Hatching a Plan for Summer Learning Success

May 8, 2023

Summer learning programs are an excellent opportunity for students to gain academic and social advantages during the summer months.

For your program to be effective your goals should be clear and specific. That means addressing unfinished learning and closing gaps for some and exposure to next year’s skills for others.

A summer or extended learning program sets students up for success in the fall in a few ways:

  1. Focused time to close learning gaps
  2. Address unfinished learning
  3. Exposure to next year’s curriculum

Use your Data Effectively
Regardless of your goals, the first step is identifying which students will benefit from your summer program.

Use end-of-year data from benchmark and summative assessments to determine whether students are performing below grade level. Be sure to confirm if there is enough skill growth for the student to be confident with next year’s material.

Additionally, look at students’ mastery data to determine if they have been struggling with their grade-level content. If they consistently struggled to master concepts this year, summer learning could better prepare them for success this fall.

Maximize the Time You Have
With only a few weeks of summer learning, it’s important to design a program that maximizes skill mastery in a short period. By factoring in year-end data and identifying the skills students must master to be promoted, you can bypass any content that could be superfluous.

Choose a program that puts your spring assessment data to work to avoid wasting precious learning time with additional testing. For example, students using Classworks for summer learning will automatically have reading and math activities assigned based on their spring test data.

You want to be confident that students are working on exactly what they need to be successful in the short time they have -- a data driven program is the key to achieving that goal!

Hands-on Learning
Working independently on computer-based instruction is valuable for closing gaps quickly. However, be sure to create a blended and engaging summer experience with hands-on, team-based activities and rotation stations.

Classworks summer learning includes project-based performance tasks that teach students to apply concepts in a real life situation and build higher order thinking skills (see an example).

They also help build:

  • Personal and social responsibility
  • Planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity
  • Strong communication skills
  • Cross-cultural understanding, and more!

Data to Determine Effectiveness
Your summer program should offer an easy way to assess the skills and standards students have mastered. Vertically scaled assessments provide a valid and reliable way to measure growth and are significantly shorter and less frustrating for students than adaptive assessments. If documentation of growth is your goal, be sure to administer the same assessment pre- and post-summer learning.

Set Teachers Up for Success
Provide teachers with detailed guidelines about your summer program, including:

  • Pacing guides and curriculum resources
  • Instructional technology resources
  • Pre and post assessments
  • Schedules

Plus, offer your teachers training on the specifics of your summer program. The more familiar teachers are with the instructional technology tools, schedule, and curriculum they will be using for summer learning, the more effective they’ll be.

If you are a Classworks customer, we’ll provide step-by-step support with setting up your summer program and training your teachers. Chat with us below for support!

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