The end of the school year is usually an exciting time for teachers and students. But this year is different. School buildings have been closed for months due to COVID-19. Students have been learning from behind computer screens since mid-March (or earlier). And the lack of in-person instruction is likely to have a serious impact on students’ learning and retention. In fact, research from NWEA predicts that students’ learning loss due to the coronavirus is expected to be significantly higher than the learning loss associated with the typical “summer slide.” However, there are a few things teachers can do now to keep students learning over the summer. Here are some of News-O-Matic’s recommendations:
The COVID-19 pandemic led to unexpected shifts to distance learning. In our recent Preparing for the “COVID-19 Slide” white paper, 48% of teachers reported that they are planning to maintain access to distance learning resources for students over the summer. Enabling students to continue with the online resources the class used for math, reading, social studies, and science can help reinforce what they learned over the past few months.
Fresh resources can spark students’ interest over the summer. You might recommend some new apps, fun educational websites, or even worksheets students can use on their own to keep up their skills in math and reading.
Perhaps the best way for students to keep learning when school’s out is to read, read, read! The summer is the perfect time for students to explore new books that may not have been assigned in school. Share a recommended reading list of books that will pique kids’ interests and get them excited about reading. If your school library has a subscription to e-book databases like OverDrive or Hoopla, share that link with your students, too.
In addition, get creative in your reading recommendations! Reading encompasses so much more than chapter books. In fact, teacher respondents from the Preparing for the “COVID-19 Slide” survey listed “age-appropriate nonfiction reading” as the most useful resource to combat learning loss. News-O-Matic publishes five nonfiction stories every day, including over the summer, so students will always have something new to read. Even a few minutes of reading each day can make a huge difference.
Keep your students’ writing skills fresh by encouraging them to keep a journal. Consider offering some creative writing prompts, too. You can ask students to talk about what they did that day, to describe a new food they tried, or to talk about something they found in nature. You can also encourage younger students to draw pictures and write descriptive captions for a little writing practice.
To help combat summer slide, News-O-Matic is also offering free summer access to educators who sign up for a 2020-2021 school year subscription by June 30. Request a quote today.