Alert Solutions Blog

School’s Out! 6 Sizzling Summer Learning Activities

Posted by Tara Gibson on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 @ 14:06 PM

While summer vacation has traditionally been a time of rest and relaxation for American kids, that doesn’t mean they can’t indulge in a little summer learning over these beautiful, balmy few months too.  

In fact, continuing to learn over the summer can be important to a child’s ability to retain information. Kids who fail to actively engage their brains over that time period are often subject to the dreaded “Summer Slide” in which they forget information they’ve already learned.

Summer Learning

One Brookings Institute study found the average American student loses the equivalent of a month’s worth of education during summer vacation.

One factor that can help? Parent involvement. To encourage that, savvy teachers and school administrators can use a mass notification system like SwiftK12 to offer parents suggestions for fun lessons that celebrate summer learning all season long.

If you’re a conscientious teacher wishing promote summer learning and encourage parent involvement, here are a few ideas:

  • Read up on fun games kids can enjoy during long car rides; see suggestions at Scholastic.com.  
  • Have students pick out fun library books they can read or have read to them. Regional libraries often offer appealing summer reading programs complete with prizes and rewards, or you can create your own neighborhood book club in which different books are discussed.
  • Collaborate with other parents to trade off time slots and get “more bang for your buck” by organizing educational experiences or field trips that include multiple children.
  • Create child-friendly science experiments involving nature; here are ideas from EducationWorld.com involving bugs.
  • Provide your child a budget for a summer cookout, then let him plan the menu, buy the ingredients and prepare some of the foods.
  • Challenge your child to design an invention (on paper or in 3D) that would be useful during the summertime, such as a hot-weather garment or a new beach toy.

Learn more ways parents can encourage at-home summer learning on Alert Solutions’ blog.

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Topics: school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, parent engagement, student engagement, summer learning loss

Concerned About Summer Learning Loss? Here are 4 Ways to Prevent It.

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

Summer learning loss is a well-documented occurrence. 

According to the National Summer Learning Association, k-12 students lose 2-3 months’ worth of academic knowledge every summer. Low-income students suffer an even steeper rate of learning loss than their peers.

Summer learning loss affects teachers too. A recent survey found 66% of teachers spend the first month of the school year teaching old concepts that have been forgotten.

Across the country, k-12 schools and districts are trying to address the challenges posed by summer vacation. Some ideas include year-round schooling and summer school. However, financial constraints make each option difficult to sustain long term.

With the majority of k-12 students in the US out of the classroom in July and August, here are a few tips for parents to help prevent summer learning loss while at home:summerlearningloss.jpg

1. Read for Fun
Reading is a great activity to keep the mind active. Help your child find something that interest them and have them read as much about the topic as possible.

2. Encourage Writing
Help your child keep a journal or scrapbook of summer activities. Write postcards to relatives or find a pen pal!

3. Field Trips
Visit a museum, a historic site, a zoo or any other location that allows for active learning. The active of learning and visiting new places will stimulate our child’s brain and help prevent summer learning loss.

4. Keep Kids Active!
Research shows most kids gain weight during the summer. A student’s health can directly impact their ability to learn.

What are your plans this summer? Share your plans on our blog!

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Topics: school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, summer learning loss

Enjoying Summer Break? Take A Look at Our Top Summer Blog Posts!

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 12:07 PM

Summer break is a school holiday in summer between k-12 school years. It’s also the longest break in the school year - a break where students can be out of school from 6 to 14 weeks!  

During summer break, many students look forward to trading in books and homework for lazy summer mornings. At the same time, educators may worry the lack of student engagement will cause their students to lose the academic skills they just spent months learning.

In honor of summer break, we’ve compiled our top summer blog posts!summerbreak.jpg

5 Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss
Summer learning loss is the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. The loss of learning varies across grade level, subject matter and family income.

Participating in certain summer activities can help students prevent summer learning loss, including taking field trips, visiting your local library, and having a family game night!

Many K-12 Schools Are Saying Goodbye to Summer Break
School administrators across the country are increasingly adjusting their calendars to eliminate summer break, with more than 3,700 public k-12 schools operating year-round. Over 30 states have schools operating on the alternative calendar. Some popular calendar modules include “45-15”, “60-20”, and “45-10”.

Most Parents Don’t Believe Summer Learning Loss Affects Their Child, Study Finds
Research suggests some students can lose more than two months in reading achievement over the summer months. Despite this research, a new survey conducted through Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s found 61% of parents don't believe that summer reading loss affects their own children.

What do you think about summer break and summer learning loss? Share your thoughts with us on our blog!

Topics: school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, summer learning loss

5 Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

Summer is back – and with the warmer weather and carefree days comes this well-documented phenomenon – summer learning loss.

What is summer learning loss? Well, summer learning loss is the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. The loss of learning varies across grade level, subject matter and family income.

