Summer learning loss needs a rebrand. The phrase “summer slide” is really just belittling the severe issue of learning loss. Now more than ever in this time of anytime, anywhere learning, we must push back on channeling our inner “Dude” and unabide the slide.
Learning loss is detrimental. The Collaborative Summer Library Program found that low-income students are often the most in need of summer reading programs. According to the Colorado Dept. of Education, students in low-income households fall behind an average of two months, and learning loss is cumulative with losses building up each summer.
Summer brain drain shouldn’t be viewed as an opportunity lost. Instead, summer break should be seen as an opportunity for parents, community and business leaders to create unique learning experiences for students. This shift in perspective and thinking should be championed by Smart Parents.
Here’s a list from Team Getting Smart and our community of teacher bloggers and advocates of learning ideas for students, parents and teachers for the upcoming summer months that go beyond your average reading list.
- K12’s Summer School Courses. From web design to health, US government and politics to French, this offering of courses is a great opportunity to catch up, get ahead, try a new language, and explore electives.
- DreamBox Learning’s Sample Lessons. Try these adaptive K-8 math lessons also available in Spanish. Go beyond the sample lessons with a monthly subscription available for purchase by parents.
- Amplify’s 20 enjoyable and challenging texts for middle-schoolers. From Sherman Alexie to Harper Lee, this is our top pick when it comes to books that middle school students should swipe through this summer.
- Heather Staker, author of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, suggests Brain Chase, “The best summer program, bar none, to keep kids engaged during the summer.” Watch the preview:
- Connections Academy’s Online Summer School. More than 100 flexible course offerings.
- MIND Research Institute’s Math Camp. 6-8th grade, August 17-21 in Orange, CA. Download the Math Camp Brochure.
- MIND’s Game-a-thon. In teams, students design, build and share a game that features creative and unusual solutions to mathematical problems. Watch the promo:
- Tynker Coding Adventure Camps. 16-week courses that allow kids to build their own games, publish mobile apps and program drones.
- TenMarks’ Summer Math Program. Flexible, and parents can create unique rewards and goals.
- Newsela’s Summer Reading Challenge. Grades 2-12, students can read news stories and take quizzes to earn points and badges.
- eTutorWorld’s Online eCamps. Online learning classes in science and math, take the free lesson first.
- Reading Eggs (subscription-based for ages 3-13) ) and Starfall (free and appropriate through primary grades) offer great interactive literacy-focused activities, games, and books.
- Code Studio. Created & curated by Code.Org, the site offers a range from the Hour of Code entry point through 20 hour full courses ranging from Ages 4 and up.
- The Foos is a fun and kid-friendly way to learn how to code.
- Splash Math Summer Program. Eight week program, $29 per student.
- Share My Lesson’s Summer of Learning series. Four days of webinars, free PD and opportunities to earn credit.
- Moss Pike and Aimee Bartis, Getting Smart Teacher Bloggers, suggested local EdCamps and the opportunity for educators to organize CoffeeEDU meetings.
- Write a guest blog for GettingSmart.com. Topic: How can educators and EdLeaders create and foster environments that support GenDIY in taking control of their unique journeys to college, career, and contribution. Submit to Editor@GettingSmart.com.
- PresenceLearning’s “Greatest Hits Summer Series.” ASHA CE credits are available for seven webinars. The series runs July 15 – August 16.
- Courtney Hanes, Getting Smart Teacher Blogger, suggested ThinkCERA for fellow teachers, a platform for teachers personalizing literacy instruction across disciplines.
- EdmodoCon 2015. Live online event where educators from around the world connect with each other to share how they’re using Edmodo and other digital tools. (See Edmodo feature by Getting Smart Teacher Blogger Greg Garner.)
- Put the release of ‘Parenting for Powerful Learning’ on you calendar for early August. The book is the culminating project of the Smart Parents series.
- Host a National Summer Learning Day Event. The annual national advocacy day led by the National Summer Learning Association. Last year 350,000 students participated, for 2015 the goal is 700,000.
- Camp PBS Parents. Resources for parents when planning seasonal activities for kids.
- Listen Current Premium. Premium is free this summer for parents. Listen to curated collections of thought-provoking stories from public radio.
- Take your kids geocaching, which combines the outdoors, technology, learning, and physical activity.
- Check out Tom’s blog Drop Everything and Sail the World for 15 ways parents can be a great role model for their kids (they don’t all require dropping everything).
Have resources, events, strategies and best practices that should be on this list? Comment below!
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DreamBox Learning, Connections Education and MIND Research Institute are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.