According to the National Summer Learning Association, students can lose up to 3 months of learning in math and reading during the summer months. In reading, these losses are greatest among low-income youth, who are less likely to have access to summer camps and other enrichment programs. This gap can account for a large amount of learning loss – by fifth grade, summer learning loss can cause low-income students to be as much as 3 years behind their peers in reading, according to the NSLA.
As a school, it may not be feasible to offer staffed summer programs or year-round classes, but there are some ways you can keep students engaged and learning over the summer, especially if you’re using a learning management system like Twine.
Reading lists are the tried and true way to keep students reading over the summer, but open up a series of potential roadblocks. Sending home a list of required or recommended books to read doesn’t mean the list actually makes it to the parents or that the books ever get picked up.
Some local libraries have incentive programs, offering prizes and rewards for students based on the number of books they read over the summer, which might be just the motivation some students need. For others, the ability to log in to their class and discuss the book with other students can make it seem less like required reading, and more like talking about the latest television show.
An LMS gives students the ability to access their recommended reading lists, have conversations with other students about the reading, and even complete assignments or projects to get a jump start on next school year.
Sometimes students just need a nudge in the right direction to get started writing. Providing a list of summer writing prompts allows students to choose the work they do, and makes writing feel less like a required activity and more like an option. Depending on the level of student, you could require rough drafts or polished pieces and could even have students peer edit and review each other’s work virtually, allowing for collaboration and group discussion.
Are the students at your school looking for more creative ways to write during summer break? Journaling offers students the ability to add writing, art, and multimedia to their portfolios as an extension of their summer plans, rather than an added task. Have students take photos of their travels and write reflection pieces, create drawings or sketches of the things they are doing, or even create their own blog for the summer. All of these things can be stored in an LMS like Twineusing the portfolio feature, allowing students to compile a great collection of work and keep their brains active during the break.
Connect with students and families all year long
No matter what approach you take to keep your students engaged over summer break, Twine can help you stay connected to your students and families, allowing teachers to inspire learning even when school is not in session. Contact us for more information or to see what Twine can do.