Here are a few facts about summer learning loss:summerlearningloss.jpg

1. Students score lower on standardized tests and the end of summer vacation than they do at the beginning.

2. Reading and spelling abilities are also affected by summer vacation.

3. Students will lose about two months of math computation skills over the summer.

4. Parents play a key role in filling in the gaps over the summer. 

Summer is an ideal time for k-12 schools of all ages to strengthen their academic skills while having plenty of time for summer activities.

Here are 5 activities k-12 students can take part in this summer to help prevent summer learning loss:

1. Visit Your Local Library.
family trip to the library is a wonderful source for many activities including reading, writing and sharing stories.

2. Take Field Trips.
 Field trips to museums open up all kinds of activities that are related to history, math and science. 

3. Encourage Children to Connect with Other Children.
Having a pen pal or a book club over the summer is a great way to engage reading and writing skills.  

4. Cook With Your Children.
Cooking is a great way to teach about measurements and how to use fractions.

5. Have a Family Game Night
Family game night including Scrabble, Taboo or crossword puzzles, is a great way for your child focus on spelling. 

What are you doing this summer? Share your plans with us on our blog!

Topics: school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, student engagement, summer learning loss

Many K-12 Schools Are Saying Goodbye to Summer Break

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 10:05 AM

School administrators across the country are increasingly adjusting their calendars to eliminate summer break, with more than 3,700 public k-12 schools operating year-round.

Over 30 states have schools operating on the alternative calendar. Here are some popular calendar models:NoSummerBreak-resized-600.jpg

45-15” – K-12 schools hold nine weeks of classes (45) followed by three-week breaks (15).

“60-20” – K-12 schools hold 12 weeks of classes (60) followed by four-week breaks (20).

“45-10” – K-12 schools hold nine weeks of classes (45) followed by two-week breaks (10).

According to a recent Texas study, researchers found that average passing rates for students in the year-round school were higher than for pupils following a traditional calendar.

Even though they are eliminating a long summer break, the number of school days typically remain the same or at least similar to a traditional academic calendar.

These year-round school initiatives are being implemented to prevent summer learning loss - a problem that some say cause students to lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math skills.

Research has also suggested summer vacation contributes to the achievement gap between low-income and middle-class students.  Many K-12 students find learning opportunities to take part in over the summer, but low-income students are less likely to have access to them.

What do you think about year-round school? Share your thoughts on our blog!

Topics: school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs, summer learning loss

Most Parents Don’t Believe Summer Learning Loss Affects Their Child, Study Finds

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 @ 11:06 AM

Summer is an important time when students can either get ahead or fall behind academically, depending in large part on their resources and opportunities.

Earlier this month we shared a blog post on summer learning loss. Research suggests some students can lose more than two months in reading achievement over the summer months. It is a serious problem.

Despite this research, a new survey conducted through Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s found 61% of parents don't believe that summer reading loss affects their own children.

Additional survey findings include:studentsreading

  • Roughly 65% of parents with young children say reading books during the summer is "extremely important."
  • During the school year, on average, parents of young children say their child spends about 5.7 hours a week reading books, on par with time spent using a smartphone or tablet (5.1 hours). 
  • More than 76% percent inspire their young child to read during the summer by allowing him/her to select his/her own books.

The survey results follow an extensive two-year research study conducted by RIF on summer learning loss. Their focus is to create opportunities for parents, teachers and school community members to minimize summer learning loss.

The survey included 525 U.S. parents of 5-11 year-old students in K-12 schools.

To learn more about RIF, click here.

Topics: school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs, student engagement, summer learning loss

Preventing Summer Learning Loss – 5 Activities to Keep Students Engaged

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jun 09, 2015 @ 13:06 PM

Right now, many students are looking forward to trading in books and homework assignments for lazy summer mornings.

At the same time, educators may worry the lack of student engagement will cause their students to lose the academic skills they just spent months learning.

Summer learning loss is a real problem. Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our nation’s youth at risk for falling behind in core subjects like math and reading.

Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. 

Below are 5 activities that can help students prevent summer learning loss:
 
1. Have Students Keep a Journal
Have students create a daily journal recording their summer experiences. This will help keep reading and writing skills sharp. Plus, they will have great stories to discuss with other students when school starts again.
 volunteer
2. Encourage Students to Volunteer
Encourage older students to stay active in the community by volunteering for a local organization. Volunteering provides valuable experience by helping students develop important job skills and make their own professional connections within the community.
 
3. Learn Online
There is a wide range of online learning resources for students of all ages…and most of them are free! Edutopia compiled a list of summer learning resources. Check it out here.

4. Plan Family Outings
On good-weather days, take daytrips to parks, zoos or gardens. On rainy days, you could visit libraries or museums. After each outing, discuss what you liked the most about the trip and share a fun new fact you learned.
 
5. Participate in National Summer Learning Day!
Celebrated on Friday, June 19th, Summer Learning Day is an annual national advocacy day led by the National Summer Learning Association to elevate the important of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer.
 
What do you plan on doing this summer? Comment on this blog and let us know!

Topics: school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs, student engagement, summer learning loss

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