Summer Learning Resources

Summer Learning

The school year has brought so many gains for your students in reading and mathematics. They have worked hard all year and we have celebrated these gains.

The end of the school year arrives and although most students look forward to vacation, the summer months can have a detrimental impact on students' academic progress. It is called the "Summer Slide": skills gained during the school year melt away with the heat, and that "summer learning loss" translates into teachers spending a good chunk of the academic year playing catch-up before being able to move forward.

Summer learning loss happens with all subjects, but math and literacy are often the biggest cause for concern. Without regular practice, these skills tend to diminish over the summer months. Often your students’ teacher suggestions working on these skills during the summer. Parents were asking for recommendations, so we decided to provide a resource.  Our goal is to provide some activities that will keep children working in these key areas. 

Many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they have learned or slip out of practice during the summer months. Try these strategies to help your reader improve her reading during the summer and beyond:

  1. Six books to summer success: Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. When choosing the six, be sure that they are just right — not too hard and not too easy. Take advantage of your local library. Ask for help selecting books that match your child's age, interests, and abilities. Libraries run summer reading programs that motivate kids to read, so stop at the Lake Geneva Library and check their summer program.

  2. Read something every day: Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. 

  3. Keep reading aloud: Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle. One benefit is that you can read books your child cannot, so she will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase her knowledge and expand her experience with text so that she will do better when she reads on her own.

Mathematics skills decline more over the summer than any other academic skill, according to researchers from Duke University. Some students lose up to 3 months of learning over the summer holiday period. Mathematics skills declined more than reading skills since children were more likely to carry out summer tasks and activities linked to reading.

We are providing some ideas for online mathematics programs to practice those skills. Check out a few, it helps to have a plan for these activities. Maybe a chart to check off after they complete their tasks. Teachers love to see these math and reading logs when children return to school. If you have older kids, you must look at Khan Academy. Use Khan’s math-with-a-light-touch-of-humor videos to reinforce work from the previous school year or to glance ahead on what is coming up next year.

Repetition is important in mathematics. Have your student keep those math facts fresh in their mind by playing games that repeat the basic operations: adding, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  The easiest way to do this is through math games that use cards, dice or spinners as they will give the child repetition without the use of stale worksheets.  They can roll dice, spin a spinner or draw cards to create randomly generated numbers that they can then add, subtract, multiply or divide.  Money is another way to get a student to do repetitive math practice.  Have them add, subtract, multiply and divide monetary amounts.  This will help with algorithms and also a good introduction or reinforcement of decimals.

Exploration also helps mathematics. Provide your students with pattern blocks, tiles, centimeter cubes, graph paper, etc. and let them explore things like area, perimeter, and volume.   Through this play, students will get an understanding of the formulas for area, perimeter, rectangles, triangles, trapezoids, etc.   Have them work with rulers, yardsticks, measuring tape and discover inches, feet, centimeters, and millimeters.   They can understand things like even and odd numbers by making partners with objects.  If they learn through exploration, then the information stays with them longer than if they are just given a random fact to memorize.

Play games like chess, checkers, Tangram, Fish, War, Mancala etc.  Games where they not only have to think of the first move but what their next move should be.   Get students to think strategically and deductively.  These games should be played repetitively so students can become better strategically and find success.  First time through any game students are just trying to figure out how to play, the second time through they are starting to think about the rules and it isn’t until the third time through that they start to think strategically and can start applying some deductive reasoning.

Enjoy the summer! 




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