-risk students and for students who struggled to meet learning goals during the school year.

Public libraries are a top resource for parents to ensure their child is reading over the summer, and online tools offer another avenue for teachers and parents who want to give children access to learning materials during summer break.

Check out some of the following resources to prevent summer learning loss:

1. Texas Instruments has launched a STEM Squad to keep learning going throughout the summer. From now through September, TI’s STEM squad will visit school campuses across the country, offering project-based learning activities that make important STEM concepts relevant in real-world, meaningful ways. TI will also host live, virtual field trips throughout the summer to give even more students an opportunity to engage with STEM.

2. The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, which kicked off on May 7, runs through Sept. 7, 2018. Students can log their reading minutes online to earn digital prizes as they complete weekly reading challenges and gain access to 18 reading activities (one per week), including games, quizzes, and videos based on the Harry Potter series. The challenge is free and is online and mobile-friendly.

3. Casio America Inc., encourages kids to skip the “summer slump” by exercising their math skills using Designed as digital scratch paper, Casio’s is an all-in-one web-based mathematics resource geared for K-12 mathematics and beyond.

4. JAM offers kid-friendly online courses with various pricing structures. Students gain access to a huge library of videos and creative projects that will inspire them, and parents can keep track of their progress on the ad- and bully-free site.

5. HughesNet and the National 4-H Council have launched STEM Lab, a free resource to parents and teachers to inspire the next generation of scientists. STEM Lab is an online hub offering fun, hands-on STEM activities developed by top public universities and 4-H groups to spark kids’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). STEM Lab features easy, hands-on STEM activities organized by age group (ages four to 16). It also offers easy-to-follow instructions, an explanation of the foundational concepts at work, discussion questions, and a list of necessary supplies, which most often consists of basic household items.

6. Common Sense Media’s list of online summer camps can help parents find engaging and educational activities for their children. The list was compiled in May 2017, so check to be sure the online camps are still active.

7. The Solar Energy Design Challenge, which runs from June 1 through July 31, invites participants to model or design solar-powered systems and submit their ideas for acceptance into the Virtual Solar Grid. Contest participants will have unlimited, free use of Energy3D, a computer-aided design simulation tool, to model existing solar energy systems or design new ones. Users will be able to quickly sketch a realistic-looking structure or import one from an existing CAD file, superimpose it on a map image, and then evaluate its energy performance for any given day and location. Contestants can choose public buildings, school buildings, parking lots, utility-scale solar farms, or any other appropriate site.

8. Summer activities for children with autism begin with new sensory activities that can help improve sensory processing by reducing stress. Moreover, activities are also important for the children with autism spectrum to improve social skills and motor skills. The Otsimo Child app lets parents make use of educational games to help their child develop and grow. They can choose from a wide range of games and will have access to trackable progress and new games, updated weekly.

9. Math education experts at ORIGO Education have compiled a list of activities and resources for parents to do with their young children.​ In mathematics instruction, students can lose an average of 2.6 months of learning. For instance, child-friendly cooking recipes can help reinforce volume and measurement skills. Hopscotch games can incorporate addition and counting by multiples.

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Laura Ascione

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