As summer sets in, and all of the family routines change, parents might be thinking about having fun and relaxing with their kids – but they might also be wondering about how to avoid losing all of the learning their kids did during the school year. According to the National Summer Learning Association, which invests in summer learning to help close achievement gaps, all students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months. Most lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills. (And as we’ve blogged about recently, we think reading over the summer is pretty important, too!)
Parents can explore these eight, free online resources so that summer is a time of learning and growth (as well as relaxation!).
Reading & Language Arts
- com – Vocabulary is a critical component of reading comprehension. Playkidsgame.com helps your students build and retain reading comprehension skills through interactive games. Students can play within their current RIT Range (from their latest MAP Growth test) and create their own games if they master a specific level.
- Your Reading Path – Use MAP Growth results to link student RIT scores in Reading with over 7,000 books across a wide range of topics and action genres that help pave the way to a path of reading pleasure. The tailored approach ensures the best match for readability, interest, and age appropriateness for each student.
- Summer Boost – Worksheets, games, workbooks, activities, lesson plans and more from education.com will help parents put together fun exercises to keep their kids active during the summer. There is a nominal fee for access to premium content, but parents can pay as they go without a commitment.
- Opposite Ocean – The Opposite Ocean is a great app to improve student vocabulary and reading comprehension on the go. Available for iPads and iPhones, this interactive app developed in concert with the Virginia Department of Education allows students to master antonyms while “going deep” on grade-appropriate vocabulary. Current game settings are appropriate for students in grades 2-6.
- SumDog – Nothing sparks learning like competition. Help your students retain math, reading, and writing concepts with Sumdog, an interactive gaming site that allows students to become superheroes, complete activities, and build skills while school’s out. Teachers can create free logins for their students and track their progress over the course of the summer.
- MAP to Khan Academy – Take advantage of Khan Academy practice exercises that are correlated to a student’s Math RIT score. The Khan exercises are interactive problems for students with instant feedback.
- TenMarks – Summer math programs, such as TenMarks, can help teachers and parents maintain academic rigor with online coursework. On-demand curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and provides adaptive instructional models that keep students learning during the summer months. Note: This tool will only be available for a limited time, so take advantage of it soon!
- Math Champ – Available for iPads and iPhones, Math Champ is a challenging and innovative gaming app that allows students to test their math skills and go head-to-head against classmates in a virtual math competition. Teachers can customize quizzes by selecting appropriate content by grade and difficulty level. After the competition, teachers can also access aggregate student data and see the performance of all students in an easy Excel format.
Experiential learning is also something that parents can encourage over the summer. Local field trips, camping, and museums are all great ways to connect students with their surroundings and nature, while having fun!